I know that I’m biased, but there are many advantages to running an all-boys camp. There is something very special about the fraternal bonds that form in a single-sex camp. There are no concerns or pressures regarding members of the opposite gender. Here, our boys can wake up in the morning with bed-head, throw on the same shirt from the previous day, and not feel the need to dress to impress. However, socials are really fun for our campers.
At the end of a long day of sports and play, the boys love to slap on a little cologne and dance with the ladies from neighboring all-girl camps. I can’t help but think back to the socials we had when I was a camper. They were incredibly awkward. We would head up to the Playhouse and stand with our backs against the wall, in a room so dark that we couldn’t even see the girls on the other side of the building. The first opportunity we took to meet the ladies was when we stepped outside onto the porch for an ice-cold Coke and a chocolate chip cookie– that was our icebreaker.
Today, our boys are much smoother. They look forward to reconnecting with friends from home who attend the same schools or who live in the same community. They embrace with a genuine hug, introduce these ladies to their bunkmates and friends, and head into the same Playhouse to dance to music that I simply can’t understand.
When did I become my father? What’s most impressive about the Camp Takajo socials, aside from seeing that our boys know how to comb their hair and dress to impress, is that they are true “Takajo gentleman.” Our boys know how to be kind and respectful and to treat our guests like fine, young ladies. At Camp Takajo, we are not just developing boys and sports skills; but, also, gentleman with character.