I am often asked about Camp Takajo’s philosophy on competition. As a guy who grew up playing sports his entire life, I found my happiest moments on a basketball court. I believe in competition, if it is kept in its proper perspective. While some believe in having awards, such as “best athlete” or “best camper,” I believe that these awards are somewhat inefficacious and defeat the purpose of what we are trying to accomplish at Camp Takajo each summer.
If a boy learns how to water ski, serve a ball in tennis, or take on the challenge of climbing our fifty-foot climbing wall, then that achievement does not need to be diminished because perhaps, someone else can do it a little bit better. Today, our “Indian” age group, campers finishing fourth grade, travelled to another camp to participate in a full day of athletic competitions. Rather than selecting just a few boys to represent the camp, we took every boy in the Indian age group so that every child would have the thrill of representing our camp in competition.
These “field days” are all about maximum participation. Each boy had the opportunity to play in two games this morning, have lunch at the hosting camp, then compete in a third sporting event this afternoon before return home to Camp Takajo. While we do participate in a wide variety of tournaments, we love the fact that these events take place for boys of all ability levels.
The purpose of competition is to make you part of a team and to instill a sense of pride to represent your team. When our Indians returned home from this full day of competition, they were beaming with excitement and full of Takajo spirit because they came together as a unit and competed with pride.