Dare I say that another 75-degree, sunny day is becoming a bit monotonous? I don’t think so… Every morning I wake up, and I count my blessings that I get to do something professionally that brings such joy and fulfillment to my life. Watching your children grow through trials and tribulations is truly an honor.
The entire day was devoted to the Takajo Olympics, and every camper participated in some form of healthy competition. This afternoon, the entire Warrior camp had a track meet, and one could literally hear the cheers from the opposite end of the campus. I watched one camper lose a close, one-lap race at the finish line and turn his disappointment into a heroic act of sportsmanship when he made his way over to his opponent and gave him a celebratory hug. I watched the Juniors battle it out in basketball, soccer, and baseball. All games were close and outcomes were kept in their proper perspective. I watched our Senior boys compete in water polo and a swim meet, some things they do not do on a regular basis, and the sounds of laughter and enjoyment far surpassed the importance of the final scores.
After dinner, the entire camp congregated on Hobby Lane for the camp’s annual Takajo Art Show. The art center was filled with camper projects that they have been working on throughout the summer and were on display for all to see. It was truly like visiting a children’s museum, filled with a labor of love produced by the artists among us. Featuring an outer space theme, our fantastic hobby staff displayed videos of campers singing to pop songs, detailed ceramic animal figurines, all of our printed camp newspapers, and much more. Each camper was amazed as they strolled through the fantastic exhibit with some late night ice cream in their hand.
Before the Seniors retired for the evening, our oldest campers made their way into the dining room for a make-your-own sundae party. It has become a new camp tradition that during the ice cream party for our Senior campers that they stage a dance-off. This just happened to be one of those strange camp traditions adopted a number of years ago and has become a camper favorite. The music was blasting as our older boys performed street dancing moving to the sounds of cheers and to the delight of onlookers. This event capped off another perfect day at Camp Takajo.
As we approach the beginning of the final week and the end to a magnificent summer, I think about the excitement you must feel knowing your children are days away from returning home into your arms. I share that excitement, because as close as I am to my children during the summer, I must remain at an arm’s length in order to allow my children to experience summer camp in its truest form. I cannot help but think that my own kids have been separated from their phones and computers for the last seven weeks, and I cringe a bit at the thought of what will happen in my own home the moment my children return home. I am not sure if any of you have suggestions on how we as adults could curtail this overdose of technology, but I for one pledge to try to keep my children in as natural a setting as we have created for them during the summer. Life is all about balance. Parenting is all about picking our battles, but the importance of teaching our children good, old-fashioned life skills should not be compromised.