Not being here yourself, it may be difficult to comprehend the pace of each and every day at camp. From the moment reveille blows at 7:45 in the morning, campers and counselors are moving from one activity to the other until well into the evening. What’s hard for me to comprehend is how quiet this place will become Sunday evening when all the campers who have stayed for Father-Son Weekend have left with their dads.
We spend the entire year gearing up for the pace of the summer. The logistics that go into operating a summer camp can be all-consuming. Details range from maintaining the facility, hiring staff, making capital improvement decisions, scheduling repairs and maintenance to researching and purchasing everything from bandages and basketballs to boats. Of course, the recruitment and support of our campers, new and veteran, who become part of the fabric that makes Camp Takajo so unique, also requires meticulous attention.
As I walk from one end of campus to the other watching the Olympic competitions, I see the maturation taking place in our youngest campers, who are just developing their skills and learning what it means to be a good sport– the essence of teamwork. At the other end of the spectrum, I see our oldest campers as they cherish every last minute of their final days in camp.
Today, I had an opportunity to witness two of our best tennis players play head-head one final time in an Olympic match. I can vividly picture these two young men back when they were Warrior campers. For me, watching these two incredible athletes and fine young men compete today was emotional. It represents the passing of time, the end of an era, and the acknowledgment that all good things must come to an end. Theses two Okees battled back and forth, and it took a tiebreaker to declare the winner. I could not help but feel that they both are winners, but so are all of us who witnessed this remarkable match and display of sportsmanship. Many parents send their sons to camp to develop great skills, and we hope to meet that expectation. However, I am far more committed to developing great young men, who will live a life of integrity and will remember their camping days with great fondness.