As a camp director, one of the things I like to share most with parents who send their children to Camp Takajo are the teachable moments that take place in camp on a daily basis. In the twenty-eight years I have been a director, I have been asked countless times to provide extra athletic and skill instruction, but rarely am I asked to focus on a child’s social skills. Living in a bunk is challenging.
While many of you wish that you could go back to camp for one more summer, in reality, you probably don’t envision what it would be like to live in such close proximity with eight or nine of your peers. Imagine leaving your home, your most comfortable environment, the privacy of your bedroom, the ability to grab a snack out of the refrigerator at will, or plop down on your couch to watch your favorite show. The transition to camp, and more specifically to bunk life, can be very hard.
Nevertheless, I am in awe of how well our boys have adjusted to camp. Having a great camper to counselor ratio, with at least two male counselors in every bunk, is key to helping a child navigate their way while living away from home. In Warrior Camp, a female counselor, acting as a bunk mom, is also present. Teaching one how to pick up on social queues, when to enter a conversation, or recognize when someone might need a little space for privacy is no easy task, but having these skills is key to a child’s adjustment to camp.
One of the most redeeming aspects of running a seven-week summer camp is the ability to watch genuine relationships develop. While I am confident that our boys will develop skills in a wide variety of sports, I am more encouraged knowing that our boys are well on their way to making life-long friendships.