It is hard to believe that a week ago we were eagerly anticipating greeting your children at our welcome arch. I recently met with the Camp Takajo Staff to discuss where we are as a community. I think its important to have these huddles with the staff so that they always have a perspective of what is going on within the minds of their campers.
I explained to the staff that for little boys coming into camp for the first time, it is a challenge for their brains to process everything that takes place during this transition. Our little guys our trying to learn the names of their counselors and their bunkmates as well as learning a new schedule. At the same time, they are trying to perform athletically, pass a swim test, and build new friendships.
The campers leave the comfort of their own bedrooms and must acclimate for the first time, or re-acclimate, to living with up to eight other boys. Even for returning campers, this transition can be a challenge. It is important as you run to the mailbox to read the sporadic mail that arrives from camp, that you keep in perspective just how much your son has accomplished by making this adjustment.
We are asking our campers to write home two or three times a week. Letter writing takes place during rest hour, which is most convenient, but that time of day often results in lackluster content. Just imagine a counselor walking into your son’s bunk after he’s eaten a large lunch in the middle of the day and turning to your son, requiring him to write a letter home. I often joke that the content of a letter would be very different if your son was writing home at halftime of a basketball or soccer game.
I think it’s very important that we all understand that some of our greatest accomplishments in life, the things that have brought us the most joy, often are preceded by our own personal fears. As adults, whether it’s giving a presentation at work, walking down the aisle, or becoming a parent for the first time, we know that those fears have led to our happiest and most memorable moments. This is analogous to what many of your boys are experiencing. They have begun to overcome their anxiety, and their true personalities are blossoming. We are seeing friendships emerging and trust and confidence building. This paves the way for the campers to have boundless fun, all while making relationships that will last a lifetime. As we put the finishing touches on our first week, please know that wherever your son is in his personal journey through the camp season, you should be very proud of his efforts.