We could not have asked for a more perfect day to follow our visiting weekend. Our Takajo campers had a chance to sleep an extra hour and enjoy a casual breakfast in the dining room during Lazy Man’s Morning. The relaxed pace allowed everybody to take a deep breath after the excitement of the last two days.
Rather than immediately jump back into our regular program, the boys enjoyed playing in our laser tag extravaganza. The Senior Baseball Field was filled with inflatable obstacles, which created the perfect venue for each age group to let loose and enjoy something outside the norm.
Our senior boys completed packing for their big trips this morning. Our boys who have finished seventh grade depart for their trip tomorrow. They will enjoy the sights of Cape Cod, deep-sea fishing in Martha’s Vineyard, and an awesome amusement park near Boston.
The boys who have finished eighth grade will go their separate ways on their choice of several trips. A few will spend the week canoeing down the Saint Croix River, sleeping in tents along the shoreline, and experiencing the beautiful wilderness of northern Maine. Others will take on the challenge of climbing Mt. Katahdin; and, in order to reach its peak, they must awake before the sun rises and spend the day trekking up this iconic northeast landmark. For those a little less adventurous, they will make their way to Acadia National Park, where they will take in the majestic views of one of this country’s most beautiful and the first Eastern national park. These boys will put their pioneering skills to the test, as they will pitch their tents and prepare their own food. Others still will enjoy several days of golfing the area’s premiere courses.
In the midst of this active day I was visited by a camper who came into my office in tears. As he sat down on my couch, I started to tell him that it is completely normal to be sad following visiting day. The reconnection with one’s parents is bound to evoke feelings of homesickness. I told this boy that I was confident that he would be back to his usual self in no time. As I was about to continue to pontificate, the camper stopped me and said that his tears were not because he was missing home, or even his parents for that matter. Rather, he realized that there are only 19 days left in the summer. This young man lives for camp. He works hard during the school year and feels over-scheduled. Camp acts as his safe haven– a place where he can wake up and wonder if he is playing basketball or soccer after breakfast rather than if he has completed his homework or prepared for a test that day. Camp is the place where he can be himself, pursue his passion, and strive to attain personal goals.
As I listened this young man speak, I was caught off guard by his maturity and his ability to appreciate the value of this experience. It is a great gift for a young person to be able to appreciate living in the moment and making the most of each and everyday.
As we made our way into dinner, the raffle bag reappeared at the Warrior meal, and items never seen before were on display for all. The dining room once again reached a fevered pitch, as campers stood on benches and cheered hoping to hear their names called. While holding the Takajo apparel, I looked out to the crowd, and I did not see one homesick child among them. The best is still yet to come.