Today, we welcomed rookie campers from around the country who arrived by lunchtime and will have the opportunity to experience Camp Takajo until Sunday morning. As I looked at these little boys, I could sense the nervous anticipation among some of the them and their parents, for that matter.
For many of these little guys, sleeping away from their parents is a big first step. Even some of our current moms, who have their older boys already enrolled in our program, were particularly concerned about their youngest child participating in Rookie Weekend.
In keeping with the camp’s philosophy, we got the rookies immediately involved in our program following lunch. We recognize that the sooner one engages in our program, the happier they will be. Before parents made their way to their cars, you could hear the cheers and excitement coming from our gaga court. Under the direction of some of Takajo’s finest counselors, these rookies were off to a fantastic start.
As I traveled around the facility during the day, I could not help but notice how our youngest campers who arrived just five weeks ago are already independent and thriving in the camp setting. Many of our youngest campers had the same look of fear in their eyes as the rookies did when arrived. Now, they consider Takajo their summer home.
As parents we spend every waking moment protecting our children and guiding them through life. Camp provides the perfect community for our children to learn how to navigate through all kinds of social situations as well as develop the emotional fortitude to forge ahead and try a plethora of new activities. After dinner, our rookies joined our Warrior Campers at a campfire, where they learned some popular camp songs led by our energetic Warrior Staff before heading down to the fire pit to enjoy some s’mores. While the rookies enjoyed their s’mores, our Junior Grey Campers were in the midst of Casino Night, facilitated by our fantastic Junior Staff in the Lodge.
Before the sun set over Long Lake, all of our Sub-Senior boys had returned from their first round of big trips. The excitement was infectious as our boys could not wait to share stories about their experiences away from camp. Climbing Mt. Katahdin and canoeing down the Saint Croix River are huge endeavors, and our boys came back feeling overwhelmed with pride in their accomplishments.
When taps blew and our boys settled into bed, we hosted a staff party in our dining room to show our appreciation for the amazing men and women who continue to work tirelessly to make this place run. Our staff enjoyed lobster and rib dinner with steamers and seafood chowder served by yours truly and the rest of the administrative team. Before the party came to an end, the raffle bag emerged to jubilation and thunderous applause from our highly energetic staff. In an environment where our staff can have fun and feel appreciated, their happiness permeates throughout the entire camp community. With just two weeks to go until closing day, the enthusiasm level continues to climb as we race towards the finish line.