The boys woke up to bright sunshine and enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere of a Lazy Man’s Morning. It was a perfect opportunity for our campers to be able to focus on the activities that they enjoy most at Camp Takajo.
Since our Sub-Senior campers will be departing for Canada tomorrow morning, we gave them first dibs on our banana boat. Each bunk of fourteen-year-olds enjoyed an exhilarating ride around Long Lake.
Our boys that have family at Camp Robindel and Tripp Lake Camp had their last opportunity to connect with those family members during their final Brother-Sister Day. Since I missed out on having a visiting day with my daughters, I took the opportunity to join our boys over at Tripp Lake Camp in order to see them. After a delicious lunch at Tripp Lake, the campers enjoyed playing tennis, shooting baskets, and swimming with their family members. As the afternoon came to a close and our boys boarded the bus to return home, I was pleasantly surprised by the affectionate hugs and kisses that I received from my own daughters. I turned to my wife and commented that I probably only have one more warm embrace left when the girls return home on Friday, August 11. As a parent, my greatest challenge when my children return home consists of trying to help them maintain this healthy lifestyle and not to regress back to the isolated life their screens provide.
This afternoon, a bunk of eighth graders paid a visit to my office. They were very upset at one of their bunkmates, who they felt became overly emotional while they were playing basketball. As I listened to the boys speak, it became apparent to me that the only reason this boy became emotional on the court was because he felt that his bunkmates were making fun of him. The boy who became emotional apologized to his bunkmates and said that his frustration should not be taken out on his friends. Upon hearing this apology, his bunkmates turned to him and apologized for letting their impulses get the best of them. One of the bunkmates even commented that he was always told that adolescent boys do not have fully developed brains, which causes impulsivity and poor decision-making. They realized as a collective group that the onus was on them to not single out their fellow bunkmate or make him feel inferior and isolated. This exchange was beautiful to witness as these fourteen-year-old boys used their words and made eye contact with one another as they worked through their differences. As they depart for Canada tomorrow, I have great confidence knowing that they will watch out for one another and make the right choices while away from camp.
This evening, the entire camp came together in the MJG Playhouse for our Junior Big Show, Shrek the Musical. Our actors had impeccable timing and knew their lines to a tee as their beautiful voices filled the playhouse with delight. This fun, uplifting play was the perfect way to cap off an amazing week. In the absence of our Okees, our Sub-Senior boys took the stage and led the camp in our alma mater. As I looked behind me at these rising, soon to be Okees, I understood that the future remains bright.