As predicted, we woke up to bright sunshine and warm humidity in the air at Camp Takajo. It was perfect weather for our Junior Greys, who will be enjoying their white water rafting overnight trip down the Kennebec River. Our boys will undergo an exuberating ride in a twelve-person raft, and they will experience class three and four rapids.
Our Sub-Seniors (fourteen-year-olds) made their way to the beautiful Canadian province of Quebec, where they took in a minor league baseball game last night. Today, they visited the largest water park in Canada, located just minutes outside of Quebec City, where they enjoyed over thirty water slides, a lazy river, and relaxing heated pools.
Our Okees are spending their last day in “Sin City,” where they are taking in all the hot spots on the strip, including the Bellagio Dancing Water Fountains, Mirage Volcano, and Caesar’s Palace Forum shops. The highlight of this stay over is a trip to Wet N’ Wild Water Park– the perfect way to cap off this incredible week out west.
Back in camp, I received a phone call from parents who had just gotten off the phone with their son who is an eight-year-old, first time camper. The conversation with their son was so brief and he was so distracted that they called me, concerned that something must be wrong. When I got off the phone, I promised to follow-up with their son and track his daily events.
I know that most of you have a sense of what your son does throughout the day at camp, but I think it is important to highlight just how much our little guys do each day. This little boy woke up at 8 o’clock, got dressed, brushed his teeth, and ran down to the dining room for breakfast. He successfully navigated his way through our dining room, enjoying pancakes from our hot bar, fresh fruit from our cold bar, and selected from a huge assortment of cereals. He enjoyed pleasant conversation with peers at his table, threw out his own trash, and helped wipe down the table before running back to his bunk to make his bed and help with clean up. When the activity whistle blew, he was off to his first period, a skill, where he enjoyed an hour of shooting archery.
When the period ended, our little guy ran back to his bunk, grabbed his baseball glove, and joined a team for a baseball game. After a hard-fought game in the hot sunshine, it was time to return to the bunk, where he changed out of his baseball attire and made his way down to the waterfront for a refreshing dip in the lake during our free swim period. Cool and refreshed, he then went back up to his bunk, where he changed out of his bathing suit, put his wet clothing on the drying line, and changed into clothes for lunch. In the dining room at lunch, he once again navigated through his options, grabbed a delicious grilled cheese and joined his friends at his table once again.
When I talked to the boy regarding his short conversation with his parents and asked if everything was alright, he responded that everything was great but he was just too busy to carve out the time to have a lengthy conversation with his parents.
Clearly, my point is not that our boys are disconnected from home and uninterested in speaking to those they love. Rather, our boys love their ability to thrive on their own, forge meaningful relationships, and navigate through a day here at camp. This is the growth and development that we all hope for in our children.
When I made my final rounds to say goodnight to the boys at the end of a long day, I went up to the Playhouse, where this boy’s entire age group was enjoying a movie night slumber party. Laying in his sleeping bag in the middle of all his friends, I caught a glimpse of this little guy eating a slice of pizza and watching a movie, basking in all of his glory. While we all would love lengthy descriptions of our children’s summer from my vantage point, this picture was worth a thousand words.