The sound of reveille echoed across Camp Takajo at 7:45 this morning. There were many boys who came charging out of their bunks, heading straight to the waterfront for a morning dip. The Dippie Club has been in existence since the inception of the camp back in 1947, rain or shine, a true Dippie prevails and makes his way down to the lake every morning for an exhilarating start to his day.
Overcast skies, cool temperatures and a little spotty rain did not stop our boys from enjoying their first full day in camp. While each boy has to tolerate a head to toe body and lice check from our medical staff, we still managed to find plenty of time for the first day of hobby class and organization of our team games.
As I reflect on the past 24 hours, I think of the countless conversations that I have had with so many of you as you have expressed your own anxiety about your son’s transition to camp. While the boys were departing from West Chester yesterday, I received a call from my head escort, who indicated that a first-time camper was reluctant to get on the bus. It was a heartbreaking experience for the child and his parents, as no one wants to imagine their son heading off to camp in tears. This afternoon, while making a lap around camp, I caught the tail end of a Crow (boys who finished 1st or 2nd grades) soccer game. These are our youngest boys at camp. To my great delight, was this little boy, fully integrated into the game, who was convinced just a day ago that summer camp was not for him.
The game was tied, and with only two minutes left to go, this little boy dribbled down the left side of the field and kicked a beautiful shot into the upper right-hand corner of the goal. His jubilation was infectious, and his entire team ran over to hug and congratulate him.
As parents, our natural instinct is to protect our children, and we would do anything to shield them from unhappiness. Fortunately, in this case, this boy’s parents recognized that some of our greatest triumphs often come after we overcome our fears.
As the day came to an end, each group enjoyed a movie night, which is the perfect way to unwind after a great first day of camp.