Our Olympics are in full swing. At all corners of Camp Takajo, you can hear cheers echoing across the campus. Your boys are giving 110% and are playing with heart and conviction. What is most important is that their teamwork and sportsmanship are never compromised. While our Olympics are taking place in Warrior, Junior, and Senior camps, the green and grey bandanas worn by the campers indicate who is on which team.
I witnessed some incredible acts of courage on the playing fields today. However, one event captured the essence of what we try to teach in camp. Our Warriors were competing in a track meet, and one of the last races was a 4 × 100 meter relay, which means four campers from each team were required to run one lap each around the track. After the first lap, the green team had a ten-yard lead. When the baton was handed to the second runner, the green camper in the lead opened up the margin by another ten yards. As the baton was handed to the third runner, the cheers became louder, and the grey racer tightened up the margin as he handed the baton to the anchor.
The entire Warrior population stood on their feet and cheered on these two runners. The runner on the green team took off in a sprint and seemed to be maintaining his lead. When the grey leader was handed the baton, he turned on the jets, harnessing every ounce of energy he had to catch the runner in the lead. When the runners came around the final turn and headed for home, only five yards separated them.
Gasping for air and with veins pulsing from their necks, these two boys crashed into each other crossing the finishing line. The race was so close, we couldn’t even tell who won. The runners gasped for air from sheer exhaustion. I noticed that their friends and bunkmates, who were wearing different color bandanas, ran to their aid, picked them up and embraced them for their heroic performance.
While the competition was intense, our boys never lost sight of what was most important. Showing the love, respect and compassion for their friends exceeded the importance of the points won in the race. This embodies the true meaning of what we instill each and every day at camp.