We packed a lot into today. We started our morning by welcoming a professional lice prevention company to Camp Takajo, who did head checks on every camper. I am happy to report that only your child has head lice. Just kidding! Not one camper has head lice.
The entire camp came together mid-morning for our Olympic Song Competition. What I love most about this event is that it is the only one involving all campers, regardless of age or athletic ability, participating together. Watching our green and grey teams file into our Indian Council Ring in camp uniform was a sight that made me very proud. Our youngest campers sat among our oldest leaders, which had to be a thrill that our little guys will remember for a long time. Each team sang four camp songs plus an original song that was written by a few of our oldest campers on each team. The competition was even. Both groups sang off-key, but together. However, what gave the grey team a slight edge was that they not only wrote the lyrics to their Olympic song but also created original music to go with the words and performed it live with guitar accompaniment.
Heading into this afternoon’s “whacked-up” relay, all three divisions were separated by less than thirty points. The whacked-up relay is a winner take all event. To understand the essence of this event, you have to picture a relay race that runs throughout the entire campus. There are over seventy events per team, ranging from shooting a bullseye in archery, hitting a home run over the Junior baseball field fence, building a fire and burning a rope that is positioned three feet above the ground, whipped cream smears, three-legged races, the lemon suck, the Coke chug, and the finale ending in a roped off area in front of the waterfront, where two contestants battle it out in a pie-eating contest.
The Warrior and Junior Olympics came to a close in an iconic fashion, with the entire camp cheering for their guy to finish the pie first. While everybody was fixated on the two campers eating the pie during the Junior Olympics, I caught a glimpse of the two Seniors scheduled to eat the pie tomorrow afternoon during the Senior Whacked-Up Relay. These two older campers had one eye on the pie but the other eye on each other. They know that tomorrow they will be sitting in the hot seat as the Senior Olympics come to a close.
After a full day of activities and head-to-head competition, the entire camp came together this evening for our closing campfire. It speaks volumes about our message. We can compete fiercely during the day, yet embrace each other and the camp’s traditions at the end of the competition. During the final campfire, a camper in each age group was selected to read a passage from the heritage box, which represents what their age level offers to the camp. We were entertained by other campers, who participated in a traditional Indian squat dance and were amazed when two counselors ended the evening with our traditional flaming hoop dance, which is not covered by workman’s compensation.
Today was the culmination of an incredible summer, where we experienced the sense of community during our song competition, the thrill of the whacked-up relay, and the traditional closing campfire.