Tak Talk Blog- Camp Takajo – June 24, 2019

By June 24, 2019 Tak Talk
Camp Takajo in Naples, Maine, USA

The weather gods were smiling upon Takajo as they delivered another spectacular day. Temperatures hit the mid-eighties, bright sunshine lit up the campus, and a warm breeze made it that much more refreshing down at the lake. Our Warrior and Junior campers jumped into the regular program, as each camper was placed on a team in their age group for league sports. Swimming, hobby, and skill groups were announced, and our program was in full swing.

While I enjoy watching our boys thrive at activities, my true passion is the quiet moments that I share with those who are struggling. To witness a child experience separation anxiety can tear your heart out. For that individual, he feels that the pain will never subside. For a little boy going away to camp, there is so much to process. The transition from one’s safest environment could be enough to put anyone into a tailspin. However, when you compound trying to learn the names of bunkmates and counselors, a new schedule, and the need to self-advocate, for many for their first time, you could almost imagine why this experience could be so overwhelming.

Camp Takajo in Naples, Maine, USAOn the flip side, this is why the traditional summer camp experience is so incredibly valuable to a child’s growth and development. As parents, our natural instinct is to protect our children and shield them from pain and disappointment at all costs; but, in reality, we all know that we want our children to have the life skills to be able to succeed in the future. My time spent with these boys gives me my greatest sense of self-worth and purpose at camp. I have had the pleasure of watching countless little boys go through this transformation and develop into amazing, young men.

When people think of summer camp, they naturally focus on the euphoria that comes from playing sports and living with one’s peers at the ultimate sleepover party. However, we all know that none of us are happy every minute and every day of our lives. Learning how to manage one’s happiness somehow for so many has become a lost art.

This evening, the entire camp joined together for the first time at our Indian Council fire ring for our opening campfire. This sacred event has been taking place in the same location since 1947. Tonight, veteran campers and staff welcomed our first-year campers and counselors into our family. As one community, we witnessed campers and counselors participating in a candle lighting ceremony, introducing the camp’s twelve arch ideals. The arch ideals are listed on Camp Takajo’s welcome arch at the head of our campus and are the cornerstone of the value system we hope to implement into camp every day. As the campfire was burning and I looked around the council ring, I could see that our campers and counselors were excited to be welcomed into this community. It is moments like tonight that make me proud to be a camp director.