Tak Talk Blog- Camp Takajo – June 25, 2019

By June 25, 2019 Tak Talk
Camp Takajo in Naples, Maine, USA

Camp Takajo woke up to sunny skies. However, the day’s forecast indicated that the rain would reach us by late afternoon. This gave us the opportunity to be outdoors all morning in our regular program. In anticipation of the inclement weather, we skipped rest hour to take advantage of the dry weather.

It’s amazing to watch our boys move around Camp Takajo as if they have been here for weeks. Our Warrior campers have three activities after breakfast leading up to lunch and another three activities after lunch and before dinner. These activities include two team sports, two swim periods (instructional and free swim), a hobby, and a skill.

Hobbies include activities such as arts and crafts, ceramics, woodworking, radio and electronics, photography, videography, nature, pioneering, music, and journalism. Our skills include water skiing, sailing, canoeing, archery, golf, and tennis. Our little guys will rotate throughout the summer, trying all of these activities. One of the benefits of going to summer camp is having the opportunity to try activities that are not easily available at home.

As our boys reach the Junior division (finished 5th and 6th grade), our program remains structured. However, our eleven- and twelve-year-olds choose their hobbies and skills. Team sports remain an important component of the Junior program. Our senior boys, who have completed seventh, eighth, and ninth grades, enjoy a more flexible program. Our oldest boys in camp have the opportunity to specialize in the activities of their choice. As a matter of fact, we have Senior campers who will spend four or five hours a day on the tennis court, basketball court, or water skiing and sailing. Creating a Senior program that offers our oldest boys the opportunities to focus on the activities of their choice has allowed our campers to remain in a traditional camp environment without sacrificing the level of instruction and training they desire.

I am proud to say that we have fifty-five boys (our Okeechobees) in camp who returned to Camp Takajo for their final season. This retention indicates that our oldest boys are creating deep and meaningful relationships during their time at camp without sacrificing their ability to focus on the activities they love most.

Last night at our opening campfire, I looked up at the top row of the Indian Council Ring and watched our oldest boys as they participated in their final opening campfire. I remarked that while our youngest campers look up to the top row in awe of our leaders in camp, in fact, it was our oldest boys who looked down to our youngest campers sitting in the front row, envious that these little guys have their entire camping career ahead of them. Having had the opportunity to watch these incredible, young men grow and develop over the past seven, eight, or nine years has been an honor that I hold dear to my heart.

This evening the entire camp came together in the MJG Playhouse, named after the camp’s founder, Morty J. Goldman, to be entertained by our counselors at the annual staff talent show. To our campers’ delight, our talented staff did not disappoint the crowd. There were a series of acts that included talented musicians, dancers, as well as some entertaining skits. This was the perfect ending to a misty evening.