Tak Talk Blog- Camp Takajo – June 27, 2019

By June 27, 2019 Tak Talk
Camp Takajo in Naples, Maine, USA

Rumor has it that temperatures have reached the high eighties in Philadelphia and New York City. One of the many attributes about spending your summer in Maine is the magnificent weather. Today’s temperatures reached the mid-seventies with no humidity– perfect conditions for active boys playing team sports.

Throughout the day, our boys competed in league games in every age division. We stress keeping competition in its proper perspective by not having awards, singling out the few that excel. We see competition as a means of becoming an active member of a team. When our Takajo boys come together for team sports, the focus becomes the team, not the individual. The boys strive towards a goal of winning but also have to learn how to accept defeat and how to be gracious when the chips don’t fall their way. Through our daily competition, we see our boys becoming incredibly close. This bond makes their transition to camp much easier.

This morning, I had a first-time camper come into my office with his backpack and two water bottles, cute as can be with a straight face. He announced that he had packed a few things and was heading home. When I asked how he planned on getting home, he told me he would take a bus even if it didn’t play movies. When I asked why he had two water bottles, he responded that is was for the long journey. As I sat and talked to this little boy, I couldn’t help but think of the hundreds of little guys that had sat in the chair that he occupied and came to my office to express a similar goal.

Camp Takajo in Naples, Maine, USAWhile we talked about the activities that he enjoyed, it reminded me of something that I told another little boy last summer when he came in announcing that he had enough. I told him that I wish that I had a magic pill that he could take to make all his upset go away. I asked the boy if he had ever gone to the doctor with a sore throat, earache, or something that requires an antibiotic. When the little boy replied yes, I suggested that when he took the pill it didn’t cure his ailment but rather he needed to take the entire course of medicine so that it got into his system and made him feel better. I told the little camper that I was his quote “camp doctor” and that what I prescribed to him was a full day of activities, which included getting his heart beat up by playing team sports.

I promised him that if he integrated with his teammates and gave his best effort that his focus would change and he would begin to feel better. Reluctantly, the little boy left my office and headed back to join his team. At the hockey rink with his helmet strapped on and his stick in hand, this little boy put his focus and attention on helping his team succeed. There are many aspects of camp that can help a child feel like a valued member of our family, but they all require one’s willingness to help the team.