Tak Talk Blog- Camp Takajo – June 30, 2019

By June 30, 2019 Tak Talk
Camp Takajo in Naples, Maine, USA

After a fun-filled and exhausting first week at Camp Takajo, our boys experienced their first Lazy Man’s Morning. Reveille sounded at 8:30 AM, and our campers had the opportunity to come to breakfast in their pj’s to enjoy a casual buffet, where they could sit with campers and counselors from all age groups. The skies were clear, and campers had the opportunity after breakfast to take advantage of our facilities in a supervised, but less structured way.

It’s great to take a break from the routine and give our boys the opportunity to have unstructured play much like they would do if they were stepping out into their own yards at home on a Sunday morning. At noon, busses of Tripp Lake campers arrived for our first brother-sister luncheon. We will have these reunions with all the wonderful girls’ camps in our region.

There’s something magical about witnessing your children reconnecting for the first time of the summer. As a parent, I am often frustrated by the lack of conversation and interest my children have for each other during the course of the school year. While we sit down at home cooked meals every night of the school week, I often feel that this meal time is rushed. While we don’t allow cell phones at the dinner table, within minutes after the meal those devices find their way back into my children’s hands. What I witnessed today was very different. I witnessed brothers and sisters enjoying their lunch, catching up on the last week’s events, and sharing a genuine interest in one another. I saw hugs, kisses, and love and support that would make each of you proud. I had the opportunity to experience this today with my own children and commented to them on how much more genuine their connection was without the electronic distractions. As the girls boarded the busses to head back to Tripp Lake Camp, big, dark clouds filled the sky, and rain tears consumed our campus.

We went into our first rainy day afternoon program. Fortunately, we have great indoor facilities to accommodate days just like today. All three age groups rotated through our two indoor sports complexes and enjoyed playing indoor basketball. Our older boys hit the weight room, but perhaps the busiest facilities were those on Hobby Lane. Most campers had the opportunity to spend part of their day finishing up projects they had started earlier in the week. The best activity I witnessed all day took place in our music house. Inside the music house, we have a wide variety of instruments including pianos, drums, guitars, saxophones, and trumpets. While it’s challenging to teach campers how to play a musical instrument during the summer, we love the idea of giving our boys the opportunity to experience these instruments in hopes that they might want to continue with lessons after the season. Listening to our younger boys experiment with these instruments in a small, confined space was something I could probably only handle in small doses.

Camp Takajo in Naples, Maine, USAAfter dinner this evening, our Okee campers assembled their camp “families” for the first Takajo Family get together of the summer. Every fifteen-year-old camper is the head of his family. Each boy went back to his bunk and waited as the oldest boys knocked on the door of eighth graders in order to welcome the camp’s second oldest boys into their community. The two boys went down to a seventh-grade bunk and added their next youngest brother. Then, the three boys made their way around the campus picking up a younger brother at every age level until there were campers in every age group, making their way to the bunks of the Crows, our youngest boys in camp.

Imagine the delight for our little guys as they were greeted by welcoming campers of all divisions. Our Okee leaders sat with their families, played ice breaker games so they would all get to know one another, but most importantly, our Okees shared their feelings about camp and answered questions about our traditions. As the boys went to bed at the end of the evening, they felt more connected knowing that they were just welcomed into their Takajo Family.