We woke up to another beautiful day in camp. Temperatures continued to climb throughout the day and settled in the mid-eighties, perfect weather for the Takajo Swim Invitational. We hosted a number of camps, and you could hear cheers echoing from the waterfront all throughout our campus. What makes this event so special is that campers from all age divisions have the opportunity to represent Takajo. Campers competed in nine, eleven, thirteen, and fifteen-and-under events in every competitive swim stroke.
We also hosted a fourteen-and-under flag football tournament. Over the past few years, flag football has grown in popularity. Therefore, we participate in a number of flag football intercamp games throughout the summer.
As we enter the fourth week of camp, our focus turns to visiting day weekend. Throughout this week, I’ll provide some insight into what I believe could help make this day the perfect reunion with your sons. In the meantime, a few thoughts come to mind.
As some of you prepare for your trip to Maine, you’re no doubt running to stores, picking up little items, including candy and snacks that you know will bring a smile to your son’s face. I hope that you’ll support the camp’s policies and only bring what your son could appropriately consume during the day. In a perfect world, I would like you to envision checking out in the express counter of a supermarket, twelve items or less. One of my favorite quotes is, “Children need our presence more than our presents.”
Your son will be thrilled to see you next weekend and share with you all that he has accomplished over the first four weeks of the summer. The gifts and snacks should not play a major role in this reunion. No matter how great the summer has been for our boys, there will be some that will become incredibly emotional when they see you. It is only natural for some to become this way when they reconnect with you.
Those moments of emotion are likely to be strong for some when it is time to say goodbye. My experience has taught me that when a parent leaves the door open and allows the child to know that you would consider taking them home during this emotional state, the day often becomes a disaster.
An acknowledgment that you missed your son followed by a firm “no” let the child know that you understand his emotions, but you are not going to make an emotional decision. I often say that boys thrive when they are doing, yet parents often take their children out of the program during the day and let them sit around instead of participating in activities. It is during these sedentary times that boys become bored and frustrated.
Your boys have been in a structured routine for the last four weeks. I strongly suggest that you tell your son that you are excited to witness a day in his life at camp, and I would not deviate from his routine. If you have any concern that your son will become emotional at the end of the day when it’s time to leave, please inform one of your son’s counselors to be with you in order to comfort your son when you depart.
All of our Warrior campers and parents will attend the evening dinner lineup at five o’clock when Group Leader Hank Fortin will dismiss the parents and take the boys and counselors down to the dining hall for dinner. By saying goodbye as a group, this makes the separation from your son more palatable for him.
I guess you can tell that I am excited for next weekend, I am very proud of your son’s first four weeks in camp, and I’m delighted with my staff. While I am sure other tips will come to mind throughout the week, I just wanted to share these initial thoughts in preparation for a great day.