It was a beautiful day today in Maine, and we are at the tail end of the humid weather. However, today’s humidity pales in comparison to what we had on visiting day. Our boys enjoyed a full day of activities and never complained of the heat. We have spent the week introducing the boys to some creative programming to break up the routine and to keep our campers excited and energized.
The Senior Intermediates (finished seventh grade) have competed in playoff games all week in every sport, and the league championship will be determined by tomorrow. I watched our thirteen-year-old guys compete in a basketball game last night, and I admired the intensity of the game, especially knowing that the opponents were often bunkmates and best friends.
In this particular game, one team was down by two points with seconds remaining on the clock. The team that was losing had the ball, and as the point guard penetrated to the basket in an effort to tie the game, he was fouled in the act of shooting and was sent to the foul line to take two free throws with no time left on the clock. The bleachers were packed. Everyone surrounding the court was cheering as this calm and cool camper stepped up to the line. After three dribbles and a deep breath, he released the first shot. The ball rolled around the rim and found its way to the bottom of the net. The team was now down by one. The trailing team was standing on the benches cheering. The team that had the lead buried their faces in their hands. Once again, the camper took three dribbles and a deep breath then released the second shot. Just like the first attempt, the ball landed softly on the rim and rolled. However, this time the ball did not land softly through the bottom of the net. The camper stood at the line by himself as he watched the ball bounce on the court; but, within seconds, both teams met him at the foul line and hugged him.
It was a celebration of a well-fought game, the immediate realization that it was just a game, and that it was over. As the boys made their way from the court back to their bunks, there was a bonfire in the middle of the quad. All the ingredients for s’mores were waiting for them, and the upset from the game was replaced with marshmallows and chocolate bars. This experience in camp could only happen at this point in the season.
The bonds and friendships are solidified with each passing day. Keeping competition in its proper perspective only happens when you are in an environment that fosters these values. While our Subseniors and Okees are on trips of a lifetime to Canada and the West Coast, they may be missing out on some of the most poignant moments of the summer.
Our Warriors enjoyed a full day of activities, including a series of all-star games that gave our younger campers the same thrills that our older boys experienced in their games. The entire camp came together for a cookout and enjoyed a peaceful evening eating outside on our Commons deck and picnic tables overlooking Long Lake. Our Warrior Crows took early showers and made their way up to our playhouse for their movie night, where our youngest campers had their opportunity for a slumber party, watching three movies, eating pizza, and staying up later than their usual bedtime. There is a great energy in camp, and I can sense the appreciation that our boys have for one another and this opportunity. We are all right where we want to be.