The humidity levels are starting to creep back into our air. Fortunately, there was a nice, warm breeze coming across the lake to Camp Takajo so the air temperature feels delightful. Nothing better than a warm, sunny, summer day to get you excited for what lies ahead.
Our soccer and baseball specialty clinics are taking place five times a day. We continue to make announcements to boys of all age levels, encouraging them to take advantage of these high-level training sessions. Our thirteen-year-old boys participated in a lacrosse tournament today, while our eleven-year-old campers had the opportunity to compete in roller hockey and street hockey tournaments. By offering these two events, we were able to get more campers involved, including an event for our boys who are skilled rollerbladers and love to compete in this fast-paced sport. Our fifteen-and-under baseball team won a close game at home against a very strong neighboring camp. The game wasn’t decided until the final inning. Our boys worked hard and were happy to celebrate a victory.
The fourteen-year-olds (Subseniors) enjoyed a social with Camp Vega, then an exhilarating day shooting down the rapids of the Kennebec River. One of the boys reported, “This was incredibly stimulating and never gets old.”
I didn’t know if he was referring to the rafting or the social.
At breakfast this morning, I was greeted by my old bunk-mate of eight summers and best friend from camp, Lane Ostrow. I’ll never forget meeting Lane my very first summer at Takajo back in 1970. I was a nine-year-old camper and had just arrived at camp for my very first time away from my parents. My dad attended Camp Takajo back in 1947 and was, in fact, the very first camper that Morty Goldman enrolled. He dreamed of the day that he would send me to camp and that I would have the opportunity to follow in his footsteps.
When I walked into bunk Chataqua, I noticed that on the shelf next to my bed was a volume of Bugs Bunny books. A few hours later, Lane arrived from Charlotte, North Carolina after an exhausting day of travel and to break the ice when introducing myself to Lane I said, “Hiya Bugs, welcome to camp.”
Lane responded, “If you ever call me Bugs again, I’ll punch you in the face.”
I couldn’t believe that my parents would actually send me to this place and that I would have to live next to this guy. Lane was a very competitive athlete. While we got off to a slow start, we connected on the playing fields, admired and respected one another, and we stayed by each other’s side until our final summer as Okees.
Now, fifty years later, we sat together and reminisced about our eight magical summers at Camp Takajo. We laughed about our awkward introduction, recited funny stories that took place in the bunk, sneaking out after taps, and doing all the things that I now reprimand campers for doing. For an hour this morning, I regressed to my childhood. I relived every camp memory as if I didn’t have a care in the world. Throughout the remainder of the day, I couldn’t help but spend a little extra attention recognizing the relationships that I have been so fortunate to witness during my past few years at Takajo.
The loyalty that our fifteen-year-old baseball players have for one another did not develop this morning when they laced up their cleats and made their way to the field. The trust began to develop seven or eight years ago when these young men first entered their bunks for the first time. I can only hope that fifty years from now, these boys will find each other and reminisce about their camping days.
We will ‘ere remember.