As the majority of our campers and counselors laid in bed getting their last hour of sleep this morning, an enthusiastic group of thirty Seniors who had been training all season to swim the lake assembled on the porch of our dining hall. As the sun was just coming up, our campers boarded our speedboats to be ferried a mile and a half across Long Lake. Our swim staff and other counselors who volunteered jumped into canoes and kayaks and paddled behind the entourage.
Under the leadership of the waterfront director, Bob Lewis, our campers were methodically placed with counselors who paddled by their counterpart’s side, encouraging them and protecting them as they made their way back to camp. As campers arrived at the shore, they were greeted by other staff members who were cheering and encouraging them as they took their final strokes to the dock. This iconic moment can’t happen unless there is careful orchestration as well as the willingness of dedicated staff to help our boys accomplish this enormous goal. It’s these moments that stay with us forever and give our boys license to take on new challenges well into their future.
The lake swim was only one special event that took place today. This evening, our boys assembled in our MJG (Morton Jerome Goldman) Playhouse, named after Takajo’s founder. This building was built in 1951 and was considered by Morty as the “hub of the camp.” Morty believed that the success of his camp needed to be derived from a program that offered great diversity, not just land sports. Morty built a playhouse before he built an indoor sports complex because he put great value on the arts. This evening, we came together for our Senior Big Show, Spelling Bee. Directed by Senior Group Leader/Big Chief Neil Minsky, our campers and staff were thoroughly entertained by our Senior thespians. This show incorporated improvisation, quick wit, and some talented vocals. The audience was completely engaged in the performance, and our actors enjoyed a well-deserved standing ovation during their curtain call.
On the eve of our virtual visiting day, I continue to maintain all of the rituals in running camp and hosted another staff meeting to prepare our counselors for this special day. We are expecting bright skies, warm temperatures, and no parents – a camp director’s dream come true.