Tak Talk Blog- Camp Takajo – July 3, 2022

By July 3, 2022 Tak Talk
Jeff Konigsberg and the photography class

It has taken a week, but I have uncovered the most popular activity in camp. Hands down it’s the Dunkin’ Donuts breakfast on Lazy Man’s morning. Our boys enjoyed a little extra sleep this morning as the sound of reveille blew at 8:30 AM. Boys meandered down to the dining room in pajamas for a buffet breakfast that included scrambled eggs, a host of cereal choices, and their beloved Dunkin’ Donuts. The relaxed feel of a Sunday morning allows boys to sit at any table with anyone they want, and it’s wonderful to see co-mingling among all the boys at every age level. After a formal line-up with their group leaders, our boys had the opportunity for some supervised free play. The tennis courts were all in use, hordes of boys ran to the Art Center to work on projects, pick-up games were organized on the basketball courts, and the waterfront was occupied by campers eager to water-ski, canoe, and sail.

Just before lunch, two nine-year-old boys were coming up from the beach, towels in hand, beaming with pride. When I asked what had them so excited, they replied that they had just gone sailing for the first time with an Okee camper.

With great enthusiasm, one boy replied, “It was amazing, we had to control the sail, steer with the tiller, and we had to do this all on our own because the Okee barely gave us instructions.”

The other camper was quick to chime in and said, “Yeah, the Okee was awesome and told us all about camp but never told us how to sail and made us do all the work.”

I smiled and replied to the boys, “Did it ever dawn on you that by requiring you to do all the work, the Okee was actually teaching you how to sail?”

The boys both paused, reflected, and realized that they had just been taught how to sail without the stress of being overwhelmed with commands. What could have been an intimidating, nerve-wracking experience turned out to be exhilarating, simply because one of our older campers allowed these boys the freedom to explore.

These moments are happening all over camp every day, whether it’s the boy reaching for the next rock as he tries to scale the climbing wall, the camper who tries to control the clay on the pottery wheel in hopes to see something take shape, or the camper who nervously holds the ski-rope between his legs, barely able to see above the tips of his skis as the boat hits full throttle lifting him from the water. Camp creates an opportunity for our boys to step outside their comfort zones and find their passions. It was another beautiful day on Long Lake.