Takajo Olympics is in full swing as our Junior and Senior divisions broke this morning after breakfast. Junior Group Leader David Levy reached into his bag of tricks and produced the creative idea of a massive scavenger hunt. Campers were running all around the camp, coming up with clues about where they would find which team they were on. As each camper found his envelope, he would open it with a sense of urgency and curiosity to see his bandana color, green or grey, determining whether he was a Hurricane or Tornado.
Senior Group Leader Neil Minsky has the challenge of surprising our oldest boys, who are always on alert this time of year. Neil outsmarted his campers by asking our oldest boys to help create the break. This was a ploy to throw his guys off, and while they were ensconced in what they thought was the preparation, Neil had creatively schemed to catch his boys off guard.
Our campers in all three age groups are in running in high gear. There is a pep to their step, the swagger is back, and their bandanas are being worn as badges of honor representing something larger than themselves. They are a part of the Takajo Olympics.
Our Warriors competed in land sports all day, and at any given moment, you could hear cheers of excitement as last-second heroics occurred on our fields and courts. Our Juniors started their competition with a tug of war. Both sides dug in and showed grit, strength, and determination. Later in the afternoon, our Juniors found themselves down at the waterfront for an all-division swim meet. The races were very close, and the Hurricanes came out on top.
The Seniors made their way to the lacrosse field for a massive track meet. The opening event, the cross-country run, was so grueling that the counselor leading the pack needed a golf cart ride back to the finish line. Our campers showed more heart and determination to finish this grueling race, crossing the finish line before collapsing on teammates. I witnessed the 50- and 100-yard dashes, the 440 relay, and numerous field events. What impressed me more than the skill and effort displayed by our boys was the cheering and sportsmanship expressed by their teammates and opponents.
The Olympics embodies everything the camp represents. Every boy can participate and play a role in the festivities over the next few days. We approach the games with great spirit and the desire to compete at our best and win. Yet, we always keep the competition in its proper perspective. Therefore, when the game ends, we shake hands.
This evening after Taps, we celebrated our counselors, who have devoted their summer to your boys. The administration joined me in serving them a special meal to express gratitude for their devotion to camp. As the staff returned to the bunks after the celebration, the boys were sound asleep after a long, packed day.