Rituals, Old and New
Tap Out is a long-standing tradition at Camp Mishawaka. Since the early days of Camp, campers have been chosen on their respective teams for friendly competition. Tap Out is when each team’s leaders, the Counselors in Training (CITs), run around a half-circle on main campus and choose their teams for that session. Each camper contributes to their team through individual accomplishments and team competitions. It’s always nice to see the campers’ excitement as they are called to the circle and anxiously await their selection.
This is the second year of a new Mishawaka tradition, naming our teams after mythical Northwoods creatures. Splintercats and Snolligosters have been a part of Mishawaka’s Founders Song since the first decades of Camp. This summer, the CITs helped usher in a new tradition as they planned and carried out the entire Tap Out ceremony. The ceremony and ensuing campfire went very well and the CITs captured the campers’ intrigue and excitement for this summer’s competitions.
One of Mishawaka’s core values is Resourcefulness. We believe in fostering the innate talents within each of our campers. Last summer, our CITs created a new tradition for Tap Out by having the CITs come onto main campus from the woods. This year, rather than a staff member giving the sportsmanship talk, a CIT wrote his own version for the campfire. He talked about fairness, honesty, fun, and the value of teamwork in helping each other achieve our goals. Most importantly, he said that regardless of which team we are on the Mishawaka experience is why we are all here together every summer. It was one of the best sportsmanship speeches that I have heard as a staff member and he felt completely comfortable in this role as a leader.
Mishawaka has many time honored Camp traditions worth preserving. We also understand that in order for Camp to be here for another 110 years, we need to continue to honor our campers as the most important tradition at Mishawaka. Here’s to another wonderful summer at Mishawaka!
Boys Camp Director