Taking Your Shot: Building Independence at Summer Camp

A good friend recently told a great story about his first encounter with basketball as a young boy. His father had put up a backboard and goal for his oldest son to practice upon. My friend, the younger brother, watched until his older brother was through and in the house before he gave it a try.

Holding the ball in his very young hands, he looked up at the goal “which looked like it was 100 feet in the air.” After standing there for a while and just staring at that far off goal, he noticed his father standing next to him.

“Son, are you ready to take your shot?” his father asked.

“Dad, it’s so far away. There is no way I can make it,” my friend dejectedly responded.

“Son, I didn’t ask you to make the shot. I asked if you were ready to take it.”

My friend went on to explain the beauty and power of studying, preparing, and then taking your shot. There is honor in a well-intentioned attempt. There is much to be learned in simply taking the shot: knowledge, increased skill, and, perhaps above all, independence. These factors combine to form the foundation and fuel for true self-esteem.

All of our first time campers are ‘taking their shot.’ It’s a very big deal to go to camp. For most, a session at Weequahic represents the first time they have been away from the comforts of home.

Surrounded by excited children and engaged staff from all over the country, our campers have the time of their lives while doing things they’d never have a chance to experience at home. They are taking their shot inside a community committed to helping it be a successful attempt. We can’t promise our campers will have fun because we can’t control what they think. We promise, though, if a child decides to take a shot, they’ll go home more knowledgeable, powerful, and independent.

So, here’s to taking the shot. Give it all you’ve got. We can’t wait to help.

Hat Tip to Chuck Hodges.

Cole Kelly, Camp Director

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