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On Wednesday, Tuscarora 2017 finally culminated with arguably one of the most important parts of our summer: triathlon. 

For two months, our senior campers have pushed themselves day in and day out biking to periods, undergoing grueling training sessions, and perfecting their technique in the pool in preparation for this day. There wasn't a single person, staff and camper alike, who didn't admit they were at least little nervous. The campers for obvious reasons, but for us as staff we wanted nothing more than to see a joyous and injury-free afternoon. One where we could simply run with our kids, and bask in how proud we were of thier sheer accomplishment and awesomess.

They did not disappoint. One by one, each Tuscaroran emerged from the pool, battered but not beaten, and glided along the camp roads on their bikes - something they have become incredibly versed in. Upon dismounting, they all continued their runs with smiles on their faces. No one was sad. Even when tears where shed upon crossing the finish line, they were all tears of joy and pride. Smiles remained. 

With camp cheering them on from the beginning, every senior camper was charged with the necessary energy to create an afternoon no one will soon forget. When the rest of camp left the general swim area, we gathered our group in the shade to debrief. Nick congratulated them and reiterated just how much we loved them and how impressed we were. Then, when Syd entered the circle, she asked them all to close their eyes. When each eye was closed, we placed a surprise in everyone's hands: Tuscarora 2017 Triathlon dogtags. People erupted with cheers and immiedatley put them around their necks. As we walked back to the village, the campers wore them with care and still with smiles on their faces.

These kids are always happy-go-lucky no matter what camp throws at them, and I am absolutely dreading 48 hours from now when they all go home. But I know our service tonight will be beautiful and that they will continue to blow us all away. 

Jake Henning, Tuscarora AUH & Media Representative 




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