I titled this post with a "I" because I expect there will be a series of posts on this year's summer camp. Camp is held at a state park in South Carolina. It's an old summer camp. Like something out of a movie, it is rundown to the point of being dilapidated. Old buildings, open air showers, a dining hall that had it's last major refresh in the 1960s, etc. Where camp is held and the way it is run reminds me so much of camps I attended, and later worked at, when I was young.
At the same time, it is a beautiful place and there are moments that can make you run for a camera.
It is a very social time, with opportunities to build bonds with Aikidoka of all ranks from all over the country.
When I first came to camp several years ago I thought that Sensei Suenaka was running it the way he did because he he wanted it that way. Something he said this year made me realize that he is running camp the way he does because it is as close to the way he believes O'Sensei would want it run as he can make it. That may seem like a small difference but I think it is significant.