Recently our youngest went off to an overnight soccer camp. He roomed with one of his friends, who is also on his travel team, and we sent them off in good spirits (always good to have a buddy around). We were out of contact with him for five days and were anxious to see him when the end of camp came.
Pickup day included a scrimmage where the campers broke up into four teams and played against each other. It was fun to watch and we could pick out some areas where he seemed to improve. He played midfield and fed his forwards well enough for his team to get the win. One forward in particular got a hat trick in the first half, and our youngest gave him a high five after each goal. They all seemed to get along very well.
On our way home we gave him the standard grilling for information on how the week went. He was exhausted but we were able to pry out enough detail to get a feel for his week. They had three sessions a day, in the heat and rain, with meals wedged in between. He ate well, played hard and even took more than on shower!
Among his recall of the week he told us that the first night in dinner he saw one of the boys sitting alone. Our youngest and his roommate went over and sat with the boy and by doing so they became instant friends. That boy was the one who got the hat trick in the scrimmage.
It made us proud that he would take the time to acknowledge that someone was sitting alone and take the initiative to introduce himself. He went with a friend but was willing to help another who seemed to not know anyone. Beyond anything he learned about soccer that week, I am proud that he showed the maturity and awareness to help a new friend.