Grantland Rice, a famous 20th century sports writer,once said, "It's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game." I think this is true, but I would add, "it's also the fact that you played it." Playing the game should be fun. Competition is inherent in all of us, I think...frogs and humans alike, but so is the need to belong; to be part of a tribe (or army). Winning and losing should come after that.
There are different types of camaraderie. The one that most of us experience is at work. Bonds of camaraderie, here, form when we acknowledge each other; each other's efforts and work and, when we learn to say thank you for your contribution. It's important, too, to have a sense of belonging, acceptance for who you are, good humor, and to have an occasional fun event that doesn't include a work-related activity. These all add to having good camaraderie at the office, or place of business.
Another source of camaraderie is, of course, when we participate in sports. Teamwork develops camaraderie. When each player believes that they are contibuting to the betterment of the team, that builds and stregthens the bond. What's good for one player is good for the team. Winning, and especially loosing, builds team camaraderie. It's always great when your team wins, but it's the losses that, ultimately, make us feel more connected. Misery loves company, and for good reason. We love to commiserate when things go wrong. It makes it feel less personal when we have others to share it with. Team camaraderie oftens spills over to into daily life. The friendships we build as part of a team tend to be long-lasting. All one has to do is to attend a high school reunion to know that is is true. Teammates love to relive their "glory days."
Although I lost at this year's Frog Jumping contest, I had such a good time. I formed a few new, and lasting, friendships. And, indeed, I had a deep sense of belonging that I often miss in my daily life as a writer.
So, it really isn't whether you win or lose, but it's how you played the game, and that you participated in the group effort, that is most important...and what you'll remember for years to come.