To the Timanous Family,
Camp is always quiet in spring, but envisioning the upcoming summer in light of COVID-19 has added a heaviness to the quiet that is very different from a normal year. Along with Consulting Directors Dave and Linda Suitor and our dedicated Board of Trustees, we have engaged in a process of evaluating the feasibility of camp in 2020, always with the safety of our campers, staff and surrounding community at the forefront of our thinking. The difficult and sad reality is that we will not be able to operate our traditional camp program this summer.
This realization comes after a long and comprehensive review. Starting in mid-March, we very deliberately considered the challenges of offering our trademark communal camp life - where campers connect with all those around them in a carefree and joyful environment with no social distancing - amid the realities of operating in response to COVID-19. We have the highest standards for health and safety. After careful study, we discovered that there would be a very low margin for error, even after modifying camp with newly-required safety protocols. We came to the conclusion that providing the Timanous experience we know and love is not possible this summer. In accordance with this conclusion, the Board of Trustees unanimously voted to suspend both our full and half-summer sessions.
We have communicated with our enrolled families, recognizing the incredibly difficult outcome it represents for their sons while knowing it is the right decision. We have offered to fully refund tuition to any family that requests it, and provided options to roll over tuition to 2021 or convert it to a donation. We are developing virtual programming to help our campers stay connected during the summer, and look forward to creating as much of the Timanous magic as possible even if we can’t gather together in person.
We all need Timanous right now. Whether you are a former camper or counselor, sent your son to Timanous, or were hoping to come to camp this summer, we all know how meaningful a role camp has played in so many of our lives, providing summer memories, opportunities for personal growth, and lifelong friendships with some of the best people around. Timanous holds a special place in our hearts. It is sad to know that our camp will not open for the first time in its history. We will continue to share connections to camp on our Instagram and Facebook pages and hope that you find comfort, peace and inspiration from the Timanous spirit always.
As you can imagine, the loss of a camping season will have a major impact on our financial standing given the loss of tuition revenue combined with significant standing expenses. We have identified a fiscal path forward that involves significant cost-cutting, federal relief, short-term borrowing, and fundraising. Especially now, we are buoyed by our passion for and belief in the Timanous mission. Timanous has been around for over 100 years. We are as committed as ever to a great second century of tradition, growth and formative summers for our campers. We will get through this.
The Timanous Prayer calls on us to give thanks "for the trials which help us to know ourselves." Through all of this, we are inspired by the hope with which we expect better days because of our Timanous experiences. We look forward to the time in 2021 when we are able to gather again as a full camp on the shores of Panther Pond.
Garth Altenburg, Director
Craig MacDonnell, Board Chair
Dear Timanous Family,
Greetings from Maine. While I'm reaching out today with an update on our planning for the 2020 summer, I first and foremost am hoping for continued health for you and your community. Like you, I’m adjusting to new routines, doing my part to stay healthy and support others while looking for signs of hope. I try to find and spread silver linings each day while also thinking of those who are sick and most directly at risk as they help others. Thoughts of Timanous do provide great comfort for me and I know the same is true for our extended community.
I have been in communication with our enrolled families for this upcoming summer regarding our response to the pandemic, including the possibility of camp being impacted. I know the summer continues to be a beacon of hope for all of us. As we hope and wait for the situation to improve, we are eyeing mid-May as the latest possible date to make a decision on the status of the summer. At the forefront of our decision making-process is the health and well-being of our campers, staff, camp families and our neighbors here in Maine as well as our very important role in supporting public health and the flattening of the curve. Our decision cannot be made only in the context of operating Timanous; we must also be good citizens and not contribute to the spread of COVID-19.
After just one summer at Timanous, it is clear to me how special our camp is. It brings out the best in all of us. I crave the magic of Timanous, especially during this time. With our hopes for camp also comes an obligation to be realistic about the prospects for camp this summer. Much would need to improve between now and the start of camp on June 25th for us to open camp as planned. We continue to monitor relevant information from state, federal and industry officials and leaders, as well as assess the effectiveness and feasibility of some potential new health operating protocols for camps. We are also aware of several other camps in New England that have recently announced plans for closure. We have much to weigh as we hold out hope and recognize our role in supporting public health.
In an effort to bring the light of Timanous into our daily lives, we’ve been regularly adding social media content to our Instagram and Facebook pages. Please follow us @camptimanous, share these posts with your Timanous community and know that we are exploring more creative ways to share the best of the Timanous spirit virtually. You can view one of my recent messages from Timanous below.
May we continue to be grateful for the many gifts Timanous has shared with us, both in person and now virtually. I look forward to keeping in touch.
Exciting news! We just mailed our first-ever Annual Report. This publication represents an impressive milestone in the history of our beloved Camp Timanous. Here we capture the "state of our camp" and recognize all who financially helped to ensure a smooth and strong transition from Dave and Linda's leadership to that of the nonprofit Timanous Foundation and Garth Altenburg's first year as Camp Director.
Hard copies will be arriving in mailboxes very soon, but you can read your advanced copy on our website.
Thanks to everyone who sent in an update for this year's Timanews. Lots of good things happening across the Timanous family, and we're excited for you to read it. Content includes:
You should be receiving your hard-copy version soon if you haven't already. Or, you can read it right now online:
As the leaves show their fall colors and the air turns crisp, we reflect on the success of the 2019 summer, the first for Timanous as a nonprofit. With the changing of the seasons comes the gradual awareness that, believe it or not, next summer’s preparations must begin now. While there is much to accomplish before Opening Day 2020, Director Garth Altenburg and the Board of Trustees are all looking forward to seeing the traditions of Timanous continue next summer, where campers will undoubtedly have a great experience filled with fun, friendships, and personal growth.
As a nonprofit, our mission is to focus not only on providing a camp life that has lasting value for every boy, but also to broaden access for more boys to be able to attend Timanous in the first place. We plan on gradually increasing the number of families receiving financial assistance over the next few years, and committing to support each boy’s entire camper career. This goal necessitates that we plan early for next summer—and each summer—because the funds we are able to raise directly impacts the number of boys to whom we can make this commitment.
Planning for Summer 2020
A core element of this growth will be supported by the Sandy Tattersall Fund endowment. Thanks to the incredible support of the entire Timanous community, this fund now stands at $1,000,000 in total donations and pledges. We are all truly grateful for the generosity of everyone who contributed toward this effort. In order for Sandy’s Fund to provide a steady source of funding in perpetuity, the majority of the fund will remain invested, such that it will cover only part of our commitments each year. This leaves us with the need to have an annual appeal for next summer, much like we’ve done for years under the Al Furniss Fund. We’ve decided to call this effort the Annual Fund for Camperships.
Our objective for next summer is to have approximately 15% of campers receiving some level of financial aid. This translates to allocating approximately $145,000 of funding in the 2020 budget. With a modest draw from the Sandy’s Fund endowment, a total of $115,000 needs to be raised through an annual appeal. We are pleased to say that several individuals have already contributed generously to this effort. This is a solid start, but honestly we need your support this fall so that we can make plans for next summer.
The Annual Fund for Camperships
Your gift toward this $115,000 goal will directly fund 2020 camper scholarships, or as we are now calling them, camperships. This may be a new term for all of us, but it’s used by many camps—and the American Camping Association—as it has a simple definition: a campership is financial aid given to a family so their child can attend camp.
Timanous has always been a place where boys can learn to live well together, no matter their different backgrounds outside of camp. Eight year old Mallards from different countries and speaking different languages at home all work together to clean their cabin; a Heron who likes basketball eats his meals next to a Crow who enjoys reading; we all link arms in a circle at the close of Council Fire to recite the Timanous Prayer. Campers all wear the same uniforms, listen to stories by lantern-light in the same rustic wooden cabins, and face the same challenges in spending a summer away from home.
We have an opportunity to share this nurturing environment with an even greater diversity of backgrounds and experiences among our camper group. We also have a responsibility to broaden the representation of our community through our campership program. We are committed to maintaining the value Timanous has always provided and to ensuring everyone can benefit from understanding and appreciating a greater level of diversity.
Please give as generously as you can to help ensure that all boys get the assistance they need to come to Timanous in 2020. If you have given to the Al Furniss Fund in past years, the Annual Fund for Camperships plays the same role: to financially assist families in sending their sons to Timanous for the upcoming summer. Each and every donation helps in this effort, whether it’s a full or half-session campership or any other gift amount you are able to make. Help us make a difference in the lives of deserving boys. Donate online here.
Reasons to Give:
For parents: give in honor of your son’s cabin or favorite counselor, or to help another boy have the same opportunities as your son had.
For alumni: give in honor of your cabinmates or fellow counselors, and for the things your learned going to Timanous.
For friends and supporters: help more boys gain from the camp experience, and so that Timanous can better represent the diversity of the broader world.