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
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