Dear Timanous Family,
We wish the whole country had more ways to come together and support each other like we do at Timanous, especially during these hard times. Our most important traditions symbolize our shared purpose; the only way we’ve ever started our Council Fire is by everyone pulling on the same rope and in the same direction as one, no matter our different backgrounds and perspectives.
As a place where people of color were not historically at the center of our community, we also recognize that we have more work to do in living up to our values of respecting the identity of every individual and including them as a valuable part of the whole. The pain that we and so many are feeling about the killing of George Floyd, and far too many other tragic deaths, calls us to this purpose even more urgently.
Harlem Academy, a school where many of our current and former Black campers and counselors have gone, recently sent out this message: “When each of us stands up and speaks out for Black lives, we demonstrate the love and care we have for one another and our resolve to never stop fighting for justice, equity, and basic humanity.” To all the Black people in the Timanous family: your lives matter, and we are with you in solidarity and support. We use our voice in affirming what Camp Timanous stands for.
We recognize our efforts to further these values will be ongoing, imperfect, and challenging. We will listen, learn, and be honest about our shortcomings. The loss of camp this summer due to COVID-19 means we do not have the opportunity to learn, heal and lead together. However, this absence also creates an opportunity for us to get involved and lead in our home communities with Timanous values in mind.
Let us draw on our experiences from Timanous where we are encouraged to treat each other with love and respect, and we are taught to understand and improve our impact on those we live with. As we recognize our areas for growth, as people and as a camp, we are rededicated to living out our Timanous values.
Garth Altenburg, Director
Craig MacDonnell, Board Chair