When you enter Camp Takajo, you pass through our entrance arch where the Twelve Arch Ideals are posted. Integrity, honesty, loyalty, and courage are among the ideals I learned to appreciate and understand when I started as a camper at Takajo in 1970. To this day, these are the guiding principles by which I conduct myself as a husband, father, friend and camp owner.
Every summer at our Opening Council Fire, I introduce the Arch Ideals to our camp community and stress that these are just words unless we choose to implement them in our daily lives. Through all the sports, activities, and special events, our emphasis is always on building character in young boys as they mature into young men. This has been our focus since 1947 when Morty Goldman started the camp and built the arch, and the year my father, Donny, spent his first summer as a camper in Naples, Maine.
I have always felt we are working in partnership with parents who share our vision and our values. In these uncertain times, when social distancing is the norm, I find it somewhat ironic that in many ways we are more connected than ever because, in a very real sense, we are all going through this together. We are very grateful for the outpouring of love and support from so many of you whose lives have been shaped by your Takajo experience.
We are in direct touch with our current families, but we also want to keep our extended Takajo Family informed with updates about camp. We remain optimistic about this summer. With camp three months away, we are hopeful that the effects of the coronavirus will subside in time for us to open as planned on June 27. In the past, we’ve had to deal with SARS and the Swine Flu, so we are confident in our ability to meet this challenge.
We are watching closely as events unfold. We have informed our current families they can rest assured that if, for any reason, camp does not open this summer, they will receive a 100% refund of any tuition paid to date. Or, if they choose, they may apply full or partial credit toward the 2021 season. We feel this is the only way to act in good faith and to live by the principles we teach at camp.
Integrity is not a convenience. It is a way of life. The Arch Ideals are as vital today as they were in 1947 when the first group of boys arrived at Camp Takajo. Families who send their son to Takajo are members of my family, and I will always treat you as such.
We will continue to send updates in the weeks ahead. Until next time, Warren joins in extending best wishes as you take care of your family and loved ones. Please let us know if there is anything at all we can do to help.