Dear Takajo Families,
I am sitting in my office at camp, writing to you on the morning of “opening day.” As I look out at the magnificent view of Long Lake, I can’t help but feel a tremendous sense of loss knowing I won’t be welcoming each and every camper to Takajo later today.
I still have vivid memories of my very first day at Takajo in 1970. The nervous anticipation of driving down the camp road, not knowing anyone, and feeling alone was overwhelming. However, the moment I stepped off the bus, I was greeted by Takajo’s founder and director, Morty Goldman, who extended his hand, looked me in the eye, and welcomed me to camp. It amazes me how profound an impact that greeting had on me, at that moment and to this day. The way I was welcomed to Camp Takajo as a nine-year-old boy set the tone for a journey that I feel incredibly fortunate to remain on today. For the past thirty summers as owner and director, I have never forgotten that moment and the importance of making every child feel welcome and part of our Takajo family from the moment he arrives.
Next to my family, Camp Takajo is my greatest love. As I sit alone in my office and reflect on the past fifty summers, I am struggling to find my purpose. I spend all year planning and preparing, and always feel the excitement build as opening day approaches. The decision to suspend the 2020 camp season truly breaks my heart. Recently, I had a conversation with an airplane pilot who runs his own flight school. I was telling him about the effort I had made to open camp this summer. He listened intently and then shared how he decides whether or not it is safe to fly. He explained how he constantly monitors the radar for weather patterns because, as he put it, you may not know the turbulence you’ll encounter until it is too late, and sometimes the right choice is not to fly. That remark has stayed with me. While I closely “monitored the radar” these past several months and hoped to take flight this season, in the end I could not in good conscience take a chance of hurting those I love most.
We will remain in touch throughout the summer and will offer a series of virtual events so you can stay connected to camp. Below is a tentative schedule of events in July. We hope you’ll join us for our Opening Campfire on Thursday, July 2, at 8:00 PM (Eastern). On the schedule, you’ll notice specific events that apply to your son’s age group. We will send out a reminder prior to each event. I also intend to send out periodic blog posts to remain in touch.
Please know that you remain in my heart, and I am counting down the days until the 2021 season when I can welcome each of you back to your summer home.
ALL-CAMP ACTIVITIES (all age groups)
Opening Campfire – Thursday, July 2, 8:00 PM (Eastern)
Closing Campfire – Friday, July 31, 8:00 PM (Eastern)
AGE DIVISION SPECIFIC ACTIVITIES
Each division will have a Zoom drop-in meeting with some of your favorite counselors. At the end of each session, Jeff will host a RAFFLE — a special Takajo tradition! But remember, you have to be in it to win it!
July 7 – Warrior Crow Bunk Zoom meeting with Tori and Harrison
July 8 – Junior Greens Zoom with Neil and friends
July 9 – Junior Greys Zoom with Neil and friends
July 10 – Warrior Braves Zoom with Tori and Harrison
July 14 – Warrior Indians Zoom with Tori and Harrison
July 15 – Senior Inters Zoom with Neil and friends
July 16 – Senior Subs Zoom with Bob, Neil, and friends
July 21 – Senior Okees Zoom with Takajo Brass
July 22 – Junior Trivia Bowl (Greens and Greys)
These events are exclusively for campers enrolled for the 2020 Takajo season. Those families should check their email accounts (registered during enrollment for 2020) for a message from Jeff that will be sent before Monday, June 29. If you do not receive this message by that date, please call our camp office at 207-693-6675 for more information.