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Letter from the Executive Director – Fall 2019

Ryan Reed — October 24, 2019


The Takodah YMCA believes that camp is vital to helping the world become a better place. Research suggests that the skills campers learn at camp last far beyond their camp experience, and it helps grow relationship skills, empathy and compassion, and appreciation of diversity. For these, and many other reasons, we are extremely grateful to have had success in our inaugural ‘Fill the Duffel’ project in collaboration with the Keene Housing Kids Collaborative and the Keene Family YMCA.

The families who live in Keene Housing households have an average annual come of about $23,000. School data for the kids in these homes is worrying. Students find themselves two grade levels behind, are absent much more, and two out of five kids who live in Keene Housing are placed in special education. We know that Camp Takodah can help… And, in Summer 2019, we did just that!

We are proud to say that we were able to completely outfit 11 kids from Keene Housing to attend a session of Takodah totally free! Because of the generosity of so many in the community, these families got to feel “normal” this past summer, coming to camp with new trunks, sleeping bags, and the entire packing list covered.

So many of us know the importance that clothes and equipment can make. Arianna’s mom told us she was so happy to feel like just another kid: “NOT at risk, NOT from a low-income family, NOT other.” I don’t know about you, but to me, this is the epitome of Friendly to All. And I am grateful to our entire community for instilling the values and lessons that will last long after campers move on from Takodah.