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Letter from the Executive Director

Ryan Reed — October 26, 2021


The power of Camp was on full display this summer, and I couldn’t be happier. I know Ryan, Carlie, and I watched opening day approach with a bit of trepidation. After tremendous disappointment in 2020, campers, staff, and parents descended on the shores of Cass Pond.

Everything we worked so hard for was finally coming to fruition, and we were all a little nervous about how it would come together. It was amazing! There is nothing like seeing Camp Takodah in full action to give you goosebumps. Watching the joy of kids and staff reuniting after what felt like forever warmed the heart. I’m so grateful to our entire community for putting your faith in us to run a safe, fun summer for everyone.

Camp Takodah has taught us to be resilient, adaptable, and hold tight to the belief that after difficult climbs, there is almost always a great view. That opening day was the view for me.

Parent after parent told us how hard 2020 had been – and that their kids needed camp more than ever. They told us that no matter what happened in the fall, their kids would still have their friends and memories from Takodah – and that would make all the difference. That’s why we do what we do, and it was humbling for us to hear. It made those countless hours of preparation worth it.

My heartfelt thanks go to our Board of Directors for supporting us through so many ups and downs – and to our staff for working so diligently to keep us safe, following our protocols, and responding so well to every twist and turn. We owe so many people so much gratitude.

We couldn’t have run this summer without the help and advice of so many, but three amazing people were a critical help in setting our protocols, helping with testing, answering questions, delivering vaccines, and so much more. Thank you to Claudia Cleary, Sherry Guardiano, and Helen Heneghan who led our Medical Advisory Team. Without their expertise in both the medical and Takodah worlds, we would never have opened our doors with the confidence and enthusiasm we did. Their help was invaluable, and we will be forever grateful.

The Takodah YMCA is in a good place. Summer 2021 was historic, needed, and most importantly, felt normal. As we move toward 2022, there will be many changes to keep Takodah relevant and impactful in a post-Covid world, and we are excited to keep moving forward. I can’t express enough gratitude to those who believed in the Takodah YMCA, supported us with registrations and donations, worked for us, advised us, and so much more. 2020 was hard, but the very first hugs and smiles made it all worth it. On to 2022!