The power of Camp was on full display this past summer. We know it provided much-needed relief, fun, and a small return to normalcy. We look forward to building on that feeling this summer, which will be here before we know it! There is nothing like seeing Camp Takodah in full action to warm your heart, but there is a lot to do first. Let me share some of the biggest changes you’ll see whenever you come back to Camp.
First and foremost, thank you so much to Ryan Reed for his years of service as our Camp Director. Because of his efforts, Camp is left in good shape and in good hands as he shifts his focus to connecting alumni and donors to Takodah so we can tackle some bigger projects like our Master Plan and growing our Endowment. Welcome back to Sarah Cunningham Castro… We can’t wait for your first summer as Camp Director and are fortunate to have your leadership, energy, and knowledge to keep Takodah growing and impacting today’s youth.
We have spent so much of the past two years focused on staying open, developing a safe program, and finding/keeping staff through the pandemic that we now need to shift some focus to our property that admittedly could use some TLC. This spring, we’re going to do as much as we can — and here are the highlights:
- Beginning our Forest Management Plan/Fighting an Invasive Species: Late last year we discovered that many of our hemlocks in the heart of Camp have been infested with the Woolly Adelgid, and need to be removed before they spread and/or the trees fall down. So, we’ve worked with our Forester to mark and remove close to 100 trees, mainly around South Camp. This may shock you or you may love the new openness, but it was necessary for the health of our property and the safety of our people. You can find more information here: https://www.agriculture.nh.gov/divisions/plant-industry/hemlock-woolly-adelgid.htm
- Kingfisher Division: After many years in the shade and the growth of more moss than seems right, we’ve reroofed the entire Kingfisher Division, Sports Shack, and a leaky cabin 16. Combined with the logging it should show the Division in a new light.
- North Camp: We’ve known that the field at North Camp has been a mess since the beginning. We’ve put lots of work into it in the past, but this year working with our landscaper we hope to make it much more lush, safe, and usable. We are intending to add lights to the field to further increase safety and usability. This may mean changes in North Camp parking on Sundays and Fridays (more on this as we know it).
- Chapel: The memories created at Chapel are special. Whether it is receiving your 10-year jacket or speaking/singing in front of all of Camp for the first time, the Chapel is one of the few places everyone joins together for introspection and inspiration. Unfortunately, it is slowly eroding away. We are working with a landscape architect to plan out the right fix and get as much done as we can by summer. This project is a big piece of our master plan, and we are grateful to have a committed donor to help with the project. If you are interested in learning more about supporting this project, then contact Ryan Reed, Director of Development, via email.
Lastly, I like to extend my gratitude to our Property Manager Keith Marinoff, our Facilities Committee, and the Board for their commitment to investing in our property. We are lucky to have leaders who understand the importance our property plays in the success of our program. See you all this summer!