News

No sounds now but the birds and the breeze

The 2019 summer is in the books! It was another wonderful year at Timanous that every boy will remember in his own way. The peace and quiet around camp right now belies the excitement, celebration, and bittersweet closure that we all experienced just a few short days ago.

This past Sunday we had our final Chapel, fittingly given by Jimmy, head counselor of Crows. He told many stories, including several from his own camper career, that brought both levity and deep meaning to what it means to find true friendship. Timanous is a place where you can make lifelong bonds in what is really a short matter of weeks in the summer, and Jimmy’s stories and the knowing glances between the older campers throughout his talk gave evidence of that truth.

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The final chapel of the summer

After all of the organizing and packing was done by Tuesday, we welcomed parents and other guests to Watersports on Wednesday morning. It’s a showcase for the skills campers have developed on the waterfront over the summer, in everything from waterskiing to canoeing, kayaking to stand-up-paddleboarding, and lots of different swim strokes. The Green and Gray teams compete in each race, which gives all of the boys that added spark to do well for their color, in addition to proving to themselves what they can accomplish.

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Green and Gray congratulate each other after the War Canoe race

Shortly thereafter all the cars were packed, and we had our final gathering as a camp for the summer. Chef Bob put on, as usual, a wonderful Banquet meal. Campers, counselors, parents and guests sat on the hill overlooking the lake, grateful that the forecasted thundershowers looked like they were going to hold off until later in the afternoon.

Crows lined up at the head of the camp and began the march into the tent singing Old Chief Timanous. The ceremony that followed was a celebratory cap on the summer of 2019, with awards being passed out and activity medals announced. The Hall of Fame presentation at the end drew the loudest cheers, especially from the oldest campers as their cabin-mates and friends were recognized for their best qualities and contributions to camp.

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The Crows celebrating a cabin-mate getting on the Hall of Fame

That all seems like a whole other world now that the Barn is quiet, the boats and docks are on land and there aren’t any campers filtering down the bunkline to their cabins. Yet the memory of the past few days is immediate, and especially for the older boys, the summer of 2019 will be a vivid memory for years to come.

While the natural beauty of Panther Pond is undeniable, and the late summer breeze and birds calling in the evening with nothing else to disturb them would be paradise for most anyone else, you heard it here first: we prefer the sound of 130 campers joyfully living in the moment, right here at Timanous.

Till next year, when those sounds are here again…

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Peaceful reflection at the end of a wonderful summer

 

See all photos from the now-complete 2019 season on our Shutterfly page.

August 9th, 2019

Posted in News

Point Cookout

One of the markers of the end of a Timanous summer is Point Cookout. Instead of typical Saturday night cabin cookouts, the whole camp marches out to Crows Point to sit down together on the pine-needle-strewn ground and share a meal. The bell rang a bit early so that everyone could get back to their cabins, and starting off with the Mallards each cabin walked in line down the bunkline singing expectantly about the delicious things they’d find at the end: “Chicken, corn and buttered buns!”

Each camper, of course, had to pass by the Crows in order to make it to the cookout spot. These oldest boys, as is tradition, sang their own song (C-R-O-W-S Crows!) on repeat until the entire line of campers passed through to the Point.

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Walking through a tunnel of mighty Crows

The line is long and sometimes painfully slow, especially as you get closer and smell the bbq sauce on the grilled chicken and fresh corn rolled in butter, but everyone patiently waited their turn, as there was plenty of food to go around (for seconds, thirds, and fourths for the particularly hungry).

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This fresh local corn was really really good!

After filling up their plates, campers picked their way over the rocks and roots while looking for the ideal place to sit. Some found flat clearings among the trees, others large boulders along the shoreline, and still others long fallen trees that acted as bench seating. A cookout for close to 200 people isn’t a quiet affair, but when everyone tucked into their food the voices quieted to a murmur.

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These guys found a nice spot to set up their chairs…

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…but a simple log will do just fine as well.

The best part of Point Cookout is when you realize you’ve had your fill of food, but still enjoy just being out under the pine trees with all of your friends, and the rest of the camp to boot. Satisfied smiles and conversations reflecting on the day, the week, and the summer were happening all around. It’s one of those events when you don’t want to go home and time seems to stand still, with sunlight that glints off the water and filters through the leaves that you don’t see, but you feel.

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Ending Point Cookout on a high note

Time does move on though, even at Point Cookout and even during a Camp Timanous summer. We all eventually filed back up the bunkline and to our cabins for the night, which led into Sunday and closing a chapter on the final week of the 2019 season.

Monday and Tuesday, while they were filled as usual with all the fun activities we have here and the opportunity to go for awards and hang out with friends, were also days for wrapping things up and starting to pack for home. The Banquet tent has already been put up on the field, and trunks carted up the path ready to be loaded into cars in morning.

Tomorrow will be a wonderful celebration of a wonderful summer at Timanous. But we’re not there yet. Here’s to holding onto that spirit of endless summer that you can find out on Crows Point on a Saturday evening, with the sun glinting off the water and filtering through the leaves.

 

See all photos from the 2019 season on our Shutterfly page.

August 6th, 2019

Posted in News

Music and dancing bringing everyone together

This Thursday we had our first ever Culture Day, where we celebrated the many different cultures and backgrounds represented here at camp. Each meal featured cuisine from a different country. The campers who were from — or had family backgrounds from — those countries really loved having a bit of a taste of home, and everyone else had a blast trying out food they might not normally have. One of the best parts was hanging flags from the rafters, which made the whole Barn pop with color.

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Pretty cool that all of these countries are represented at camp

The day culminated in the annual Talent Show, where in addition to the normal musical, comedic and theatrical performances, several campers offered glimpses into their cultural backgrounds. One camper sang a traditional Russian folksong, another a Chinese pop song, and a pair of brothers gave an interpretive skit about Argentinian cuisine. Everyone heartily cheered for each performance in support of their fellow campers putting themselves out there in front of the spotlight. In addition to having fun and sharing a talent, for many of the boys it was an opportunity to challenge themselves and become more comfortable performing in front of their peers.

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Sing, rap and dance battle

Apparently one night of singing and dancing wasn’t enough! On Friday night, we hosted our sister camp Wohelo for our annual Timanous Dance. Because of the nice weather and the size of the group, all of the activity was outside in the open air. Prior to dinner, groups of girls and boys wandered the fields and hillsides under the pines, catching up and meeting new friends.

After a buffet dinner interspersed with frisbee tosses and guitar playing, everyone made their way to the basketball court, where the makeshift DJ booth was ready to rock. It was a really memorable evening with nervous energy and excitement in the air. While most campers danced the night away, some took to the fields for frisbee, soccer, football, or just lounging while listening to the music roll down the hillside.

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Oh what a night

As if that wasn’t enough fun for the week, earlier today we had our final Capture the Flag game of the season. As it has been all year, the Greens and Grays were so evenly matched that no one was able to get the flag across. Even so, the shouts and smiles (and sometimes grimaces of disappointment after getting tagged) were abundant on both sides. The year ended with Green up 1-0, so we’ll have to see how Water Sports shakes out for which team can claim overall victory for the year.

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Jailbreak!

There are only a handful of days left, and we know campers are savoring them all. It is bittersweet to think that along with all of the fun we’ve had of late, and the amazing special events remaining, we’ll soon be saying goodbye to the shores of Panther Pond, and more importantly, all of our friends, as camp wraps up for this 2019 season.

August 3rd, 2019

Posted in News

Under the stars

While sleeping in a wooden cabin with no electricity is certainly rustic, it still can’t compete with a camping trip for really feeling like you’re sleeping under the stars. For our second session campers who weren’t here for the first half cabin trips, we sent out expeditions near and far so that anyone interested could have that experience, which for many boys is a highlight of the summer.

Two groups of lower bunkliners went by land and by sea to spots along the shores of Panther Pond. The Hawthorne Point canoe trip set out in one of our famed war canoes across the lake, and campers spent a fun-filled afternoon playing on the beach at the bottom of their campsite. Another set off from camp to make the long trek all the way down the bunkline past Crows to set up tents on Crows Point. While there were different campers and counselors at each site, the scenes must have looked very similar: cooking on an open fire, roasting marshmallows, telling stories, and looking up to the stars before heading into the tent for bed.

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Paddling on the sparkling lake

A group of upper bunkliners went further afield for a two-night trip to the Rangeley Lakes, where they conquered a mountain peak and cooled off under a cold waterfall. As campers move up to the older cabins, they get the opportunity to take on these tougher challenges. Of the many rewards, the chance to go to the more remote places in Maine allows a closeness to nature that is just something special. Sharing this experience with a group of camp friends makes it even more so.

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The coolest swimming hole

You didn’t have to be on a trip this week to get the starry view. This past Tuesday we had our Timanous stargazing night, where a dozen campers got to stay up past their normal bedtime and watch the night sky appear. They were up on the field staring up at the colors turning from light to dark blue, fading to grey and finally black, where they experienced the glory of starry skies (as we say in the Timanous prayer every Sunday). They were also treated to bats flying across the open spaces and the reflection of heat lightning on the horizon.

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A calm evening before a starry night

All of our camping trips have come and gone, and it’s about time too, as there is just under a week to go in the summer of 2019. It feels good to have everyone back in camp for the home stretch. We just wrapped up our annual talent show, and there are several more special activities in store before the final Banquet day. Here’s hoping for a few more starry nights, too.

 

See photos from all of the second session camping trips on this Shutterfly page.

August 1st, 2019

Posted in News

Lots to be grateful for

Yesterday evening at Council Fire, Garth invited campers to think about what they might commend a counselor for, if given the chance. Since the annual Timanous Horse Races were the night before, many campers were probably feeling grateful for all of the time, effort, and humor that counselors contributed to make the night special, as it always is.

For those unfamiliar with the event, Horse Races is a collection of skits in the Hall where the counselors, or “horses,” try to win the most camper votes for being the funniest skit in their grouping, or “race.” Once all the campers choose their horse (each is assigned a number, 1-6), dice are rolled to determine the advancement up the track, with the first horse traversing the length of the Hall winning! Phew, that was a lot of information… if you’re not sure what to think, you might just have to be at the 2020 races to see how it works! Suffice to say, campers probably laugh more during Horse Races each year than every other day at camp put together — which is saying something indeed.

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This must have been one funny skit

Another thing that all campers are surely grateful for is the wonderful (and plentiful) food we have here at Timanous. Of course, the food doesn’t just magically appear on tables that are magically laid out for three times a day. Our dedicated kitchen staff, led by our Food Service Director — and 35 year Timanous veteran — Bob Simmons, does an absolutely fantastic job putting on healthy and delicious meals.

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Our friendly, talented and hard-working kitchen staff!

Still other campers might be grateful for the enriching experiences they’ve had on camping trips this year. A group of our oldest campers recently returned from their 5-day canoe trip on Aziscohos Lake. They were able to push themselves and each other paddling the length of this remote lake, and got to see some pretty spectacular sunrises and sunsets to boot.

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The 5-Day crew ready to embark

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Aziscohos Lake stretches on into the distance

There are probably as many things to be grateful for as there are boys at Timanous, and hopefully each of them has taken Garth’s advice to spend some time reflecting on what that thing might be for them. The days of the 2019 summer are dwindling, but with each passing day the things to be grateful for continue to grow.

 

Photos from the Casco Days race, the 5 Day canoe trip, Horse Races and more have been posted to our Shutterfly site. Lots of happy faces!

July 29th, 2019

Posted in News

Casco Days!

There were more than 40 campers and counselors eating breakfast early today so they could fuel up for the annual Casco Days 4-mile road race. Everyone had trained all summer to prepare for this day — running their Timanous Miles in the mornings before the bell, and during signup periods out on the roads. They piled into the vans with nervous excitement for the race ahead, and drove off to the start line.

A misty morning turned into a sunny and humid day… decent for spectating, and definitely a challenge for the competitors. The starting gun went off promptly at 9:30am, and along with hundreds of other runners our Timanous harriers were off! The course starts up a long slow incline for more than a mile, and after a flat section in the middle there’s a huge downhill that can be a good time to relax, or bomb down fast to make up more time.

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Kicking it in to home crowd cheers

After a final mile stretch along Pleasant Lake (which on any other day would be a peaceful place to stay a while and rest), there’s a short but super steep hill that all the runners have to complete before the last hundred yards to the finish line. For our boys especially, at least they were buoyed by cheers from friends and family on all sides. Everyone who finished doubled back down the finishing stretch, so our cheering section grew and grew. Whether our runners were finishing in 25 minutes or 45, they got that extra boost from friendly faces urging them to finish strong.

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All smiles for the final stretch

We had some pretty amazing performances, including a few 1st and 2nd place age-group finishes. As anyone who has been to Casco Days before knows, the most fun happens after the race. As a fitting reward for their efforts, all campers get $5 for the fairgrounds, with popular items being fried dough, Sea Dogs biscuits (famous local ice cream sandwiches), sodas and sno-cones. Groups of campers sat back in the sun enjoying their well-earned snacks, reveling in their accomplishments, and simply enjoying the moment.

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Timanous and Wohelo runners celebrate together

Before heading back home to camp, we grouped up with the Wohelo contingent for a photo opp. Everyone’s spirits were high after finishing the tough race (and getting some treats!), so the smiles were wide across the board. Stay tuned for more photos of the runners!

July 27th, 2019

Posted in News

Special activities and special trips

Since our last rain, we’ve had several days of sunshine and warmth, and it looks like the streak will continue through the weekend. All this beautiful weather has allowed for a few special activities to be sprinkled into our typical activity program. With all of our second half signup camping trips coming and going, it’s always a fun twist for all of the campers here on Panther Pond to try something new (especially if it only happens once or twice a summer).

A little-known spot at camp is the new garden behind the Farmhouse. Every Sunday when we line up for Council Fire across Plains Road, the entire camp looks up a short hill towards the garden, but had no reason to notice it… until yesterday! A few green-thumbed campers signed up for the activity and learned all about the history of growing food in this area, helped to weed around the cornstalks, and even sampled a few of the herbs.

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Don’t pull up the tall one! Only the weeds!

Back across the road, campers circled up for a yoga session. It’s been a popular thing to do during free evenings, and an impressively-sized group signed up for an activity period. The downward dog and warrior II poses might have varied a bit from person to person, but if one of the benefits of yoga is to center yourself in a peaceful state, it’s pretty hard to beat doing it while overlooking a sloping hill with tall pine trees leading down to a sparkling lake.

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An outdoor yoga studio

For many boys, some of the most memorable experiences at Timanous happen on camping trips, where they get to explore the mountains, lakes and rivers of Maine and New Hampshire. Photos from three of these trips barely scratch the surface of what it’s like to push yourself to try new things, reach new heights, and cook your own meal over a fire with wood you had to collect yourself.

One group camped in Grafton Notch and hiked up into the White Mountains, capped with stunning views of the rocky peaks all around. Another group whitewater kayaked, and yet another canoed for 5 days on Aziscohos Lake (photos coming soon for the 5-Day). As promised, we’ve posted photos from the Katahdin trip from last week on our Shutterfly site, and included one from the peak below.

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The White Mountains sure look green in the summer…

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All smiles (and maybe a little nervous excitement)

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The tallest point in Maine!

 

Check out our Shutterfly site for all photos from the 2019 summer. Click on the “2nd Half Trips” header for all trip photos.

July 26th, 2019

Posted in News

The nature all around us

On recent days at Timanous, you’d likely come across a medium-sized group of boys wandering this way and that, eyes up to the trees, all listening to our Nature counselor explain the different bird songs filtering down from the branches. It was impressive that these campers were being respectful of not only their counselor and each other, but also of the natural world around them.

This past Saturday, we even had seven early risers get up an hour before the 7:15am first bell to take part in the annual Loon Count in Maine, where over 1,000 volunteers from all over the state scan the lake shores for loons (there are similar counts in NH and VT, too). It was a beautiful, sunny morning with glassy water, which was a nice reward for the early wakeup time. If you’re interested in learning more about the Loon Count, check out this page from Maine Audubon.

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Learning about the tall pine trees

On Sunday evening to close out Council Fire, Garth spoke about how we live a rustic life here at Timanous, which includes not having air conditioning even on the hottest days. It was a good time to reflect on how our time at camp shows us that we can have a lighter impact on our planet, use less, and often times gain more, whether it’s time splashing around at Beginners Beach with friends or walking the wooded path under the shade of the tall pine trees. Earlier in the day, we gathered under the shade of the pines for Chapel, and the slight breeze on the top of the hill added to the comfort. Will Buckley gave a moving talk about how to show love openly for those that you care about.

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Another moving chapel talk

It wasn’t all quiet and reflection, and the fun times at camp continued. We played a surprise game of Capture the Flag after cabin cookouts, and all of the new second session campers got their first taste of why C-Flag is such a popular activity. Various intra- and inter-camp sports tournaments are happening, from soccer to basketball to ping pong. We even threw a period of darts into the mix earlier today! And, the second half trips continue with the 5-day and kayaking trips going out.

The hot streak finally broke yesterday with a cool summer rain, so we had our first movie night of the summer, and watched a classic: The Sandlot. The rain continued throughout the night and made for some sound sleeping all the way down the bunkline. Rain, clouds, or golden-red sunsets, the evenings at Timanous are always restful after full days of life at camp.

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A peaceful end to another lively day at camp

 

Check out our Shutterfly site for all photos from the 2019 summer.

July 23rd, 2019

Posted in News

Hot days, cool waters

It’s going to be a hot one today! Good thing that water is all around us here at camp. There are lots of times throughout the day to dunk in the water, including morning dips (it was already 75 degrees today at the first bell!), swim periods in the morning and afternoon, and the ever-popular evening dip (a great way to cool off right before bed).

Sunny days like today are also perfect for all of the activities we have on the waterfront, like paddleboarding, kayaking, waterskiing, sailing and more. In addition to learning new skills and having fun, an added bonus is the extra chance to get in the water.

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Out for a sail

Speaking of sailing, this past week some of our experienced sailors went to two regattas for some friendly competition with other camps in our area. It’s always lots of fun to visit other camps, meet new people, and do your best to represent Timanous. The team placed 3rd at Wyonegonic and 2nd at the Wohelo regatta, with one of our Crow skippers getting 1st place in two of his races.

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Sailing team having fun in the sun

There are some fun things happening around camp for the landlubbers among us too, of course. Earlier in the week our mostly-annual basketball tournament was held, where teams of three compete for the chance to get their names etched into the “T-hoops” trophy (one champion for each of the lower and upper bunklines).

That was followed up yesterday by the giant dodgeball tournament. Over 100 (!) campers signed up for the activity and split into teams of 5. All of our vans were lined up on the field as a boundary line, and as the games were being played and the field winnowed down, the gallery up on the hill increased, until ultimately everyone was watching the final 10 campers vie for ultimate dodgeball supremacy. While only one team walked away victors, everyone had tons of fun and enjoyed a swim afterwards.

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Sitting on the dock of the bay

As always, the days at camp are rolling by. It’s been almost a week since our second session campers got here, and it already feels like everyone has been together at Timanous the whole summer. Camping trips have started to go out again, with our Katahdin trip just getting back yesterday. 12 intrepid campers with their counselor guides scaled Mt. Katahdin, the tallest mountain in Maine and the northernmost peak of the Appalachian Trail. Stay tuned for the photos (which promise to be stunning) and stories from this and other trips that are soon to depart.

 

Check out our Shutterfly site for all photos from the 2019 summer.

July 20th, 2019

Posted in News

Second session underway

Well, we’ve passed the halfway mark of the 2019 Timanous summer. While there are lots of days remaining, and many campers who just arrived that have their whole summer in front of them, the second half of camp always seems to glide by just that much faster. It’s a good time for reflection on the first three and a half weeks, and the first thought that comes to mind is appreciation for the campers who have returned home. Camp wouldn’t have been the same without them.

We did have one more game of Capture the Flag as part of an exciting sendoff week for first half campers. The Green team was able to get the flag across the line for the first score of the season. We’ll see if Gray can make a comeback in the second half. Because many boys were going home on Saturday, we held our weekly Council Fire that afternoon in order to recognize their accomplishments. No matter the day or the time, the traditional feel of Council Fire brings the camp together, and it was a wonderful way to close out the first session.

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Linking arms for the last time as the first session group

During changeover weekend we had a special guest come and perform for the full time campers. Wacky Chad more than lived up to his name, and provided engaging entertainment for everyone. Among other feats, he performed a backflip on a pogo stick and tricks on a bike. No doubt his spirit will live on in a counselor skit or two later in the summer (though the imitations may not be as skilled).

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Wacky Chad was a big hit

We were all excited to welcome the second session campers who arrived on Monday morning, both veterans and first-timers at Timanous. It was good to have the Barn and all the cabins filled with campers, as well as that nervous excitement that floats around on the first day boys arrive at camp. That afternoon, all of the new arrivals traveled as a group to various activities for orientation, so they could learn (or refresh themselves) about the opportunities ahead of them as well as the rules and procedures to do it all safely. By Tuesday morning, the entire camp was able to do activity signups, and we were right back in the swing of things.

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Learning the ropes down at the swim docks

After dinner, we had a fitting evening activity given all of the campers who had just arrived earlier that day. The entire camp gathered on the field (displacing the typical evening frisbee game) for a variety of fun group activities to get to know each other. There was music, counselors dancing (some better than others…), ice breakers, team building games, and lots of shouting and laughter. Through it all, names and faces were learned, and campers started bonds with their cabin-mates that will only grow as the summer marches on.

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A fun time with everyone getting to know each other

 

Check out our Shutterfly site for all photos from the 2019 summer (first half photos are through Week 3).

July 16th, 2019

Posted in News