Beach Day!

Our Wednesday morning was a slightly different routine, with campers tidying their areas before breakfast so they could stay up at the Barn after breakfast. It was beach day! Everyone piled into buses for the trek down to the coast and Scarborough Beach State Park. It was a hazy day, but the sun shone through and like the Timanous maxim says, it burned off (don’t worry parents, sunscreen was copiously applied throughout the day).

As it was low tide, there was lots of space to roam and look for cool rocks and seashells, plop on a towel, play soccer and frisbee, or just wade into the water for a quick dip. The experienced (and not-so-experienced) could be seen practicing the fine art of body surfing.

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Going in for round two!

A favorite activity was walking up and down the beach, whether in pairs or larger packs. When it came time for lunch, apparently the local seagulls got the message too, and they swarmed to try and get their beaks on our ham & cheese and sun butter & jelly sandwiches. Perhaps they were going for the mythical everything-sandwich (ham/cheese/sun butter/jelly). Luckily the campers and counselors won out and had their fill.

The Crows continued their normal routine of bonding with each other and their counselors, including judging the annual sandcastle contest. Winners and honorable mentions for the lower (younger five cabins) and upper (older five cabins) bunklines were announced the following day. For everyone else, there’s always next year.

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Crafting the ultimate sandcastle

After the journey home (riding buses with sun-warmed skin and sometimes-sandy bathing suits), everyone took a dip in Panther Pond, which felt all the warmer after the cold Atlantic Ocean.

That evening we hosted visitors from Wohelo for brother-sister day, coinciding with our Wednesday staple of Jimmy Buffet. As always, camp played the gracious host as pairs of relatives were invited to go first in line as our honored guests. We look forward to more times to get together in the second half of the summer.

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Always fun to host our Wohelo friends and family


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

July 11th, 2019

Posted in News

Celebrating Traditions

Now that we’re in the heart of the 2019 season, every couple of days there is a milestone or special event to look forward to. The typical daily routine is so seamless now that the rhythms of camp life provide a stable backdrop to enjoy and celebrate these traditions, big and small.

This past Saturday morning, we hosted the Timanous relays. For over a half century now, Timanous has welcomed our fellow neighboring camps to the shores of Panther Pond for a swim meet. While not all of our campers participate in the races, many spectate on the shore, the porches of nearby cabins, and even in kayaks or canoes from the water. This year, we had so many camps accept our invite (eight) that we held two heats for most of the races. The Timanous boys, as well as the visiting campers, all competed hard and cheered their swimmers on. It was heartening to see that the sportsmanship all around was an even greater force, and as our guests readied to return to their camps, creative songs of congratulations sprung up from each group.

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An exciting day down at the docks

This summer continues to be blessed with amazing weather. We were expecting a large thunderstorm to pass through the other afternoon, but we had hours of unexpected sun and only a brief period of clouds and a bit of heavy rain. You might say that isn’t the best of luck, but when else can you hold an entire activity devoted to dam building in Red River? (and then of course dam-dismantling the next day).

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Playing in Red River… one of the simple pleasures of camp

On Sunday morning the entire camp traveled the eight miles to our sister camp, Wohelo. We call this day Hiiteni Sunday, where each year campers, counselors, alumni, family and friends gather to celebrate the founders of the Luther Gulick Camps (which became Timanous and Wohelo). There was some time before the ceremony for our campers to explore Wohelo (their rocky shores above Sebago are quite the contrast for our sloping grassy hills) and for those with relatives at Wohelo to visit. During the ceremony, we learned about the original founders and those that have been instrumental in the continuation of the camps. It was especially poignant this year as we embark on another successful transition of camp leadership.

As always, there was lots of singing: the camp songs we sing every year to remember and celebrate our history, as well as new selections that counselors and campers practice for weeks to perform in front of the large gathering. This year was the first for the newly-formed Timanous Choir, whose great performance surely kicked off a lasting tradition for future Hiiteni Sundays.

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Starting a new tradition

We closed the week back at home with Council Fire. It was the first time since the recent heat wave when it felt brisk right after dinner, and you could wish that you brought up your long-sleeve from the cabin. The imperceptible changes in sunrise and sunset and cooling temps are easy to miss, and then you look up and realize the summer is flying by. We only have one more week in the first half of camp. Lots to look back on for sure, and lots still to come.

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

July 8th, 2019

Posted in News

Skits, bonfire, and more July fun

It’s been an exciting few days here at Timanous! A couple of days ago, the entire camp spent an afternoon collecting wood to bring down to beginners beach, where a collection of sticks steadily grew to a bonfire pile twice as high as the tallest Crow. But more about that in a minute…

First, we have to talk about “Jr. Grandaddy Gorilla.” A strange name for the uninitiated, it’s a long-time camp tradition where we play giant games of hide and seek. Later in the summer we’ll play “Grandaddy Gorilla,” with counselors (gorillas) hiding in the woods all around camp and each cabin vying to earn the most points by finding the most gorillas. In Jr. Grandaddy, it’s the campers who get to try their hand at evading capture.

The game was announced a few days ahead of time, so during free times earlier in the week you could find campers scouting for hiding spots on Crows Point, Red River, and other areas not often traveled and with lots of cover. On Thursday morning, the bell rang after cabin cleanup and all the counselors went to the Hall, and campers had 15 minutes to get into their hiding positions. Another bell rang… and then another, 30 minutes later. Any camper not found in that time was a winner! It was a banner year for the campers, with lots escaping, so we’ll have to see if the counselors can take their cue and find good hiding spots themselves for Grandaddy.

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Blending in

As a reward for their efforts, and of course to celebrate the 4th of July, we had an all-camp cookout outside the Barn for dinner. A few hardy counselors manned the hot grill for hours, as the rest of us got to enjoy hamburgers (and veggie burgers), hot dogs, Chef Bob’s famous potato salad, and cool sweet lemonade. We had cabin skits planned for a post-dinner activity, and instead of filing into the Hall as usual, we gathered on the hillside above the soccer field, which was such a perfect stage and gallery that we might have to officially name it The Amphitheater. Many cabins and a few smaller groups of campers performed some seriously creative and funny skits, which will surely be talked about for the rest of the summer.

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The Entertainers

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Laughs all around

As a cap to another sunny (and hot!) summer day, we had our traditional 4th of July bonfire. Campers, counselors, alumni, and other guests formed a semicircle at a safe and just-cool-enough distance from the fire. The Crows skit as usual produced laughs and a rendition of the Star Spangled Banner, and our youngest camper lit the bonfire. The flame, started in just a few spots, slowly but surely caught on the wood all around, and pretty soon the flames climbed straight and high up into the dusk.

Loud revelry subsided into calm conversations of cabins and small groups of friends as the fire burned down. Everyone would have preferred to stay, but the light was getting low and there were roots and rocks to navigate back to the cabins along the lake. The fire continued to glow, and a few lucky campers and counselors with the choicest beds could catch its glimmer out of their windows as they settled in for the night.

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Perfect night for the bonfire


Check out our Shutterfly site for all 4th of July photos.

July 5th, 2019

Posted in News

The Wooded Path

The summer is flowing now. We’ve had a couple of bluebird sunny days up into the 80s (with evening dips to cool off before bed), and looks like several more are headed our way. While we did have a thunderstorm roll through on Sunday afternoon, it was a beautiful morning for chapel, where Kasey Suitor gave a heartfelt talk about embracing change with a positive spirit. She even invited others to think about changes that they might be going through, and campers and counselors bravely stood up to share their stories.

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Thoughtful campers and tall pine trees

The sun came back out after dinner, but with the deluge of rain earlier we had council fire in the Hall. It was the second night in a row we all gathered there, since Saturday night’s post-cookouts activity was singing camp songs. Jason LeVasseur and a few other musically talented counselors helped to teach new campers (and refresh veterans) old standbys like “O Wohelo” and “Where Old Sebago’s Waters.” Of course, the most popular number of the night was “The Would Be Camper,” where you sing each chorus faster and faster until you can barely keep up with the words by the end. The night wrapped with “The Weight” by The Band, with refrains of “put the load right on me” seeming to bring the group closer together as the song went on.

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“Take a load off Fanny”

We’ll end our post today with a special guest writer: Ethan, from Herons cabin. He recently submitted an article to the Timanews (our camper-written newspaper) that beautifully captured what it’s like to walk the bunkline, and was happy to have it shared with the broader Timanous family.

The Wooded Path

The wooded path, the same path that hundreds of campers have walked each summer. The path you walk each morning when wondering what adventures await you that day. The rocks crunch under your feet with each step, the leaves rustle in the background. You hear all kinds of birds singing to each other, while you feel the sun flickering through the trees. Some say it’s the most peaceful place at Timanous. The next time you walk down the bunkline make sure to notice and appreciate the beauty in the wooded path.

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Walking the wooded path

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Picture perfect for evening dips


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

July 2nd, 2019

Posted in News

Capture the Flag!

One of the days campers most anticipate finally arrived. The morning started in its typical rhythms, with a 7:45 bell (“late” sleep on the weekends), dips, and breakfast in the barn. Nick Leyden, who manages the daily program, even gave an overview of a regular Saturday morning schedule… until he unexpectedly announced that this would not be a standard Saturday: we were playing the first capture the flag games of the summer!

The barn erupted in the loudest cheers yet for the exciting game ahead. For the uninitiated, the entire camp is split into two teams, Green and Grey, and you keep that team for your entire career at Timanous. During cabin cleanup, campers donned uniforms that would distinguish themselves as either green or grey (with some particularly ardent Greens going in full camouflage). When the bell rang, everyone gathered at the bottom of Infirmary Hill where Nick explained the rules and boundaries. We played two every exciting games, with the flags getting moved several times and jails broken left and right, each time prompting cheers from the advancing team and wild sprints back to the line for another attack at the flag.

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Each game ended in a 0-0 tie; in other words, a classic Timanous defensive struggle. Campers will be sure to spend the time before the next game devising the perfect strategy to get the flag across. Right after the games, though, it was all good sportsmanship and camaraderie, as each team grouped up to cheer on the other team for a great effort. Campers and counselors walked together down the wooded paths to get ready for post-C-flag swim, the colors of green and grey mingling once again.

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Escaping with the flag

Friday Trips was another notable activity we had this week. Instead of our normal signups and free swim periods, campers got to choose between four special options: a hike up Rattlesnake Mountain, sailing out of our cove into the big part of the lake, a canoe trip to Hawthorne Point, or watching the World Cup game between USA and France. Aside from the excitement of doing something out of the ordinary, Friday Trips are also a great time to get to know other campers you might not otherwise have crossed paths with. And as always, the afternoon schedule was capped off with Friday candy and a relaxing free time.

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The Timanous fleet out on the open waters

More stories and photos to come from other fun weekend events, including singing in the Hall and the always-popular evening dips after several hot Maine summer days. The bell rang for lunch a few minutes ago, and campers filed into the Barn just in time before some rolling thunder, which will hopefully pass soon so we can head back outside for more fun.

June 30th, 2019

Posted in News

Twilight League in full swing

Yesterday, since several cabins were still out on their camping trips, there was an “exhibition” game in Twilight League (the informal post-dinner softball games all boys participate in). The evening was especially nice, so anyone who wanted to play softball divvied up into impromptu teams and had a blast playing a game simply for the fun of it.
The way the sun was setting and playing on the pine trees surrounding the field, with the sound of boys laughing and being joyful and carefree… it was just a great end to the day.
Now that the Crows, Ravens, and Falcons have returned from trips, there’s a game that will count in the official League standings currently underway. But that same evening light is filtering through the trees, and win, lose or draw, everyone will shake hands and cheer for the other team.
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Putting the ball in play

We also had our first Jimmy Buffet of the season, where a talented group of counselors-turned-chefs puts on a buffet dinner with creative concoctions for the whole camp. After gathering items of their choosing, campers sat down in groups large and small all around the Barn. You were lucky if you scored a seat at the prime hilltop spot overlooking the lake to enjoy your meal.

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Not a bad spot

While life in camp at Timanous rolls on, campers out on their cabin trips are having some pretty amazing experiences you just can’t get any other way. We’re still collecting photos from all the trip cameras, but here are a few gems just in from the Ravens canoe trip to Umbagog Lake. We’ll share some stories in future posts as well to give a glimpse into these amazing trips, but of course there are some things you just have to go and do yourself to really know. The Ravens campers, and all the other boys who have gone out on their trips, are lucky to now know for themselves.

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Check out all the photos from the Ravens trip, and lots from the last few days, on our Shutterfly site.

June 27th, 2019

Posted in News

Week 1 off to a great start

It’s the first full week of camp, and everyone is settling into the Timanous groove. Each morning and afternoon, campers get to sign up for the activity of their choice. In addition to individual awards, many campers have started to check off items on their land or water Jester award, which requires boys to demonstrate proficiency across a variety of activities. A few older campers are even going for their Land Wizard award, which takes even more skill and hard work to achieve.

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As mentioned in yesterday’s post, several cabins have now left on their cabin camping trips. They’re getting to push their personal boundaries with canoeing, hiking, pitching and sleeping in tents, and cooking their own meals, and no doubt will show growth because of it. We can’t wait to hear the stories and see the pictures when they get back.

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Precision work in the woodshop

One of the things we have to do when so many campers are out on trips exploring different parts of Maine is consolidate tables in the Barn for meals. The silver lining is that we get to meet new friends by sitting at different tables. As always, each table has campers of all ages, and sitting next to someone is one of the best ways to learn names and hear about different camp experiences.

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Campers eagerly await their name to be called

After lunch today, our first load of clean laundry came back. So far, campers have been pretty spotless for personal inspection each morning, and this should help keep that trend going. Cabin inspection has also improved of late, as campers are getting used to making their beds (and keeping them made throughout the day!), hanging wet clothes on the line (and not on the floor), and keeping the floors swept.

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Getting ready to sail around the cove

There’s a soft summer rain falling outside, and a group of campers can be heard playing games in the Barn. Other sounds of camp going on as usual can be heard all around. Anticipation is already building for full-camp activities like capture the flag, which is a comforting thought for how much the summer still holds in store.
Check out our Shutterfly site for all photos from the 2019 summer.

June 25th, 2019

Posted in News

A Perfect Summer Day for Chapel and Council Fire

It’s pretty dreamy around Camp Timanous these days. Cool summer nights (great for sleeping!), crisp mornings with dew on the grass, warm sunshine in the afternoons, and golden hours in the evenings. Even though the camp season is only a few days in, it feels like endless summer already.

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Lots of fun to be had out on the water and under the sun

A Saturday night tradition continued with each cabin heading to their very own cookout site to grill burgers over an open fire. It was a great time for cabin-mates to bond and maybe even try their hand at some home cooking. The fun continued afterwards with cabin activities, which as a general rule include some of the most creative games you could imagine (tennis? baseball? how about tennis baseball!).

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Fire-grilled burgers just taste better

Yet another camper favorite followed soon after: the Twilight League announcements. Each year, every camper gets placed on a team to play in informal softball games during free evenings throughout the summer, and on Sunday afternoon the counselor coaches performed skits to reveal their team name. While the “actors” may not be on Saturday Night Live anytime soon, the laughter from the barn could probably be heard on the other side of Panther Pond.
In between meals and announcements, campers are starting to settle in to their favorite activities. Whether it is pursuing awards in activities like riflery, archery, or sailing, or making projects in woodshop or handicrafts, the opportunities that Timanous boys seek out are always engaging.
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Campers getting creative at handicrafts

Sunday was also a time for reflection and gratitude. Mike “Congo” Congleton gave a moving Chapel talk, which invited campers and counselors alike to be more mindful of the people and places around them. In the evening, we gathered in our Council Fire circle and created the first spark of the 2019 season. Deserving campers were recognized in front of their peers in counselor commendations, and Garth offered his own words of reflection. Among many other important things, he said it’s the traditions and the people that cultivate them that makes Timanous so special.

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Boys in grey and counselors in green close out Council Fire together

We’re on to our first full week of camp. This morning, two camping trips went out: Falcons for a hiking trip to Mt. Blue State Park and Ravens for a canoe trip on Umbagog Lake. Stay tuned for upcoming posts about other departing trips and in-camp happenings. It’s going to be a great summer.

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

June 24th, 2019

Posted in News

Back in the swing of things

After a wet Opening Day, things were mostly dry on Friday and the sun was out in full force by Friday evening. It’s been a beautiful couple of days on Panther Pond, and it looks like the next couple of days will be even better.

After the excitement of Opening Day, camp settled into a typical daily routine: meals at assigned tables with campers of all ages, activity and swim periods, and yes, flat rest and quiet hour. Every camper went through orientation at archery, riflery, sailing, and woodshop where the head counselors went over the safety rules. New campers spent more time at each orientation so they could learn the basics and see which ones they might like to try more throughout their first summer.

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Liam and Reid lead archery orientation

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Dustin goes over the safety rules at riflery

Before the first bell this morning at 7:15am, more than 30 campers made their way up to the ball field to go for a run and kick off their training for the Casco Days road race in July. Today was also the first morning for dips and the famed Polar Bear Club, where campers who dip every morning for the entire summer can claim Polar Bear status.

Now that orientations are complete, every camper was able to choose which activity they wanted to go to this afternoon, in addition to a free swim period. The bell will ring any minute now for free time, when campers can check out different activities, stroll the bunkline, or just hang out in their cabin to read a book.

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Sailing for the first time this summer

Another first for this summer is the Saturday night cabin cookout, where campers gather with their cabin-mates to build a fire and cook their own hamburgers. It may not be as gourmet as a Chef Bob meal in the Barn, but there’s something to be said for grilling out with your friends on a warm Saturday evening.

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A full report of cookouts, and all the other firsts for summer 2019, will be coming soon in future posts, so stay tuned! As always, see all the great photos from the summer on our Shutterfly site.

June 22nd, 2019

Posted in News

High Spirits on Opening Day

A little (and sometimes a lot) of rain couldn’t dampen the spirits of all the campers and counselors on the first official day of the 2019 summer at Timanous. While there were a few more puddles to navigate around camp, everyone ended up singing songs together in the Hall at the end of the evening, just as we do every year on Opening Day.

How did we get there? After a few early arrivals for lunch, campers began arriving in bunches in the early afternoon. Old friends reconnected as if no time had passed at all since last summer, while boys new to Timanous were greeted by welcoming staff to their home for the summer. As their trunks were being shuttled to their cabins, campers walked down the bunkline for the first time to set up their areas and meet their cabin mates and counselors.

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Friends, old and new, gather near the barn

As more campers arrived throughout the day, activities were going on all throughout camp: card games in the cabin, dodgeball in the hall, and even basketball and soccer in the pouring rain! It was a good thing there was a warm fire going in the Barn when we all gathered for our first meal together.

There was a fire in the Hall as well for our evening event. Director Garth Altenburg introduced himself to the group, and invited all newcomers like himself to lean on the returning campers and counselors as they navigate their first summer at Timanous. We ended our first night together in a familiar refrain, with Dave Suitor leading the way in singing two of our favorite camp songs: T-I-M and Old Chief Timanous. While we were a bit out of tune and learning (or getting a refresher on) the words, there’s really nothing like singing songs in the Hall to bring everyone together to close out Opening Day.

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The rain let up as campers and counselors alike filed out to go to their cabins as a group, and it was a calm night as everyone settled into their bunks for the first time in 2019.

Check out our Shutterfly site for Opening Day photos!

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A Mallards camper hurries back for story time

June 21st, 2019

Posted in News