Camp Timanous is a seven-week summer camp for boys aged 7 to 15. It is located on of land adjoining Panther Pond in Raymond, Maine. Timanous was founded in 1887 in Connecticut by Luther Halsey Gulick, who had already put a mark on American physical fitness and children's education by founding the Camp Fire Girls. The summer camp offers a traditional program of land and water activities, aimed at developing campers athletically, spiritually, and mentally.

The name "Timanous" derives from the Indian name Gulick was known by, allegedly meaning "Guiding Spirit". In 1907, Gulick founded a sister camp, Wohelo, who they interact with through meets and races. In 1920, Gulick moved the boys' camp to the current Raymond site. John (Johnny) and Martha (Marti) Suitor purchased the camp from the Gulick family and began operating it in 1942. In the early 1980s, Johnny and Marti's two sons, Jack and David, became directors. Camp Timanous is currently owned and operated by David and Linda Suitor, who became active directors in 1983.

Staff, campers, and counselors have a high return rate. In 2006, 93% of the 50 counseling staff were former campers, averaging over 10 years at camp (12 were teachers). Many alumni feel a close bond with any person involved in Timanous or Wohelo.

Facilities and campus


Campers live in 10 wooden [[log cabin|cabin
]s, or bunks. There is no electricity or running water in the cabins; standard plumbing equipped outhouses ("castles") are spread along the bunkline. The cabins are grouped by age. The cabins, by ascending age, are: Mallards, Eagles, Hawks, Crogles (a mixture of Crows and Eagles), Herons, Falcons, Loons, Ravens, Cardinals, and Crows. The Crogles and Herons cabins have two stories. The Crows cabin has three separate structures: a main cabin, a large tent, and the Crows Nest (a stilted bunk off the ground). The nest is complete with a water slide coming out of the wall and a hammock underneath.


Additional buildings aside from the cabins include: the Barn, the camp's mess hall; the Hall, a facility built in the late 1970s that serves as a bad weather movie retreat and camp-wide gathering location; various residential cabins for the camp's owners, administrative staff, and directors; and the Office, housing much of the camp's day-to-day operations and routine administration, aside from the responsibilities of the owner-directors and the program directors.


Twice in a typical day, campers have an hour of instructional and recreational activity; options include baseball, tennis, soccer, running, sailing, canoeing and boating, water skiing, handicrafts, woodshop, riflery, and archery.

Each day — usually twice a day — the campers swim in Panther Pond. The morning hour-long session is dedicated to instruction while the afternoon hour is intended as recreational "free swim." The instruction follows Red Cross guidelines, grouping campers by ability and experience in 6 swimming levels. Most of the staff are trained as lifeguards.


Camp Timanous offers a variety of camping trips. Every cabin goes on one cabin camping trip which ranges from one to three days, and optional sign-up trips are available to the oldest five cabins. Trips usually consist of hiking or canoeing, but they also include rafting, biking, backpacking and kayaking at diverse sites in Maine and New Hampshire.

Several times during the summer, the regularly scheduled programming is disrupted for popular camp-wide games of capture-the-flag. Campers and counselors are divided into two teams, green and grey. Each person's association with a team color is lifelong, and any new arrival to Timanous with relative who has been to the camp in the past is automatically assigned to that relative's team.

On the 4th of July, the entire camp engages in the construction of a bonfire. The wood pile grows to approximately in diameter and in height, and is lit by the youngest boy in camp. It is part of the annual, camp-wide celebration of the American holiday, and it often attracts Timanous alumni.

Twice a summer Timanous and the sister camp, Wohelo have a brother-sister day where girls of Wohelo who have a brother at Timanous will spend a couple of hours with their brother likewise for Timanous.

Once a summer, Timanous will travel to the sister camp, Wohelo to celebrate the founders of the camp in song, speeches, and cherishing. All campers of Wohelo and Timanous plus, parents and alumni will gather outside of Timahia and celebrate. The service is followed by a lunch of Wohelo's famous Aussie's BBQ Chicken.

During the first session Timanous always holds a relay race called the Timanous Relays. Near camps will come to Timanous' dock and compete in various relay races.


Council Fire

Council Fire follows Sunday dinner. The entire camp joins together, recognizing achievements of the past week, including awards earned and good deeds done. This tradition dates back to the first summers at Timanous.


Six times a summer, on Sunday mornings, the entire camp comes together for Chapel, a brief service of reflection and consideration that offers time for quiet thought punctuated by traditional and contemporary songs. Each week, Chapel is led by a different head counselor, who composes a brief commentary and selects the music. Well-liked songs have included Amazing Grace, This Land Is Your Land, Puff the Magic Dragon, and Let It Be.

"The Salutation of the Dawn" is recited at each chapel.

Look to this day:
For it is life, the very life of life.
In its brief course
Lie all the verities and realities of your existence.
The bliss of growth,
The glory of action,
The splendour of beauty.
For yesterday is but a dream
And tomorrow is only a vision;
But today well-lived
Makes every yesterday
A dream of happiness
And every tomorrow
A vision of hope.
Look well therefore to this day;
Such is the salutation of the dawn!

On the third Sunday of each summer, in lieu of chapel, all Timanous campers and staff visit Wohelo for an intercamp gathering and service in remembrance, recognition and appreciation of the lives of Luther Halsey and his wife, Charlotte Vetter Gulick. This event often serves as an informal alumni reunion for past Timanous and Wohelo campers and counselors.

Watersports Day

On the morning of the final day of the summer, the camp is again split into the two green and gray teams and the campers participate in Watersports Day. Watersports Day is a final competition between the two colors, with competition including war canoe, kayak and swim races. The day is intended as both a capstone for the summer's friendly competition between the teams, as well as a demonstration for parents and friends of the hard work and accomplishments of each boy.


The final night of the summer is known as Banquet, a dinner for the campers and their families, followed by a ceremonial gathering. The order of events roughly follows that of Council Fire, however instead of weekly accomplishments, boys are recognized for and receive their awards for the entire summer in the categories of Water Honors, Land Honors, Riflery, Archery, and Sailing.

The Voyagers Club (described below) then has a final meeting and induction of new members, and eight activity medals are awarded to individual campers for excellence in particular activities, including Riflery, Archery, Sailing, Woodshop, Baseball, Swimming, Tennis and Campcraft. Members of the camp who have achieved 10 years or more (subsequently recognizing 5 year increments) receive medals of appreciation. The last event of the evening is the unveiling of the annual Hall of Fame (described below).


The commitment to body, mind, and spirit remains best identified with the Timanous "T", a triangular emblem. Each corner of the triangle represents one of the three ideals that Camp Timanous is based around.

While recent years have updated and diversified the camper uniform, the basic elements have been maintained since the early 20th century. Typically, campers wear grey t-shirts or sweatshirts with the Timanous emblem emblazoned, and either Timanous green or grey shorts, sweatpants or blue jeans. Counselors wear green Timanous polo shirts and khaki shorts.

The Timanous colors, green and grey, are on the uniforms and also represent the two teams that the entire camp is split into for occasional camp-wide activities, including capture-the-flag.

Awards and recognition

Campers are eligible to earn awards and honors in many of the camp activities, including riflery, archery, swimming, and sailing. Campers are awarded national riflery awards created by the National Riflery Association, which include the Pro Marksman, Marksman, Marksman First Class, Sharpshooter, Bar One through Bar Nine, Expert, and Distinguished Expert. Swim levels (ranging from one to six) are also awarded based on the Red Cross' "Learn to Swim" program. Sailing and archery awards, however, are original to camp, with the sailing awards being the Crew Rating, Crew Award, Skipper, and Timanous Skipper and the archery awards being the Little John (which is only available to the youngest two cabins in camp), Bowman, Bowman First Class, Junior Archer, Archer, Timanous Archer, and Timanous Huntsman.

The "land honors" are a special set of awards. These awards require achievements in a variety of land skills and activities, including riflery, baseball, soccer, tennis, woodshop, campcraft and more. There are three land honors: Jester (attainable by nearly every boy), Wizard (more difficult), and Czar (very challenging). "Water honors" require achievements in swimming, sailing, canoeing and boating, and water skiing. The "water honors" parallel the "land honors": Jester, Wizard, and Neptune.

Camp Timanous has two camper-run clubs: Woodsmen and Voyagers. The Woodsmen club recognizes all-around good citizenship, while the Voyager club recognizes leadership, responsibility, and loyalty.

Timanous campers and counselors elect campers to honors such as "Greatest Improvement," "Best-All-Around Athlete," and "Most Helpful" every summer. The highest honor at Camp Timanous is recognition as the "Best All-Around Camper." These are similar to yearbook superlatives.

Notable alumni


External links

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