10/08/20

Dear Tecumseh,

It is our sincere hope that everyone is using the Tecumseh spirit to thrive in this difficult time.

For the last six months, Camp Tecumseh has been carefully planning with the health and safety of our entire community in mind. It was heart wrenching not to gather at the lake this past summer. We are committed to being together with a full staff and full camp in 2021. Our experience and preparation in 2020- along with models from a few camps that were able to open, and remain open, safely throughout the summer- solidifies this decision.

WE ARE ECSTATIC TO OPEN REGISTRATION!!! PLEASE CLICK HERE TO REGISTER.

We are, however, subject to all New Hampshire state guidelines. In 2020 those guidelines limited residential camp occupancy to 50% of the capacity. Tecumseh has taken steps (including designing and building a new cabin scheduled to be completed for the summer of 2021) to help adjust to this possibility. The reality is that we may not be able to accept every camper who registers. Wait pools will be used for all sessions and we will re-evaluate and update our plan every three months (January 1, 2021, March 1, 2021, June 1, 2021). If we have to narrow down our population based on New Hampshire guidelines, we will do so by a combination of length of stay, camper seniority and registration date. Thank you for working with us in this difficult situation.

We are opening registration with the below three scenarios in play. We will do whatever we can to get as many people to camp as possible this summer.

  1. Normal Camp Summer opening June 26, 2021

     A. Full Summer Session     June 26 – August 15

     B. Session 1                       June 26 – July 20

     C. Session 2                       July 22 – August 15

     D. Session 3 (2 Weeks)     June 26 – July 11

     E. 5 week option                June 26 – August 1

  1. *One start date opening June *26, 2021 (*Note – No Session 2 in this scenario)

    A. Full Summer Session     June 26 – August 15

    B. Session 1                       June 26 – July 20

    C. Session 3 (2 Weeks)     June 26 – July 11

    D. 5 week option                June 26 – August 1

  2. **Full Summer Session     June 26 – August 15, 2021 (** Note – One, seven week session in this scenario)As always, please reach out with any questions at all. Thank you!

Doug

Director | Camp Tecumseh

dknight@camptecumseh.net

(610) 513 8564

Enroll Now!

9/30/20

We are actively working to open registration at this time. With so much changing every day Camp Tecumseh is diligently planning a registration model that will fit several different scenarios for the 2021 summer. We are committed to opening and being together at the lake this summer!

9/18/20             

2021 Camp Dates are set: Saturday, June 26 – Sunday, August 15 

6/1/20

Fraser Sunbeam

5/19/20

Dear Camp Tecumseh,                                                         5/19/20         

I hope this letter finds each of you and your families in good health. 

As you know, our COVID-19 Task Force has continued to meet and gather all of the pertinent information necessary to decide the best course of action for Camp Tecumseh this summer. In reviewing required and recommended protocols under New Hampshire, Center for Disease Control and the American Camp Association guidelines, the Task Force has recommended to the Board of Trustees, and the Board has agreed to not open Camp this summer. With heavy hearts we concluded it would be impossible to maintain the health and safety of our campers and counsel staff, and simultaneously deliver an appropriate Camp Tecumseh experience under these most unusual and unfortunate circumstances.

The burden of this decision is massive and cannot be understated. Tecumseh is an institution defined by grit, resilience, toughness, and togetherness. We have run successfully and continuously for 117 years, through world wars and other challenging circumstances. This was not the outcome any of us wanted. 

Now that we have arrived at this decision, however, we are determined to innovate and do all we can to help the Camp Tecumseh family remain connected and grow stronger.

There are so many things that make the Camp Tecumseh experience special. We all have our favorite aspects of Camp: taking in a Tecumseh sunrise, hearing an inspiring huddle or prayer speech, learning from a dedicated counselor at our favorite instruction period, running a High Noon, enjoying our friends during free time, chowing down on chicken fingers and fries, competing in a fiercely contested Blue-Gray activity, battling together in outside competition, nailing a game winning bucket in Senior League, performing in our G&S operetta or conquering a challenging mountain climb! While we will miss these types of experiences this summer, we are determined to do all we can to make the most of th2020 camp season. The senior staff and I are now working on a Summer 2020 plan that will include a variety of virtual Tecumseh experiences. We are committed to working with each family and camper to drive home Tecumseh values, and make our community and every individual in it stronger.

Please allow us until the end of May to communicate with you regarding refunds, credits and donations that will best help Camp Tecumseh. Anyone who wants a refund will receive it, and all June 1st installment payments have been canceled. We are also committed to compensating our staff during this difficult time. They work hard every summer and will do the same this summer.

This will not be the last that you hear from us, but rather the start to a unique Camp Tecumseh experience that will make our bonds stronger, and bridge the gap until the summer of 2021. Do not hesitate to reach out with thoughts or suggestions in this unprecedented time as we move forward together. 

“United we shall always stand, Tecumseh sons, are we.” 

~Camp Tecumseh song

Douglas Knight

Director 

Robert L Gray IV

Chairman, Board of Trustees

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Dear Camp Tecumseh Community,                                  5/13/20
I hope you are in good health and good spirits. I’m writing to update you on our planning for this summer. As you may recall from previous emails, the Board of Trustees established a COVID-19 Task Force that has been working with me and other senior staff members to monitor and assess COVID-19 information. That process is guided by our Board Chair, Bob Gray, Vice Chair Buck Buckley,  and two trustees who are practicing medical doctors, one in Boston, Dr. Michael Kain, and the other in Hanover, NH, Dr. Campbell Levy. The Task Force has worked diligently and deliberately to help me assess how, if at all, we can open Camp this summer. Their dedication to and support of Camp Tecumseh in such a difficult time is a tremendous inspiration to me. I cannot thank them enough.

While we are fearful that we may not be able to be together this summer at Camp, we continue to gather information. The health and safety of our campers and staff is our top priority. New Hampshire Governor Sununu’s task force is set to publish guidelines for residential camps in the next week. If they are true to their timeline, then Camp Tecumseh is on track for a mid to late May decision about Camp as originally set forth. It’s not clear if those guidelines will allow us to open Camp, and even if they do, whether or not we can conform to those guidelines and still provide our boys the great Tecumseh experience we all know and love.

As a Camp community, I believe we owe it to ourselves and those that came before us to not relinquish hope. We ask the boys to grind out every point, stroke, pitch and play, and not give up on anything until the very end. Our Board Task Force is bringing that same resilient spirit to this process.

We completely understand if you need to make decisions before we make an official announcement. If we do not open Camp, I will send a separate email regarding your choice of a refund, credit or donation. In the meantime, please feel free to reach out to me with questions.

Thank you for being part of the Tecumseh community. Let’s all remain Tecumseh Strong!
Doug
Dear Camp Tecumseh,                                                                                               April 27, 2020

It was with great sadness that I shared with all of you earlier this week the news of Jim Fraser’s passing. I’ve been inspired but not surprised by the outpouring of love and support in memory of a man who epitomizes all the great things about Camp Tecumseh. Certainly, the Camp Tecumseh family will miss Big Jim. Please look forward to a May Sunbeam dedicated to Mr. Fraser, as well as updates to our alumni webpage that will include tributes to him and other CT legends.

I know that we continue to be anxious about whether we will be together this summer on the lake. In consultation with the Board of Trustees, our senior staff and our medical team, I have decided to delay a decision regarding the opening of camp until mid to late May. We feel as if there are too many changing circumstances right now and don’t want to rush unnecessarily to make a decision. Please know that the safety of our campers and staff is our priority. We want to open, but will do so only if we feel it is safe. Some of the benchmarks we are evaluating are the ability to potentially test those attending, our capability to maintain a constant safe environment, and the capacity of the local New Hampshire healthcare system to provide high level care if the need arises.

We continue to monitor all communications from the American Camp Association, New Hampshire Camp Directors Association, Center for Disease Control and New Hampshire Department of Health. The Board of Trustees COVID-19 Task Force has been meeting weekly since the onset of the pandemic to evaluate all available information. We are fortunate that two of our Trustees are medical doctors practicing in Boston and Hanover, New Hampshire. They are leading our Task Force’s efforts and bring tremendously valuable insights from their health systems. While some organizations have made bold decisions about their summer programming, the frequency with which information changes has tempered our response and we are confident in our current approach.

We are planning for the possibility of three different scenarios:

– (1) starting on our planned start date and running our standard seven week camp with two 3.5 week sessions;

– (2) delaying our start date and modifying the schedule to run one 3.5-5 week session; and

– (3) closing Camp for the entire summer.

Regardless of which path we ultimately take, the Board and I have decided we will refund any payments families have made if they choose not to send their son(s) or we cannot open. If for any reason you cannot wait for our decision, please reach out to me and we can discuss it. We have also decided we will pay the entire staff at least a percentage of their planned summer earnings. It is a great group of extremely dedicated folks who care deeply about providing your sons a first rate summer experience and we want them all to know Camp appreciates their commitment and wants them to return this summer and beyond.

Camp Tecumseh has stood strong since its founding in 1903. It will continue to stand strong for years to come because of its loyal and dedicated community. In such a time of uncertainty and dislocation, it is important that our families, campers, staff and alumni know that Camp Tecumseh is a place they can count on.

I will remain in frequent contact and update you on our plans in the coming weeks. In the meantime, keep an eye out for weekly Blue-Gray Challenges and stay connected with each other. Be well, be safe and please reach out if you have any questions.

Doug

Special Edition Sunbeam 4-12-2020

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Dear Camp Tecumseh Community,                                                      3/20/20

Good morning! I hope this note finds everyone healthy and safe. Most of you have just finished up your first week of a very different type of school than you are accustomed to.

At Camp we pride ourselves on ‘Making Good Boys Better’. That is, improving the physical, emotional and social abilities of all of our boys without the use of technology while we are at camp. Yet now we find ourselves in this predicament in which we are forced to be apart and therefore somewhat reliant on technology to maintain our connections.  We are facing everyday with a need to dig deep and embrace our inner Tecumseh warrior.  With that in mind, Camp Tecumseh will be increasing our social media presence and email correspondences in an effort to bring the Camp spirit and community into everyone’s home.

Two of the social media feeds we offer are on Instagram. Our base account is @tecumseh1903, and we now have a brand new account,  @tecumseh_cals. This was created for members of our community who are looking for workout challenges, tips, and inspiration to stay active while potentially confined at home. As a reminder to the Tecumseh community, it is our clear expectation that everyone will engage respectfully on social media as Tecumseh gentlemen!

Additionally, I will send emails and post updates on our FROM THE DIRECTOR page of the website. In these correspondences, I will share huddle and prayer speeches from previous CT summers. The first two talks I am sharing from counselors John Washington (J Wash) and Chris Northrup are very poignant given the current situation. I am also attaching them to this email for your convenience.  It would be awesome if the boys wanted to read them, either silently or aloud to their families.  Anyone who feels moved to write and share a reflection is encouraged to send it to our new email address designed for this purpose,  tecumsehtogether@camptecumseh.net

Camp Tecumseh is excited to roll out this new dimension in our long and amazing history and hope that it will provide the boys with the opportunity to read, write, think, and exercise everyday, all while keeping their Camp spirit and brothers close!

If you are like the Knight family,  you have missed games, practices, performances and events of all kinds over the past few weeks. However, we have cherished this time together. Yesterday, alone, we went for a family run, sat outside and shot hoops, had a family dinner, and played several rounds of President.  It has allowed us to come together (yes, sometimes we drive each other a little nuts!) and focus on what is important, each other. My family, my friends and Camp Tecumseh have kept me grounded for the last week. Don’t stop dreaming about the amazing summer we have planned at the Lake- I know I won’t-  and enjoy this extra time to connect with who and  what is important to you.

Please reach out any time with questions or concerns. Thank you!

Doug

Director – Camp Tecumseh

dknight@camptecumseh.net

tecumsehtogether@camptecumseh.net

www.camptecumseh.net

610-513-8564

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Douglas Knight

Camp Tecumseh – Director

dknight@camptecumseh.net

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Dear Camp Tecumseh Community,                                                3/16/2020

We hope this note finds you and your families healthy and safe. As of now, we are hopeful for a full summer at Camp Tecumseh. Given the seriousness and fluidity of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we recognize these plans may change and as such will communicate regularly to update the entire Tecumseh Community.

In the meantime, please know that our primary focus is the health and safety of our campers and staff. To this end, we are monitoring the developments of the pandemic and assessing Camp’s readiness for the summer with our senior staff and a subcommittee of the Board of Trustees which includes two physicians, both of whom are directly involved in addressing the pandemic at their respective health care institutions. In addition to monitoring communications from the Center for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, and the American Camp Association, we are in direct contact on a nearly daily basis with local experts at the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services as well as the largest health system in the state, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health. Additionally, we are assessing our current medical care resources at Camp and the surrounding healthcare infrastructure.

We are confident the Tecumseh spirit will endure beyond these challenging times and Camp will remain The Greatest Place on Earth for our boys. Please take care of your families and do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns.

Doug Knight, Director                              Robert Gray, Chairman, BOT

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Douglas Knight

Camp Tecumseh – Director

dknight@camptecumseh.net

Jill and Doug backstage at the Operetta 2015

Jill and Doug backstage at the Operetta 2015

Dear Camp Tecumseh,

I gave the opening prayer speech this past summer because I felt it was important to share some of the legacy of Mr. Don McBride with our current campers. Sadly, Mr. McBride passed away this spring, but left a huge family to remember and celebrate his life. Both of his sons and 10 of his eleven grandsons have been campers and counselors here at CT (and the 11th will be here soon!!!).

Mr. McBride was the 4th Director of Camp Tecumseh from 1977 – 1983. The following words, from him, were in the final Sunbeam 41 years ago!

Most people go through life only partially aware of the full range of their abilities. Many of these capacities are not easily discovered. So many of us have potentialities that never develop, mainly because the circumstances of our particular lives never call them forth. This is why Tecumseh can and should be so vital to your growth; it places you in a set of circumstances that forces you to reach within yourself and come up with qualities that under a more conventional environment might have gone undetected.

But, in order for this to happen successfully, you must not have a fear of failure. This fear or lack of it has probably intrigued me more than anything else about the population of Camp Tecumseh.

Learning is a risky business. When an infant is learning at a fast rate, he is also experiencing a great number of failures. Watch him! See the countless things he attempts and how little he is affected by failure. As we get older, we tend to avoid things we have never tried. Fear of failure, particularly under the scrutiny of our buddies, certainly hinders our full growth. DON”T let it happen.

Some are obviously not as afraid as others – lucky them. So what if they fell of their skis, lost the set, struck out, failed the swim test, forgot their lines or missed the penalty kick. To keep on learning and growing, you must continue to risk failure – all your life. What a wonderful place like Tecumseh to test this theory.  Keep on trying – everything. I, for one, will never ridicule your failure, rather laud your spunk.

I would like to thank Mr. McBride for inspiring me, and countless campers, to ward off the fear of failure. After reading his words, I made it a goal to participate in as many activities as possible this summer. I was able to compete in a counselor soccer game, four v four soccer tournament, two ball tournament, floor hockey tournament, water polo tournament, ironman race, mini marathon, play catcher in a baseball game, and play countless tennis matches.

The above is not even a fraction of what the campers have been a part of this summer. We start each summer and spend a little time at the beginning of each session getting into a rhythm, but after a few weeks the amazing spectacle that is Camp Tecumseh leaves me completely speechless. I felt it most about a week ago, sitting at the top of the hill during free play while tennis balls, football, frisbees and bean bags were flying all around and smiles and positive energy were everywhere. It reminded me of the book, Flow; the Psychology of Optimal Experience. In it, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi describes Flow as people typically experiencing deep enjoyment, creativity, and a total involvement with life.

This, to me, is Camp Tecumseh! It’s a marvel to watch kids playing together whether the time is structured or not, getting along, settling their differences, and simply enjoying life. Sadly, I do not feel this happens enough during the other ten months of the year. There are far too many outside distractions that cause kids to lose focus of what is important to them. Hear at Camp Tecumseh we have a lot of sports and a lot of friends/brothers pushing one to be better. As, Asst Director, Blake Stabert told us in his prayer speech, age is meaningless at camp. You can compete against and lose to someone five years younger than you and turn around ten minutes later and beat someone five years older than you.

The true beauty of Camp Tecumseh lies in the relationships we build here together. Take them with you for the next ten months and build on them. I challenge campers to do more than follow someone on Instagram or snapchat. Instead, try to reach out with a letter to explain what you’ve been up to or call someone on the phone to have a more meaningful conversation.

For my part, I plan to have as many in person functions as possible this offseason as there is no group that fills me with such an energetic and youthful feeling as the Camp Tecumseh family. Thank you for a great summer, and see you in the offseason and back here on Lake Winnipesaukee next summer!

Doug

Director – Camp Tecumseh

dknight@camptecumseh.net (please reach out any time!!!!!)

October 1, 2015

Dear Camp Tecumseh Family,

It has been an amazing ride for the past year culminating with an unbelievable summer in 2015. We will, no doubt, be riding that momentum into next summer. The staff was diligent and enthusiastic, translating into an amazing experience for campers. A large majority of the staff at Camp Tecumseh has been in the shoes of the campers, and all they want is for the experience to be even better than it was for them. The example set by staff members is commendable and a major reason why I am so glad that my own children are campers. What follows are a few observations from this summer that I think capture just what the boys enjoy most about Camp Tecumseh.

First, the boys all want to be good at something- really good at something- and there are so many opportunities for this to happen at Camp. There are so many words of wisdom that we want to pass on to our children, but it is often difficult to get through to them as parents. However, when they hear the same messages from the counselors whom they idolize, the ideas resonate more powerfully. From instructions on the soccer field to personal hygiene tips to lessons about empathy, I watched as eager campers soaked up all the words and actions of their counselors. Specifically on the athletic fields we have a large number of counselors that have played or are currently playing high school, college or professional sports. This gives our campers something to strive for as well as someone to talk to about the experience. Incredibly, we have had a few staff members (who are former campers) switch sports while in college. This speaks directly to the well-rounded environment we provide at Camp. I believe strongly that sport specialization all too often leads to burnout and injuries that will rob children of the fun that is supposed to be had while playing sports. Camp provides an incredibly competitive environment for boys to learn many different sports and figure out, when they are ready, which sport they would like to pursue. At Camp, boys have the freedom and space to strive for excellence in personal and athletic endeavors.

Secondly, the boys want to feel connected to others. Camp Tecumseh provides this connection with its small community and the messages we give to the boys on a daily basis. With twelve to twenty boys per cabin and four to five counselors per cabin, each boy automatically has a group he can cling to. Additionally, with morning huddle, evening prayers and countless other opportunities to make oneself better- High Noon Club, Bald Peak Club, Cross Fit Club, Yoga- Camp Tecumseh helps to instill positive character traits that are fostered for a lifetime. The aforementioned clubs and activities offer the boys an opportunity to pursue personal growth during free time in small groups with like-minded campers and staff, fostering not just personal improvement but also connection to others. Evidence of the connection made by the boys is apparent on the final Sunday of camp. Eight year olds all the way up to grown men are crying and hugging because they do not want Camp to be over. The bonds formed during seven weeks are so strong that boys come back year after year. As Director I have heard from countless alums about how powerful their experience was at Camp, and how experiences at Camp shaped the person they are today. We have hosted many alums for very short visits simply to show their girlfriend or wife the place they talk so much about!

Finally, the boys desire freedom and independence. There is no better place to get this than the safety of Winnipesaukee’s wooded shores! Undoubtedly, Camp provides boys with an opportunity to be on their own, but it also provides structure and supervision. Boys are free to make choices about whom they would like to be around, what activities they would like to participate in and how hard they want to work to make themselves better at something. These choices help them to understand who they are and who they want to be. It is not uncommon to see a pack of boys the same age running a Tecumseh Warrior together or a few boys of differing ages playing 2 ball together on the hoops court. Each age group learns from the other in so many ways, and that is one of the many unique things about Camp. One of our staff members spoke of this phenomenon at the start of camp when he quoted a saying that was outside the library at his school.

“He who knows only his generation remains always a child.” – George Norlin

While we all wish our boys could remain children forever to some extent, it is without question that they grow up, mature and become men at Camp Tecumseh. The perfect balance of freedom and structure that they have at Camp creates the brotherhood of love that helps provide our boys with confidence as they move towards independence and adulthood.

I chuckle every time someone asks me how the summer was because it is impossible to put all of this into a brief statement that answers that question. Amazing, incredible and extraordinary are three words that I use most often, and then try to explain as best I can why so many boys benefit from their summers at Camp Tecumseh. The opportunities to strive to be really good at something, to feel connected to others, and to gain independence are readily available for every boy that attends Tecumseh. I look forward to spending many summers at ‘The Greatest Place on Earth!’

Please feel free to reach out to me at any time.

Sincerely,

Doug

Douglas Knight
Director, Camp Tecumseh
dknight@camptecumseh.net

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