Since 1947, our focus has remained constant – to provide a full-season summer camp experience that helps each boy develop the many facets of his unlimited potential. Our fundamental emphasis — brought home through sports and a wide range of activities and special events — is to instill strong moral and ethical standards that build character.
Time-tested values such as integrity, honesty, compassion, and respect are the foundation of the Camp Takajo experience.
For over 70 years, parents have trusted Camp Takajo to provide a safe and stimulating environment that inspires boys to embrace the highest standards of integrity. Our attention to detail reflects our commitment to honor the confidence you place in us by entrusting your son to our care.
Share your son with us for the summer and he – and you – will forever be part of our Camp Takajo family!
ABOVE ALL ELSE, OUR GOAL IS TO HELP BOYS GROW INTO YOUNG MEN OF STRONG MORAL CHARACTER.
The qualities represented by our twelve Arch Ideals are emphasized and reinforced throughout all aspects of the Camp Takajo experience. These twelve ideals embody the spirit of the camp and are the precepts by which we live.
By partnering with parents, we strengthen the values you are teaching every day in your home. At the same time, sending your son to camp for seven weeks provides him with a rare opportunity to develop self-reliance and independence. Being in a nurturing, supportive environment, but away from the immediate comforts of home and family, a boy gains confidence from learning new skills and navigating new situations – and, yes, occasionally dealing with a little adversity!
We believe that boys need structure. Our programs are designed to be developmentally age appropriate. As boys get older, their program allows them increased choices so they can pursue their maturing interests and specialize in specific areas.
We believe in a well-rounded, diverse program that includes sports, waterfront activities, hobbies, skills, and pioneering. We believe that athletics is an important component of a well-rounded experience, but it is not the sole focus of our program, especially at the younger ages. We want our campers to gain exposure to a wide range of activities so there are many avenues through which a boy can find his niche at Camp Takajo.
“How do I even begin to thank you for all you have given to Evan and Todd and our family these last nine years?”
I can say with honesty that last week, neither of my boys wanted the summer to end. Todd had his best summer ever and really ended as an Okee on a high note. He felt truly connected to his bunkmates, counselors, and many other Okee buddies and camp staff. He absolutely loved the trip out west. He has been telling us about all of the exceptional things he was able to do and experience with his friends. The trip sounds like it was for him, the trip of his lifetime. So much fun and what a great experience!”
“Benny is truly thriving at camp. I was amazed to see how the boys have grown together even more and how the confidence is showing all over them all at Takajo. Benny and his friends share like brothers and look out for one another. They were so happy to be involved in everything they did.
Even though the visiting day is a little hard for Benny at the end, it was great for us, easy to see that he loves his time at Takajo and it has become really special to him. The perfect balance of structure and freedom makes for a very happy boy, and I can see it in every way, from his growth to his smile, to his interest in everything around him.”
Our program is designed to be fun, stimulating and challenging! We provide a broad range of activities so each boy gains exposure to many different types of experiences. As your son grows, his program grows with him to make sure he is getting the type of stimulation that sustains his enthusiasm.
Activity areas include athletics, water sports, hobby activities, skill activities and pioneering. To promote a fraternal feeling among all the boys, the entire camp joins together frequently for special events such as Family Nights, the Carnival, Fourth of July assembly and fireworks, shows, talent nights, weekly cookouts and Indian Council Fires.
Our numbers in each age group are sufficient so that boys play sports, go to activities, and live with other boys the same age. Boys are grouped as follows:
Boys ages 7 thru 10 who have just finished 1st thru 4th grade.
- Warrior Crows: ages 7 and 8, finished 1st and 2nd grades
- Warrior Braves: age 9, finished 3rd grade
- Warrior Indians: age 10, finished 4th grade
Boys ages 11 and 12 who have just finished 5th or 6th grade.
- Junior Greens: age 11, finished 5th grade
- Junior Greys: age 12, finished 6th grade
Boys ages 13 thru 15 who have finished 7th, 8th or 9th grade.
- Intermediates: age 13, finished 7th grade
- Sub–Seniors: age 14, finished 8th grade
- Okeechobee’s (aka “Okees”): age 15, finished 9th grade
Each activity program is tailored to the age and capabilities of these age groups. Each sport is always preceded by an instructional period followed by a game. Instruction is geared to age-appropriate skills and attention levels.
All age groups have two athletic periods a day plus waterfront, hobbies and skills. Younger boys have instructional swim until age twelve. Hiking and camping trips are available every day in every age group. As boys get older, they have more choice in picking the hobbies and skills in which they want to participate. Our oldest campers have Specialty Camps which give them an opportunity for in-depth instruction in sports or other activities in which they want to focus.
What makes Camp Takajo special is our emphasis on building character and instilling the qualities that help a boy develop into a young man with a strong moral compass. Words like integrity, honesty, loyalty, and self-reliance are not just posted on our entrance arch, they are reinforced throughout each day in everything we do, both in and out of camp. Our athletic programs provide a vehicle through which boys learn the value and meaning of teamwork, resilience, competitive spirit, humility, tolerance and sportsmanship. Our well-rounded program, with extensive waterfront activities, trips, and a myriad of hobby classes and skill activities, helps develop a well-rounded boy and a lifelong enjoyment of the arts and the outdoors.
“Every time I step on the field for sports the first thing I think of is the ideals that I religiously live by. I am who I am today because of the amazing morals and ideals that camp has bestowed on me. I succeed in my schoolwork, friendships, and extracurricular activities mainly because I have a solid foundation of meaningful morals.
The friends I made through camp are very meaningful to me, and I regularly keep in touch with all 26 of them. The lessons and experience I have obtained will surely stick with me forever and I will continue to follow the arch ideals in everything I do. I am proud and always will be, to be a Takajo camper.”
8 Year Camper
Perhaps the single biggest factor in a child’s adjustment to camp is his bunk placement. Several weeks each spring are devoted to making up bunks based on information gleaned from personal visits, phone conversations, and notes about a boy’s particular likes and dislikes.
Compatibility, experience, and interests are the main considerations when placing boys together in a bunk. Other criteria, such as age and grade level are easily met because of the number of boys in each age group. The ability to make compatible groupings is a major advantage of having forty to sixty boys of the same age and grade.
WHY SEVEN WEEKS?
The most common theme among our alumni is that Camp Takajo is their “home away from home.” Being with us for a seven-week season gives a boy a sense of belonging to our Takajo family and lets him gain his own sense that Takajo is his second home. A seven-week season allows relationships to develop naturally over time and fosters an unhurried approach to skill development that promotes deeper learning and infuses confidence. Living with his “camp brothers” for a seven-week season, a boy learns about the give-and-take of making decisions and working within a tight-knit group. In a time when resilience is such an important trait, a seven-week season allows a boy to deal with the normal ebb and flow of daily life and, at the end, feel a profound sense of accomplishment both in his relationships and in his skill development.
We are happy to consider a four-week option for families who are more comfortable with a shorter season for their son’s first overnight camp experience.
WHY ALL BOYS?
Boys and girls develop at different rates and have different developmental needs. A boys’ camp is best positioned to offer a program designed to meet the needs of today’s boys in an environment that allows them “to be boys.” With a substantial number of female staff members, boys also learn to relate to and respect members of the opposite sex in a non-threatening, supportive atmosphere.
The rugged, natural beauty of Maine speaks for itself! Epitomized by the expanse of rocky coastline, the towering pine trees, the mountains, and the many pristine rivers and lakes, the surrounding area offers us a wealth of opportunities not only for sheer enjoyment, but also for teaching important lessons in self-reliance, the essence of teamwork, and respect for our natural resources.
Owner / Director
I started at Camp Takajo in 1970 when I was nine and have been here every summer since! When my camping career ended (after my sophomore year at Blind Brook High School), I returned to teach basketball and live in Takajo’s Junior age group. During my four years at Lehigh University, I came back to Takajo each summer and became the Junior age group head counselor and later the Senior age group head counselor. After graduating from Lehigh, I worked for six years as an associate director with Morty Goldman, who founded Camp Takajo in 1947. In 1988, I purchased the camp from Morty. I remain committed to the traditions and the values that have epitomized Camp Takajo since its inception.
My wife, Joan, and I live in Greenwich, Connecticut, with our four children, Max, Kate, Jack and Kim.
I arrived at Camp Takajo in 1973 after my junior year at Washington & Lee University where I played varsity tennis. Having grown up in Cleveland, Ohio, I couldn’t believe a place like this existed! During my first summer, I worked as a tennis counselor in the Warrior and Senior age groups. Over the next five summers, I ran the tennis program for the Senior age group. I then became the Senior age group head counselor in 1980 and 1981 before becoming Morty’s administrative assistant. I returned to Camp Takajo each summer while I was teaching and working toward my master’s degree in education. When Jeff purchased the camp, I became the associate director and have been working full time ever since. I was Jeff’s bunk counselor in 1974 so our working relationship is truly based on the bonds established by our friendship over so many years at Camp Takajo.
I currently live in Skillman, New Jersey, with my wife, Karen, and our two daughters, Katie Rose and Natalie.
“Just wanted to thank you and your amazing staff for helping to make Matthew’s first year at Takajo such a success.
He got off the bus and was quiet and looked a little sad so I asked him what was wrong and he said, “I want to go back to camp, I’m not ready to come home.” If that is not a sign of an amazing summer, I don’t know what is!!! Nothing could make me happier!! As much as I missed him I am so happy that he didn’t miss me!! He was too busy having the “best summer ever at the best camp ever!!” (his words).
I also want to thank you for all the phone calls and the little bit of “hand-holding” for this first-time mom. I think I needed more attention then Matthew this summer! I promise I will be much better next year!!”
Contact: Camp Takajo
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