For several years Mother and Jim hosted Camp Ta-Kum-Ta.
According to this non-profit organization’s ebsite:
“Camp Ta-Kum-Ta provides challenging, extraordinary experiences in a safe and loving environment for children who have or have had cancer and their families.”
“Camp exists for Vermont and northern New York children, between the ages of seven and 17 at no cost to their families.”
Although I was never able to participate in Camp Ta-Kum-Ta, I would be remiss if I did not include this chapter and say how proud I am of both Mother and Jim’s contributions and efforts towards this wonderful organization.
They were the homestead to the incredible children and the organizers for several year during the 1990’s.
Camp Ta-Kum-Ta provides children battling cancer who are unable to attend conventional camp because of their special needs.
At that time Mother and Jim were fortunate enough to own a large home with a pool, deck, and several acres in the back.
There was lots of room for trailers and tents to provide those with special needs any emergency care when needed.
It was no small feat to organize the meals, the activities, and yes, even dances to help make the children’s experience at Camp Ta-Kum-Ta a memorable one.
There were sailboat rides, barbecues and other special events to help keep these special kids motivated and encouraged.
During the year, Mother would keep in touch with all of the children who lovingly called her Greta.
Once Mother did tell me a story that has stayed with me for the past twenty years.
There was a young boy who attended Camp-Ta-Kum-Ta for several years.
His name was Mikey.
Mikey’s favorite part of Camp Ta-Kum-Ta was the swimming pool.
The third year that Mother hosted this camp she decided to buy five floating noodles (floatation devices) that are so popular nowadays.
Well, they had just started hitting the store shelves in the early 1990s.
Most unfortunately, Mikey had passed away after losing his battle with cancer during the previous year.
He was commemorated along with the other children who had passed away as well at their annual memorial service.
On the morning of the second day of Camp Ta-Kum-Ta Mother realized that there were only four of the floating noodle devices.
One was missing.
They searched everywhere on the grounds, even up and down the street but it was nowhere to be found. As hard as they tried to find it they could not.
Well, Mother came up with a solution of where it went.
“Where did it go?”
Mother’s only response was:
“Well, you know…. Mikey wanted one too!”
If you happened to wonder about the origins of the unusual name:
The story goes that there was a young girl who because of her battle with cancer, was not allowed to attend camp like her brothers and sisters.
She told her Mother that she wanted a:
“Camp to come to too!”
Hence: Camp Ta-Kum-Ta!
If you would like to read more about this organization, please visit:
The picture you see above are the steps leading from the dock on Lake Champlain to Mother and Jim’s house. Recently, both Mother and Jim’s ashes were interred by that same dock on Lake Champlain.