Marnie McDonagh, #20001 – Director at Camp Kiniya
Born and raised in Melbourne, Australia, Marnie lived a very happy childhood with a loving, supportive family. In 1994, when the opportunity to work as a waterski Instructor at Kiniya presented itself, she responded with great enthusiasm. Marnie joined the Kiniya team that summer, and since then rose through the Leadership Ranks ranks as Head Counselor, Program Director, Assistant Director and, in 2006, was named the first Director of Camp Dudley at Kiniya. Summer 2013 marks Marnie’s 20th consecutive summer at Camp. Having served on the Vermont Camp Association Board since 2001, Marnie believes strongly in the benefits of the Camping Institution and considers Camp Dudley at Kiniya to be the best possible environment for character development and confidence building in girls. Marnie and and her husband, Bob Sophia, live in South Burlington, VT and can often be seen during their daily walks on the Burlington Bike path (even in the snow!)
You’re driving to Camp, and at the I-89 exit it begins . . . the realization that you’re almost there! You turn onto Camp Kiniya Road, the place where, on Opening Day, girls get that feeling in their stomach of eager anticipation . . . ready to begin yet another unforgettable summer at Camp!
Summer 2012 marked Camp Dudley at Kiniya’s 7th season and a summer to remember! No better way to do so than on the Reunion Trail where, at any given location in the U.S., we come together with camp friends and, for an hour or two, it feels like summer again!
To a person we’ve heard “this was the best summer yet.” Was it the terrific leadership lineup, the singing at meals, the sideline cheers for team activities, the screams of joy on seven-layer bar night, the friendships we form, the Camp Spirit which permeates everything, or the remarkable campers? Hard to put your finger on it exactly, but one thing is for sure — it truly was the best summer yet.
We are incredibly proud of what Camp Dudley at Kiniya has become in the past seven years. We have re-built the infrastructure of Camp, upgraded many of its buildings, added and enhanced program offerings. Most importantly, we have created the most special camp culture — where campers are respected, care about one another, foster new, life-time relationships — resulting in an infectious spirit and a tight-knit community that understands the importance of doing good things for others!
There are many reasons why each one of us loves Camp. I’m willing to bet that the primary reason girls develop such a deep love for Kiniya is for the sense of belonging. We not only get to do amazingly fun things and live with so many great people, we all cherish the feeling of belonging.
So, as we continue on the trail, with the summer of 2012 in the rearview mirror and our excitement for the summer of 2013 on the horizon, a few thank you’s are in order.
• To all our leaders and staff, who worked selflessly each day to make sure each and every camper was taken care of and that everyone had a great time. The continued leadership our team provides, by coming back year after year, means that we are always improving . . . in obvious ways, and in subtle but equally important ways that make the camp experience richer!
• To all our parents and families who trusted us this summer with their girls and believe in the values and the mission of Camp.
• To everyone — parents, campers, leaders and staff members who generously gave to the Camp Dudley Annual Fund.
• Most importantly, to all the campers of 2012 — your energy, spirit, enthusiasm and love of Camp makes Kiniya so special. The success of summer 2013 lies in the hands and hearts of each of you!
Fondly from Kiniya,