Dear Member of the Camp Dudley Family,
This past weekend saw the completion of yet another “best ever” summer, for both the boys and girls at Dudley’s Camps. With continued support and mentoring over the summer from Andy Bisselle, Matt Storey has successfully taken the reins as Director of the Boys Camp in Westport, and Marnie McDonagh, Director of Camp Dudley at Kiniya, has again led her team masterfully, delivering another memorable summer for Dudley girls in Colchester. We are blessed with such strong leadership on both sides of the lake, a robust and growing financial foundation, facilities continuing to be upgraded, and your loyal support. The new decade is off to a tremendous start at Camp Dudley!
With this firm footing in place, I am both comfortable and pleased to report that, after ten years serving Camp Dudley as Director including five years as Executive Director of our two camps, Andy Bisselle – camper # 12141 – has just been offered, and with our best wishes accepted, a new opportunity as Director of Development for the Stratton Mountain School in Southern Vermont’s Green Mountains. Andy will have the opportunity to continue his tremendous impact at an institution just minutes from his home and the Maple Street School where wife Fran (#18141) is Head of School and daughters Lucy (#19541) and Agnes (#19641) are students. The opportunity and timing are fortuitous for all involved given the successful transition Andy has overseen and the excellent condition in which our Camps operate.
In keeping with Dudley’s motto “The Other Fellow First,” campers on both sides of the lake learn the importance of leaving Camp a better place than they find it. During his tenure leading Dudley, Andy has accomplished just that, and so much more! Under Andy’s leadership, Camp Dudley has: expanded its mission to include girls and women, culminating in the purchase and successful operation of Camp Dudley at Kiniya; launched the William J. Schmidt Scholarship Fund, which since has enjoyed annually increasing scholarship giving; completed a successful $12 million Family Campaign to fund the Kiniya purchase, the Avery Boathouse refurbishment, and the Dudley leadership and scholarship programs; overseen the founding of the Boys Camping Society to cultivate Dudley’s mission for young leaders through community service and outdoor exploration; and led the construction of, among many other projects, the Office and Leadership Center in Westport and the Schmidt, Cady, Vanneman and McKeown cabins in Colchester. Over a decade, Andy nurtured and motivated a generation of campers, leaders and staff, furthering the Dudley experience of many future generations.
We would also like to take this opportunity to recognize that Camp Dudley’s success over the last decade, particularly our leap forward in girls camping, would not have been realized without Fran Bisselle. Among her many contributions to the Dudley family, Fran led by her example, providing inspiration to the Board as it considered Dudley’s mission expansion into girls camping, which process culminated in Fran discovering the Camp Kiniya opportunity and serving on the negotiating team that led to its successful purchase. In every sense, Fran and Andy, along with Kiniya campers Lucy and Agnes, epitomize the indelible connection between Dudley and the “whole family” – a commitment manifested so clearly in the huge success of Camp Dudley at Kiniya for Girls and the continued thriving success of Camp Dudley for Boys.
We look forward to keeping you up to date as these two great camps continue to develop, themselves as well as the hundreds of boys, girls and young leaders they serve each year. We thank you for your continued support of Camp Dudley!
Dwight Poler, #11889
Camp Dudley Board of Managers
To the Dudley Family:
It has been my pleasure to serve Camp Dudley YMCA for the past decade. Similar to my summers as a camper, leader and staff member beginning in the late 1970’s, throughout the 1980’s and into the early 1990’s, Dudley has given me more during my time as Director than I could ever contribute to the organization.
Those gifts have included lifelong friends, timeless values, devoted colleagues, and the fun of being around young boys and girls as they take in the world around them and comment (often hilariously as Cubs in Westport and Junior Villagers in Colchester!), on what they see and feel…
“A summer at Camp Dudley will make me polite and generous and I will look good at parties and other special occasions when I return home!”
“The boys must be jealous that we have waterskiing, horseback riding and gorgeous sunsets!”
“The girls must feel bad that they don’t start every day with a cool cannon blast!”
Camp Dudley’s future is bright. Both of our Camps are flourishing. Our motto, “The Other Fellow First” is today more relevant than ever. Our alumni group is as loyal as any. The opportunities to expand our programs for youth are bountiful.
Finding a healthy sense of work-family balance as the Director of Dudley has been elusive for me. I know Matt and Jess, as well as Marnie and Bob, will welcome the support of the whole Dudley community to help them feel an integral part of the Dudley family, while also having space to nurture their own families year round.
Fran and I look forward to supporting Matt and Jess and Marnie and Bob’s leadership from behind the scenes, and anticipate many happy days for Camp Dudley YMCA in the years ahead!
With thanks and appreciation for the opportunity to serve,