August 19, 2011
The Board gathered at the conclusion of Camp Dudley’s 127th Season and Camp Dudley at Kiniya’s 6th Season for an update on the summer from Directors Matt Storey and Marnie McDonagh. They reported:
- High energy and enthusiasm among the summer Leadership team, who delivered another “best ever” summer for the campers in Westport and Colchester, and 100% of whom participated in the William J. Schmidt Scholarship Fund this year, collectively committing over $16,500.
- Optimal enrollment for both sessions on both campuses, including the Kiniya mini-camp.
- On the introduction of healthier foods and sustainability programs on both campuses, including vegetarian meals four times weekly at Kiniya, composting and new gardens on both campuses, a “farm to plate” Individual Major offering and Senior hike/farming experience at Dudley, and initiatives to ensure less wasted food.
- An “extremely healthy” summer on the Colchester campus, and a “very busy” summer at the infirmary in Westport.
- Enhancements in the Kiniya program area, including Volleyball (Team major); Ultimate Frisbee (Team Major); Fitness (Senior Individual Major); Aquatics (Including: life-guarding skills, swimming, synchronized swimming and water skiing) (Senior Individual Major); Ceramics (Art major); Music (Art Major); Touch Rugby & Yoga at selected choice among the athletic programs offerings.
- A new “visiting alumni” program in Westport, in which 10 alumni members visited Dudley and participated in the daily/weekly activities during their stay.
- How Camp Dudley offered a haven of safety and comfort for members of the summer family during times of personal or family difficulty.
- Campus enhancements in Colchester and Westport – e.g., utilization of yurts for camper and staff housing; waterfront adjustments to the shoreline challenges; two new cabins in Colchester and new arts / athletic facilities – which provided a “huge boost” to ensuring another successful summer.
- A successful German exchange program, including the first-ever participation of Dudley females in the 50-year history of the exchange.
- Highlights from the Boys Camping Society, led by Scott Steen into remote Canadian lake country, on a bike excursion through Maine’s Acadia National Park, and in community service projects back in Westport.
- A strong leadership team, anchored by mostly veteran Leaders and staff on both campuses.
- Positive changes to the evening/“after third” culture for Leaders, where the Leaders embraced accountability, responsibility, and care for each other in ensuring safe and healthy conduct after hours, as well as additional opportunities for enhancing and continuing to reinforce these important objectives in the future.
- The challenge of late camper arrivals on both campuses (10% of campers in Westport).
The board praised the staff for the tremendous issues the staff addressed to deliver such a successful summer.
In addition to the wide variety of regular pre-season preparations and the multiple Cap-ex projects managed this year, within one month before opening they:
- Took five camper cabins offline due to the landslide at Dudley and took two staff housing cabins offline due to extreme flooding of Junior beach at Kiniya.
- Moved two staff cabins due to a landslide on the Upper level at Kiniya and did a precautionary move of one camper cabin.
- Converted upper level of the Boat House at Dudley to cabins; converted storage shed at bottom of Welcome center path to Program Director’s cabin and moved all Senior staff to alternate housing on campus at Kiniya
- Permitted, built decks and assembled yurts for additional housing at both camps.
- Moved entire waterfront program area from Senior Beach to Junior Beach at Kiniya
The Board also discussed the substantial expense required to re-build and mitigate future damage to the Dudley and Kiniya shorelines after the landslides in April and May. The board was pleased to have a Depreciation Reserve that allowed for immediate action so the summer could go on, but also discussed means by which that reserve would be rebuilt for the future.
We anticipate a record year in progress of participation in annual giving to the William J. Schmidt Annual Fund.