Dear Members of the Dudley Family,
As we kick off the New Year, we wanted to update you on a few exciting developments that will have a lasting impact on Dudley and Kiniya.
The summer of 2014 was a very successful one on both sides of the Lake, marked by two new noteworthy campus structures: an Outdoor Challenge Course at Kiniya and the Middlebury Pavilion at Dudley. Now, after meeting prospective campers at nearly 30 Open Houses — and as applications for camper and leadership spots begin to roll in — we can boast that interest in Camp Dudley and Camp Kiniya has never been greater. As our unflappable office staff processes the many generous year-end gifts, we can count amongst our blessings an excellent year on the development front, as well.
Looking ahead to the summer of 2015, we plan to keep this momentum going. This spring, we will send 12 of our year-round staff members on a NOLS Leadership Trip, further bolstering the leadership skills of this critical core team. Building upon the popularity and success of our 54-year- old German Exchange program, we will be testing the waters with an exchange program to Spain. Finally, preparations are already underway to celebrate our 10th Anniversary summer at Kiniya!
To be sure, there is still much work to be done as we look towards the future, but we are confident that the outlook is bright.
We are in the final stages of a comprehensive strategic planning exercise that will help guide our Camps for the balance of this decade. Drawing on invaluable survey responses from hundreds of alumni and parents, a committee of the Board of Trustees has been crafting a new strategic plan, an undertaking that has been incredibly thorough and enlightening to all involved. In the fall of 2014, we presented our current findings to the Chairman’s Council, a group of past Board Chairs who gathered for a working weekend at West Point. With this group’s valuable input we are putting the finishing touches on a Strategic Vision Statement that will be shared with all of you in a few months time.
We have successfully formed the not-for-profit Camp Dudley Foundation (CDF) which will allow us to focus on long-term growth and the preservation of the Camps’ financial assets. The Foundation has its own separate Board of Directors, led by Chair #11889 Dwight Poler, that will provide oversight of our Camps’ endowment and look to support long-term capital needs so that future generations can thrive. The CDF will complement and financially support the important work of our Camps’ main operating Board (the Camp Dudley Board of Trustees) which is led by Chair #10643 Matt Quigley.
After five years of respectful discussion with the YMCA of the USA (Y-USA) — focused on resolving the fundamental conflict between the Y’s desire to assert control over the use and prominence of their brand and standards and our desire to remain independent — we have agreed that our Camps will separate from the Y. In a letter jointly drafted with the Camp Dudley Board of Trustees, Y-USA has communicated this news to the other Y Camps, effective January 1, 2015. Dudley first formally established its independence from the YMCA in 1968 (then with the New York YMCA), and this current step with Y-USA is a reaffirmation of what took place nearly 50 years ago. We are proud of our Y heritage and remain very supportive of the Y’s mission. Our independent non-profit Camps — Camp Dudley and Camp Kiniya — will continue to focus on delivering life-changing experiences for boys and girls that are true to our motto, mission, core values, programs and traditions.
We have a tremendously loyal alumni base who support the Camps’ Motto and Mission so that we can provide the most meaningful experience for our campers each summer. As an additional way to keep our alumni connected, we will be launching our own Camp Dudley Alumni App, powered by EverTrue, later this month. This powerful alumni networking tool will allow Alums to have access to our alumni directory anytime, anywhere from their smartphones. It is being rolled out at many colleges, universities and private schools, and we are one of the first camps to be offering this to its alumni. More to come online at www.campdudley.com/alumni.
We thank you for your ongoing support of all that we do and we hope to see you in Westport or Colchester this summer, if not before! Should you wish to discuss any of these developments – or any other matters of importance to you regarding our two Camps – please contact any one of us via our email addresses listed below.
We wish you and your loved ones a happy and healthy 2015!