The first meeting of 2015 for the Camp Dudley Board of Trustees (BOT) was held January 23, 2015 at the Union League Club in New York City thanks to the wonderful invitation from fellow Trustee, Scott Martin. The Executive Committee, along with Matt, Marnie, and Fred Guffey, met with the following new trustees from the Class of 2019 — Pete Allen, Patrick Butler, Robin Johnson, Rich Maxwell, Sean McCalla and Jay Wells — for a magical orientation meeting. The BOT is welcoming in a larger Class than usual, but each individual brings great skills and talent to the Board. After a warm welcome from Matt Quigley, the Board Chair, he provided us with a brief moment in Dudley History looking back at 1965 – 50 years ago which was Camp’s 81st season and Bob Marshall’s 19th summer as Director. The budget was $151,000 and the endowment $177,000. That summer was an oasis of fun, but really “a calm-before-the-storm” given the external forces that were about to emerge with the Vietnam War and the call for civil rights. This Dudley moment in history served to remind the Board, Directors and staff that even when everything is in alignment, it is important to expect the unexpected.
The Directors’ reported on the success of the Open House trail, the number one way to recruit, and excitement celebrating Mollie Farnham’s and Josh Olcott’s one year anniversary on the Dudley year-round team. Dudley has a new member of the year-round team, Colin Loher, who will lead the outdoor program at Dudley and work collaboratively with Mollie as they both grow and further develop this program. Colin is a professional in the outdoor world with an experienced skill set, which we expect to be a tremendous asset. Matt and Marnie reported on the progress being made hiring the summer staff and leaders for the coming 2015 Summer, the work being completed now that Camp has disaffiliated from the Y – like removing all logos from the buses — and of all the off-season activities occurring on both sides of the Lake; including the successful Kiniya Tea, Leaders Luncheon, Kiniya hosted the Vermont Camping Association (VCA) meeting and a winter AL overnight in the high peaks. In addition, Matt and Marnie reported on their attendance, along with Matt Quigley, at the Camp Consortium held at Becket Chimney Corners, which continues to be an extremely useful way to learn “best practices” from other leading camps akin to us. Eleven of the year-round staff are extremely excited for their upcoming leadership development training program at NOLS this March. This is a wonderful opportunity for our year-round staff and a great experience to share with many of the Dudley and Kiniya Leaders. 55 of the current leader applicant pool – aides through leaders – have now been trained by NOLS. Summer 2015 is shaping up to look like another “best-ever” summer with the 55th year since Dudley first affiliated with Camp Abbensen — the German Exchange program, 3 NOLS trips scheduled (2 all boys and 1 all girls) and the possibility of a 4th co-ed trip, and a pilot program coed-trip to Madrid, Spain with Camp Priego. The Directors’ Report ended with their goals for the coming year, which include: communication and transparency throughout the greater Dudley community, complete and disseminate the Strategic 2020 Vision Statement, communicate and integrate the Sustainability Statement, and successfully launch the Spain pilot program.
The Board and Directors also discussed the need for an In-Season Camp Visitation Policy, which will be implemented by both Camps this year and posted on the website in the coming months. The Board reviewed the Master Site Plan and fundraising considerations. The goal is to have more detailed plans for the May meeting of the BOT. The Strategic Planning Committee is finalizing the Vision Statement, which is slated for final publication in April 2015. The Board is working with an outside consultant, The Jane Group, to proactively review and update Camp’s current policies and procedures, assess and prepare for standard and non-standard risks, including things like reputational risks, crisis management, and infectious agents. Dave Langston, our fabulous Development Director, reported on another explosive annual giving year and the establishment of a new alumni networking tool – the EverTrue App, which can be downloaded on any mobile device or tablet to help alumni connect with and locate former campers. The app holds great promise and gives lots of momentum to our Lost Sheep initiative. The Legal Committee reported on the progress being made with the Y disaffiliation and the Board unanimously approved amendments to all of the corporate documents to revise the purposes clause and remove all references to the YMCA. In addition, the Board unanimously approved a resolution to discontinue participation in the YMCA Retirement Fund as Dudley will have its own 403(b) Retirement Plan for full-time employees, and unanimously approved the 2015 budget. The Finance Committee reported on the financial health of the Camps and is pleased with the new auditors, which have the capability to provide online support services to Camp. The CDA reported that it is assessing its role and looking to increase its responsibilities now that we are in a two-camp era and have greater desire and momentum to find our “lost sheep” alumni.
Lastly, after the BOT meeting the Camp Dudley Foundation (CDF) met for their second time. The CDF discussed the importance of stewardship and building a strong foundation as the entity becomes established. It was unanimously passed by the CDF to elect Karen Ramsey as Treasurer and Whitney Phelps as Secretary. In addition, the CDF voted to create an Investment Committee that will be guided by an Investment Policy for protecting and growing Camp’s long term assets.