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Work Weekend 2019 Recap

Brendan • 4 months ago • Blogs | Dudley Blog


The Most Beautiful Day of Spring 2019!

Camp has experienced an unusually wet and cool spring. But on May 17 – 19,  Mother Nature provided a spectacular display of spring sunshine as the 2019 Work Weekend began.  Nearly 80 campers, alumni and families made the trip to Camp for the annual day of painting, planting and cleaning up! “I’m pleased to report that we got to all the projects on the list. If they weren’t finished, we made terrific progress!” said Steve Denton, Dudley Plant and Property Manager.   

Work teams spread out across the Dudley Campus from Cub Beach to North Point.  A small team was even assigned to the Stacy Brook Wilderness Area. The scope of work was wide-ranging, including new paint on a variety of decks and railings, beach clean up at the Boho and Cub Beach, grass mowing and seeding, and program area clean up in Witherbee and the A-Hut. Another group of workers joined #7289 Ace Scharges in the Camp Archives to install new storage shelves and continue the process of preserving our history and scanning the mountain of slides stored in that space.

At lunch on Saturday, two special tributes were awarded. First, a special Work Weekend tribute to #5735 Don Zeiller, who passed away this past spring. Don was a stalwart participant of Work Weekend for many years. His son #9735 Fred and friend Bob Fleming now continue the tradition.  #13804 Matt Storey also surprised Ace Scharges by dedicating the outer room of the Archive area as the “Ace Scharges Reading Room.” The plaque commemorating the space reads: “Dedicated to #7289 Horace “Ace” Scharges for his persistent dedication and tireless effort to preserve, protect and organize Camp’s history. May 2019”  We are grateful for Ace’s faithful service.

The Work Weekend also featured great food from Josh and Gail in the kitchen and a special chapel service on Brodie Hill, where we gave thanks for the enduring friendships we have formed over the years.  Thanks to all who made the special effort to be with us.

Click here to see the full photo gallery from the weekend!


2019 Dudley Job Openings

egeorge • 5 months ago • Announcements | Blogs

2019 Job Openings at Dudley

Camp Dudley is seeking individuals for the following positions…

Climbing & Challenge Course Facilitators: We’re looking for individuals to facilitate and lead our challenge course program and indoor and outdoor rock climbing program. Read the full job description.

Tennis Instructor: Take the lead in one of our most popular program areas. We’re looking for a tennis instructor to teach tennis at various levels to boys 10 – 14 years old. In addition, the tennis instructor will work with the rest of our Athletics Program team and work in other areas as well. Read the full job description here.

Yoga Instructor: The yoga instructor will work with the entire camp community in leading our yoga and mindfulness program. Read the full job description here.

Theater Tech Instructor: The theater tech instructor will work in our 400 seat theater to deliver weekly productions and also teach campers lighting, sound, and set design techniques. Read the full job description here.

Maintenance: Work with our skilled Maintenance crew to keep campus safe and clean. This position offers an opportunity to work hard outside and be a part of a fun and dynamic team. Read the full job description here.

Head Baker: Become one of the leaders of our Food Service team, which works hard everyday to deliver 3 meals a day to the over 500 people on campus. Camp Dudley is seeking a skilled, creative Head Baker to provide breakfast pastries, muffins, desserts, birthday cakes, treats, etc for our very busy camp. Read the full job description here.

Food Service: Join a fast paced work environment filled with lots of opportunity for leadership and management experience. Our Food Service team works hard everyday to deliver 3 meals a day to the over 500 people on campus. In addition, the Dudley Food Service program works with local farmers to source as much of our food as possible from the immediate area and also strives to minimize waste by executing a high standard composting and recycling program. Read the full job description here.


The Charlie Gillis Memorial Climbing Tower

mstorey • 12 months ago • Announcements | Blogs | Dudley Blog

Camp Dudley has established a Memorial Fund in honor of Camper #20804, Charlie Gillis. Charlie was killed in an automobile accident September 25, 2018 in Kansas City, KS while driving back to K.U. from his home in St. Louis, where he had spent a joyful weekend with his parents.

Charlie was a beloved member of the Dudley & Kiniya community, arriving at camp as a Cub in 2008 and enjoying all four camper summers. Said one of his instructors, Rev. Bill Harper, “I’ll never forget his first rock climbing experience, when he was 12. He wasn’t the most skilled rock climber in our group, but he was by far the most determined.”

A young Rev. Bill Harper with Charlie on a the senior climbing trip

He then participated in the Dudley NOLS program in Wyoming in 2012 returning as an Aide and JL in the following years. In the summers of 2016 and 2017, Charlie joined the Hike Hut staff where he was able to express his love of the outdoors. Last summer, he returned to camp in August to help in whatever way he could around campus, including a memorable performance on the Witherbee stage with his buddy, #24435 Charlie Payne.

Charlie’s experience was highlighted by the deep personal connections he made with so many during each summer at Camp. His dazzling smile, gigantic heart, and adventurous spirit spoke to the very best aspects of our camps.  It was at Dudley that Charlie learned the motto that became central to his life, “The Other Fellow First.”  A fellow camper he didn’t know well recently shared her college essay about a Dudley NOLS 3-week hiking trip. She and Charlie were 14-years-old, and she was desperately trying to make a difficult climb up an unforgiving mountain—falling behind the rest of the group. She was ready to give up and ended up dropping her pack part way up the climb—the only way she could possibly continue. At the summit, when Charlie discovered her despair, he quietly hiked back down, retrieved her pack and brought it up to her with a simple smile. That was Charlie. Always taking the time to slow down and find the time to help others.

Charlie on his NOLS trip to Wyoming in 2012

All gifts made to the Charlie Gillis Memorial Fund will be used to construct the Charlie Gillis Climbing Tower, which is expected to be ready for the summer of 2019. It will be a celebrated addition to the Dudley campus and hiking program for climbers of all skill levels. It will support recreational climbing during Dudley choice time and will provide a key new component for climbing majors, a fitting tribute to Charlie’s indelible spirit and passion.

A determined young Charlie Gillis

A gathering of family and friends is being planned at Camp Dudley in Westport NY during the summer of 2019.  All contributions made to Camp Dudley, 126 Dudley Road, Westport NY 12993 in Charlie’s memory will be directed to the Charlie Gillis Climbing Tower. We thank you for celebrating Charlie’s life with us. To contribute online via credit card, please click here. 

The Charlie Gillis Climbing Tower will be similar to the tower at Camp Kiniya.

 


Mourning #20804 Charlie Gillis

mstorey • 12 months ago • Blogs

Charlie and me after Chapel during his Junior summer

I am so sad to share the news that we lost a great Dudleyite this week in an inexplicably tragic car accident. Charlie Gillis #20804 attended camp for the first time as a Cub in 2008 and attended all four camper summers. He then participated in the NOLS program in 2012 and returned as an Aide and JL in the following years. In the summers of 2016 and 2017, Charlie joined the Hike Hut staff where he was able to express his love of the outdoors, which had been cultivated in the Adirondacks and in Wyoming. And he even managed to return to camp briefly this past season to help in whatever way he could around campus, including a memorable performance on the Witherbee stage with his buddy, Charlie Payne.

He was also our nephew and Rachel, Carter and Ellie’s cousin, and we are all heartbroken.

It has been amazing to hear from so many Dudleylites and friends this week with their steadfast support. The stories and memories of Charlie are many, and it is what is keeping us smiling when we think of him. Thank you for sending them our way. I share a few with you anonymously here:

“Charlie was one of the first people I met back in 2016, my first summer, and I will never forget how kind he was to me.”

“Our thoughts are with you and your family. Our son was trying to process this tragic event and was talking about what a great JL Charlie was and spoke about how he used to ride on Charlie’s shoulders.”

“I was so devastated to hear about Charlie. I remember him always teaching me some cool rock wall tips while he was there. I just wanted to let you know I was thinking about you and your family. “

“I just heard some very sad news about our friend Charlie and I wanted to let you know that my thoughts are with your family and with everyone who knows what an exceptional friend and person he is. It’s raining quite hard here in Maine, but nonetheless I went for a walk to sit by the Androscoggin River where I thought about all the precious moments we shared together at camp. Though I am deeply saddened, I also feel humbled and grateful for all the times I have spent with Charlie.”

“I am so sorry to hear about Charlie. He was a wonderful part of the Dudley community and brought so much energy and enthusiasm to everything he did. I’ll always remember him leading our senior night experience in 2015 for our cabin. He did it just as you would expect: helping the boys through it while challenging them on a personal level. On behalf of my whole family, our thoughts are with you and Jess and the kids at this difficult time.”

“I wanted to express my condolence for the loss of Charlie. He was such a great young man. I enjoyed his company so much because he was one of those guys who was always happy and great to talk too. He was the one who always went above and beyond to help myself and the German kids with any outdoor topics we had. His presence will be truly missed around Dudley.”

I am often on the other side in my supporting role as Director when tragedy strikes our Dudley Community. Now, the tables have turned, and the Dudley family, including so many young people that I have had the honor of leading, have supported me and my family during this difficult time. I am constantly thinking about family – Jenn and Jack and Matt and Sara and Henry. Mom and Dad and Jess and Blair and Tom and Miranda and Sam and Ellie and Carter and Rachel and Jess. We are hanging in there, squeezing each other often, telling our own stories and missing Charlie. 

Thank you all. Thank you boys, you’ve been a gift.

Matt

Ps: If you are seeking guidance, a person to talk to, or just want to connect with camp then please know that we are here to support you. Coincidentally, our dear friend Reverend Bill Harper #18500 has been in town this week and he has been a tremendous support for me and my family. If you would like additional support, feel free to reach out to Mollie Farnham-Stratton, who is our in-house clinical social worker, at [email protected].

  • If you have any pictures of Charlie that you’d like to share with others, including his family, please click here and upload so that we can share more broadly. CharliePics
  • Here is a link to the family’s CaringBridge site.

Here is Charlie’s obituary.


Charles Storey “Charlie” Gillis, 20, of St. Louis, was fatally injured after being involved in a car accident on September 24, 2018. Charlie was born on March 27,1998, the son of Jack and Jenn (Storey) Gillis. He graduated from MICDS in 2016 and was attending the University of Kansas where he was a member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. As a lifelong member of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, he served as an acolyte even during college.

Charlie was a talented artist and an accomplished athlete with a bright and curious mind. He played football, was captain of the track and field team and an All-State pole vaulter in high school at MICDS. He had a great love of the Adirondacks and Camp Dudley (Westport, NY), where he was camper #20804, an Aide, Junior Leader and member of the Hike Hut. His heart was enormous, and he loved his friends and family far and wide from St. Louis and MICDS to KU to Camp Dudley to Williamstown to Seattle and all over the world. Whether scaling a tree, strumming his ukulele, vaulting over a pole or careening down a ski slope, he lived in the moment with an unwavering sense of freedom, fearlessness, passion and joy. Ever resourceful and independent, Charlie expressed a magnetic combination of creativity and playfulness. These endearing qualities and his boundless love of humanity drew people to him. He will always be remembered as a compassionate, generous friend and loving family member. Charlie truly lived by Camp Dudley’s beloved motto, “The Other Fellow First.”

Charlie is survived by his parents, Jack and Jenn, his brothers, Matt and Henry, and his sister, Sara. He leaves his paternal grandparents, John and Nicki Gillis, also of St. Louis, as well as his maternal grandparents, John and Martha Storey of Williamstown, MA. Numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins were an important part of his life; he is carried with love and is part of each and every one of them: Suzanne Gillis and Greg Sterne, Jessica and Matt Storey, Jessica and Blair Dils, Genevieve Sterne, Alice Sterne, Tommy Dils, Miranda Dils, Sam Dils, Ellie Storey, Rachel Storey and Carter Storey. He will be remembered and honored by close friends from MICDS, Westport, Camp Dudley, Williamstown, KU and St. Louis.

A service in celebration of Charlie’s life will be held on Friday, October 5 at 2:00 p.m. in the MICDS Brauer Auditorium. Attendees should dress however they feel Charlie would want – football jerseys, Hawaiian shirts and snazzy bow ties are all perfect. Charlie loved what he loved deeply and without reserve. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation of time or treasure in Charlie’s name to an organization that is close to your heart. A few that were of importance to Charlie are Camp Dudley, MICDS, and Great Circle – we would love to know how you choose to honor him. In addition, please consider becoming an organ donor.

Other ideas for honoring Charlie include:

– recording an act of kindness in Charlie’s memory every day for a week

– #spendingmoretimeoutdoors

– #livingalittlelarger, #lovingalittlestronger, #relaxingjustabitmore


Welcome Home, The CDA Reunion

Brendan • 1 year ago • Blogs | Dudley Blog

By #15328 JD Boyle

I remember the first time I stepped foot at Camp Dudley, my father, Dave Boyle, #8928, brought me to reunion in the summer of 1990. All I knew about camp was we were blessed to have been a part of it for generations and there was a building named after my great-great-grandfather. Being a city kid from Cleveland, I wasn’t sure what to expect. In my mind, I knew I shouldn’t expect too much grandeur, so I pictured this nice, modest six story building like you would find in commercial areas in suburbs across America. After the 10-hour drive, when my father said, “We are here,” and I looked over at Witherbee Hall, my perceptions were shattered and my experiences surpassed it. Since this first reunion, I have attended well over 20 reunions including the last 18 straight.

Arriving at that first reunion, I quickly realized I knew nothing about camp. I assumed that as my father hadn’t been back to campus for over 25 years, he must not know anyone other than Willie Schmidt, who would come to our town once a year and always had a special enduring nickname just for me, “Kid”. Quickly, my perceptions were wrong again as my father was greeting and being greeted by name from strangers at distances where reading nametags was impossible. The weekend continued and so did the names just out of his memory.


As an adult, I have cherished getting to spend time with and know leaders I looked up to as a camper like Scotty Sly, Don Schmidt, Ted Smith, Ed O’Hara, and Jay Wells to name a few. I’ve been able to bond with the men that were their leaders (Warren Fuller, Mac Thayer, Bear, and Rich Maxwell). I even got to play golf with Rollie Stichway one year in the George Nelson Memorial Golf Tournament. If anyone has been able to spend an hour with that man you know how special of a time that can be. Today, I am blessed to get to spend time with former campers (David Fitzpatrick, Shane Canning, Matt McElroy, and Darryl Smalls) and see them as full-grown adults.

As a father, reunion has become even more special to me. I brought my daughter, Ainsley, up for the first time at six months of age. Davo even went out of his way to accommodate us by purchasing a pack and play, so we didn’t need to travel with one (talk about the Other Fellow First). Now, I see my daughter run around all over campus with the kids of campers and leaders that attended camp with me. She does archery, arts & crafts, boating, and swimming at Swim Point (rules are still rules). No matter how many more reunions we go to, how many more kids we have, or how old we get, I will never forget holding my daughter in my arms as she fell asleep during hymn sing.

The point of this article isn’t just to tell you about my memories at reunion, but to invite you and your family to come and make some of your own. If you are worried about you or your family not knowing someone at reunion, don’t be. The remarkable thing about Camp Dudley is as things have changed, things stay the same. I guarantee you will find someone saying your name from a distance way too far to be reading a nametag, and if by some strange reason you don’t know anyone when you get there, you will have several more friends when you leave.

#15328 JD, left, with Daughter, Ainsley, and longtime friend, #14866 James Mayo at a past CDA Reunion.

Huge congrats to JD and his wife Molly on their newest additions to the family! Twins, Thayer Hemenway Boyle &  Everett Joseph Boyle! (We see that Camp shirt too!) We look forward to seeing you at CDA Reunion 2019!


Important Update from Board Chair

Brendan • 1 year ago • Alumni | Blogs

To the Dudley/Kiniya Family:

On November 30, 2016, I wrote to share with you the troubling news that two former campers had come forward to allege that they were sexually assaulted at Dudley in the 1970s. After reviewing these allegations, the Board concluded that an external investigation was essential. This letter outlines the steps we undertook, summarizes the investigator’s conclusions and finding, and discusses our plans moving forward.

Although the investigation was prompted by highly specific reports from two separate survivors, the investigative mandate was much broader. The purpose of the external investigation was to determine what transpired and to share what we know with our community in order to determine if others suffered any instances of sexual misconduct at our Camp. It included inquiry into all allegations of sexual misconduct or inappropriate behavior that were brought to the attention of the investigator.

Charlie Updike (#8276), an attorney at Schoeman Updike Kaufman & Gerber LLP, a firm with experience investigating and addressing sexual misconduct at schools and universities, was retained as outside counsel to assist us with respect to this matter. Camp also retained T&M Protection Resources, LLC, an investigative firm with no connection to Camp, to conduct the investigation and to report its results. The Sexual Misconduct and Investigations Division of T&M is headed by Laura Kirschstein, Esq. She is a former member of the Sex Crimes Unit of the Manhattan District Attorney’s office and leads a team of former prosecutors with similar experience who specialize in such investigations. A Special Committee of the Board was appointed to oversee the process and report back to the Board.

The Board did not seek to limit T&M’s inquiry by narrowly defining “sexual misconduct” nor was T&M asked to interview only those survivors or witnesses who came forward on their own. Rather, we asked T&M to employ their extensive experience and to use their judgment as to how to carry out the investigation. No budgetary or time constraints were placed upon T&M. The goal of the investigation was to investigate and assess allegations of past misconduct so as to inform and improve our decisions going forward. T&M was also asked to review Camp’s current policies and procedures.


The Investigation

The names of the two known survivors were provided to T&M. In addition, my letter of November 30, 2016 contained contact information for Laura Kirschstein, the lead investigator at T&M, as well as a mental health professional and myself, all of whom were willing to receive reports in confidence. All persons who came forward or were contacted by Ms. Kirschstein were advised that their communications would be received and kept in confidence and their identity not disclosed unless disclosure was required by law or ordered by a judge. Over the course of a year, T&M interviewed 71 witnesses and reviewed all available documents.

We thank the survivors who courageously came forward and the witnesses who agreed to share their memories. We hope to honor and support them by putting the knowledge and insight we have gained to good use.


Report of the Investigation

At the conclusion of the investigation, T&M was asked to prepare a Report to the Board that would be shared with the entire Camp community, while respecting the privacy requests of those who came forward. T&M’s Report is specific and uses clinical language to describe the abuse found. As noted in the Report’s introduction, it is not intended for children.

T&M’s full Report is available online at https://goo.gl/BtPxmN


Summary of the Report

The Report’s key finding, conclusions and observations are as follows:

  • T&M found that Jim Flanagan, while serving as a leader at Dudley from 1969 through 1984, sexually assaulted three male campers, made sexual advances to a fourth camper and engaged in inappropriate or uninvited physical touching and boundary crossing behavior with three more campers. All of these campers were 16 years of age or younger.

 

  • The Report concludes that the actions taken by Camp’s administration when Flanagan’s abusive behavior was reported before the summer of 1985 and in 2002 were insufficient. After the first report was received during the off-season between the summers of 1984 and 1985, Flanagan’s relationship with Camp was terminated and he was banned from the campus. However, the investigation found no evidence that: (i) law enforcement was notified; (ii) any effort was made to determine whether other campers had been abused; or (iii) steps were taken in 2002 to notify Flanagan’s employers of what had occurred, even though Camp knew he was a teacher.

 

  • T&M also investigated one allegation of sexual abuse during a single summer more than fifty years ago by a 15 or 16 year old against a younger camper. Despite substantial efforts, T&M was unable to find additional reliable evidence that corroborated the younger camper’s allegation. As a result, T&M was unable to make any finding with respect to this allegation. Accordingly, T&M determined not to include any details about the events described by the camper or any additional information surrounding the allegation. To do so would almost certainly lead to the disclosure of the identities of other campers, all of whom were minors at the time of the incidents and some of whom have chosen not to participate in this investigation.

 

  • Through the investigation, T&M learned that two reports of sexual misconduct and a report of inappropriate behavior of a sexual nature were brought to Dudley’s attention at the time that each occurred. The Report notes that in each instance Dudley responded by dismissing the individuals from the Camp’s employment. The details of these incidents were not included in the Report because T&M was unable to gather sufficient evidence to support a finding in each instance.

 

  • In addition, T&M received allegations against nine other individuals within the Dudley community that ranged from firsthand accounts of sexual misconduct and boundary-crossing behaviors to isolated rumor and speculation about such behaviors that occurred since the 1950s. T&M sought to pursue these allegations to a logical conclusion but ultimately determined there was insufficient information to reach a finding of sexual misconduct for the various reasons set forth in its Report.

 

  • T&M documented other instances of misconduct reported, including games, pranks, bullying and other similar activities.

 

  • T&M received no information alleging abuse or misconduct at Kiniya at any time.

 

  • T&M received no information alleging abuse or misconduct at Dudley after 2001.

 

Camp’s Response to the Report

Camp is deeply saddened by the conclusions reached by T&M. We sincerely apologize to all of those impacted, and for Camp’s insufficient response to certain of these incidents at the time initially reported to Camp.

My November 30, 2016 letter indicated that both survivors requested confidentiality at the time they reported their abuse to Camp. The Report indicates that this may not have been the case and that memories differ with respect to what was said or requested. Furthermore, my letter can be read to suggest that such requests for confidentiality led Dudley to not conduct a wider inquiry at the time. The Board and I apologize to both of the survivors for this suggestion, as well as, for my definitive recounting of any request for confidentiality. It is clear that a goal explicitly articulated by both survivors was to protect other former and current campers. Although the prompt termination of Jim Flanagan’s association with Dudley was a decisive and necessary step that ensured the cessation of his activities at Camp, remaining silent and failing to investigate further did nothing to ensure the safety and well being of other possible survivors or potential future victims.

Although the criminal statute of limitations expired before any survivor came forward to anyone at Camp, in accordance with currently accepted practice, we have notified law enforcement personnel of the reported abuse by Jim Flanagan. As of this writing, we are not aware of any further investigation being undertaken by law enforcement. In addition, Camp is notifying all known past and current employers of Jim Flanagan of this Report and its finding.

The fact that T&M has not received allegations about sexual misconduct since 2001 is not grounds for complacency. Rather, it may warrant cautious optimism that our current policies and procedures are effective. In addition, as the Report notes, beginning in 1995, Dudley became increasingly conscious that certain activities that are described in the Report (e.g., inappropriate games, pranks, teasing and bullying) were not consistent with Camp’s motto or values and could be harmful. Camp has continued to actively encourage a more sensitive culture to make Camp physically and emotionally safe for all.

Because of T&M’s expertise and experience with respect to sexual abuse and related issues, we asked them to review Camp’s current policies, procedures and training. T&M has concluded that Dudley and Kiniya have a strong set of policies and procedures and engage in effective training and education of staff about topics related to sexual abuse, including appropriate interaction between staff and campers, and guidelines for camper-employee physical contact. As part of these policies and the attendant training, both campers and staff are encouraged to report concerns of inappropriate behavior to Camp senior staff. Our current policies can be found on our website. Either of our Directors or I would be happy to address any questions and to hear your suggestions on how to improve them.

We deeply regret that anyone at Dudley experienced any form of abuse or misconduct. Although additional survivors at Dudley have already come forward, there may still be others suffering alone and in silence. The contacts listed in the November 30, 2016 letter remain available. We stand ready to listen to you and to support you, and will respect your privacy in the process, as may be requested.

Appropriate relationships and trust between our campers, leaders and staff are cornerstones of Camp’s mission and core values. The care and safety of the young people in our charge is Dudley’s and Kiniya’s highest priority. With humility, resolve, and continuous learning we endeavor to uphold and strengthen the Camp’s mission, motto and core values.

Sincerely,

Q

Matt Quigley, #10643
Chair, Camp Dudley Board of Trustees


Summer 2018 Dudley Staff Openings

egeorge • 2 years ago • Announcements | Blogs | Dudley Blog | Uncategorized

Camp Dudley is seeking team-oriented individuals to facilitate programming at our beautiful camp.  Must enjoy working with youth, with a secondary role as a positive role model for young people in a community dedicated to character and leadership development. Must be able to work independently and with a team.

We are currently looking for individuals to fill the following positions…

  • Security
  • Theater Tech
  • Lifeguards
  • Kitchen Helper/Dishwasher

Security: Seeking individuals who have experience in security and safety. Roles include Camp Dudley’s night watch program and leading camper, personnel, and facility safety. Must enjoy working with a team, be able to respond effectively to emergencies, and pitching in wherever help is needed. See full job description here.

Theater Tech: Seeking individual who has experience in theater lighting, sound design, and/or stage teach. Must enjoy sharing knowledge and love of the theater with youth! Role includes managing and maintaining the stage tech program in Witherbee Hall, our 400 seat theater throughout the summer months and planning and teaching activities for campers to participate in meaningful and fun ways. Must enjoy working with a team and pitching in wherever help is needed. See full job description here.

Lifeguard (multiple positions available): Seeking individuals who have current lifeguard certification to cover a busy lakeside waterfront. Lifeguards are responsible for providing supervision and ensuring a safe environment for all swimming activities and assist in the management of the physical operation and care for equipment. Lifeguards may also assist in conducting swimming lessons (WSI required) and help run all-camp events at the waterfront. Current lifeguard certification or equivalent required and current first aid and CPR required. See full job description here.

Kitchen Helper/Dishwasher: This is an entry-level food service position that is responsible for maintaining a high level of cleanliness in the kitchen. The kitchen helper is responsible for washing breakfast and lunch dishes, other dishes throughout the shift, mopping, accomplishing a schedule of tasks that promote kitchen cleanliness and organization, and assisting other food service staff as needed. Someone in this position will be exposed to cleaning compounds (we strive to use as many environmentally friendly cleaning products as possible), and a hot/humid environment at times during the workday. Physical demands include lifting/carrying 50# sacks, moving heavy trays of product, being on one’s feet for long periods, loading/unloading heavy objects from hot ovens and dishwashers. S/he must understand and support the mission of Camp Dudley.Knowledge, Skills, Abilities Familiarity with the dynamics of a professional kitchen is a plus. Attributes sought for this position are a willingness to learn, time/space management skills, physical stamina, a friendly temperament, a desire to help out where needed, and the ability to be a positive member of a cohesive team.

Interested in these positions?

Please contact Evan George
Leadership, Admissions & Program Director
Camp Dudley
[email protected]


2018 Father/Son Weekend Recap

Brendan • 2 years ago • Alumni | Blogs

 

In late February, a hearty group of fathers and sons gathered in Westport for a weekend of fellowship and fun in MacLean Lodge. This annual gathering has become a highlight for many families and included fathers and sons who will be coming to Camp for the first time as well as fathers and sons who have spent many happy summers at Dudley already. Though there wasn’t much snow on the ground the group managed to have plenty of fun.

Saturday started with a Chapel Talk from the one-and-only Scott Sylvester and then the group headed out to Main Campus for some games with Dave “Fu” Langston’s, a walk around campus, and a few highly competitive rounds of father vs. son Bombardment in the Sommer Dome. The afternoon included trips to Stacy Brook and the maple sugaring operation at Dave Langston’s house. The day finished with a vesper led by Finn and Dennis Ryan. Then on Sunday we had a quick and low-key morning chapel service before folks hit the road.

Throughout the weekend fathers, sons, and staff alike were treated to some great meals prepared by Josh Olcott. Thanks to everyone who made the effort to be there and join in the fun!

Check out all the pictures from the weekend HERE. Special thanks to #12494 David Gray for his contributions to the gallery!


Thoughts About Your Year End Gift to Camp

Brendan • 2 years ago • Alumni | Blogs

 

Many of our parents, alums and friends are considering their year end giving plan. Here are some considerations as you evaluate your own giving.

  1. Gift Impact at Dudley and Kiniya

The impact that any gift has at Dudley and Kiniya is huge. Our comparative small size makes the impact of an individual donor’s philanthropy significant when compared to larger organizations. We are fond of saying that “Every Gift Matters” and we mean it.   

  1.  A Great Time to Give Appreciated Securities to Dudley and Kiniya

The US and Global stock markets have enjoyed another banner year.  All in all, most stock markets are up 20% or more this year, and some individual stocks, ETFs (exchange traded funds) and Mutual Funds are up even more than this.  This makes the current environment a favorable time to donate appreciated securities.  Since the Financial Crisis, many stocks and stock markets are up over 300%!!!  Donating appreciated securities (stocks, ETFs or mutual fund shares) to our BFTF Campaign (or to a donor advised fund and then to the Campaign) could mean that no tax should be due on any of the embedded capital gains.  Please consult your financial advisor to confirm your individual circumstances. Camp makes it easy to transfer appreciated securities. The directions for your broker are at www.campdudley.org/givestock.

  1.  TODAY We KNOW the Rules About Tax Deductions

Tax reform is in the news every day.  We don’t know if it will occur, or what changes might be enacted.  We do know that some of the “untouchable deductibles” such as state and local taxes, 401(k) contributions, mortgage interest and even possible limits on the deductibility of charitable contributions are part of the conversation.  Acting now gives you and other donors the benefit of current tax law so the tax deductibility of donations can be understood and considered as part of the gift. Once again, please consult your personal tax advisor about details. While we can’t predict the future, we do know that there have been many unexpected surprises over the past year.  Never say never!

  1. IRA Charitable Rollover Gift Option Can Benefit Camp If Available to You

A gift of retirement plan assets may be an easy way to reduce potentially high taxes and provide support to the Building for the Future Capital Campaign. If you are at age 70½ or older, and are the owner of a Traditional IRA (or inherited Traditional IRA), and do not need all or part of your required minimum distribution, you should be able to make tax-free IRA contributions directly to qualified public charities, such as Camp Dudley, Inc. Each age-eligible IRA owner can usually transfer up to $100,000 tax free per tax year. Your IRA gift must be completed on or before December 31 of the calendar year in which you choose to utilize the IRA Charitable Rollover gift vehicle for tax purposes. The check must be made payable directly to Camp Dudley, Inc. or to the Camp Dudley Foundation. You can only make outright gifts. Consult your personal tax advisor about details.

  1.  Accelerated Pledges Help Camp and Might Help You Too!

We would LOVE to have you involved in the Building For The Future Capital Campaign!  We are well on our way towards our $10mm+ goal, although we have procured some bank financing to “bring forward” several strategic projects (e.g. The Coleman Dining Hall at Camp Kiniya). This will ultimately be repaid through the BFTF Capital Campaign.  Your pledge can help ensure that we meet all of the goals of the Campaign, including paying off all of the bank financing by the end of the Campaign.  Pledges can be fulfilled through 2021, although if you have the financial flexibility, we would be extremely grateful if you could accelerate the fulfillment of your pledge to take advantage of today’s tax deductions.  

Most of all, THANK YOU for considering supporting our Camps’ Annual Fund and the Building For The Future Capital Campaign.  Gifts from any of these sources can be applied to either.  We will honor your request.  We are fortunate to have such a generous and passionate group of alumni, parents, grandparents, families, and friends!

Camp Dudley and Camp Kiniya do not provide tax, legal, or financial advice. We strongly encourage our donors to seek counsel from their own legal and financial advisors.  If choosing to use one of these gift opportunities, please check with your lawyer or tax advisor to assure implementing such a gift achieves the desired result.

Ways to Give

Gifts of Appreciated Securities – Details for you & your broker are here.

Credit Card Gifts Online – Visit our online giving page here.

Gifts by Check – Send your check to Camp Dudley, Inc., 126 Dudley Road, Westport, NY 12993

Deferred or Planned Gifts – Learn about the Beckman Society here or request more information.


2017 -18 Open House Dates!

Brendan • 2 years ago • Alumni | Blogs

One of our greatest off-season traditions is our annual Open House Tour. Each fall and winter we hold events in cities and towns all across the country (and world). These Open Houses serve two purposes: a chance for new campers and families to learn more about our camps and an opportunity for current campers, parents, and alums to reconnect.

To view the tour dates, click here.


New Building Dedications Bookend 2017 Summer

Brendan • 2 years ago • Alumni | Announcements | Blogs

Exciting things are happening to the property at Dudley and Kiniya!

Just before Camp opened in June, Marnie and her team dedicated the Coleman Dining Hall. This amazing structure stands as a tribute to Gail Coleman, Food Service Director at Kiniya for 25 years and still going strong! The Coleman Dining Hall fills a critical need in updating Kiniya’s food service capacities and now provides a grand space for everything from meals to a gathering point for friends. It also offers one of the best sunset viewing spots on Campus!

Coleman Dining Hall

Immediately following the 2017 summer at Dudley, Matt dedicated the Henry S. Poler Leadership Barn. The flexible structure has many uses. It was designed to be the headquarters for the Farm-to-Plate majors, an evening and day off retreat center for leaders, and the launch platform for NOLS and off campus exchange programs. In September 2017, it will be the home of the GAP Program. “Hank’s Barn” stands to meet many needs at Dudley and offers a grand view of the “Yum Yum Tree,” upper fields and nearby mountains in NY and VT.

Henry S. Poler Leadership Barn

Both these critical facilities are components of the Building for the Future Capital Campaign (BFTF) that is currently underway. Learn more about the Capital Campaign here.


Athletics Update

Brendan • 2 years ago • Blogs

Dudley

One of the highlights of the Camp Dudley season occurs when boys are assigned to a team for daily competition within their division. The games played range from soccer, baseball, basketball, lacrosse, flag football, ultimate frisbee to water polo. Better yet are the team names to which they will now show their allegiance for the rest of the session. Our Juniors and Seniors choose team names from the pantheon of Camp’s athletics legends– Mott, McCutcheon, Prior and Gherke, to name a few. Cub and Plebe leaders are allowed to show more creativity, and this session we’ll see highly anticipated match-ups featuring Zesty versus 2 Pops, Fooslang versus Bingo Game Night, and Double Dutch versus Sturz Local 62. The boys fully embrace these team competitions, and they will have fond memories of the great times they shared with their mates on the fields and courts and diamonds in Westport.

 

 

Kiniya

Athletics is off to a great start at Kiniya! We are psyched to have expanded our fields to the entrance of Camp and added basketball lines to one of our back tennis courts allowing divisions to be playing the same sport at the same time. By now, campers have had the opportunity to play each of our 4 team sports, basketball, softball, soccer, and lacrosse. In addition to these team sports, we are offering a field hockey athletics major for the first time this year. We are so glad to provide these offerings for those preparing for the fall season and those trying something new. Next up, let the track meets begin! Keep your fingers crossed for great weather for the rest of the session and summer!







2017 Winter Leadership Trip Recap

Brendan • 2 years ago • Blogs

Last month, we welcomed the Winter Leadership Trip to campus, joining in on some Dudley fun, Adirondack adventures, and leadership training ahead of the coming summer. ALs and Leaders rolled in on Thursday night, greeted by a feast thanks to Josh Olcott. After dinner, the young men planned out a mid-winter Adirondack hike for the next day, prepped all of the gear, organized the logistics, and set leadership roles for the experience. We capped off the night around the Maclean fireplace with a vesper led by Evan George.

After Evan’s Chapel Talk on Friday morning, we set out for ADK Loj with snowshoes, hot bowls of chili, and a course set to Phelps Mountain. The weather was unseasonably warm and rainy, but our spirits were high as the men reveled in the spirit of Dudley reunion. We bagged the peak in the early afternoon and headed down the mountain with a strong sense of accomplishment. That night, Mason Marsh led us in a fantastic vesper on leadership qualities.

Saturday morning kicked off with a Chapel Talk from Sam Widing, some hot breakfast, and a CPR course led by KotzE. By lunchtime, we were CPR certified and ready for a First Aid course. But first, we checked out the Leadership Barn, which is coming together incredibly well. We were all excited to see the progress and to imagine the possibilities during this upcoming summer. That night, after a long day of learning, we opened up the gym for some good old fashioned pick-up soccer. With some newly constructed barriers along the courtside thanks to Jeff Schwoebel, the court was perfect for fast play. Following some fierce competition and plenty of laughs, Evan gave us a preview of the summer to come, and Will Harrigan led us in a final vesper on the beauty of diverse perspectives.

We capped off the trip the following morning with an informal Sunday Chapel service down at Swim Point, a jog down the Dudley Road, and a thorough white glove clean up of the Lodge. Thanks to all who joined in, who helped out, and who made this trip possible.


2017 Father/Son Weekend Recap

Brendan • 3 years ago • Alumni | Blogs


Once again, we held our Father/Son Weekend during the first weekend in February. This annual tradition has proven to be a highlight of our off-season programming. Each year we’re joined by both current and former campers and their fathers as well as new campers and their fathers who have never been on campus before. It’s a combination that makes for some wonderful fellowship and fun. Add in some winter outdoor adventure and some amazing meals from our Food Service Director, #14962 Josh Olcott and you’ve got the makings of a pretty special 36 hours in Westport, NY.
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We try to build the program to touch on aspects of camp life. On Friday night our Gap Program Director, #18794 Tom McDonough, led us in a vesper. On Saturday, we started the day with a Chapel Talk from #11264 Davo and then we headed out to Greeley Pond (at the top the Stacy Brook property) for ice skating. That was followed by a trip to the home of our Development Director, #10555 Dave “Fu” Langston for some lunch and an opportunity to learn about his maple syrup production and to help him tap a few trees. The afternoon also featured a fierce Father vs. Son floor hockey game and then, in the evening, we were led by #24231 Zane Sylvester and #12931 Scott Sylvester in a vesper, which was followed by some great music. A short Chapel Service on Sunday morning wrapped up the weekend. Thanks to everyone who made the effort to be here and to all those who made it happen!
 
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Check out some photos of the event here.


Off-Season Inspiration – January, 2017

Brendan • 3 years ago • Alumni | Blogs

willa-webChapel Talk written by #22008 Willa McKinley (Left)

Good morning, Camp Dudley. For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Willa McKinley and I live in Adams, that forbidden cabin that stands to the left of maintenance. When I was writing this chapel talk I was trying to figure out how many years I’ve worked at Dudley and I settled on that this is my 6th consecutive year at camp. But I think that number fails to represent the 21 years I’ve spent year-round in these gates. This morning I’d like to talk to you all about perspective, and first I’m going to share a fictional story that I found on the internet:

“Once upon a time, five blind men came upon an elephant.

“What is this?” asked the first one, who had run head first into its side.

“It’s an elephant.” said the elephant’s keeper, who was sitting on a stool, cleaning the elephant’s harness.

“Wow, so this is an Elephant! I’ve always wondered what Elephants are like.” said the man, running his hands as far as he could reach up and down the elephant’s side. “Why, it’s just like a wall, a large, warm wall!”

“What do you mean, a wall?” said the second man, wrapping his arms around the elephant’s leg. “This is nothing like a wall. You can’t reach around a wall! This is more like a pillar. Yeah, that’s it, an elephant is exactly like a pillar!”

“A pillar? Strange kind of pillar!” said the third man, stroking the elephant’s trunk. “It’s too thin, for one thing, and it’s too flexible for another. If you think this is a pillar, I don’t want to go to your house! This is more like a snake. See, it’s wrapping around my arm. An elephant is just like a snake!”

“Snakes don’t have hair!” said the fourth man in disgust, pulling the elephant’s tail. “You are closer than the others, but I’m surprised that you missed the hair. This isn’t a snake, it’s a rope. Elephants are exactly like ropes.”

“I don’t know what you guys are on!” the fifth man cried, waving the elephant’s ear back and forth. “It’s as large as a wall, all right, but thin as a leaf, and no more flexible than any piece of cloth this size should be. I don’t know what’s wrong with all of you, but no one except a complete idiot could mistake an elephant for anything except a sail!”

And as the elephant moved on, they stumbled along down the road, arguing more vehemently as they went, each sure that he, and he alone, was right and all the others were wrong”

Now, I want you to picture camp as this elephant and all of you as the blind men. Similar to the story of the elephant, your individual perspectives of camp probably differ depending on who you are and where you come from, but you’re all experiencing a common elephant, that of camp Dudley. Perhaps many of you share a very similar perspective of coming to camp that goes something like this- you were 10.5 when you made the long drive thru the Adirondacks to the upper fields, there you received the name of a cabin where you would spend the next 3.5 weeks and where your mom made your bed for you, for the first and the last time your bed was ever neat that summer…and the rest is history as you are all here today.

Today however, I want to offer you my perspective. In many ways, I represent everything that Camp Dudley is not. I am not a boy, my first time at camp was not when I was a 10.5 year old cub, I do not experience the dreadful ride home from camp that Connor Smith so accurately described in his 2014 chapel talk, I started working at camp a year younger than staff members are typically hired, I have a bed in both Adams and also at my permanent residence just 5 miles from here, I come before pre-season starts and I stay later than the last CDA reunion-goer, because I am a local. As you can see, my perspective of Camp Dudley is probably very different from all of yours, and I’d like to focus on the two reasons that stand out the most to me; being a girl at an all-boys camp, and being a local.

Some of you may be wondering, what is it like being a female working at Dudley?

Well, the obvious differences are I’ve never been a leader, I’ve never been a camper. But I’ve also never coached a team here, I’ve never run an extravaganza or council ring, and perhaps most obviously I am only an observer of the friendships you create amongst the leaders and with your campers.

As for being a local and working at camp? I see camp with the glowing buzz of summer and happy campers, contrasted with the silent, snowy whiteness of winter. For most of you, Dudley is probably the extent to which you know Westport, yet from a local’s perspective camp is literally its own civilization, cut off from the rest of Westport (although this is changing as Dudley gets more involved in the local community). Camp brings heavy business and money 6 days out of the year (including opening day, changeover, and closing day) as the Inns and bed and breakfasts are bustling with eager parents. Thus, as a local Camp Dudley is a limb to a whole body, a small part of a much bigger culture that extends into a community, into a county, into the Adirondacks, and into the world. For many of you, camp is the beginning and the end here in Westport; for locals there is a bigger world right here in this small town.

My perspective of Dudley is heavily influenced by who I am and the fact that I grew up here. Because of who I am, I will have a different summer here than all of you. But, similar to the lesson in the story of the elephant, that doesn’t make any one summer better or worse or any one perception of camp right or wrong. By offering you my perspective, I give you another piece of the elephant, the eye let’s say. This year at camp I urge you to discover a unique perspective of camp or your own piece of the elephant, one that is created by your individual experiences. In 3 days you will meet 300 boys who will all have their own ideas of camp, help them create their stories and evolve their experiences. As you open your mind to the perceptions of fellow leaders, campers, and staff members, piece by piece and story by story you work toward a bird’s eye view of the whole elephant.

I’d like to conclude with a quote from JK Rowling so please bow your heads, “The world is full of wonderful things you haven’t seen yet. Don’t ever give up on the chance of seeing them.” Amen.



Camp Dudley News Sneak Peak

Brendan • 3 years ago • Alumni | Blogs

The following article can be found in our Fall – 2016 Camp Dudley News.

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Champlain Area Trails Creates Trails All Can Enjoy

By Chris Maron, CATS Executive Director

Imagine being in a part of the Adirondacks where there are fabulous views but hardly any hiking trails.  Pretty sad, right?  Well, welcome to the Champlain Valley ten years ago, just before Champlain Area Trails (CATS) began making trails.  

“When I moved here in 2000, #7973 Tim Barnett took me to Middle Road, in Essex, said Chris Maron, CATS’ Executive Director. “He pointed toward Westport and continued pointing as he rotated in a circle and said, ‘We’ve had a dream of a 30-mile loop-trail from Westport to Essex, going along the lake and back along Boquet Mountain.”

That dream moved toward reality in 2006 when Steven Kellogg and Bruce Klink, of Essex, were both reading the chapter in Bill McKibben’s Wandering Home about walking through Essex and Westport.  It inspired them to gather friends together to consider making trails.

The group concluded that the Champlain Valley had few trails because as the last addition to the Adirondack Park, it was mostly private property.  They decided to do something new—to create a network of hiking trails on mostly private landThey noted that the Eddy Foundation owned 2500 acres that could be the beginning of the trail corridor between Essex and Westport.  With Eddy approval, they hiked the landagreed upon trail routes, and recruited volunteers to create a six-miletrail.

In 2009, they incorporated CATS as a non-profit organization that creates hiking/skiing trails that link communities, connect people with nature, and promote economic vitality.  CATS soon became an accredited land trust that protects natural communities, farmland, and scenic vistas.

“Making trails and saving land are inextricably linked,” said Maron.  “As people hike, they support conserving land which allows for more trails and builds more support for land conservation.”

After seven years, CATS has developed 30 new trails covering over 45 miles.  Camp Dudley campers and Leaders have helped build some of those trails include a winter trail-clearing project that createdthe Three Creeks Trail.

CATS publishes a Trail Map annually showing its trails and other local trails. To promote hiking between communities, CATS has organized five “Grand Hikes” where as many as 250 people have walked from town to town on trails, farm lanes, and roads.  

In 2015, #15017 Evan George became Chair of CATS Board of Directors.  I’m honored to serve the community in this way. Champlain Area Trails provide a great variety of hiking/skiing experiencesthroughout the yearPeople can hike up to spectacular vistas or enjoy walking by beaver ponds, rock walls, and lush forests.  There are long, strenuous trails Dudley campers would like and shorter, easier hikes their parents might prefer.”  

To learn more about CATS, visit its website, www.ChamplainAreaTrails.com.



Kiniya Extravaganza!

Brendan • 3 years ago • Blogs
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If there’s somethin’ strange in your neighborhood

Who ya gonna call… Ghostbusters!
If it’s somethin’ weird and it don’t look good
Who ya gonna call… Ghostbusters!

In light of the female studded version of Ghostbusters in theaters now, featuring Melissa McCarthy and former Saturday Night Live cast members, the leaders of junior village decided to make their ganza this session about all things spooky.

For those who have never been to Camp Kiniya, ganza is short for extravaganza, because the activities are quite extravagant. Leaders, staff and campers all get dressed up to match whatever theme is chosen and participate in all sorts of activities that go along with said theme.

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As you can see here, Hanna, the department head of Junior Village has converted one of the camp’s leaf blowers into a ghost zapper. Creative!

Ganza’s are always a ton of fun and allow the girls to spend time with each other as an entire village. They usually last half the day, but when they happen is a surprise!

– #23621 Elaine Ezerins


Spreading the Motto

Brendan • 3 years ago • Blogs

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This past Thursday night I had a new camp experience: I lead my first cabin vesper, (shout out to Yale cabin!). Walking down to the cabin, the sky was fading to a light pink, meanwhile my nerves were skyrocketing. Having never lead one before I was worried about a lot of things: not having a good enough topic, the campers not wanting to participate, stumbling over my words…the apprehensions were endless. Finally I arrived at the cabin, tried my best to put my worries from my five minute walk behind me, and lightly knocked on the door.

The JL opened the door, smiled brightly, and invited me inside, while also instructing the boys to circle up. I anxiously muttered that this was my first time leading one and the whole cabin reassured me that it was fine, that they were excited, and that I was going to be great. I felt a wave of relief and settled in to their circle on my own Crazy Creek chair.

All it took was that encouragement from the kids I was presenting to and I immediately felt comfortable and finally excited to share my thoughts with them. They were equally as eager to share with me, and the vesper moved along, while everybody to a turn talking, laughing, and encouraging one another. When it came time for the ending pray, one of the campers enthusiastically asked to lead it, and then they all thanked me for joining them. I was touched by their kindness and walked back across main campus with a bright, satisfied smile on my face.

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As I walked I thought about what a fantastic representative of the Dudley motto: The Other Fellow First, my experience that night had been. Knowing that I was nervous, the boys of Yale cabin put my needs before their own and made sure I was comfortable, that they all contributed, and that I left feeling confident about what I had presented.

As the week went on I noticed the daily acts of this motto all around me more and more. In particular, at Swim Point, kids would share tubes with one another, teach their buddy how to sneak up on a fish, or even give pointers to and loudly cheer on those attempting to pass their swim tests. Every time I witnessed a moment of this motto use I thought back to my cabin vesper fondly.

I then decided to ask some campers what the motto meant to them personally, and as expected, I received a plethora of answers. One camper mentioned that the camp motto meant, “making sure his buddy was having equal or more fun than he was,” another said it meant, “encouraging their friends to try new things, because they knew they would succeed at the tasks they were faced with.” Another comment that stuck out to me was one kid saying it meant, “making sure those having a bad day had somebody to talk to that could make them have a good day, because it is camp after all!”

I agreed and once again thought back to my own personal experience. Those kids in the cabin knew I was nervous, and made sure I was not before I began talking to them that night. I could not have asked for a better and more positive first cabin vesper, and I have those kids to thank. With that in mind, I think no matter where we travel in life and no matter what we are doing, we should always take the meanings of the Camp Dudley motto with us. As I sign off for the summer, and head to a job opportunity in San Diego, CA, I know I will be taking the motto with me, and I hope you all will too. Thanks for being a great audience; it has been another phenomenal summer at the D-U-D!

Written by #22835 Alexa Mitchell

Best of luck on your new job, Alexa! We’re going to miss you!


All is good from Camp Kiniya!

Brendan • 3 years ago • Blogs

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Welcome back 2nd session! We’re so excited to see familiar and fresh faces at Camp Kiniya this summer.

Opening day went off without a hitch. The sun was shining making swim tests all the more enjoyable. All of our campers are now settled in their cabins, getting to know their new cabin mates and and making “summer sisters” for years to come!

Yesterday we played, “Where the wind blows” and got to know each other’s names, hobbies, pets, and favorite colors. It was great to see what makes us the individuals that we are, but also see how much we have in common with others at camp this summer.

In the coming days we’ll be exploring all that camp has to offer while getting going on art and individual majors!

-#23621 Elaine Ezerins


Time flies at Camp Kiniya

Brendan • 3 years ago • Blogs

The first session of camp has come to a close. Where did all the time go? Here’s a look at some of the activities that the girls were doing in the final week.

 


Family Bonding at Camp Dudley

Brendan • 3 years ago • Blogs

Just when we thought the first session of camp would last forever, one of the most bittersweet parts of the summer has fallen upon us…parent’s weekend. Finally, the staff has got every kids name down and knows which campers prefer to lead their soccer team in victories to which prefer to belt out the high notes on the Witherbee stage. While the boys now know their way around camp and how to make sure they trick their leaders into giving them double store for the week. It seems as if camp has just started, but suddenly three and a half weeks have flown by and the boys are hastily running around their cabins looking for their missing socks and preparing to see their siblings again. Yet, the most interesting thing about this past weekend was not seeing the reuniting of look “alikes,” but rather getting the chance to talk with the parents of these young kids.

Many of the parents I stumbled upon Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning had gone to camp themselves as young cubs. Some had not been back to camp since they were leaders themselves, years before. They talked about how different camp looked now, to them. One older man who used to work at Swim Point told me about how there were never docks up to create a swimming area, with one dock, and a leader or two helping him to guard. Another parent who had started as a cub and was proud to have worked his way up to leadership, laughed as he told me about how they used to sleep in tents and yurts, all sprawled about the floor, being careful to step on as few fellow campers as possible when getting up in the middle of the night. Fathers and mothers alike told me about how excited they were when they found out their younger cub was going to be in the same cabin that their older junior had been in a few years before. “Yes, we have another Cutler cabin cub!” one mom exclaimed to me when talking about the excitement they had felt back at the beginning of the summer.

Some parents discussed the lineage of campers that had gone through their family trees, from campers to leaders to staff members, it seemed everybody had a connection to camp and was more than happy to have shared their own sons with a place they knew they too would grow to cherish. They even brought their younger sons who were not old enough to attend camp yet, pointing out different camp landmarks and mentioning something they remembered about it when they were younger.

Walking about campus I could hear siblings talking about what bunk had been theirs when they were in the same cabin as their younger brothers, parents asking junior and assistant leaders how excited they were to be a leader one day, while reflecting back on those similar feelings they had, had years before, and even grandparents exclaiming about how different camp sights had become more modern, but still reminded them of their own camp days. Everybody was all smiles and laughs, as the sun shined down on the glistening camper trunks about them.

I was fascinated by this family bonding and knew it was what made Dudley so special. Being able to share a place with your children that they hear you talk about for years when they are younger, but that they cannot quite comprehend until they experience it themselves is something truly special. Personally, having the chance to interact with all these different camp numbers this past weekend reminded me of that, and although the first session of the summer had come to a close, I was overjoyed for the second session to be quickly upon us come Tuesday, as I knew the family connections and stories would only continue to enthrall me!

Written by #22835 Alexa Mitchell
Video production by #15877 Brendan Loughman


Kiniya Wednesday Night Show Spotlight

Brendan • 3 years ago • Blogs

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Wednesday Night Shows are an opportunity for girls to creatively express themselves. They can be best described as talent variety shows that are held in the Lodge, where Campers, Leaders and Staff put on a performance.

Acts range from singing, dancing, performing the Camp Kiniya Rap and everything in between. Karate, flutes and guitar strumming duos have graced the stage of the Lodge. Some recite poetry and other girls pair up with their summer sisters and put on a short skit. Anything goes.

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Wednesday Night Shows are a chance for girls to show off their talents, such as a new song they’ve been practicing in the Studio during free choice, or to goof off and have a fun, rememberable time with their friends.

Almost every single camper, between the Wednesday and Saturday Night Shows, will get the chance to stand under the lights at some point over the summer. And staff members often use the shows to step over onto their silly side as well.

The girls will also never get a better audience than the rest of camp watching. There is an outpour of love, laughs, cheers and screams when each girl starts and finishes their act, making each girl feel encouraged and supported.

By #23621 Elaine Ezerins


A trip to the Camp Kiniya High Ropes Course

Brendan • 3 years ago • Blogs

The Outdoors Program is one of four pillars at Camp Dudley at Kiniya. In the program, girls spend time summiting mountains, exploring the woods, climbing rock faces and navigating controlled challenges.

It takes the encouragement from an entire cabin, friends cheering each other on, for the girls to make it all the way through the course. And at the end, when the girls reflect on the experience, they realize they can take some of what they learned, and apply it in their cabins and every day life.

Here is a little look into what the experience is like for girls, high up in the sky on a Saturday afternoon.Thanks Cabin Coyne and the Outdoor Staff for letting me tag along on your “challenge by choice” journey.

By #23621 Elaine Ezerins

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