Dudley & Kiniya

Dudley & Kiniya

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Important Update from Board Chair

Brendan • 1 week 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 • 1 month 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…

  • Ceramics Instructor
  • Lifeguards
  • Sailing and Boating Instructors
  • Climbing Instructor
  • Challenge Course Instructor Position
  • Kitchen Helper/Dishwasher

Ceramics Instructor: Seeking individual who has experience teaching art, with a particular emphasis on ceramics. Must enjoy sharing knowledge and love of ceramics with youth! Role includes managing and maintaining the ceramics equipment and the arts and crafts center throughout the summer months and planning and teaching activities for campers to participate in meaningful and fun ways. This includes teaching 1 hour classes 8 times a week. 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.

Sailing and Boating Instructors (multiple positions available): Seeking individuals who can manage the operations of our boathouse and boating program and a real focus on safety. Boathouse staff are responsible for providing supervision and ensuring a safe environment for all boating activities and manage the physical operation and care for all boating equipment. Boathouse instructors must be experienced on the water in multiple types of watercraft and must be familiar with the safe operation of a powerboat. Current powerboat certification or equivalent required. Candidates with current lifeguarding certification, CPR, and first aid preferred, but Dudley can also supply training. We are particularly looking for people with strong sailing backgrounds for this role. See full Sailing Instructor job description here and full Boating Instructor job description here.

Climbing Instructor: Seeking individual who can manage the operations of our climbing program. The head climbing instructor will be responsible for management of the Dudley climbing program, which includes an indoor climbing wall as well as weekly trips to Adirondack crags. The head climbing instructor must be experienced with coordinating and leading climbing trips and will also be responsible for the safety protocols for the entire climbing program. Current climbing certifications required. See full job description here.

Challenge Course Instructor Position: Seeking an individual with background and/or interest in challenge course (ropes course) facilitation to run groups on both low and high elements. Safety comes first, fun and laughter second. Must foster a supportive environment where youth are invited to step out of their comfort zone and try new things. This position will assist trips and logistics, with the opportunity to go on multi-day trips if needed. Must learn and uphold Camp Dudley operating procedures, as well as High 5 challenge course safety and maintenance protocols. Knowledge of climbing equipment and hardware as well as challenge course safety a plus. 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 months 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 • 5 months 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 • 7 months 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 • 8 months 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 • 10 months 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 • 1 year 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 • 1 year 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 • 1 year 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 • 1 year ago • Alumni | Blogs

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

CATS-usm

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 • 2 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 • 2 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 • 2 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 • 2 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 • 2 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 • 2 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 • 2 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

Humans of Camp Kiniya #1

Brendan • 2 years ago • Blogs

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Barbara “Bunny”, 11 from cabin Willmott recited four passages from Shakespeare’s play Twelfth Night, saying it’s her favorite play. 

Why did you recite Shakespeare at the last Wednesday Night Show?
I feel that it exercises my mind. So it kind of helps me have small winds. Small winds is how my dad refers to it. You know when you have a good feeling when you made a goal? I want to have more of that because it makes me happier.
Why do you like about the WNS and the drama department?
I like the variety because at my school, we can only do singing, nothing else… I like how you can in participate in plays and people can see you perform cause thats really good for exercising my small winds.

Sounds of Camp

Brendan • 2 years ago • Blogs

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It was a beautiful sunshine-filled day at camp, no breeze filling the air, and not a cloud in sight of the light blue skies. I was delighted as I had an activity block off and decided a walk around the winding paths of camp would be my choice to fill my time. However, it was my ears that became heavenly pleased that late morning.

As I walked up the wood chips from Swim Point I heard the crashing of kayaks against one another, as they were scrapped across the sand and brought into the chilly-blue lake water. Boys were shouting to their buddies to, “wait-up!” as they clambered onto paddle-boards and took off to brave the waves that the boat would be sure to have for them to ride.

Coming upon the MOP next, a crowd of boys were speaking intensely, as they practiced scenes for this week’s play. They laughed when they forget a line or misplaced a word, but quickly got back on track, with help from this week’s directors, as they knew there was a lot of memorization and character building to be done before Saturday evening.

Crossing mid-campus a cub baseball game was just getting underway to my left. Metal bat against rubber balls could be loudly heard ringing across campus, as cleats raced and slid around the dirt lined path to the new base. Young voices shouted at one another to, “keep on running!” as the ball in play soared through the air before landing softly within the padded glove of an outstretched arm that would whip it back through the air to home plate.

Coming up the steps of Witherbee, porch sitters fiddled on guitars, and laughed at ideas they passed around to one another across Adirondack chairs. The sounds of Twenty One Pilots, “Stressed Out,” clearly rang out from the music room, as instrumentalists listened to the lyrics being ejected from their instructors, remembering the notes they were not hitting, and bettering them for the next chorus run through.

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Looking ahead of me I heard the soft bounces of basketballs before I even could see the courts. Boys in layup lines took a few quick pounding steps up the paint, shot, and either a swish of the net rang out or a hard clang off the back board sounded and a grunt followed, as sneakers raced to get back in line and have another go. Whistles from the game next to this scene sounded as refs shouted out, “double dribble” or “point!”

Making my way through the center of campus the sounds came from all angles. The clanging of pots and pans from Beckman’s lunch preparation, the excited clapping of hike hut folks as they practiced fire building and one happened to spring to life, the soft sounds of the radio and phones ringing from the office, the revving of engines outside the maintenance shed, and even the whoosh of art supply tools from Brodie. Camp was a buzz with midday activities and everybody was in the zone of what tasks they needed to accomplish in the next hour and a half.

I sat down on the office bench, as a pair of boys rushed past me humming a song from the past nights council ring camp fire and shouting out a crisp “YOHA” when the song had come to an end. I realized I could even hear the whistles, bounces, and excited chatter from games off in the distant fields and courts, as I sat under the hot sun. What others would hear as disruptive noises, I heard as pleasure to my ears that brought a smile to my face, it was just another busy day at “the office.”

By: #22835 Alexa Mitchell
Photos: #15877 Brendan Loughman & #20764 Endy Perry


Opening Day Feels

Brendan • 2 years ago • Alumni | Blogs

My alarm sounded and my eyes fluttered open, already eagerly knowing what today meant. Despite the forecasted rain, the sun was out as I stretched and got out of bed. There was a light breeze coming in from off the lake, and the best part was the feeling in the air. As I drove down Dudley road early that Tuesday morning, it finally felt like summer to me. Sure preseason had been a busy blast, but there was nothing quite like a campus full of kids hurrying to get to their soccer team major or lunch at Beckman, piercingly sounding back to their friends who were behind them to, “hurry up and not forget their pants for their baseball game later that afternoon!”

Walking on to campus that particular early morning, I noticed the flow of anxious parents and excited young boys had already begun. They raced across the freshly-cut grass to hug returning friends and shook their new leader’s hands with smiling confidence, as they discovered what cabins they would be bunking in for the next three and a half weeks. The sound of Toro’s and golf carts delivering trunks filled my ears, and the breeze carried the air that already smelled like  barbecue lunch, as I made my morning trek past this cabin scene.

Everybody was smiling, including me, and I knew instantly it was going to be a great day. I was lifeguarding swim tests that first camp morning, down at Swim Point, as enthusiastic new campers lined up to show our staff their front crawl. They would hop onto the red, white, and blue starting blocks, cheerily wave to their parents in the bleachers, and then execute a flawless dive or semi-belly flop into the dark, blue depths. Soon to come up sputtering about how surprisingly cold it was, but how still they were determined to swim on through.

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I felt like a cubbie as I shook multiple new hands, and scrambled to remember all their names so I could cheer them on in their appropriate swim lanes, as they glided through the calm water. Laughs echoed down to the water front from main campus, light music wafted over from Suter Point, and the chatter of parents and siblings, who wished they were attending camp too, brought what would seem like chaos to an outsider, full circle for me. In what had clichély seemed like, a blink of my eyes, a year had gone by and camp was starting back up. What promised to be another rewarding summer of learning new lacrosse moves to show teams back at home or carefully molding a pottery mug for grandma was upon us. And as I glanced into that bright sun that first official morning, I was glad camp was finally here too.

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By: #22835 Alexa Mitchell
We’re very lucky to have Alexa back this summer taking on our weekly Summer Blogs! Much more to come…


May 2016 Board Meeting

mstorey • 2 years ago • Blogs

The May 7th Camp Dudley Board of Trustees (BOT) meeting was held in Westport, NY giving the Board a chance to experience the magic of Camp in spring right before the Camp season begins – everything looked spectacular!  Matt and Marnie both thanked the year-round staff for all of their hard work getting both Camps ready for the 2016 season.

Matt talked about his trip to Spain to solidify the second year of the Spanish Exchange Program and to Germany where he had dinner with 40 to celebrate Camp’s partnership with Camp Abbensen. Marnie discussed the various training programs attended by the year-round staff, including the National American Camp Association (ACA) in Georgia and the benefits from the programs, including how to promote resiliency in girls, fundraising tools, how to handle a tragedy and a session on child abuse.

The Directors provided and went over the Enrollment Report, including the increased diversity, for the 2016 season with 675 enrolled at Dudley and 347 at Kiniya (largest number yet).  Our community partners remain strong and we will be adding one new partner — Metro Squash of Minneapolis. Now that enrollment is complete, the year-round team is focused on program.  Marnie and Matt talked about the staff for the upcoming year.  Kat Nelson will now be managing the athletics program at Kiniya.  Kiniya is getting chickens for the Farm to Table major!

Matt and Marnie explained to the BOT the updates made to the Camper forms, including a “Camper Code of Conduct,” in an effort to better communicate our expectations and reinforce our values.  They also noted that the 2016 Dudley and Kiniya Employee Handbooks and the Employee Code of Conduct can be found on the Camps’ website.

The Finance and Legal Committee reported to the Board that all of the Endowment has been transferred to the Camp Dudley Foundation. The Endowment continues to be managed by the Commonfund, based in Wilton, CT.  The Finance Committee of the BOT will continue to oversee our Camps’ shorter-term assets and the 403(b) Retirement Plan.  The Board approved the opening of a short-term high grade bond account with Vanguard to expand the investment option for our Camps’ short-term financial assets.

The Development Committee discussed the new Evergreen effort to promote monthly giving through credit card charges.  In addition, it was reported that the Beckman Society had nearly reached 100 members.  Development is looking to re-kindle the Auction Palooza for September 2016. Dave Langston walked the Board through the annual fund giving history and announced an Annual Fund Goal of $825,000 for 2016 with a focus on expanding participation in the Evergreen giving program.


Work Weekend 2016 Recap

Brendan • 2 years ago • Blogs

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This past weekend Camp Dudley and Kiniya opened its gates to a great group of alums and local friends for Work Weekend 2016!

The Dudley Maintenance Staff had a wide array of projects for our volunteer workers. In Witherbee Hall, the basement had a major cleaning overhaul in the props room. Other parts of campus saw volunteers staining benches & decks, Challenge Course chipping, a revamped Leader Library, and archival preservation work by Ace and the gang.

We even had a visit from some Westport Central School students on Saturday evening! With a bit of rain in the forecast and the junior prom going on, the Middlebury Pavilion on Main Campus served as a great (and protected) backdrop for a group photo op.

Another great highlight from the weekend came from one of our community partners, PAVE Academy, and the 14 volunteers that made the trip up to Westport to lend a helping hand. Thank you!

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We had a large group effort going on over at Kiniya. Raking, bench cleaning and weeding were a top priority over at the Chapel. The Lodge also found a small group clearing and cleaning the stage area in great anticipation for all of the shows coming our way this summer! The Pines area got a good cleaning as well as the Dining Hall exterior.

The Kiniya campus looks beautiful and we cannot wait to have our smiling campers here in late June!

For a full photo recap from the weekend click HERE.


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