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.
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
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.
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.
By: #22835 Alexa Mitchell
We’re very lucky to have Alexa back this summer taking on our weekly Summer Blogs! Much more to come…
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.
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!
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.
Built in 1816 on Camp Dudley Road with limestone from a nearby quarry, the School House served schoolchildren of Westport for 100 years, closing its doors in 1916. At its prime, the school had 24 students and a library of 84 books. The School House has a commanding view of the Lake, the Champlain Bridge and the Adirondack Mountains. It has been a special place for generations of Dudleyites.
Sunny warm days and moon lite clear nights greeted a record group of 30+ mother’s and daughters this past weekend. New campers and mom’s were introduced to a sampling of activities from the 4 pillars (arts, outdoors, athletics and spirituality), and returning families brought the Kiniya spirit, traditions and open heartedness to the group. The track meet showcased everything from long-jump to crab walk talent. A trip up to Stacy yurts immersed the group in ADK beauty. Vespers and chapel talks were rich and invigorating. And the art supplies and crafts were exceptional. We looking forward to seeing all these families at Kiniya this summer!
To view more pictures from the weekend click HERE!
Written by Mollie Farnham-Stratton
“Down in the nation’s capital, we had a great time holding hymn sings with a group of camp alums that live in the DC area. We gather together at the apartment of Sarah (Bear) McDonough to laugh, tell old stories, and, of course, sing our favorite camp hymns. Per tradition, we start with a rambunctious first half and follow it up with a reflective second half to think about the week behind and the week ahead. We phone in out-of-towners for “Study War No More” solos, so if you see your phone buzzing on a Sunday night, don’t hesitate to answer!”
“We typically gather ten to fifteen regulars including #17982 Matt McElroy, #17920 Connor Smith, #17654 David Fitzpatrick, #167384 Taylor Brown, #16730 Rick Raymond, #18912 Will Dobbs-Allsopp, #21883 Kelly Dale, #20297 Chloe Potash, #18108 Harry Jackson, #19494 Katie Gray, #17391 Pat O’Leary, #18641 Rob McDonald, #19193 Conor Joyce, and #19430 Peter Huff. We even have our own set of hymnals, thanks to the wonderful generosity of Marnie, Matt, and Fu! Some months we are lucky enough to have great guest appearances featuring #18306 Eric (Monkey Man) Soderstrom, #18794 Tom McDonough, #18583 Teddy Dale, #16627 Justin Bolger, and others. Some of our Sundays even begin long before the hymn sing hour (with an afternoon extravaganza!) and we end each Hymn Sing taking turns running Vespers. The DC Hymn Sing ends with the ‘Final Six’ as Bear and Chloe wrote the Kiniya Hymn into each of the Hymnals! Anyone interested in joining us for a Sunday Hymn Sing, please reach out!”
Listen to a Camp Dudley Hymn Sing HERE!
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“Basketball has always been my obsession, but I was especially manic during the five or so years I worked at Camp Dudley. Whether it was recruiting rankings, or coaching moves, or halfcourt sets, I followed everything related to the bouncing leather ball.
“So when Joe Mantegna, the head coach of Blair Academy, then (and now) a top high school program in New Jersey, dropped by Westport to run a few sessions for basketball majors in the summer of 2005, I was stoked. It wasn’t that I had questions for the coach — I had many of those — but I more wanted to pick his brain about recruits, and what he thought of various prospects like Peyton Siva and Lance Stephenson (this was pre-Google’s omnipotence in all corners of the web, so I really had to deep-dive into the fan forums and grainy VHS tapes to expand my knowledge). After I graduated college and started freelancing, I realized this obsession could be something I could possible make money from.
“I started working as a fact-checker for ESPN the Magazine, and in my free time, contributed college basketball content for the magazine (my first piece was on Chicago State’s David Holton, a 5-foot-8 point guard who led the country in scoring). That gig led to further writing opportunities — with 350-plus Division I schools in the country, there are a lot of players with a lot of interesting backstories — and I now write for the New York Times, Deadspin, NBC Sports, the Washington Post, Vice Sports, and FiveThirtyEight (among others, and along with my full time job as an editor at Popular Science). That passion, fostered during those days as a Dudley Leader in Columbia and Wesleyan, has continued to fuel a career that I never envisioned.”
With the NCAA Tournament just around the corner – Check out some of the great basketball articles Matt has put out recently!
Five Weird Teams To Watch In The NCAA Tournament – FiveThirtyEight.com
Stephen F. Austin Are Ready To Be The Bad Guys Of March Madness – Vice Sports
The Nuns Who Love Chris Mullin – The New Yorker
Taking Their Game to the Highest Level – The New York Times
The Board of Trustees (“BOT”) held their winter meeting in Westport, NY for the first time in many years. The female Trustees stayed in Adams thankfully with Marnie’s special touch and the male Trustees resided in MacLean. There was no snow on the ground when we arrived, but light flakes fell as the meeting progressed.
Matt Quigley, Chair, began the meeting welcoming our new Trustees for the Class of 2020: Bill Bullock, Karen Johnson, D’Anne Hurd and Peter Groves (CDA, Vice Chair). Matt and Marnie followed by updating the BOT on the communications and events since our last meeting, including, the publication of the “best ever” Camp Dudley News that arrived in the mail for Thanksgiving, which set forth the 2020 Vision for the entire community, The Last Whistle and The Spirit that were mailed before Christmas, followed by a well-attended Leaders’ Luncheon in NYC and the other events held on each Campus.
Kiniya enrollment is full — meeting a goal of 165 girls with the renovation of Casbah and Hernandos with a retention rate of approximately 85%. Dudley enrollment is almost full with only a few bunks available for the second session. This summer the German exchange campers will be coming to Dudley/Kiniya and Matt is headed to Germany in April to meet the campers. Another small group of boy and girl campers will head to Spain and the NOLS program continues to have robust enrollment. The Camps had 254 individuals apply for leadership positions giving each Camp a great pool of applicants, including Kiniya ALs and JLs with 50 applicants for 40 spots. Kat and Evan are working on a Leadership Module Training Program to ensure that everyone is developing the same basic skill set and knowledge. The year-round team also is participating in various trainings in line with the 2020 Vision. Matt and Marnie reviewed their individual and the institution’s 2016 goals.
The Legal Committee reported that the Endowment funds will be transferred to the Camp Dudley Foundation on or about April 1, 2016 and that a sub-group is going to be created to work on a Gift Acceptance Policy. The Board Development and Nomination Committee Chair (“BDN Chair”) reported on a fabulous new board member orientation and the creation of the Dudley Service Corps that can be accessed on the Camp’s webpage at – https://campdudley.org/service/. In addition, the BDN Chair summarized the BOT evaluation findings, with an overall score of 4.6 out of 5, which is the highest score for the past decade.
The Finance Committee reported on our Camps’ financials and walked through the budget, which was unanimously passed. Dudley and Kiniya had a few extraordinary expenses this year as a result of the disaffiliation from the YMCA, but overall ended 2015 with a $30,000 surplus. The Common Fund manager is doing well with respect to keeping the Endowment on track with measures for growth. A motion was made and unanimously passed to open a Line of Credit in the amount of $250,000 with Champlain National Bank. Fred reported on the on-campus meeting with the auditor and the new initiatives implemented by Camp based on last year’s audit recommendations. Matt reported that Camp is looking at cyber security protections for the summer given the increase use of the Internet by staff and Leaders.
The Admissions, Diversity and Scholarship Committee prepared a very special program for the BOT to review our Inclusion Statement and Mollie Farnham led a chapel talk and discussion. The Plant & Property Committee reported on the various Dudley projects, including the pavement of the road around campus. Marnie reported on the Kiniya projects including, three new cabins – Knollandale (formerly Casbah), Hernandos and Haven (the publication office). The Development Committee reported on the tremendous end-of-the-year annual giving that pushed the year total past the 2015 goal. The CDA reported on its initiatives to implement class agents, community partner agents, and the possible expansion of its mission to support social and community initiatives.
The January Dudley Digest is now available! Be sure to get up-to-speed on all things Dudley and Kiniya!
The November meeting of the Camp Dudley Board of Trustees took place at the Sleepy Hollow Country Club in Scarborough, NY, on the eastern shore of the Hudson River. Given the time of year, Matt Quigley appropriately began the meeting connecting the ghost stories of Sleepy Hollow and the fear of the unknown to the hope that Camp and the Board will confront fears and be a place for people to freely express themselves.
Both Matt and Marnie expressed their excitement to take ownership of implementing the 2020 Vision – a guide to be used so that all decisions are made through the lens of the 2020 Vision, which provides a universal language in which to speak about our Mission, Motto, Core Values and Program Pillars.
Matt and Marnie talked about the excitement on the Reunion Trail and the tremendous sense of community given that all reunions include a mix of old Campers, prospective new Campers and alumni. In addition, Matt and Marnie talked about the effort they are intentionally making to see the lives being led by the alumni in their local communities and to connect with Camps’ community partners.
Both Camps have been busy off-season with various activities — Kiniya hosted the Iron Dog competition and Dudley hosted the New Canaan Country Day school, the local 6th grade class to explore the challenge course, and the athletic fields are the home fields for the local schools. All such activities are a great service to the local community. Also, Cornell Medical School is coming for a 10-day training program.
Matt and Marnie hosted the entire full-time team at the Moscow, VT property for a day together to kick off the 2016 season, which was led by outside staff, and well-received by all in attendance. Evan and Kat are working to create a Leadership module to identify specific skills and trainings that must be satisfied by all Leaders. The module will allow the Camps to track what skills/training are missing for a Leader with the goal to develop a curriculum for use by anyone.
Marnie challenged the Board — as she challenges herself– to ask each day what each of us is doing to strengthen community, improve our leadership skills or those of others, and preserve and enhance the institution.
The Board voted to elect the following new members: Karen Johnson (Marketing professional), D’Anne Hurd (Governance expert), and Bill Bullock (Development professional and educator). In addition, the Board voted for the current Executive Committee leadership to remain in place – Matt Quigley (Chair), Whitney Phelps (Secretary), Karen Ramsey (Treasurer) and Ted Smith (Ad Hoc). The Committee also recommended that Peter Treiber serve on the Foundation Board to replace Jane Lee whose Foundation Board Term is ending.
The Plant & Property Committee talked about the intentional purpose of having decks on cabins so there is a space outside for Campers to gather. The road to Swim Point is now paved with drainage to stop the erosion problem. A space off of Brodie has been built and dedicated for pottery. Sean McCalla discussed the plant and property improvements at Kiniya and the Board agreed to demolish and rebuild Hernandos for Summer 2016.
The Finance Committee discussed the Camps’ financial performance, the audits (for the 2014 stub period and for CY 2015), reported that all tax returns were submitted to the IRS and NYS, and the Board adopted a new Investment Policy Statement (IPS) as recommended by the Committee. The IPS aims to highlight best practices to show how the Endowment should be administered and provides a measurement to determine if the Fund is performing as expected.
The meeting ended with gratitude and farewells to the outgoing Board members – Mike Stevens, Scott Martin, Rick Commons and CDA President, Marcus Chioffi.
I swear it was the sunniest day of the summer. The skies were bright blue, the lake was calm, and there were smiles on the faces of everybody I chatted with. It was just about time for Sunday Chapel services at camp and I was a first-timer.
If you have never experienced a Sunday at Dudley, I highly recommend doing so. Of my four summers at Dudley, I had yet to experience one and I will now shame myself for never attending these festivities.
It amazed me how small camp looked from the top of the Chapel steps. It was like a big extended family, comfortable squished into the stunning evergreen tree-lined grove.
The Gospel Choir was absolutely beautiful, between their group songs, solo pieces, and guitar number performed by Pete O’Brien.
James Mayo, lead from the piano seat, keeping the energy high and the audience engaged, while #21982 Dom Walker started out the Gospel songs on a lovely strong note.
The readings chosen were equally inspiring and it was nice to see the campers present these passages separately or alongside their cabin mates.
When the audience was invited to join in the singing the whole area was filled with the joyous voices of this family, and it brought a smile to my own face to see everybody so engaged and to know I was a part of it.
Director, Matt Storey, made an inspiring introduction speech where he told campers and leadership alike to “make the most of it,” meaning their last week, and to “find something you have not done yet at camp” and do it.
Storey finished his speech by advising us all to remain, “loud and proud!”
This was followed by thunderous applause and excited YOHA’s thrown in the air.
The main speaker of the service though was, Father Mark Connell, who had last spoken in 2011. Connell started out his speech by pulling the audience in. “I am looking at our nation’s future leaders, filled with hope,” he said of the campers.
Connell went on to tell a story in which he incorporated eye color, saying that for the last week of camp green-eyed people could not swim, blue-eyes could not have dinner, and brown-eyes had to go home today.
The point of this? It’s “kind of silly to think of ourselves by one characteristic of who we are,” Connell announced, bringing his fake experiment full circle.
“We like as people, to put people in categories,” he continued. “We do it in every aspect of our lives.”
Connell advised us to “seek for yourself what is your greatness” and take down those walls we have built up against one another for this last week of camp.
Overall, Chapel was a magical place that left everybody, myself included, engaged until the final song had ended and the audience dispersed into the beautiful day.
Later that night I ventured back to camp, my younger sister in tow. We were attending another Sunday Dudley tradition, Hymn Sing.
Walking into Witherbee Hall Sunday night the first thing I felt was the energy apparent as all the campers and leaders filed in and sat around and atop the stage, screaming and pumping one another up for the event.
It was growing darker outside, but the liveliness of Witherbee made it feel like the sunniest day at camp had not quite ended yet.
At 8:00 p.m. sharp, piano-fanatic, James Mayo started right in with the Hymns, keeping the energy high with his joyful prompts of, “Verse two!”
I was amazed at how many of the campers knew the hymns without looking at the lyrics, and had simply left their books on the ground beside them.
There was one hymn that brought everybody to their feet immediately and I wondered if there was a place in this world that had more spirit?
I definitely knew the answer was no there was not. There was something about singing in a big group in a small area that brought a smile to my face as I sang and clapped louder to the words of the hymns.
As the night came to a close and the hymns got sadder and more emotional I saw the truth in Mayo’s earlier words, “it just baffles me how fast this summer has flown by, some days I wish camp could last forever.”
I definitely could not agree more. As this summer comes to a close I want to thank you all for reading, and especially thank the Dudley staff, leaders, campers, etc. for this opportunity. It has truly been the best summer yet. YOHA!
By #22835 Alexa Mitchell
During the three and a half week session, girls in the rock climbing major learn climbing skills on the man-made rock wall by the high ropes course on campus. Outdoor staff, Paul and Kaylee, teach the girls climbing routes, safety skills, different knots and how to improve their overall climbing techniques. The senior major girls learn how to belay and end up practicing their new skills by belaying each other as well!
This session’s rock climbing trips were overnights to provide more actual climbing time for the girls. The juniors went to the Falls of Lana while the seniors tried out the cliffs in Bolton. The exposure to the elements, taller rock faces, other climbers and the overall atmosphere can make outdoors rock climbing an entire different experience and challenge. Instead of easy-to-spot handholds, the girls must be patient, dig in, and look more carefully for nooks and crannies to grab onto. They rose to the challenge.
By #23621 Elaine Ezerins
Walking up the wooden steps, the first things I noticed were the many lacrosse sticks propped up in a row along the walls, the dozens of soccer cleats strewn below them, and the plethora of multi-colored socks tossed haphazardly throughout the walkway.
As I moved along the wraparound deck, the first things I heard were the joyous tunes of campers as they rehearsed this week’s gospel songs, the nearby strumming of a guitar, and the daily chatter of all types of people, who met in ADK chairs and called out updates as they spotted one another.
Witherbee Hall, aka WeeBee, was already a-buzz this Wednesday morning, and it was barely 9:30 a.m.
“Oh, Blimey!” Diana George, who is entering her third consecutive summer at Dudley (10 summers overall) laughed when I asked her to tell me all about what happens here at WeeBee.
First, George talked to me about the famous Wednesday Night Show.
It’s a more “more fun skit night,” George said. “It’s not rehearsed and is more about the kids having fun.”
The Wednesday Night Show includes these hilarious skits from campers, leaders, and staff alike, as well as also a fantastic slide show that highlights the week past.
Next, George compared this to the equally anticipated Saturday Night Show, which is “more serious and intense” because the kids have been rehearsing all week long, George continued.
“It’s more like you’re really going to a theatre,” George laughed as she looked back on this past Saturday night performance of, “Dannie.”
As director of this male version of “Annie” play, George proudly proclaimed to me that she was, “very proud of the kids teamwork,” as she continued rehearsals throughout the past week.
“It just amazes me how the kids all come together,” George remarked as she continued to reflect back on the performance, which had only allowed for ten complete hours of rehearsal time.
They “bring the stories to life,” she finished.
When asked to describe the backstage scene after the performance was over, George smiled and told me shouts of ‘O. M. G. that was so awesome!’ could be heard from the cast, as they passed around high fives and hugs.
In addition to these spectacular plays, WeeBee staff are in charge of the Sunday Hymn sing. Headed by James Mayo, the Gospel Choir puts on a “beautiful and pretty special afternoon performance,” George commented.
WeeBee also includes Pete Mauriano’s instrumental group, The Ramblers, a group of campers who have chosen majors in theatre, set design, etc., and campers who just want to sit on the deck and play guitar.
WeeBee is a “pretty magical place,” George mentioned with a longing smile. In that moment, I could tell how much she truly loved it.
It’s “one of the few places every week that everybody at camp gets to see your work,” George said as she set into a brief description of all the players involved in making sure that everything gets done in a timely fashion.
George pointed out the above named, as well as the maintenance crew who help build sets, Sophie Titterton and the Brody crew who make the sets come to life, the phenomenal directors who create entertaining plays each week, Mark Davenport, who as Director of the Arts oversees it all, and above all the campers, who at the end of the day are the ones this is truly all for.
“As you can see there are tons of things going on at the same time,” George finished, knowing she had only named a portion of those involved.
What’s up next for WeeBee you ask? Director Nick and campers will finish up working on, “The Little Prince” and then Chris Ramirez has, “The Lion King” in the works for change over.
George’s last remarks were that she really “wouldn’t want to work anywhere else,” and after today I knew this to be true.
By #22835 Alexa Mitchell
“Dude, I love this place,” was one of the first things I heard this past Tuesday morning as I meandered down to Swim Point. I smiled and silently agreed; I loved this place too.
As I continued down to the Point that morning, the oddly welcoming smell of dead fish filled the air and I could hear “Big” Joe Maiurano’s bellowing laughter as he told some joke that he continue to tell each new swimmer he came across all day long. Today’s joke involved a snorkeler named “A Net.”
Big Joe and his wife, Dawn Maiurano have both worked at Dudley for twenty five plus years. “She’s the mastermind, I just fix things,” Big Joe once remarked to me. He continued to explain that before they ran Swim Point strictly, he had coached and refereed baseball games, as well as run the Boathouse.
“We helped bring back the waterfront,” Big Joe reminisced as he discussed how events like snorkeling and water polo were still recent additions to the Point’s activity list.
Nowadays though, the Maiurano’s are firmly Swim Point’s headers. Open for snorkeling majors, swim meets, water polo matches, and choice time every day of the camp week.
In addition to Joe and Dawn their son, Peter Maiurano, a Witherbee Theatre Hall native, makes an appearance at the Point this summer, alongside his wife, Lauren Widing Maiurano. “I absolutely love it,” Widing said about the Point. Previously, Widing had been the head of arts and crafts at Brody. “It was time for a change,” she finished.
Speaking of change, Rob “Crowbar” Crowe, a previous assistant leader last summer, has traded in his clipboard for a snorkel and joined the Point staff full-time this summer, as well. “I like hearing good responses from the kids,” he mentioned to me one afternoon. “I like knowing that they’re having the best time possible.”
In addition to Crowbar, me, and the Maiurano’s, Catherine McCutcheon takes on her fifth summer, while Willa McKinley enters her fourth summer at the Point. “We get to interact with every age group,” McKinley said of why she enjoys working at the Point. “Everybody comes swimming, from regular swim team boys to non-swimmers; we get to know them all.”
McKinley went on to explain that if you are involved strictly with coaching basketball you will only ever get to know the basketball players at camp or if you only ref tennis, you will only ever see those boys that are interested in playing tennis at camp. Meanwhile at the Point, we get to meet all types of campers, because everybody will eventually come down to cool off in the lake, and that is what makes our job on the waterfront “so much fun and rewarding,” she finished.
As a Westport, N.Y. native myself, I had spent the first eighteen years of my life growing up alongside Lake Champlain, before venturing off to St. Lawrence University three years ago. Therefore, I had known about Dudley and lived a quick five minute drive from it all my life. Yet, I had not known the true magic of camp until four summers ago when I accepted the opportunity to join the Swim Point team. Now here I am starting my fourth summer and making the familiar trek I know all too well down to the Point, and I can definitely agree, after talking with my fellow coworkers, that the Point is one of the most special places at camp.
Come on down, the waters fine!
By #22835 Alexa Mitchell
Photos by #22008 Willa McKinley and #18801 Drew Rider
We’re very lucky to have Alexa Mitchell writing our Dudley Blogs for us this summer. You can look forward to much more in the coming weeks!
#23163 Bogi Cser is at the helm of a new arts major offered for girls at Camp Kiniya; jewelry design. Some of the things the girls will learn is to combine contrasting materials together and to use alternative ones as well, instead of just metal. For this lesson, the girls created bracelets with pipe cleaners, wire and friendship bracelet string. Using tools to bend, twist and mold the wire required intense focus and concentration for a long period of time. The girls have learned to be patient with the materials in order to match their completed jewelry with their original designs.
By #23621 Elaine Ezerins
6.30.19 #18500 Rev. Bill Harper
7.7.19 Jack Gillis
7.14.19 #25331 Christina Lowery
7.21.19 #11584 Rev. Dr. Pete Allen
7.28.19 #14016 Sean McCalla
8.4.19 #17272 Katherine Appleyard
8.11.19 #21982 Domanick Walker
8.18.19 #10846 Rev. Bob Langston
8.25.19 – CDA Reunion – #7381 Paul Lutz
6.30.19 #20113 Caroline Delaney
7.7.19 #25368 Erinn Harley-Lewis
7.14.19 #11904 John Ulin
7.28.19 #25331 Christina Lowery
8.4.19 #23845 Betsy Lyles
8.11.19 #24514 Caroline Deans
This past weekend Camp Dudley and Kiniya opened its gates to a great group of alums and local friends for Work Weekend 2015!
The Dudley Maintenance Staff had a wide array of projects for our volunteer workers. In Witherbee Hall, staining and flooring were the main tasks at hand. Over at the A-Hut we found a number of folks fixing up the porch that overlooks the Bach Track. One of the biggest projects going down was over at North Point. A brand new lean-to, that will be ready for use this summer!
All hands were on deck over at Kiniya. Raking, bench cleaning and weeding were a top priority over at the Chapel. The final product looked amazing and is certainly ready Sunday’s this summer! Over in the lodge we found a large group completely clearing out the backstage area to sweep and mop (as well as organize!) The lodge is looking great, and we can’t wait to see you all at the shows and Hymn sing!
Since the end of the weekend we’ve been hearing quite a bit from our Facilities Staff that this has been one of the most productive work weekends to date. Yoha!
To see a full picture gallery from the weekend click HERE
The Junior Leader (JL) Weekend at Dudley is not only becoming a great tradition, but it’s an incredible opportunity to prepare for this very important step in the Dudley Leadership Development Program. After all, your JL year is your first year as an employee! The boys that attended the weekend (23 in total) were a terrific bunch. They were led through several workshops by Matt, Evan, Dave “Fu”, Davo, Colin Loher, Josh Olcott, Dave Nelson, Jake Rutter, Tom Dils, Blake Harper, Rapheal Mettle, and Jeff Schwoebel. In addition, the JLs took the reigns on a few items by coordinating their own council ring, vesper, and a chapel. We’re lucky to have such a great group joining the leadership ranks this summer and we look forward to them putting the lessons of the weekend into action in their cabins.
Click here for more pictures from the weekend!
We’re looking to fill a few Program Staff positions this summer in Westport and Colchester. See below for the available positions. This is a great opportunity to work some very talented (and fun!) folks at Camp Dudley or Camp Kiniya.
Stage Tech Instructor (Job Description Here)
Lifeguards (Job Description Here)
Sailing Instructor (Job Description Here)
Challenge (Ropes) Course Director (Job Description Here)
General Outdoors Program Staff (Job Description Here)
If you’re interested in a position at Camp Dudley please send your cover letter and resume to Evan George at [email protected].
WSI Swim Instructor
If you’re interested in a position at Camp Kiniya and would like more information please send your cover letter and resume to Marnie McDonagh at [email protected].
This past weekend we welcomed just over half of the 2015 Kiniya JLs to Westport for our Leadership Training weekend. We had the fire roaring in Maclean all weekend and were thrilled to spend some time outside as well. Our time together was focused on learning about our own styles as individual leaders and discussing a few tools on how best to work with our campers this coming summer. Each person brought a different perspective and helped the group see leadership in a variety of ways. Mollie led us in some outdoor discussions and adventures out on the frozen lake and we cooked a nice treat over the fire at the Middlebury Outdoor Pavilion – muffins in an orange peel! We wanted it to feel as much like Camp as possible so we included vespers, a chapel talk, and even Sunday talks! Our time together served as an excellent time to begin preparing for summer, as first time employees, and as a nice break from their busy lives at home and school.
Tonight is Pitt’s Senior Night and Yahoo Sports did a fantastic article about an amazing young man, #18797 Aron Nwankwo and his unique experience at Pitt. Aron’s last summer at Dudley was in 2009 as an AL. We’ll be cheering loudly from Westport tonight, Aron!
The camp director of one of the oldest and most respected camps on the continent remembers how, a few years ago, his camp’s continuing tradition as a tech-free environment was especially hard for some fourteen- and fifteen-year-old campers. Cell phones, texting, and social media were the personal default setting of their lives. “We had some kids who really missed it,” he told me recently. The networked life was the only life they knew at home and school. Going tech-free was a culture shock for them. Today, he says, the same-aged campers “express a huge sigh of relief to be getting away from the phone and Facebook®.”
Never before have there been such compelling reasons to send a child to summer camp, as we all adjust to life in the digital age. Very few places are left on the planet today where you can see 150 kids happily walking, talking, giggling, and singing together, where they’re fully engaged, fully present to each other, arms linked, with nobody looking down to check a phone. Where else can you see groups of children laughing with each other over the story they’re telling and not the YouTube® videos they’re watching? The tech-free, unmediated moment is so rare in children’s lives today. They hardly know what it’s like to be around grownups, young adults, and peers when nobody puts a conversation on hold to take a call on their cell phone, or “just check” for texts or e-mail. These mini-moments of disconnect have become an accepted part of relationships, but not a helpful one.
It’s not too late to apply for the summer of 2015. If you know a great kid for Dudley or Kiniya be sure to mention us. Our focus for recruitment is on boys currently in 5th grade and girls currently in 4th grade, but we have new campers in all divisions. You can send families to our website, refer them through our Refer A Camper page, or simply call us at 518-962-4720.
In 2014, the William J. Schmidt Scholarship Fund gave away over $800,000 to support over 250 Dudley & Kiniya campers. The scholarship fund is made possible through the generous support of alumni, parents, Leaders, Staff, and even some campers! That’s something all of us can be proud of. Please join your friends and family and help us support more great kids at Dudley & Kiniya. You can donate to our Annual Fund here.
We love to keep as many people as we can updated about the great stuff we’re up to at Dudley & Kiniya. That’s why we’re in the midst of a campaign to update the information for as many alumni as we can. It’s easier than ever too! If you know anyone that’s not getting the Camp Dudley News or emails like this one then send them to our Reconnect Form here.
At each of our Open House stops we’ve been getting rave reviews for this year’s Open House Video (great job Brendan “Lefty” Loughman!), so we figured we should put it online sooner rather than later. So here it is…
How about something from Dudley & Kiniya? Our online store has tons of great gift items for any fan of our camps.
The very best way to keep up with all the action at Dudley & Kiniya throughout the year is to follow us on social media.
We’re just about to get started and we’d love to see you on the road. Gather your friends and family and come join us at an event near you. And bring anyone you think might be interested in a summer at Dudley or Kiniya. It’s the very best way to learn about our camps.
We can’t wait to see you there!