Just another quiet, snowy day at the Dudley office… until the Director leaves! Enjoy the video!
When a snow storm is expected…
IT MUST BE TIME FOR MOTHER-DAUGHTER WEEKEND!
For the third year in a row, our highly anticipated Mother-daughter gathering was in jeopardy as the forecast called for a winter storm watch early Friday morning! After cancelling the event two years in a row due to extreme weather conditions, Marnie and Kat were determined not to let mother nature get in the way of their weekend fun and busily prepared for the groups arrival. Much to their surprise and delight, as the snow fell gently on the Westport campus late Friday afternoon, every one of the Mother-daughter pairs made the trek North, rolling into Dudley by dinner time Friday night!
Kiniya memorabilia spread out on the coffee table, copies of The Kiniya Hymnal and The Spirit from years passed, and a craft table full of friendship bracelet string and activities to share set the tone for a weekend filled with friendship and fun!
The storm Friday resulted in the first snow we have seen on the ground (almost all winter!) and provided for a winter wonderland of fun at Dudley on Saturday morning! Sara Nelson and Megan Sudduth were on hand to lead us through some fun activities in the gym, and we headed across to Kiniya in the afternoon on Saturday for a scavenger hunt tour! With Marnie at the wheel, the 15 seater (filled with Kiniya campers) was a-buzz with excitement as we worked our way through the Kiniya songbook on the way there AND back!
Our time together was so special and the weekend a huge success. Filled with countless stories shared about Camp, thoughtful conversations at vespers, fun activities, and giggles around the fire our weekend together resulted in new friendships formed!
Thank you, Moms and daughters, for making our weekend together so very enjoyable!
Marnie McDonagh, 20001
Camp Dudley at Kiniya, Director
In the weeks leading up to this event, there was some doubt if Dudley would be able to deliver the ‘winter’ into the 2011 Winter Leadership Trip as promised. When the boys piled off the train at the Westport Depot on December 26th, the sun was shining, the lake was unfrozen, and the grass on main campus was green. Despite the unseasonably warm weather, spirits were high, the boys were pumped to be at Camp in December, and they were all ready to embark on an adventure. The sunshine did not last long. Trip leaders Scott Steen and Ryan Joyce had just driven down from Lake Placid, with good reason to believe that in just 24 hours there would be a full-blown blizzard in the Adirondacks. They were right. The next day brought heavy rain, sleet and snow.
The first leg of the trip involved winter hiking, camping and snowshoeing into John’s Brook Lodge in the High Peaks of the Adirondacks. Trip participants Jack Butler, Andrew DiLillo, Mike ‘Mad Dog’ Griffin, Adam Fraites, Will Lowe, Ryan McSherry, Ian Meier, Scott O’Brian, Jake Refojo, and Matt Wojciechowicz began the initial 3-mile hike under mid-morning snowflakes. Joined by veteran winter ADK 46er and Dudley alumnus, Paul Adams, the 12 men set up camp, splitting the group into the Goodwin Lean-to and the Grace Cabin.
The next day, the team hiked both Yard and Big Slide mountains on snowy and icy trails, and were rewarded by a break on the summit. The biggest challenges were icy trails and half frozen river crossings. That afternoon, each participant did a solo hike, walking the final 3 miles in the falling darkness by themselves out to the car.
The following day, the boys participated in a community service project with local Westport organization, Champlain Area Trail Systems. CATS builds and restores hiking trails in the Central Champlain Valley and works to conserve wild land through land easements. The Dudley group joined CATS Director, Chris Maron, for a day of trail maintenance on the Split Rock area trail system between Essex and Westport. The big challenge of the day was removing a giant windfall tree blocking the way. The group spent the night winter camping, sleeping at the Cutler Point Lean-to with single digit temperatures and a very clear starry sky. The fire was kept roaring all night long.
The final day of the trip, and the highlight for many, was ice climbing at a private ice park under the guidance of Adirondack Rock and River. Temperatures dipped just low enough to allow for the use of the private ice park, and the boys spent the day testing their skills with ice tools and crampons against the ice covered cliffs. There were 3 separate top-roped climbs, allowing everyone to fully exhaust himself by trying them all a few times.
Every member of the 2011 Winter Trip was required to be a part of a ‘leader of the day’ team, taking the reins on group safety, all food (12 boys eat a lot) for 3 meals, group time management, and a group vesper. Each young man got to take responsibility for the well being of the trip, experiment with different leadership styles, observe their peers and trip leaders under similar conditions, and to entertain these ideas in several lengthy vesper discussions. The boys did an amazing job with these tasks, worked hard and had a blast along the way. Congratulations on an amazing trip.
Here’s a video slideshow featuring more pictures from the trail…
“The Next Wilderness”
A sermon preached at the Camp Dudley Chapel
On the Shores of Lake Champlain
August 14, 2011
The World has changed
The world has changed since you came to camper. Even if you arrived for the second session, some of the news has been devastating, and I am not just talking about life as a Minnesota Twins fan.
In the first week of the second half, a gunman opened fire at a summer camp on an island in the country Norway killing nearly 100 campers.
Last week a military helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan, killing more than 30 solders and leaving broken hearts of parents, widows and orphans back here at home.
And last night fifty teenagers where arrested in Philadelphia for breaking a curfew designed to stop the flash mob violence that plagued the city
If your experience as a parent is anything like mine, you don’t hear much from your camper during the season We did receive the post card from his leader basically saying after a bit of a slow start, Zac was making his way and we received the one post card from him that I think was a requirement for getting his Dudley Flag. He wrote “PS Dad, thanks for the money to send me to Dudley: A love note from a 15-year-old son to a father if there ever was one.”
But we caught a glimpse of Zac when we searched the Dudley website. There I saw Zac repelling down a rock while out in the wilderness.
The wilderness is a powerful experience and a central metaphor for our lives and our journeys.
When we choose to enter a wilderness experience, we leave something behind, if not everything behind, we enter an unknown, the path is unclear and the outcome is uncertain.
This past year my son Abe left home in Princeton NJ to enroll in an alternative boarding school in Estes Park, Colorado. Most of the kids there didn’t have homes and the majority of them had spent times in jail and practically all had entered the juvenile justice system. But while these patterns did not describe Abe’s experiences, when the opportunity for him to go to the school arose, he jumped on it.
The first thing you do when you get to the Eagle Rock School is to take a class known as wilderness. It is a 28-day hike out in the woods and, in Abe’s case, in the Gela national Forest in New Mexico. It had some of the same elements of an outward bound or NOLS Leadership program, but it is also a form of social detox for teenagers who have known too well the comforts and disruption of drugs and gangs. The wilderness was the place of letting go of the old and preparing for a new way.
Jesus would often go to the wilderness throughout his ministry, either to get away from the maddening crowd or to be alone, to meditate, to pray and to prepare.
The most powerful message from our time in the wilderness is that we are not alone and that we can be changed. People like David Langston and Bill Harper, along with the leadership and other campers help prepare the way so that you might find: Self-discovery, self-confidence and self-growth.
But not every Wilderness is filled with trees and wild life. We find ourselves in the wilderness throughout our lives, regardless of the landscape. The wilderness is any place where you enter the unknown, uncertain and unpredictable.
This month tens of thousands of recent college graduates will leave the comforts of their college campuses and the routines of their school day rhythms to commit to a full-year of service. You may know some of them. Young adults in their 20’s join programs such as Teach for America, City Year, Youth Build, Public Allies, VISTA, AmeriCorps and the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. Through these programs, these young idealists and pragmatists alike, move to new cities across the country where they live in neighborhoods very different from where they grew up. They teach at schools that are often falling apart and serve in agencies that are addressing the biggest and most desperate challenges in our society
These young adults are entering a different kind of wilderness and it is in the wilderness where they find themselves alone, away from all they knew. They often don’t know where they are going to live, they have few if any friends nearby and because the pay is sometime less that $500 a month, they have to worry about their food budget.
And this is the group of people I work with. This is my congregation. In a way you could say I am an AmeriCorps Chaplin. I do not try to convert people to a particular religion, but instead I try to embody the love, joy and hospitality that I discovered while I was here as a camper and to bring the love of Christ to those who find themselves in this urban wilderness
This generation of young people are passionate about serving and volunteering. They want to change the world but few have any interest in a church. They don’t see that the church cares about them as individuals or about the causes they are committed to. Instead I hear them say again and again that they are spiritual but not religious.
When I hear the world spiritual, I think about Dudley. Several years ago I came to camp and interviewed members of the Dudley community: I spoke with new campers and old D-Heads and to a person, everyone said that the most important part about Camp Dudley was the spiritual life… after all
* What would morning dip be like if it were not followed by chapel talk
* What would the afternoon be like if you had not spent the night before reflecting and discussing at vespers?
* What would Sunday be like without coming to the chapel or closing the week with hymn sing?
And so, despite some criticism and doubters from the established church, we have begun to create appealing and compelling ways to bring the spiritual life that I came to know at Dudley to the thousands of young people who serve in the urban wilderness.
We have asked local congregations to create houses of hospitality, which are communal spaces for people the same age and with similar interests to live together and support one another. Sound familiar? I got the idea from my experience from lying in Dudley cabins during the summer.
We also ask churches across he country to host weekly dinners and discussions that bring together the young people serving in the cities. It was obvious that traditional bible studies would not draw a crowd, so we wrote a curriculum with a years worth of weekly discussions. Sound familiar? The idea came to me from my experience as a camper and a leader and the experience of ending every day with Vespers in the cabin. So the Dudley family should not be surprised that we call our dinners and conversations Vespers.
I am sorry to say that we have yet to bring them hymn sing.
So far I have shared with you the kind of wilderness story that one chooses, the major that one signs up for or the job that a graduate applies for. But there is another kind of wilderness experience, the kind that comes to us, either with great anticipation or with great shock
Many will leave Dudley to find themselves in their own personal wilderness.
This wilderness may be returning to
a sick parent,
a dying grandmother,
a troubled sibling
or a broken home.
For others the next wilderness will come in the form of a new school and the search to try to find your place. I watched this happen with my son Willy who last year entered Grady High School in Atlanta, GA. I came to learn that he would roam the halls during lunch hour because he didn’t have a place to sit. He didn’t want to participate in the racial divide that played itself out in the school cafeteria.
Last summer I had my own wilderness experience, which began from a late night call from my doctor. He told me that they had discovered a tumor in my small intestine. A year ago this month, I was being wheeled into the operating room at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota to remove that tumor and a part of my stomach.
When I regained consciousness, I woke up to a world of darkness. I came out of the operation to the news that my tumor was cancerous and that it had metastasized to the lymph system. I woke up alone …. Alone save the presence of God sitting with me as I struggled through the panic that comes with the onset of depression and the possibility of not just losing my livelihood but of life.
And in attempt to endure the pain and to search out the light, I began to sing, mumble really, but I began to sing the hymns that I learned from the Dudley hymnal
• “When you walk though a storm keep your head up high”
• “Oh Jesus I have promised to serve you to the end, be thou forever near me, my master and my friend.”
• “Faith of our Fathers living still in spite of dungeon fire and sword.”
• “What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and grief to bear, what a privilege to carry every thing to god in prayer.”
• “Amazing Grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.”
• “One light to carry in your heart, A promise you have from your start , To bless you, to keep you, to never leave you weeping in the dark.”
And sometime during the first few days of my recovery I got a phone call from a 410 area code. I didn’t answer it but I listened to the message. It was Sandy Short, this years Man of the Year at Dudley wanting to know how I was doing. A week later the same number and the same Dudley man called again to check ink on me to make sure I did not feel alone.
For many of us, Dudley is the place where we feel safe, encouraged and awakened to be spiritual. For some families, the only time you will pray, or sing a hymn or hear a chapel talk or attend a service together with your family will be today
Faith communities are important, and I believe essential. I encourage all of you to find a church or a congregation where ever you live. But I also recognize that Dudley is also a faith community. Use it to spring forward in your outreach to the world and to fall back on when you need a firm place to stand.
Like it did for me when I was in the hospital,
Like it did this year just after the New Years Eve tragedy on Dudley Road, which took the life of John Frankel and severely injured others. Immediately after the accident, Matt reached out to the clergy of Dudley by email and it was as if Camp Dudley sprang back into session during the first week of January, to surround the Frankels and Cannings with love and to affirm one another.
This is the promise that comes with a community that is faithful to its mission and open to the spirit without forcing a predetermined outcome.
I would like to end with a story
My friend Bill runs a church in Philadelphia called Broad Street Ministries. It is located in center city and is housed in the old abandoned Presbyterian Church. Board Street is a thriving congregation, which attracts artists, educators, students, young professionals, and homeless people alike. They gather for worship on Sunday night and after the service is over, the chairs get rearranged and they stay for a community meal
Liam and Ericka are a couple that attend Broad Street. He is an accountant with a large firm and she is an emergency room nurse. They wanted to get married in the church but rather than have a separate wedding, they asked if they could bet married during that Sundays service. And so all who came for worship that Sunday attended the wedding and all who stayed for dinner partook of the reception.
Four weeks later Ericka found herself on the midnight shift at UPenn Hospital. There was a lot of noise coming from the curtain next to her as a disgruntled and disoriented homeless man began throwing pans and gowns around the room. Because Ericka had a reputation of being good with this type of patients; she was summoned to deal with the crisis.
As soon as Ericka walked in the noise stopped and the man calmed down.
After a long pause he looked at her and said to her, “I attended your wedding last month.” Slowly he began to regain some sense of composure and self.
He went on to say, ” I have three daughters and because of my condition, and because of my choices, I was never invited to attend any of their weddings. ”
“Yeah,” he continued, “ I was at church that night, sitting three rows back from you, you looked back at me and smiled… I remember.. I remember that night my dream came true. I finally got to attend a daughters wedding.”
This is a story of a Christian community, rooted in love and offering radical hospitality, the kind of hospitality that the Gospel calls us to follow.
Broad Street Ministry is a faith community. And so is Camp Dudley. Both offer the promise that while we may find ourselves alone in a wilderness, we are indeed never alone. For we have the love o Christ and the community of people that understand that faith active in love.
There are Camp Dudleys and Broad Street Ministries waiting for us to find but only if we are prepared to bring ourselves to them. And if we bring the best of what we learned here at camp, we will share the Dudley spirit to others around us as well as fortify ourselves.
Nearly a hundred youth died at the camp in Norway, but this summer hundreds of you have lived and shared the Dudley spirit with one another.
Hundreds of young men and woman have died serving their country. But this year thousands of people in their 20’s who serve their country in a different way, will gather around an every week table to break bread and to have Vespers
And while young people were arrested for breaking curfew, you will return home and lift up a new image of young people making a difference.
You will hear God calling you in the night and you will respond, by saying, here I am lord, send me.
For Dudley has taught us “to hold God’s people in our hearts”. And to lead Gods people out of the wilderness.
The Other Fellow First” Chapel Talk at Kiniya on 8/7/11 by Christy Coyne #14255
Good Morning to all: Campers, leaders, Staff, friends and family. I am so very honored to be here at Kiniya this morning and want you to know — before I delve into this talk — that I have never, ever, ever, been so proud to be associated anything (aside from my husband and children) as I am to be associated with Camp Dudley at Kiniya and Camp Dudley. I feel completely and totally blessed to be connected to all that is of Dudley, as though I just might be one of the luckiest people on earth.
Now, why I am here as your Chapel speaker, other than having a connection to Dudley, is a bit hard to give good reason for: I certainly haven’t any qualifications whatsoever as a public speaker, least of all a Chapel speaker — someone who has any talent or expertise to guide you through reflection upon your connection to God or whatever higher-power with which you have a relationship. I’m just an average person who spends most of her time as a mom and a clinical social worker which, if you are wondering, means I practice psychotherapy with individuals, couples and families.
For those of you who thinking that that description didn’t help much, let me explain that what I do as a clinical social worker is meet with people who — in some way or another — want things to change in their lives and –99.9% — of the time that change involves wanting their relationships, their connection to others to improve.
So for instance, they may be sad or angry about something TOO much of the time – and it is getting in the way of being able to enjoy their lives and get along with others around them (as opposed to being sad and angry some of the time, which is totally ok!); maybe it’s a family in which the mom and dad have decided not to be married anymore; maybe it’s a family that needs help being better listeners for each other and showing each other how much they really love one another other.
Whatever the case, my job is not to tell people how to solve their problems or what to do; my job is to help them find their own way to do what they can to make the changes they want to make so they can have the relationships they hope for.
I have to tell you that, in my opinion, everyone who comes to see me is a hero because I believe that those who tell me about the difficult and usually uncomfortable — even painful — situations in their lives in an attempt to create change and foster connection with their loved ones are the coolest, bravest people I know.
OK! So, now that you know what I do, you know for sure that I haven’t got any special qualifications whatsoever that make me a chapel speaker! But since this is Chapel — the time and place that is meant for reflecting upon your relationship with God or whatever it is that helps you to be the person you know you are and that enables you to feel connected to all that surrounds you — I’m just going to try to do the best I can to create an opportunity for you -– even if it’s just for a fleeting moment – during which you can be mindful of your true self and your connection to that which you are a part …….. this physical space: the pines and lake and breeze and, of course, your friends and loved ones here and at home …. and even those you may not consider friends or loved ones here or at home!
When I awake to the experience of my connection to everything around me – the knowing that I am a part of everything and everything is just as much a part of me — is when I’m most sure of aware of God’s presence in my life.
When this happens I always get a feeling that goes with the knowing, so it’s not just a thought in my head; it’s an actual feeling that wells from deep in my bones, and gently courses through me like hot chocolate does after a cold day in the snow.
I know this feeling is important and comes from a power greater than me because — regardless of the circumstance I’m in when it happens, whether the events around me are happy or sad, I get the same feeling – born from the spirit of connection — a feeling of comfort and joy.
So, for example, I often feel the presence of God – or connected — when I am at hymn sing. (Who doesn’t, right? Aren’t we lucky?!) But I feel it, too, when I am saying goodbye to someone or someplace I love, as soon you will do when you leave Kiniya behind for another year; or it can happen when someone, often a client I work with, shares with me his or her sadness and pain.
You may think that it is odd to feel comfort and joy when listening to and bearing witness to another person’s story of pain or confusion. Indeed, you maybe wondering what sort of person or therapist might I be! But the same spirit of connection is present and thus, so is the comfort and joy.
I’m going to explain this some more because I think you, better than any other group of girls and young women I know, can understand what I’m trying to get at because you know about “The Other Fellow First”.
Yup, this is another talk about the Other Fellow First. And now you may be thinking that you’ve had your fill of talking about .. and listening to others talk about … the Other Fellow First.
I am sorry to make you do it again – sort of …. sorry to not be more original or exciting … but not sorry to talk about it some more because it’s a topic that I never get bored of.
I never get bored thinking about it or talking about it because I know the opportunity to practice the Other Fellow is alive in every moment of every day. And I believe that it’s part of what’s happening when we experience those incredible moments of connection that are awakenings to our connection to God.
(And this is what I really meant when I said earlier that I feel so blessed to be a part of ALL that is Dudley, … blessed to have had the chance to learn and practice – and be surrounded by people who are also learning and practicing — the way of the “Other Fellow.”)
The Other Fellow is an endless topic if you ask me. It may seem simple but there’s a LOT to it, which is, in my opinion why it’s such a marvelous and extraordinary belief to live by… and action to practice.
I hope, though, now, talk about how to practice the Other Fellow First in a way that maybe you haven’t thought of yet or talked about too much ….
On the other hand, may be you have … so here’s what happened a almost three weeks ago when I was at Dudley in Westport picking up my son, Aicher, at the end of first session this summer. His co-leader, Ted Dale, yes, you know his sister!) was hugging Ike goodbye and sent him off with words to remember …… and those words summed up this talk I’m giving in 10 seconds …..
Don’t you wish he were the speaker today???!!!
He srepeated to Ike a quote (by I-don’t-know-who ) “Remember” he said, “Sometimes, you can make a difference in the world just by being who you are” …. It was pretty close to that anyway ….. and, well, I pretty much freaked out!
(Silently, of course, because they were saying their good-byes and I didn’t want to disturb them!)
SO! THE very concept I hoped to whittle-down-to in my Chapel talk, the idea I’d been contemplating for months in an attempt to talk about and make some sense of, was summed up by Ted Dale in 10 seconds!
After the getting over the coincidence of the situation, I have to admit that I felt a wave of disappointment in myself, disappointment because I told myself that my Chapel talk would be far from Original. ……………
Then, ….. I felt serious anxiety because I told myself I would totally bore all of you with a topic you hear about all the time.
After acknowledging those thoughts and feelings to myself (which only took a few seconds, believe it or not; they are very fast acting — thoughts and feelings — so it can be easy not know what you are feeling or really thinking sometimes) ….
After acknowledging those first thoughts the other feelings came …. The Comfort and Joy …. Even amongst self-doubt and fear, comfort and joy showed up, too and, really I was surprised. But I knew, since I felt them, that something good and powerful was at work and I’d best pay attention to whatever it was instead of my worries about the future or what people will think of me.
Within seconds I understood. And still watching Ted hug Ike, inviting Ike as he did to carry on the important work of the other fellow – I understood that Ted Dale didn’t STEAL my Chapel talk, I understood that Ted Dale IS my chapel talk: that he is the perfect example, the very embodiment of one who colorfully strives – gifts, quirks, flaws, talents and all — to act from his true nature, to be only who he is. And for that striving alone he is a phenomenal practitioner of the Other Fellow.
Ok, so how is it, you are probably asking yourself, that just “being yourself” – an idea you probably are told do often by parents and teachers and coaches and leaders — and hopefully, too, your friends, — that THAT is practicing the Other Fellow First? (I’ll give you a hint: It has to do with CONNECTION)
What I want you to be aware of as you practice The Other Fellow by “just being yourself” during the remainder of your time here and when you get back home is …how hard it really is to be yourself when you think that people may not like or accept the parts of you that you yourself may not be so comfortable with; that’s right the parts of us – we all have them – that we think aren’t good enough and so we hide them.
Now, I’m not saying go out there and tell everyone you see all about the stuff that you hate about yourself!
What I’m suggesting is, first, to be really honest with yourself. Do you do and say things that are in line with the way YOU really feel? Or do you say and do things because you think OTHERS will think it’s the right thing to say or do? Can you think of times when you did both those things? (We all do it, I promise!)
And can you remember how you felt in each instance?
I’m willing to bet anything that you felt better when you acted and spoke from the place of authenticity, the place of genuineness and truth, versus the other place: the place of wanting to fit in or, at least, to not stand out!
Now, like I said, we all act from that place sometimes, even when we know better, so don’t get down on yourself! Just keep practicing because as you do you are also practicing the Other Fellow. Here’s how I know…..
I was introduced, by my mother-in-law, who is here today, to the work of a Social Worker named Dr. Brene Brown who is not a clinical social worker, like I am, but a Researcher Social Worker. She researchers SHAME as a matter of fact. Yup, she researchers shame. Yuck! Ever had that feeling of shame? (I have and still do but less and less as I work to just be myself). Dr. Brown defines shame as the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing we are flawed and therefore unworthy of connection. Shame she has discovered through her research has something to do with the fear of DISCONNECTION. And shame, she has figured out– by listening to hundreds and hundreds of people over years and years is — actually counter-acted by the practice of both accepting just who are – our gifts, quirks, flaws, talents – all of it ….. AND BEING just who you are with others, not just showing others the part of you that you think THEY think is ok to show.
Most importantly, she discovered that when people do that, when they “just be themselves” — and get really good at it like Ted Dale, for instance — they actually feel MORE connected to everything and everyone around them.
Dr. Brown says it best when she says,
Fitting in is about assessing a situation and becoming who you need to be to be accepted. Belonging, on the other hand doesn’t require us to CHANGE who we are; it requires us to BE who we are.
I believe that when we are connected to others – which usually means they are feeling connected to us, too – we are in the grace of God for having practiced the Other Fellow First.
Sometimes it can seem like the Other Fellow First means doing something for someone less fortunate than us, or someone that needs help, which puts us in the position of being the helper, the more powerful one, in a way. That way of practicing the other Fellow first doesn’t have as much meaning for me because I don’t believe that one person is better than another person. I believe we are all equally capable in our own ways and worthy of love and connection.
When you act from your true nature, especially when it is scary to do so and you fear being rejected, I think it’s the greatest practice of the Other Fellow First you can do because you are offering true connection and belonging to those with whom you have dared to be real.
The last thing I will tell you that I learned from Dr. Brown is that through her research she determined this as FACT:
A deep sense of love and belonging is an irreducible need of all women, men and children.
In that case, I think that if you are playing a role in your family or community that supports connection and belonging – just by being yourself – you are INDEED practicing the other Fellow First.
There are many reasons, I’m sure, why you love Camp Dudley at Kiniya. The singing, your leaders, your friends, the activities … and so on… I’m willing to bet, though, that another reason you love camp is for the feeling of belonging, of being connected to each other and this place. And I am willing to bet, as well, that your practice of the other fellow, and the practice of being the other fellow, that is allowing someone else to be just who THEY are), has everything to do with that sense of belonging.
Thank you for allowing me to share my thoughts about the other Fellow with you today.
To close, I’d like to share a final quote, from yet another Social Worker, a woman who I’m guessing is pretty comfortable being just who she is because she goes by the name Oriah Mountain Dreamer, a name given to her by Shamanic teacher who instructed her that it meant, “One Who Likes to Find and Push the Edge.”
She describes herself as someone who “encourages herself and others to be ruthlessly honest and infinitely kind toward our own strengths and our weaknesses.”
I want to remind us all that the world is listening, all the time. How we are ripples out from us into the world and affects others. We have a responsibility – an ability to respond – to the world. Finding our particular way of living this responsibility, of offering who we are to the world, is why we are here. We are called because the world needs us to embody the meaning in our lives. God needs us awake …. How we are with each other as individuals, as groups, as nations and tribes, is what shapes that dream.
Christy Coyne #14255
We’ve had a great time in Colchester, (for the first ever Camp Kiniya Open House, hosted by Kat HOOD!) Dedham, MA – Wilton, CT – Greenlawn, LI – Bedford, NY – Bronxville, NY – Rye, NY – Princeton, NJ – Darien, CT. Eight events in 7 Days!!!! Record crowds and lots of potential campers. We even managed to get a couple of meals along the way. Hope to see more of you in the days ahead.
The colors in the Adirondacks and Green Mountains during the month of October are spectacular. Visitors, known as “leaf peepers,” descend upon our small towns and villages to catch the changing of the seasons. Soon, all the leaves will fall and the snow will join us for the next eight months or so…and then camp will start again! In the Camp Dudley and Camp Kiniya offices, this time of year means one thing – IT’S TIME TO HIT THE ROAD! For the next few months, Matt, Marnie, Davo, Ryan, and Kat will celebrate the summer of 2011 by joining so many of you in the homes of our fantastic and dedicated parents, alumni and friends.
This past weekend, we kicked-off our Open House roadshow the same way we have for the past 35 years, at the home of John and Martha Storey in Williamstown, MA. Current campers mingled with alumni and prospective campers while munching on the traditional 6 foot sub and delicious desserts. The evening culminated, as every open house will, with this years rendition of the much anticipated reunion video! Arts Department Head, #17185 James Guimaraes, has put together another tremendous movie highlighting the Dudley/Kiniya experience and allowing those in the audience to harken back to the warm days of summer. Saturday the 15th brought us to New Canaan, CT with nearly 100 cheerful men and women at the lovely home of Scott and Andrea Martin. The kids were still running around outside, both current campers and prospectives, well after the open house ended! On Sunday we were welcomed in Larchmont, NY by the McSherry family who continues to do a great job mixing new families with alumni and current Leaders and Staff. Smiles all around on a warm Sunday afternoon in October. OPEN HOUSE TOUR RESUMES THIS THURSDAY IN COLCHESTER, VT AND THEN A REUNION EVERYDAY FOR THE NEXT WEEK – PLEASE JOIN US!
Here’s how it all happened…
Total raised for Annual Giving: Over $750,000
18.7% increase from previous fiscal year
2,145 total gifts
31 Matching Gifts for $17,258.25
Lowest camp number of a donor: #3526
Highest camp number of a donor: #22465
Tuition for Summer 2011 – One session: $4,450 Full Season: $7,500 Mini: $1,300
Scholarships awarded to 227 young men and women
$18,500 given from the current Leaders and Staff at Dudley & Kiniya for The Leadership Fund – representing 100% participation
Campers: 637 boys, 339 girls
A note from Director of Development, C. Ryan Joyce #15093
A record year! Over $750,000 raised for the William J. Schmidt Annual Fund!
The official launch of the 2011-2012 fiscal year is underway!
As we kick off our Annual Fund 2011-2012, we wanted to thank you and congratulate you for your outstanding generosity and passion for Camp Dudley & Camp Kiniya! We ask a great deal of our Dudley alumni, parents and friends and we hope that you fully understand how our Camps have benefited from your service. The William J. Schmidt Annual Fund has directly affected the future of our mission as we continue to serve nearly 1,000 campers a summer and thousands of Dudley family members throughout the year. Over $750,000 is the largest known increase in Camp Dudley’s 127 year history – a nearly 20% boost from last year. Despite the rough economic times and the demand for scholarship dollars at an all-time high the Camp Dudley family remains as robust and supportive as ever. We thank every one of you for your tireless support and passion for all things Camp Dudley and Camp Kiniya. We are blessed with a tremendous alumni network and campers, parents and friends who understand the importance of our message to the rest of the world: “The Other Fellow First.”
We welcome fiscal year 2011-2012 today with this serving as our official launch. The theme of this fiscal year is “Why I give back to Dudley.” I’ll be asking you throughout the year about what compels you to give back to Dudley and what our camping experience has meant to each of you. So many of our Dudley family members give back in a variety of ways – spending a week at camp working, suggesting our camps to the next generation, hosting a reunion, donating to the Annual Fund, funding a capital project at one of our camps, attending an alumni gathering… The issue of the fall, 2011, CDA News will headline with this theme and will draw upon letters, statements, emails, and conversations with you about this very idea.
Annual giving is our bread and butter, however, many important capital projects are ahead. The shoreline restoration on both campuses, the cabins on the beach at Kiniya, in addition to other major program facilities… All critical endeavors that will ask a great deal of our alumni, parents and friends.
I’d love to hear from you, this new fiscal year, as to why you give back. When you have a moment, please send your thoughts on this theme. I’m anxious to hear from you and would be happy to include your reflections in the CDA News cover story – “Why I give back to Dudley.”
Onward and upward! It’s been a great year and will be an even stronger 2011-2012! Click here to help 2012 get off to the right start!
Looking forward to crossing paths on the reunion trail.
Director of Development
There is nothing better than a beautiful weekend spent with camp friends on the shores of Lake Champlain. With our regulars arriving Friday night, the weekend was off to a great start. By 9am the next morning we were already a crew of about 35 people and we must have had over 50 folks for lunch. This year, we tackled a range of jobs from cleaning up branches and trees around campus and on the trails to taking inventory of all of our store gear. Who needs a sweathshirt!? The dining hall benches got a fresh coat of BLUE and the docks at Junior Beach had their final hours in the lake before our 15 UVM volunteers helped Shawn store them for the winter. The backstage of our beloved theater got a COMPLETE clean – you won’t even recognize it! Trust me. It looks amazing. As always, special thanks to Joan McKeown for tackling the endless amounts of linens and sorting them in preparation for summer 2012. And, thanks to all for yet another successful Fall Work Weekend at Camp Dudley at Kiniya.
Thanks for an incredible summer, girls! Here’s the final slideshow to bring back some memories throughout the year!
It’s Thursday during lunch break at Camp Abbensen in Hannover Germany! The Kiniya and Dudley German Exchange group has officially been in Germany for 2 weeks now and I think we can all agree that it has been an amazing trip so far!
On July 15th we left Dudley’s shores and crossed the Canadian boarder to fly from Montreal, to Paris, then onto Munich. Within the first three days we were able to experience traveling through Germany, going on the Auto-Ban, spending the night in a castle, and learning about German history. After Munich, we traveled to Hannover to meet our families for our home-stays.
On July 24th we all came together again to begin our camp experience at Abbensen. The camp itself is amazing and we are having so much fun and learning so much.
Having been at Kiniya for the past 5 years, it’s really nice to still be connected to camp while having a totally new experience, not just with German culture, but experiencing a different camp style. The schedule is different everyday, but follows along the lines of an extravaganza or all camp game in the morning, one in the afternoon, and one at night.
We begin every morning and end every night all together as a camp singing songs which makes a close community. It’s the community aspect that reminds me of Kiniya with the excitement of a new schedule and fun differences. There is so much energy here, it’s hard to not to be excited all the time.
Sometimes I can’t believe how lucky I am to have been able to be a Leader at Kiniya for first half, and at Abbensen for second half!
The 2nd week of 2nd session here at Kiniya has been an absolute blast! Here are some video and picture highlights! Enjoy!
Athletic competitions and team games are off and running with loads of energy from staff and campers alike! We’ve added a number of new sports such as Volleyball and Ultimate frisbee to our already expansive list. To bring in all the sports at once, we created a full on extravaganza highlighting each activity (with some extra fun stuff as well!) Check out the pictures below to get an inside look!
We’re all off to a great start here at Kiniya! Here are some highlights from the first two days in!
This just in from Matt Ator and the German Exchange Group. Sounds great!
The trip has been incredible so far. The three days in Munich flew by. We arrived in Hannover two days ago and sent the kids off to their home stays. We saw the boys this morning at a meeting with the Hanover mayor. It looks like they are all doing very well. Several of them went bowling together last night and we are all going to the zoo tomorrow.
The last 3 ½ weeks have been filled with an abundance of Camp fun, and we are sorry to be saying Good-bye to our First Session girls tomorrow.
For parents and families, here’s a glimpse of what we’ve been doing! For Campers, we’ll miss you and hope this will bring back some wonderful Camp memories throughout the year. Thank-you campers for the most spectacular First Session ‘Neath the Pines!
Yesterday was the Junior Division Extravaganza, and nothing beats some great, hands-on science experiments. The Juniors dressed up like students, and then made volcanoes using sodium bicarbonate (that’s baking soda to those of us not as educated in the ways of science as the juniors are), made oobleck using cornstarch, and made soda fountains by dropping Mentos into Diet Coke.
And what did we learn? At Camp Dudley at Kiniya, we LOVE science . . . especially if we get to make a mess!
Swimming, sailing, arts and crafts, drama, tennis, basketball, Arts, Individual , and Team Majors, team competitions, council rings, extravaganzas, service projects… First Session is in full swing at Kiniya, and we want to highlight two events from this past week.
The first event, from our program area, is obviously our annual July 4th celebration. This year saw the continuation of some traditional favorites, including an early-morning “wake-up” with Director Marnie and Leadership Director Bethany, our campus parade featuring festive vehicles and horses, morning relay races including dizzy izzies, because no July 4th is complete without dizzy izzies, and our annual July 4th Carnival in the afternoon. New events on the calendar this year included the 1st running of the Kari McKinley Memorial 1K and 2K road race around our campus, as well as the evening varietal “Kiniya’s Got Talent,” which showcased the diversity of singing, dancing, and comedy that defines our campus. It was a beautiful, sunny day, made even brighter by the active participation, energetic spirit, and camaraderie of this great group of campers, leaders, and staff.
The second event springs from our motto of “The Other Fellow First.” This week, the Junior Division put to work our motto by spending Friday afternoon making cards and tissue paper flowers for the children and families of the Ronald McDonald House in Burlington. The girls learned about the mission of the Ronald McDonald House and the importance of supporting the greater community outside of camp. We began the project by showing the girls a video of experiences told by children who have been helped by the Ronald McDonald House. The girls spent the better half of the afternoon writing encouraging notes and drawing cheerful pictures. Some common phrases included “have faith in yourself”, “Camp Dudley at Kiniya cares”, “you’re in our thoughts”, and “you’re an inspiration to us.” While the girls were participating in the project, we overheard many conversations revolving around previous service experiences and the importance of reaching out to surrounding communities.
In an effort to brighten the rooms of the families at the RMH, the girls beautifully crafted tissue paper flowers. The girls felt extremely fulfilled and proud after making the cards and flowers, and we only hope these gifts bring as much joy to the children at the RMH. The leaders in Junior Division could not be more proud of the girls and touched by their kind words. We made a short video for the families at the RMH to watch upon receiving the gifts, which we have shared with you below.
Until next time…
Our second week of camp is in full swing, and there’s LOTS going on!
Our aides have returned from their Aides’ Experience, a two-day through-hike on the Long Trail!
This Yoha photo was taken when we stopped for a snack on the first day of the trip. The spot is called Molly Stark’s Balcony, just in case you want to visit sometime.
As one of our Aides said on the first night of the trip, “I get it now! The whole reason we go on this hike is because it’s like a metaphor for camp. It’s challenging and beautiful, and then you’re at the top. Then, you head back downhill, thinking, ‘Hey, this is easier,’ but at the bottom, it turns out that there’s another mountain to climb. And you can’t get there without hard work and each other.”
And here’s the view from the lean-to when we woke up on the second morning! We worked on extending the metaphor to include this view, but all we could come up with was, “Wow.”
Every time I take a trip into the woods, I feel like I’ve experienced the best camp has to offer. Helping young women struggle through the challenge of summiting a mountain, talking for hours on the trail, really getting to know a small group of people well, seeing views like these . . . while I’m in the woods, it always seems to me that this is IT. This is the absolute best part of camp.
And then, I come back to camp. And the girls have painted a horse purple.
Seriously. They painted the horse purple. Well, okay, it’s an all-natural horse shampoo that comes out of the bottle purple and then helps to turn the horse nice and white when you wash him, BUT where else can you walk around and find a half dozen girls joyfully turning a horse colors? So, now I’m torn. What’s the best part of camp? Trips or what’s on-site?
Nah, it’s neither. I’m going to have to say that it’s the campers.
Check out the Week One Slide Show below!
There isn’t a single day at Kiniya that is like any other!
Each day is packed with action in a wide variety of ways with plenty of giggles, and a ton of fun built in throughout. With our regular program in full swing, our first and full session girls are bouncing from one activity to another throughout the day, and our Leaders and staff are providing a platform for each and every camper to find success.
The spirit of Camp is at an all time high. Cheers can be heard from the Welcome Center porch as girls move from one activity to the next, and the singing after meals is extremely impressive.
The Barn is a-buzz with activity, with 110 girls riding this session! Jorunn, Gillian and team are thrilled with our 34 horses and even more thrilled with the high level of instruction provided. ‘Ted’ continues to be a favorite, although a few new horses are contending for ‘top spot’ on the camper favorite list. ‘Stormy’ stands no taller than ‘Ted’ and spent Opening Day in Junior Village with our youngest girls. Not unlike the new campers, he has settled into his summer home beautifully and is a welcome addition to our camp community!
Our new Arts building is absolutely fabulous, bringing our Arts & Crafts Program to a new level. The addition of Pottery as an Art Major is a huge hit and the building is full to the brim during choice time each day! Our cast list for the ‘Big Show’ went up last night and first rehearsal begins today!
Down at the waterfront, all girls have completed their swim screening, and boating activities have begun. After some light rain last week, girls are taking full advantage of our glorious sunny days this week and have jumped into the many offerings at Junior Beach, which is now the home for swimming, canoe, kayak and sailing.
As Leadership Director, Bethany, and I walk around Camp, visiting the different cabins and activity areas, it is so apparent that all of our girls have really settled in and begun to make camp a place of their own.
Welcome Home girls!
The Camp Dudley Board of Managers Spring meeting was combined with the Annual Work Weekend this year and we got a ton done! Director of Maintenance Steve Denton had a long list of jobs to get accomplished and we tackled them all! After the Board of Managers meeting on Friday, the group stayed around for the weekend to pitch in with the regular Work Weekenders. Our friends from Sodexo catered the event with delicious meals. A big work crew went over to Kiniya to help Marnie and her team as well. We could not get camp ready each summer without this tremendous turnout and show of support. Thanks to you ALL! Mark your calendars and join us next year.
I write to you today to celebrate the life of a true Camp Dudley legend, William Henry Moore Vanneman, Sr., Camper #3560, who passed away April 26 in Winchester Hospital, Massachusetts. He was 102 years old.
You will not be surprised to hear that Bill, who had Dudley on his mind every day for the past 88 years, was still thinking Dudley to the end. According to his family members, who were with him these past few days, “He woke up, looked at us, said, ‘The Other Fellow First,’ smiled, and then fell back asleep. We are very sure that he was ‘amidst mountains and streams.’”
Bill came to Dudley for the first time in 1923, staying until 1926, and then returning to Camp in 1933 as a Leader. His two sons, #8674 Bill Jr., of Lexington, MA, and #8972 Reeve “Ting” Vanneman of Washington, D.C., were campers during the 1950-60s. Two grandsons, Matt Vanneman #16474 and James Vanneman #17174, were at Dudley in the 1990s. A great-granddaughter, Emma Kiesling #20972, attended Camp Kiniya from 2008 to 2010. Bill’s blood ran a very deep “Dudley blue.”
The son of Charles Reeve and Mercy Moore Vanneman, Bill grew up in Albany, N.Y. He first came to Dudley when his dad, a civil engineer, was persuaded by his friend “Chief” Beckman, to provide help in grading Dudley’s main campus. This work took place in the early 1920s and, a few years later, he did work on Dudley’s water supply at Stacy Brook. Fortunately for Dudley, young Bill tagged along and, in 1923, began a relationship with Dudley that was to last nearly 90 years.
Bill graduated from the Albany Academy, and then Cornell University, where his dad had graduated with the class of 1903. As Bill put it, “My dad started bending the twig fairly early” in the direction of Cornell. Bill studied English and Economics, rowed JV crew, was a member of the Kappa Alpha fraternity, graduated in 1931, and gently encouraged sons Bill Jr. and Ting to head in the same direction, which they did. Following graduation, Bill earned an MBA from Harvard Business School, served the country during WWII as a Lieutenant Commander in the Navy, and then joined Matthew Bender and Company, one of the leading legal publishers in the U.S., where he was senior vice president.
He and his precious first wife, Rosamond (“Arbee”), were married, lived in Old Greenwich, CT and had two sons, five grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. She passed away in 1990 after 52 years of marriage. His second wife, Happy, passed away in 1995 after three years of marriage.
Bill’s dedication to Cornell was reflected in the creation of the Bill Vanneman ’31 Outstanding Class Leader Award, awarded annually to Class officers for unusual dedication and service to Cornell. Bill was the first recipient, having served his class for more than 70 years.
As one of the legends of Dudley, Bill was always willing to share a story with a younger alum. He told me about one of his first jobs at Dudley as Chief’s Office Manager in the early ’30s – a summer position of much prestige for a Leader as Chief’s right-hand man. He recalled a night when he and fellow Leader Allyn Budington #3626, had stayed up very late to try to balance the books. Bill said, “At about midnight, Chief came into the office, looked at us suspiciously for a moment, and said, ‘The only guys I know that stay up this late are dog-nappers. Knock it off men, and get some sleep.’”
Bill was notorious for always giving credit to others, never seeking recognition for himself. He reminded us that Chief would say, “Do everything with honor, nothing for honor.” He was named the Camp Dudley Association Man of the Year in 1998, Dudley’s highest recognition. On his 100th birthday, then Director Andy Bisselle presented him with “The Keys to the Dudley Gates.”
When Dudley announced the expansion of its Mission and the plan for girls camping and leadership opportunities, Bill was one of the most enthusiastic supporters of the idea. In 2008, at the age of 99, Bill wanted to “do something helpful for the new girls’ Camp.” Wearing a CD Kiniya hat, Bill and his family went to Colchester for a celebration recognizing their sponsorship of the first new cabin at Kiniya, one of the most pressing priorities of the Camp.
As Kiniya Director Marnie McDonagh recalls, “At the ceremony, Bill listened to the Kiniya girls’ chorus sing, One Light. At the end of the ceremony, the Vanneman Cabin bunkmates presented a hand-made thank you card to Bill, and a single rose to each family member.”
“How old are you girls?” Bill asked.
“Nine,” they replied in unison.
Bill paused, and then said to the delight of the crowd, “Well, there’s a lot to be said for being 99 … They give you lots of parties and, almost always, a new hat!” He continued, “I can tell already that the Dudley-Kiniya ‘Other Fellow First’ motto is being lived out and experienced by many young women. This gives us all great hope for the future.”
The Vanneman Cabin at Kiniya, dedicated July, 2008, has a plaque that reads:
Later, when Andy Bisselle pressed Bill on what else was good about being 99, Bill thought again and said, “You don’t have much in the way of peer pressure.”
Bill loved Cape Cod and his retirement to South Yarmouth. A model of “The Other Fellow First,” he continued to get great joy out of delivering newspapers each morning to his friends at the Thirwood Place Community. D’Anne Hurd, a Dudley parent and Board Member, drove down to the Cape one day to meet Bill, and reported, “I had the honor of spending an hour with Bill Vanneman, Sr., age 100. Bill told me that he remembered my father, Ken Hurd. To say that I was blown away is an understatement. One thing that Bill said which was so moving was that he felt ‘The Other Fellow First’ was such an incredibly powerful phrase, that it encapsulated all of what the Christian religion was trying to teach us but in such simple, straight forward language. I told him about our hopes of sharing Dudley’s ideals and beliefs at Kiniya. He pointed out to me that he was especially happy that there was a girls’ Camp now at Dudley because he had only girls as great-grandchildren, not boys! He was completely optimistic about its future,” said D’Anne.
Bill is survived by his two sons, Bill Jr. #8674 and his wife Irene, Reeve “Ting” #8972 and his wife Jane, by two grandsons Matt Vanneman #16474 and James Vanneman #17174 and their mother Jill Jacovitz; three granddaughters, Kara Klein and her husband Ken Klein, Michelle Vanneman and her husband Chad Yoder, Julie Vanneman and her husband Scott Kiesling; and by the lights of his later life, his eight great grandchildren ages 2-14, all of whom adored him dearly.
Once in a very long time, a Dudleyite comes along who can be thought of as, “Mr. Dudley”… in short, an ambassador for the Camp and a reflection of all for which it stands. That would be Bill. Let us all pause, for a moment, to remember Bill Vanneman, Sr. #3560.
Matt Storey #13804, Director
A service will be held on Tuesday, May 3 at 1:30 pm at the First Congregational Church, Old Greenwich, Connecticut. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Camp Dudley YMCA or Cornell University. Bill, Jr. can be reached at 2 Berwick Road, Lexington, MA 02420, and Ting can be reached at 3071 Ordway Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20008.
Little and Big Sister assignments will be hitting the mail next week. Keep an eye out so you can start connecting with your new camp pals!!
Leading the way in Leadership Development our D-Heads are committed to providing their teams the support and guidance needed to ensure Kiniya’s continued growth and success! Lucy Solie-Vilker #20472 will be returning for her 5th summer, her second season as Junior Village D-Head. Lucy will be working very closely with Kelly Dale #21883, Junior Village Asst. D-Head. Sammi Muther #21531, spending her year studying abroad in London, has accepted the role as Senior Village D-Head. Sammi looks forward to working with Rebecca ‘Woj’ Wojciechowicz #21479, as Assistant D-Head of Senior Village.
This past weekend 10 of our 17 JL’s joined us in Westport for a weekend of fun and bonding. We really enjoyed our time together and shared our excitement for summer of 2011. To kick off the weekend, Marnie shared a video of Kiniya from the 1930’s followed by this year’s reunion DVD. Nightly vespers kept the mood focused toward summer and really allowed the girls to get to know each other a bit more. It was great to get the girls thinking about their new roles at camp this summer as first time employees! We were able to trek across the lake to our beloved home in Colchester and enjoyed some snowshoeing around campus and out to our new Lean-to! The weather was perfect and only two ended up on the ground throughout the whole afternoon! Before venturing to dinner, we all crammed into Homestead for a little planning ahead, brainstorming for vespers, games, and rainy days. These girls had so much to share this weekend and they will be outstanding JL’s this summer and I can’t wait to work with them!!
We’ve had a few flurries throughout the Fall and early Winter, but now we have our first real snow fall of the season, and the Campus looks beautiful! And boy oh boy is it COLD outside!