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2020 Health Update

Here at Camp Dudley and Kiniya, we are keeping a close watch on COVID-19 and how it affects our community and beyond. The health and safety of all in our care is our first priority, today and always. You can check back here for frequent updates to our community. During this challenging time, we are sending our love and support to our extended Camp family. Thank you for your continued support in return.

Matt & Marnie

Our next update for 2020 Camp families will be on Monday, April 20th.

If you have specific questions, please reach out to the following team members. We are all working remotely at this time, so email is best.

For information about payments:
Fred Guffey, Business Manager – fred@campdudley.org

For information about making a contribution:
Dave Langston, Director of Development – dave@campdudley.org
Dawn Gay, Operations and Database Manager – dawn@campdudley.org

For information about Leadership or Admissions:
Evan George, Camp Dudley Leadership Director – evan@campdudley.org
Marnie McDonagh, Camp Kiniya Director – marnie@campdudley.org

April 15, 2020

Dear Camp Family,

During this uniquely challenging time, supporting each other and our community we love is the primary focus. You are all in our thoughts, and we hope you are staying safe and healthy. While we are working remotely, the entire team continues to be deeply engaged and is hard at work every day.

Late last week, we, as Directors of Camp Dudley and Camp Kiniya and Chair of the Board of Trustees, met virtually with the full Board to discuss the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on our camps’ operations this summer. After careful deliberation, lengthy discussion, and consultation with experts in the fields of camping, education, medicine and public health, the Board unanimously decided to suspend all of Dudley and Kiniya’s existing programs for the summer of 2020. As a result, we will not operate the first or second sessions at Camp Dudley or Camp Kiniya, the champ division one-week program, the Spanish or German Exchange, or our NOLS programs.

The decision to suspend our existing summer programs was painful for everyone involved, as we know it will be for many of you. 2020 will be the first summer in 135 years at Dudley and 101 years at Kiniya that we are unable to open our camps. We are confident, however, that this is the right and necessary decision. The health and safety of our campers and the entire community is our paramount concern, and the only way we can guarantee the safety of the young people entrusted to our care is to suspend our summer programs, as we know them.

Since the very beginning of the pandemic, we have closely followed communications from federal and state authorities, the American Camp Association, the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, among other sources. As more information emerged, it became clear that we cannot operate the programs that define Dudley and Kiniya safely this summer. Under these circumstances, our Camp Motto — the Other Fellow First — compels us to prioritize the well-being of our campers and staff and our local communities in Westport and Colchester.

While we won’t be coming together for our traditional programs this summer, we are working on creative ways to connect and engage with our community in the coming weeks and months. We also are deeply committed to working with our Community Partners to assure that campers who are part of their programs are well supported this summer. And, we have already begun our preparations to deliver THE BEST EVER SUMMER for all in 2021. We’re counting on your continued participation in all of our efforts.

We recognize our decision not to operate our summer programs as planned will be devastating to many, including the hundreds of boys and girls looking forward to this summer at Camp. But rest assured that, even though the pandemic required us to suspend our 2020 camp season, we will always have Camp to ground us and to guide us in unsettled times. We know that Kiniya embodies a “spirit strong and kind,” and that Dudley “live(s) in the hearts of men.” Our beloved Camps are eternal symbols that transcend any one summer. They will remain in continuous operation every day of every year in all of our hearts, in our homes, and in our communities. 

We eagerly await the time when we can welcome you all in Westport and Colchester with open arms, loving hugs, and enthusiastic high fives. Until we can safely do that, please hold your families close and know we are here for you in these uncertain times. And, we will know our beloved Camp community is here for us, too. The best way to reach us during this period is at our email addresses below.

Wishing you and your loved ones peace, safety, and good health,

Matt Storey #13804
Dudley Director

Marnie McDonagh #20001
Kiniya Director

Whitney Phelps #22898
Board Chair

PS. We understand that many families are under tremendous stress and pressure right now, personally and financially, and can assure each of you that paid camp tuition for 2020, including the deposit, will be fully refunded. We will be in touch with enrolled camper families and leadership about next steps on Monday, April 20th. Because news travels fast over social media, we encourage all parents of enrolled campers to share the information in this letter with them right away.

Personal Message from Matt | Personal Message from Marnie

March 15, 2020 –  The following update was sent to alumni from our Board Chair, Whitney Phelps.

Dear Alumni,

As we look forward to the summer of 2020, we reach out today to keep you apprised of our ongoing response to the coronavirus (COVID-19), which we know is affecting all of our families.

Here at Dudley and Kiniya, the health and safety of our entire community is—at all times—our top priority, and we are monitoring the evolving situation closely.

We communicated with all of our currently enrolled camper and leader families on Friday with the following message: based on what we know at this time, we do not currently plan to cancel any programs for summer 2020. We continue to prepare for an amazing camp experience that we hope will start on schedule three months from now! You can link to the letter here.

These are uncertain times for us all. Circumstances are rapidly changing daily and sometimes even hourly. I know you are all busy managing school closures, adjusting work schedules, and meeting your family’s basic needs. I am thinking of you all as you work through your own personal circumstances and challenges in your communities at home.

You can be reassured that our Directors, Matt Storey and Marnie McDonagh are working closely with our Risk Management Committee and our Board of Trustees here at Camp as they continue to evaluate best next steps for Dudley and Kiniya. They are assessing all possible contingency plans—especially now with many school closings occurring nationwide. While there are many unknowns, Matt and Marnie and their teams are thinking ahead and strategizing potential scenarios in order to make the best and most well-informed decisions on behalf of the health and safety of our beloved community.

If we do decide to make any changes to the summer program offerings, I will communicate directly to you, our alumni, by email.

As always, I can be reached directly at chair@campdudley.org.

Take care of yourselves and each other,

Peace and love,

Whitney Phelps, #22898


March 13, 2020 – The following update was sent from our Directors, Matt & Marnie, to parents of campers through leaders, as well as directly to leaders, who are enrolled in Camp programs for the 2020 Summer.

Dear 2020 Dudley and Kiniya families,

As we look forward to the summer of 2020, we want to reach out about Dudley and Kiniya’s response to the coronavirus (COVID-19), which we know is affecting all of our families, especially those in communities with active outbreaks.

Here at Dudley and Kiniya, we are monitoring the evolving situation closely. The health and safety of our entire community is—at all times—our top priority. Based on what we know at this time, we do not currently plan to cancel any programs for summer 2020. We continue to plan for an amazing camp experience that we hope will start on schedule three months from now!

We have always taken great care to develop and maintain effective health screening, policies, and procedures required of our close residential setting. We adhere to stringent cleaning and sanitation protocols at all times, and we maintain medical practices to address a variety of communicable diseases, both common and rare. These will continue to be a focus in the summer ahead, with the addition of any extra layers of precaution if recommended.

Since the situation is changing rapidly, we will be following developments and working closely with our Board of Trustees, the NY and VT State Health Departments, and the American Camp Association on any next steps. If any program changes or cancellations (on campus or off campus) need to occur as the summer draws near, we will communicate directly with those impacted. We will be in contact with all current camper families again no later than April 15th with an update on program status.

Our hope is that the current efforts at social distancing and the reduction of group activities occurring in communities—as recommended by government agencies and institutions—will work to contain and reduce the spread of COVID-19 and permit us to operate all of our programs without interruption. Perhaps one of the best gifts we can provide our campers at this time will be a magnificent 2020 summer together in the fresh air on the shores of Lake Champlain.

Our thoughts are with those who have already been affected, including all of our students whose institutions have moved to remote learning and those whose programs abroad have been interrupted. It’s during times like these that we strive to live “the Other Fellow First”, through care and support of one another. While being physically present in the broader community may be challenging or not possible for many right now, the extension of love and support through virtual outreach and kindness is always good!

If you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to contact us by phone or by email. We’re always happy to hear from you and grateful for your support and trust.


Matt & Marnie


ps: While there are many news outlets reporting on the COVID-19 virus, our primary sources of information are:

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