Frisbie Farm Joins the Dudley Community
Camp Dudley has had the chance to expand its physical real estate typically once during a generation. It was 1891 when Camp moved to Westport. In 1907, generous donors’ gifts helped Camp purchase the additional properties that became our permanent home and Main Campus. In 1939, 292 acres of the Stacy Brook area became part of Camp and provided wilderness experiences without traveling into the high peaks. And now, more than 80 years later, we have once again expanded our property to enrich our boys’ camping experiences further.
The purchase of the Frisbie Farm has been considered several times through the years. Each time it was given consideration, it just didn’t seem to be the right time… until 2021. Presented with a unique opportunity, the Board of Trustees considered the possibility. It directed Matt Storey to proceed with making an offer on the Farm to the north of the main Westport Campus. The time was right, and in April 2021, the 178 acres that had been considered so many times previously became part of Camp Dudley. While Camp has no plans to make it a “working farm” at this time, it did offer many opportunities to the community in 2021.
The Outdoor Program was able to take advantage of the fields and wooded areas of the Farm immediately. Our leaders worked with the Hike Hut team to establish three new overnight locations. One spot, perched on the property’s high ground, was called “Moo-Moo-Meadows” and became a favorite of the Cubbies. Another new campsite located near the property’s stream was called “The Glen” and offered sheltered seclusion to cabins that selected that location. The third site was nicknamed “The Range” and came with pre-planned golf as a cabin activity. The beginnings of the disc golf course began to emerge this summer and will undoubtedly grow in the future. It was even better and certainly closer than traveling to the Stacy Brook Country Club!
Speaking of Stacy Brook, the Farm’s fields provided the access we have needed to launch hikes directly into the Stacy Wilderness. Every Junior and Senior cabin hiked to the Stacy yurts or lean-tos so we could maintain our hiking program without ever having to get in a van! Not only did the boys have a great experience, but we were able to take advantage of HUGE savings in staff time and fuel costs that are required to support transportation into the Adirondack mountains and lakes during a summer where every resource was precious.
The 2021 leaders gave up much to be with us this summer. Their promise to remain on campus throughout the summer certainly contributed to our success with campers. But having the Frisbie Farm and the new farmhouse available as places and spaces where they could hang out and spend their days off and evenings relaxing was an incredible gift. These spaces ultimately contributed to keeping campers safe and offered leaders the opportunity to be together in meaningful ways. The Frisbie Farm inside the “Dudley Bubble” was critical to our success this summer.
Some have said the best views of the Dudley Dome are from the center of the Farm’s Fields. They would be right as the view towards each horizon is unfettered by tall pines. The wildlife on the property is extensive, leading some to consider nature trails that offer insights into local flora and fauna. Deer, turkey, quail, and grouse have all been spotted, in addition to the foxes, gray and black squirrels, and chipmunks.
The property provides a natural buffer to Camp’s northern boundary and a huge potential for future generations to discover and build, but only when the time is right. As yet one more example of the property’s potential, Camp was able to offer the Boquet Valley Central School cross-country team their first-ever home course! The athletes could not be more excited to have a home venue for their training and events. The course rambles through the fields, woods and even crosses a new bridge over the stream on the Farm! We knew there would be potential for trails, but little did we expect this added opportunity to present itself so soon. We have high hopes that the current cross-country route will be available this winter for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.
The property has been largely paid for by friends and alumni who have been interested in this project and stepped forward with generous support. There is still the opportunity to contribute to this once-in-a-lifetime investment. Make your gift online or contact Dave Langston at firstname.lastname@example.org. The addition of the Frisbie Farm is the capstone on a relationship with the Frisbies that dates back to Dudley’s earliest days in Westport.
With the addition of the Frisbie Farm to the Dudley Campus, we are excited for what the future might bring and the adventures that await and have yet to be discovered. Thank you for your generous support of the Frisbie Farm.