Finding Connections in Plain Sight – By #26245 Liz Kirkpatrick and #11945 Rob Kirkpatrick
Lost sheep are often found in unsuspecting but familiar places. Our Ghanian son and exchange student attended Kent School in Connecticut. Arriving in America at 14 years old, everything was new to Emmanuel, and he relied on the guidance of his advisor for much of his academic and cultural navigation. As his host parents, we were in frequent communication with his advisor and developed a friendship of enormous gratitude for all that the school and its many coaches, teachers and staff did. Their efforts made a profound difference in this young man’s life over the course of four years. Over the next seven years, our Ghanian son went on to college and now plays professional soccer, which has been his lifelong dream.
#11945 Rob Kirkpatrick, Ema Twumasi, #26245 Liz Kirkpatrick
#11699 Adam Fischer, Ema Twumasi
Earlier this year, the MLS schedule brought the now 25-year-old to Gillette Stadium in Massachusetts. It provided an opportunity for those who knew him in his younger years to see him play. Included in that group were his Kent School advisor and us, his host parents. It was a chilly spring day and, although the sun was shining bright, we were all bundled with hats, gloves, and scarves. Seeing my Camp Dudley wool hat, his advisor’s eyes lit up and a broad smile came over his face, thus beginning the inevitable exchange. Emmanuel’s advisor was none other than #11699 Adam Fischer who attended Camp Dudley summers 1975 – 1978 and has previously given back to Camp through Leadership Training.
While the Camp connection had eluded us for years, the rest of the conversation was fueled by the great admiration for the place that holds so many fond memories across generations. Over the years, there was a gap in Adam’s connection to Camp Dudley and he fell out of communication. We put him in touch with his 1976 Last Whistle through the new online archives, and he is now back among our Dudley and Kiniya community. Camp’s motto, “The other fellow first,” is deeply rooted in his career as an educator of young people, now serving as the Head of School at The Rashi School in Massachusetts.
We share this story to highlight how important our Dudley and Kiniya community is and the enormous impact each individual has in the cultivation and connection to our alumni. If you are reading this, you are among those for whom we have current information. Unfortunately, there are some campers, staff, and leaders who have become disconnected. We ask that when you see fellow members of our community that you ask them, “Do you hear from Camp?” If not, it is a great opportunity for you to help us reconnect with them. Please share their name and contact information with the camp office.