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Sunday Talks with JU

I am so proud (and psyched) to serve as the Chair of Camp’s Board of Trustees. As part of the Board’s commitment to communicating with the Camp Family and keeping you informed about who we are and what we are doing to plan ahead and to make Camp the best it can be, we created this “Sunday Talks” blog. You can expect to see a post from me here most Sundays.  Please always feel free to contact me directly at chair@campdudley.org.  And rest assured, the Board’s work is all about what you would expect — love, having fun, leadership, and the Other Fellow First.

Much love, JU # 11904

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Sunday Talks Blog

5.22.22 - Sunday Talk

I’m thinking this morning about two of the many great leaders who have chaired our Board. #11846 Tom (“TC”) Canning was chair from 2007-09. In his first year, I served as TC’s Board Secretary. I actually met TC at the first Dudley event I ever attended —the 1975-76 reunion (now called open house) in NYC at #9106 Greg Farrell’s apartment. Later he was the junior division head when I was a junior, and he took me on a memorable 1978 woods trip where he taught me a vision of leadership that I still remember today. “Leadership,” TC said, “is seeing what needs to be done and making sure it gets done.” TC was also a mentor in my first Board term, where he modeled how to be a responsible trustee and taught the importance of committees in advancing the Board’s work in the long stretches between meetings. TC recently suffered a stroke. He is doing well, and there are many positive signs, but he still has a long road ahead to full recovery.

 

#8804 John Storey chaired the Board from 1987-1988. His daughters #14002 Jenn and #14504 Jessica were on staff when I was a leader and #13804 Matt Storey was a camper I knew well. But I did not really get to know John until I joined the Board in 2003, when he was Dudley’s director of development. John taught me much of what I know about what it means to be a trustee at Camp, including knowing the importance of a trustee’s words, so I took what I said seriously and thought before I spoke — about other perspectives, and the impact of my comments, truly putting the Other Fellow First. John and his wife Martha published the Other Fellow First magazine (then known as the CDA News) for decades and he later orchestrated Camp’s first $10 million capital campaign. He was fond of reminding us that “development is everyone’s business.” Truly, John and his wife #18204 Martha have done more for Camp than almost any other individuals in our 137-year history. We see John less around the Westport campus these days, but he is frequently in our conversations and we know he will be just up the Dudley Road at the Storey Farm every summer, including this one.

 

TC and John embraced and carried forward Dudley’s leadership mandate — perhaps the most important thing we do; at least on par with the Camp motto. They have taught and inspired generations of leaders who followed them. And I am one of those. Most of all, both of these Camp icons led by example, showing the Board and others what it meant to lead and to take seriously the influence our words and actions might have on those around us and on the larger community at Camp and beyond. In the Hebrew tradition, these lessons are what is known as “mitzvot” — gifts that cannot be paid back. They can only be paid forward to future leaders and we are doing our level best to honor that mission.

 

Much love, JU #11904

5.15.22 - Sunday Talk

Your Camp Dudley and Camp Kiniya Board of Trustees is meeting with key staff this weekend on campus at Camp Kiniya. Summer has come early and we are enjoying 80-degree temperatures in Colchester that makes it feel even more like being at Camp. For the trustees, it has been a terrific reunion of friends. We spent Friday touring Kiniya, learning the campus and its history, experiencing the amazing improvements that we have made at Kiniya over the past 16 years thanks to your generosity, and exploring Kiniya’s future campus building needs and goals. #15198 Ben Cady and #25793 Monique Jones led a discussion of their work on diversity, equity and inclusion (“DEI”) in schools and how we may be able to support and improve Camp’s diversity efforts. We concluded with committee meetings in which the small groups that really advance the Board’s work had the rare opportunity to be to gather in person. After dinner (cooked by the legendary #20005 Gail Coleman herself!), trustees got together around the fire on the back porch of Mimi’s Lodge, passed a guitar around, and sang selections from Bob Dylan, James Taylor, and others. #25223 Liz Moore led a rousing chorus of “Wish You Were Here.”

 

Saturday’s full agenda began early in the morning. #25075 Leslee Mackenzie delivered an invocation on the subject of cherishing people as individuals and avoiding the pitfalls of putting them into categories. #13804 Matt Storey and #20001 Marnie McDonagh reported on Camp’s preparation for another “best ever” summer that starts in just six weeks! #22827 Jesse Smith and #13565 Chris Rodgers led a discussion of how Camp is managing rising costs and a tight labor market and balancing our budget while also meeting our staff needs and delivering the program our campers deserve. We kicked off the Board development season — discussing the Board’s needs and who may be able to serve in the coming years. We also adopted a proposal to change our Board terms in a way that we hope will make it possible for more people in the Camp Family to consider Board service. #21013 Bear McKani and #17982 Matt McElroy closed the morning by discussing the future of the Camp Dudley Association (“CDA”), which is heading for a name change later in the year.

 

In the afternoon, we focused on our 2022 strategic initiatives with a focus on our work surrounding DEI, including a report from a working group on the use of gendered language at our single-sex camps. We closed with a discussion of our efforts to improve Camp’s support for the mental health needs of our campers, leaders and staff, led by the remarkable #26142 Catherine Sanderson, who chairs Amherst College’s psychology department. As we leave Colchester this afternoon, our trustees and staff wish we had more time together. We part company refreshed and inspired for the work ahead, in the true spirit of love, leadership, and the Other Fellow First that defines the Camp experience.

 

Much love, JU #11904

5.8.22 - Sunday Talk

It’s Mother’s Day. Today I am thinking of the Camp mothers who have sent their boys ang girls to Kiniya and Dudley over the past 137 years. They obviously vary as broadly as the campers who have come through our gates – different backgrounds, different choices about professional paths, different relationships with their kids. They are probably the most influential group of people without camp numbers in our community. And one thing they share in common is that they all chose to send their kids to Camp Kiniya or Camp Dudley and gave us all the opportunity to join the Camp Family.

 

It is a brave choice. Camp, of course, is a place where kids go to strike out on their own away from Mom and Dad, often for the first time. Mothers have to let go of kids as young as ten years of age for longer than they have ever done in the past, so the kids can spread their wings. My own mother knew how important Camp was to me, but she used to lament how long I was away and how much she missed having me home. Conversely, while my Dudley career lasted another decade (and, indeed, one could say it hasn’t ended yet…), my mother last visited me at Camp in 1981. Still she has remained an important presence in my Camp life, advising me about how to handle campers, how to work my way up through the leadership ranks, and even how to address Board governance issues and now how to manage a Board of Trustees – topics on which she has long personal experience.

 

The role of mothers at Camp today is more robust than ever. Nine of our current Trustees are mothers and many others, including our most recent past Chair, are former Board members who still work actively with Camp. In fact, the Board is currently considering changes to the length of trustee terms and our meeting schedule and other requirements, with a particular focus on enabling mothers to join our ranks, while balancing the responsibilities of work, family and Board service. On the ground at Camp, mothers continue to assume more prominent positions on Dudley’s staff and Kiniya has long been a place where mothers, from Marilyn Williams to #20001 Marnie McDonagh and many who supported them, have led all aspects of camp. Of course, mothers still play the traditional roles that have been so critical to Camp’s success – outfitting their kids for Camp, preparing them emotionally and psychologically to be away from home, sending letters full of news and support, visiting and celebrating their kids’ achievements, and, perhaps most important of all, letting us go for a few weeks every summer, so that we can come to Camp and become better people. For all that and more, we are eternally grateful for our Camp mothers and wish you all Happy Mother’s Day.

 

Much love, JU #11904

5.1.22 - Sunday Talk

May is a big month for the Board of Trustees. We always meet in May — this year we’ll be at Camp Kiniya two weeks from now. In earlier times, that meeting culminated with a get together at the Director’s residence for the Kentucky Derby — at which #13081 Jack Mingle unfortunately was not dispensing advice. And at one of my favorite Board meetings, in May 2006, we approved the purchase of Camp Kiniya, which opened as part of the Dudley Family a month later.

 

May is also the month we begin identifying the new trustees we will elect to join the Board next year. #11889 Dwight Poler has described the Board nominations process as a matrix of considerations — and if Dwight thinks it is complex, you know it’s not easy! We begin by looking at what the Board is losing in the outgoing class whose terms end this year. In 2022, we are losing a public health physician who has served as camp doctor at Dudley and one of the leaders of our development and alumni relations committee, both Camp parents and strong professional women. Looking forward, we will examine the Board’s needs. Should we elect another healthcare professional in this time of unique health and safety issues? Do we need to add a minister or a trustee whose career is in the arts? How can we maintain the even balance of men and women we have worked so hard to develop? What are our other diversity priorities? Should we add more trustees who live outside the Northeast? Who are the next generation of Board leaders — perhaps those born in the late 1980s and early 1990s — and when is it right to elect them? What is the right mix of Camp alumni and folks whose connection to Camp is through their families? How will the Board support Camp’s fundraising and development goals? Those are just some of the important considerations we will discuss before we begin to identify the individuals who meet our needs and might join the Board in 2023.

 

Thankfully, in this critical work, we are led by #15198 Ben Cady, whose long career at Dudley culminated in three years as a division head (and he has remained deeply connected in the Camp Family), and Board Vice Chair #25368 Erinn Harley-Lewis, who will have kids at both our camps again this summer. Ben and Erinn have been actively engaged in Board development throughout their terms as trustees. They keenly understand that choosing the small group of people who govern our camps is one of the most important ways we have of influencing Camp’s future course and our prospects for continuing success. With the support of our Directors, former Board development chairs like myself and #12664 Ted Smith, and the involvement of the full Board, Ben and Erinn are well-prepared to begin the critical work of shaping Camp by carefully choosing the trustees who will govern our sacred institution. Here again, we are in terrific hands!

 

Much love, JU #11904

4.24.22 - Sunday Talk

During the CDA Reunion in 2006, I tried to persuade #7381 Paul Lutz to consider a return to Camp’s Board of Trustees. I cornered Paul outside MacLean Lodge and gave him my best pitch about the value he would bring to the boardroom and especially his perspective as an alumnus whose Dudley career dates back to the 1940s. Paul — it should come as no surprise — demurred. “You don’t need me back in the boardroom. Let someone else have a chance. If you want my thoughts, you know where to find me. I’m not going anywhere.” I conceded and we did not pursue Paul further, although he was true to his word about not going anywhere. He is still the most recent reunion chapel speaker, having given his latest sermon in 2019 — at age 90!

 

When I became a trustee again in 2017, I found that someone more persuasive than I had convinced #7951 Jack Kotz, whose Dudley career also began in the 1940s, to join the Board. Jack’s family has been connected to Camp for over a century. HIs grandfather was a boyhood friend of Chief Beckman’s. Jack’s son #12135 Pete Kotz was a leader with me and Pete and younger generations of the Kotz family are still at Camp today. Jack had the energy of trustees half his age and was always at the center of plans for trustee road trip adventures from South Carolina to Camp. He was also the leader of the Board’s committee that evaluated Camp’s programs and suggested possible enhancements. Jack’s nearly 60-year association with Camp gave him a unique perspective on what might (or might not) work.

 

More recently, #8580 Bob Craft, who came to Camp in the mid-1950s, has been the Board’s senior statesman. Somebody with a sense of humor assigned me to be Bob’s mentor in his first year as a trustee in 2019. (The notion that I had something to teach him was, well….) Bob’s son #14580 Tiger Craft had been a Plebe in my cabin in 1988 and he has grandkids at both our camps. After an enormously successful career as a lawyer — another field in which he is the one who should teach me — Bob took his talents back to Camp, where he has helped to steer us through the pandemic, as part of the Board’s risk management committee, and is working with the group developing our environmental strategic plan to preserve our campuses and natural resources for future generations. Bob’s knowledge of Camp history is invaluable. In discussions of the history of people of color at Camp, Bob alone can talk about his personal friendships with early pioneers like #9111 Buddy Howard, who is the first known Black person with a camp number, or #8481 Zenro Ozawa, who came to Camp from Tokyo around the same time Bob was on campus. As we continue our focus on developing an ever more diverse group of trustees to consider the interests of the entire Camp family, the Board remains committed to generational diversity as part of that effort, so that our progress will always remain rooted in our history and we can benefit from the perspectives of our elder statesmen and stateswomen who have lived the traditions that we cherish and seek to preserve and improve.

 

Much love, JU #11904

4.17.22 - Sunday Talk

Two weeks ago I got a text from fellow trustee #26245 Liz Kirkpatrick that read simply, “[#7405] Willie Schmidt is smiling down on you!” I had gotten the notion that Camp might be able to do something to help displaced kids in the US and around the world and Liz’s email was a response to a note I had sent her to explore the idea. Liz remembered Willie’s belief in the healing power of Camp and his efforts to expand our reach to benefit kids and families in need, who often came from faraway places and found a home at Dudley.

 

Earlier this winter, on the morning of my first Board meeting as Chair, #13820 Marcus Chioffi texted me a photograph of the two of us with Willie in 2007. In his inimitable style, Marcus wrote, “Just don’t screw this up. We’re watching.” Of course, I didn’t need to be reminded. After I stopped laughing at Marcus’ text, I paused to reflect. As he and Liz noted, in everything our Board does, Willie is always just behind our right shoulder. In our cub season, #10874 Doug and #10875 Steve Schmidt convinced my friend #11903 Geoff Whelan to pose for a “brothers” photograph (which Willie used to take of all brothers who were at Camp each year) with #11804 Rhen Alderman, who was not Geoff’s brother, although they looked a lot alike. Willie took no notice as they came up for their photo and announced them as “the Alderman boys!” That moment made us realize that Camp was a place where even an 11 year-old cubbie could play a joke on the Director and it would bind us to the community, which thrives on good humor. When Willie found out about the joke, he loved it.

 

Willie’s vision was far reaching. He fully embraced #20001 Marnie McDonagh and Camp Kiniya when they became part of the Camp Family in 2006. The dream of Camp Dudley for girls was one he had shared for many years — another example of that broad, inclusive spirit that Liz Kirkpatrick remembers. Willie and #16000 Lois Schmidt actually invited trustee #15293 JJ Alexander to live with them for his high school years because they (rightly) thought they could make a difference in his life. And when I was a new trustee in 2003, I had the audacity (that’s one word for it…) to suggest that Camp consider building an extreme sports center. The Board laughed it off, but I later learned that Willie had made the same suggestion, in yet another effort to reach a new generation of campers. The photo that Marcus sent me in February is from Willie’s final chapel address at Kiniya and it was the last time I ever saw him. I knew then that he would continue to inspire me and many others at Camp for years to come. Even now, when I often have to explain who Willie was to the generations of campers who have come to Dudley and Kiniya since he retired 28 years ago, Willie’s sense of humor, knowledge of history, tireless work ethic, belief in the power of Camp, and commitment to reach kids and families who have not been included in our programs, resonate loudly in my life and in everything our Board does. His spirit is alive and well at Camp.

 

Much love, JU #11904

4.10.22 - Sunday Talk

A year ago, the YMCA closed three Hudson Valley summer camps that had supported kids from underserved neighborhoods in New York City for over a century. The decision was announced just two months before camp started. #13804 Matt Storey promptly reached out to Camp Dudley’s former director #9398 Wheaton Griffin, who had been involved with the camps that closed in recent years, to explore how we could help the more than 1,000 kids whose summer plans had been upended. While one of them ultimately attended Dudley last year, we still wondered what more we could do for the other campers.

 

Two days before our last Board meeting, war broke out in Ukraine. Among the many images that flickered across my screen was a video of elementary school kids filing into a bomb shelter and sitting on a high shelf or berth while they awaited the all clear. I was left to consider where those kids will be this July and August – whether they will have summer programs like Kiniya and Dudley that give them hope and let them have fun after that awful experience. Once again, I asked, “what can Camp do to help?”

 

These events highlight the challenge of defining Camp’s role as a leader in the broader camping community and our obligations to kids and families who will probably never come to Kiniya or Dudley. It’s a discussion that dates back many years, which is hardly surprising at camps whose very mission is to “enabl[e] boys and girls to live lives characterized by devotion to others.” Of course, we are focused first and foremost on our camps and the Camp Family. And a significant part of Camp’s work consists of raising leaders and people of character who will make a major difference for kids in need and their families throughout the country and around the world. But does that fulfill Camp’s leadership imperative? And what is the extent of our obligation to assure that kids in need have summer opportunities, at our camps or elsewhere, which offer hope for the future and the chance to just be kids? These are difficult questions with no easy answers. Looking forward, the Board will be working with our Directors to develop meaningful strategies to address them, even as we remain keenly focused on our primary obligations to Kiniya and Dudley and our campers. I can’t tell you what our approach will be yet, but I can confirm that, as in all things we do at Camp, it will be rooted in love, leadership and the Other Fellow First.

 

Much love, JU #11904

4.3.22 - Sunday Talk

In the summer of 1949, Joe DiMaggio and the Yankees edged out Boston in a wild pennant race and went on to defeat Brooklyn in the World Series. Mao Zedong founded the People’s Republic of China. And, on the shores of Lake Champlain, Camp Dudley formed its alumni association. The Camp Dudley Association (“CDA”) began as a forum for Dudley alums to gather and reminisce, provide support for the Board (then known as the Camp Dudley Committee), share Dudley’s news, promote and recruit for Camp, and organize a summer reunion on campus. #310 Chief Beckman, who had retired as Director only two years earlier, was the CDA’s first Secretary, and his contemporary #410 Ed Austin (whose great grandson #13758 Jake Rutter runs Dudley’s outdoors program today) was the first President. The CDA immediately took over publishing Camp’s newsletter, which became known as the “CDA News.” It also hosted an annual meeting and banquet in New York City and the CDA reunion began that first year when 140 alumni and friends came to Camp for a weekend in late August. In 1959, the CDA named chapel icon Rev. James Lee Ellenwood, who had passed away earlier that year, as its first “Man of the Year” (now “Person of the Year”) — Camp’s highest honor.

 

While the original CDA was separate from Camp Dudley, it has become more a part of Camp over the years. Today the CDA’s officers sit as non-voting members of our Board, bringing the voice of the alumni community to our discussions. The Board, in turn, elects the CDA’s officers and many of them have later served as trustees. Camp has taken over publishing our alumni news, now known as “The Other Fellow First” magazine, but the CDA still organizes the August reunion at Camp (which we REALLY hope to resume this year!) and supports other events, including the Leaders’ Luncheon and the Kiniya Tea. In recent years, the CDA has become a voice for younger alumni and, significantly, alumnae — that is, young women who spent their camping careers at Kiniya. More women have been recognized as “Person of the Year,” including two of the last three individual honorees. And #19231 Kari McKinley became the CDA’s first woman officer in 2018 and first woman president in 2020. The CDA has since changed its leadership structure to have co-presidents, one from Kiniya and one from Dudley and additional changes are coming, likely including a name change reflecting the organization’s ties to both our camps.

 

Today’s CDA leadership truly reflects the best of our younger generation of alumni. Co-presidents #21013 Sarah (“Bear”) McKani (formerly McDonough) and #17982 Matt (“Rooster”) McElroy both had long careers at Camp and come from Camp families. Both are successful professionals who bring their talents and expertise from the worlds of law and finance to our boardroom, where they have become essential voices. And both have strong connections to Camp’s alumni in their late 20s and early 30s who will lead this community in the years ahead. Bear and Rooster have deep love and respect for Kiniya and Dudley and their traditions (Bear, you may recall, actually wrote the Kiniya Hymn “‘Neath the Pines”), but they also appreciate the need for Camp to adapt as we move forward into a post-pandemic era and embrace a Camp Family with even greater representation from Kiniya that is becoming ever more diverse in many ways. So, here’s to the future. We’re in great hands!

 

Much love, JU #11904

3.27.22 - Sunday Talk

Service on the Camp Board has been a huge part of my life. And I have served on the Board for a long time. I first joined in 2003 and have served for 11 of the past 20 years. Do you know who has served longer? #20001 Marnie McDonagh has served for the past 17 years and #13804 Matt Storey has served continuously for the past 13 years and also served a year and a half in 2008-09. You may ask, “aren’t they our Directors?” Of course, they are! Under Camp’s bylaws, the Directors also sit as non-voting members of the Board of Trustees. They are both the Board’s only employees and our fellow trustees.

 

What does that mean for Camp? It means the Board and our Directors have an amazing partnership that allows Camp to benefit even more both from Marnie and Matt and from our trustees. In addition to running Camp, assuring that we are oversubscribed and under budget, and delivering another “best ever” summer that is true to our motto and mission, the Directors are central to the Board’s strategic efforts to build an even better future at Dudley and Kiniya. They contribute their visions about, e.g., how to improve our campuses, develop our programs, keep Camp affordable, and assure diversity, equity and inclusion. And they provide essential information about what is actually happening at Camp that allows the Board’s decisions to be grounded in Camp’s current reality.

 

Camp is the winner in this arrangement. We get the benefit of our Directors’ leadership in both current management and future strategy and our Board is more informed and able to have more meaningful discussions and make better decisions. And the Directors interact directly with our Board and benefit from our expertise and oversight. As Board Chair and a long-sitting trustee, it is a treasure for me to find Marnie and Matt in the boardroom every time I return. Just like the rest of you, their presence is a big part of what makes camp “Camp” for me. But more than that, their participation as trustees on our Board is critical to our success. Quite literally, we could not do our jobs without them. It is one more reason to be grateful for both of our Directors.

 

Much love, JU #11904

3.20.22 - Sunday Talk

Billy Berger is probably the most influential person you’ve never heard of in Camp history. He was Camp Dudley’s director for one season in 1907. Charged by the YMCA with finding a permanent home for Camp and a leader to build its future, the irrepressible Berger engineered the purchase of the Roe farm, which is still Dudley’s campus today, and hired Chief Beckman, who served as director for 40 years and defined Camp as we know it. Berger had a vision for the Westport campus that began with a small capital campaign to fund the construction of Dudley’s “Lodge,” a precursor to Beckman Hall, which sat in the same location and also served as the dining hall. In short, Berger had a big year!

 

A decade later in Colchester, Vermont, a young woman from New Jersey named Helen Van Buren –another enormously influential person who is little known to many at Camp– rented the Winnisquam Orchards on Lake Champlain and opened the summer camp that would become Camp Kiniya. In 1925, she convinced skeptical bank officers to lend her the funds to purchase the next door McNall Farm, where Kiniya’s campus remains today. Like Billy Berger, “Miss VB” had a vision. She oversaw the construction of camper cabins, a dining hall, the office and welcome center, the original Lodge (theater), and a music practice cabin (among other buildings) and, of course, planted Kiniya’s famous pines (as in “’Neath the Pines”) with her own two hands.

 

Today, Camp’s leadership continues to explore visions for the development of our campuses in ways that will benefit future generations. In recent years, Kiniya replaced its dining hall and built a new Lodge, arts and crafts center and several camper cabins. Dudley, for its part, added the Hank Poler Leadership Barn and dramatically expanded the campus with the purchase of the Frisbie Farm. Looking forward, the Board is focused on supporting our Directors’ visions for Camp’s future. #13565 Chris Rodgers leads our strategic initiative on capital projects planning. Chris’ team is working with our Directors to develop long-range plans for both campuses and considering, among other projects, Kiniya’s need for staff housing, the possibility of building an alumnae house on the Colchester campus (like MacLean Lodge at Dudley), and what will be needed to support Dudley’s programming on the Frisbie Farm. It is a time to dream big and then to plan carefully and realistically to assure that Camp can realize its dreams for the future “boys [and girls] through the years.”

 

Much love, JU #11904

3.13.22 - Sunday Talk

At at time when many Dudley and Kiniya campers, leaders and staff have endured great disruption in their lives and are seemingly under greater stress than at any point in the past, we are very fortunate to have a nationally-known psychologist leading our strategic efforts to support our community’s mental health and healthcare needs. #26142 Catherine Sanderson chairs the psychology department at Amherst College. She joined our Board in 2021. Last month, Catherine spoke to the Board about mental health in teens and young adults — that is, young people the ages of our campers, leaders and much of the staff. Some of the facts she presented pose important challenges for Camp, as we emerge from the pandemic. In recent studies, parents report new or worsening mental health issues in more than 20% of teen boys and more than 30% of teen girls. For their part, young adults reported higher levels of emotional distress during the pandemic than any other group, with fully two thirds saying the suffer medium or high levels of distress. And social media has increased pressures on young people to live up to images of their peers thriving that are often unrealistic.

 

Many of us think of Camp as a haven and we were so happy to be able to reopen in 2021 and give our campers and leaders the Dudley and Kiniya experiences and time away from home that they craved. But campers obviously cannot check their stress at the gates and Camp provided more mental health support last summer than ever before. Some of that was driven by the effects of the pandemic and some resulted from broader social trends and a greater willingness among younger folks to address mental health issues openly. Regardless, the research Catherine shared tells us this is a need that is only likely to increase in coming years.

 

For all these reasons, Catherine is chairing the Board’s 2022 strategic initiative on mental health and healthcare delivery. We have begun by identifying the challenges Camp confronts and cataloging our efforts to meet them in recent summers, including the amazing work of #22046 Mollie Farnham Stratton, who has served as Camp’s social worker and supported young people at both Kiniya and Dudley; #22830 Anita Johnson, who works with campers and families as they adjust to Camp life; our leaders, whose training includes how to meet all of their campers’ needs, including emotional and mental health; and, of course, our Directors. Camp is adding new counseling resources at both Dudley and Kiniya for the 2022 season. And thankfully, we have Catherine guiding the Board’s effort to develop a comprehensive strategy, so that our Directors have what they need to navigate this evolving terrain and make sure Dudley and Kiniya kids are well cared for and able to have fun at Camp and focus on the life lessons about character, leadership and service that make our camps so special.

 

Much love, JU #11904

3.6.22 - Sunday Talk

In the summer of 2019, I sat in Witherbee Hall and watched then-Board Chair #22898 Whitney Phelps and incoming CDA president #19231 Kari McKinley present Camp’s Person of the Year award to #15305 Sheila Kapper, who was head nurse at Camp Dudley for 30 years. That moment, when we saw women assume all three of the most revered positions in our alumni community, was a long time in coming. In fact, it took 99 years before Dudley even issued Camp numbers to women regularly. Hymn sing icon #10475 Ellie Edwards and director’s assistant #10698 Helen Moak received numbers in the late 1960s, and it appears legendary Camp secretary Martha Ellenwood was next. In 1983 she refused her own number and adopted her late husband Jud’s number with a “-W” suffix (presumably for “wife”) – so her number was #4606-W. That summer, Camp began issuing numbers to all women staffers. The first group to receive regular Camp numbers included Olympian #13295 Leslie Milne (1984 bronze medal in field hockey), Martha’s successor #13300 Pat Allen, and three of the Coyne sisters—#13281 Carol, #13288 Tracy and #13302 Mary.

 

After the Camp number barrier fell, women began to assume positions of even greater importance at Camp. In 1968, Ruth Marshall had been the first woman recognized as the CDA’s person of the year. #18178 Joan McKeown won the award in 1993 and it went to #16000 Lois Schmidt the following year. In 2018, Camp Kiniya’s founder, Helen Van Buren, became the first woman to win in her own right, and Sheila was the second in 2019. In 2020, the CDA itself finally got a woman president, when Kari took the job. Meanwhile, #17400 Betsy Griffith, who was head of the Madeira School in Virginia, became the first woman to join Camp’s Board in 1998. In the ensuing decades, our Board has become equally balanced between men and women and Whitney became the first woman chair in 2019.

 

Of course, we are now entering our seventeenth summer operating an entire camp for young women and girls in Colchester, Vermont. Our first woman director, #20001 Marnie McDonagh, is delivering on Camp’s motto and mission for a generation of Kiniya girls who will lead Camp into a future that has already arrived. Under their leadership, we will continue to assure that women are celebrated in our community and that all people in the Camp Family are on equal footing, regardless of gender. It has been a long journey and we are still climbing.

 

Much love, JU #11904

2.27.22 - Sunday Talk

Here is a photo of three guys who left home at fifteen and never moved back. #15293 JJ Alexander grew up in the Bronx and came to Camp Dudley as a senior in 1990. The following summer, instead of returning home from Camp at the end of the season, he moved in with #7405 Willie and #16000 Lois Schmidt and finished high school in Westport. JJ later moved back to the New York area and his daughter now attends Camp Kiniya. #25737 Shiro Nogaki grew up in Japan. He came to the United States as an exchange student at Greenwich High School in Connecticut, stayed to attend the University of Vermont, and went on to a successful career in finance. Shiro and his wife have sent three kids to Dudley and Kiniya. As for me, I grew up in Manhattan and came to Camp Dudley in 1976. After the 1981 season, I went to boarding school in Massachusetts, followed by college in New England and then moved to Southern California, where our family still lives. All four of our kids attended Dudley and Kiniya and we have been Camp parents for 20 consecutive years. All these years later, this Jewish kid from Manhattan, Japanese kid from Tokyo, and Caribbean kid from Trinidad are forging deep personal bonds as we work together to support the camps we love so dearly on the Board of Trustees. It’s a classic Camp story.

 

Shiro is leading our finance committee, drawing on his background in banking and investment. JJ joined the Board this year and is working with our development and alumni relations committee and has emerged as a leader in our strategic efforts on environmental sustainability, which is a focus of his work for Con Ed in New York. I am engaging with all of our Board’s committees and initiatives in my first few months as chair, relying on my professional background as a litigator and long experience on the Board. Our friendship and camaraderie makes our work as trustees more collaborative, more effective, and more fun. And the diversity in this group, and in the Board as a whole, helps our discussions to address the interests of the entire Camp Family.

 

This weekend, the Board of Trustees met for the first time in 2022. It is so awesome to be able to gather in person, after nearly two years of remote meetings on Zoom. As one trustee put it, “I can’t remember the last time I laughed so much, but also was so inspired.” We opened with an invocation from #26245 Liz Kirkpatrick on a theme of coming together as friends, in a selfless and positive spirit, to serve Dudley and Kiniya. The Board heard reports on Camp’s planning for another “best ever” summer in 2022. We approved Camp’s budget for the year and discussed the fundraising and development strategy. We spent the afternoon in spirited discussion of our strategic initiatives. The Board has the opportunity to be aspirational this year and to plan for the future on core topics including keeping camp affordable for working families, preserving our natural resources, addressing the evolving healthcare and mental health needs of our campers, leaders and staff, planning for future building and capital projects, and implementing the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion plan that we published last fall. All that work will keep us very busy over the year ahead as we work with our Directors as a diverse team of friends to plan for a robust future at both our camps.

 

Much love, JU #11904

2.20.22 - Sunday Talk

#9111 Cleveland “Buddy” Howard was the first known Black person with a camp number at Camp Dudley. He joined the music staff in 1956 and stayed until 1959. Dr. Howard later earned a Ph.D. in music and was a professor at the University of New Hampshire. The first Black camper was #9778 Calvin Chapman, who was a cub in 1961. His brother #10047 Phillip joined him in 1963, making them the first Black family to send more than one camper to Dudley. #10057 Sam Amukun was the first Black leader in 1962. He was a sprinter at Colgate University and competed in the 1960 and 1964 Olympics. In 1966, #9918 Simeon Moss, who was later a university spokesperson at Cornell, became the first Black aide, and #10055 Drew Hatcher, whose father was the first Black person to serve in the White House press office, became the first Black JL.

 

These are some of the early learnings of Camp’s “Alumni of Color Project,” which the Board commissioned in 2020, partly in response to a call from a group of young alumni to explore and tell the history of Black people at Camp. A dedicated group reviewed every cabin, staff and half-season camper photo in every Camp Dudley “Last Whistle” as part of a larger effort to identify every Black person (and ultimately every person of color) who ever came to Camp. The idea was that if we were to tell the history of Black people (and other people of color) at Camp, we first needed to know whose stories we were telling. The process can be imprecise – old photographs reveal only so much and Camp’s yearbooks date back only to 1938 and do not cover our first 53 seasons. We know from other records that Black people worked on Dudley’s staff as early as the 1890s and #3102 Yoshio Osawa, who later ran Japan’s Toho film studio, came to Camp around 1920, but there was no Last Whistle in those days. Moving forward, we appreciate that there are far deeper lessons to be learned as Camp’s alumni of color describe their experiences at Dudley and Kiniya. It is also clear that we will need a historian to take on the job of synthesizing and telling these stories. Still, the Alumni of Color Project’s research has been a critical first step.

 

Of course, telling Camp’s Black history is only one aspect of the Board’s work on implementing our October 2021 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (“DEI”) Action Plan. Under the leadership of #25793 Monique Jones, who focuses professionally on DEI in schools, the Board and our Directors are moving forward together with every aspect of that plan – from reviewing and revising Camp’s policies and procedures through a DEI lens to increasing diversity among our campers, leadership and staff, and Board of Trustees to assuring that our camps and our alumni activities are welcoming and affirming environments for the ever more diverse community that is the Dudley and Kiniya Family. In all this work, there will be tough stories to learn from and great successes to celebrate. Camp has made a lot of progress in its DEI efforts and we are not finished!

 

Much love, JU #11904

 

P.S.: For those who want to explore further, you can learn more about Camp’s DEI Action Plan using the link below.

2.13.22 - Sunday Talk

To a Dudley boy I never had the privilege of meeting:

 

I got word Sunday evening that you died in a snowmobile accident last weekend.  Awful was the first word that came to me.  Tragic.  Heartbreaking.  Unbelievably sad.  Devastating.  These were some of the words used by friends in the Camp Dudley and Camp Kiniya Family when they learned the news.  Before anything else that we do or that we are, at Camp or beyond, most of those folks are parents.  Some of our kids are in their 30s and 40s, some are just babies, and some are 16 years old, as you were.  And we felt your loss deeply.  I know I did.

 

Because we never had the privilege of meeting, I asked people at Camp and in the Westport community about you.  They said you were a soccer player – a goalkeeper with great promise – and you played for our friend Evan George.  I feel sure I must have seen you practicing with his BVCS Griffins team on Dudley’s upper fields last fall.  You also played basketball and made such an impression on one of your coaches that he said he felt a piece of him died with you.  You were a classic car buff, like your grandfather, with a knowledge of vintage cars far beyond most kids your age.  And a “sneaker head,” as one person put it.  I wonder how many pairs you owned and what styles.  You were an animal lover.  The first photo of you in the local newspaper shows you holding a dog and your family asked that donations in your honor be made to the local society for the prevention of cruelty to animals.  And, of course, what connected us to you most directly was that you were a Dudley boy – one of us.  Perhaps I also saw you when I spent the afternoon on the Coach Ben Nelson basketball courts one day in the summer of 2019.

 

One of your coaches spoke about how you made a point to let him know how much you loved him whenever you saw him.  That story made me believe that you had a pretty good read on who we are and what we value at Camp Dudley – love and looking out for the other fellow.  I hope you and your family will know that you made a difference here.  You were at Camp for only one summer, but you are remembered well, especially by those with connections in Westport and the surrounding area.  Please also know that you will always be one of the “boys through the years” at Dudley – a long line of more than 27,000 people (actually including both boys and girls) who have come to Camp since it began in 1885.  Your memory, both as an individual Dudley boy and as part of that eternal heritage, inspires literally everything we do at Camp.  I only wish we could do more to bring peace to your family, your friends and your community.

 

Much love, JU #11904

2.6.22 - Sunday Talk

In the fall of 1975, #11903 Geoff Whelan and I were in the market for a summer camp to attend the following year. The camp we had attended in New Hampshire closed when the owners decided to retire. Geoff’s mother identified a handful of camps and Camp Dudley quickly rose to the top of the list. We loved the people we met at the New York City reunion (as the open houses were called in those days), hosted by #9106 Greg and Cathy Farrell, and especially the irrepressible #7405 Willie Schimdt, who sold us on Camp in the same way he convinced so many others. But unbeknownst to us, another factor was at play that made a major difference in our parents’ decision to send us to Camp — cost. In 1976, Dudley charged just $900 for a camper to attend full-season. If the season were the length it is today, when campers usually come for one of Camp’s two sessions, the prorated price would have been about $350. That affordable price made all the difference. We came to Camp Dudley the next summer and the rest is history.

 

Camp’s history is rooted in delivering meaningful summer programming at a reasonable price. In announcing Camp’s move to Westport, New York for the 1891 season, Sumner Dudley told parents the tuition would remain $1 for two weeks (or so it appears on an old document that is tough to read). By 1902 the Camp tuition was still just $2 for eight weeks — a lot more camp for a similar price. And that low price persisted. In 1928, Camp’s tuition for eight weeks was $150. And tuition remained essentially flat, adjusted for inflation, for nearly 60 years. The eight-week tuition was $300 in 1948 and still just over $900 in 1978. Beginning in the late 1980s, camp’s costs and its price increased significantly, to the point where one-session tuition surpassed $6,000. While this price is in line with or below what our competitors charge and Camp has worked hard to limit tuition growth, the Board and our Directors became increasingly concerned with keeping camp affordable for all families.

 

In 2018, the Board launched the Keeping Camp Affordable initiative, which we call “KCA.” We studied trends in the price of Camp and in tuition as a percentage of household income, which both showed significant growth over the past three decades. And we committed ourselves to develop strategies to lower Camp’s tuition so that all families can afford to send their kids to Dudley or Kiniya. The first step was Camp’s adoption of a tiered pricing system. Instead of one tuition, Camp now offers five tuition tiers that parents can choose based on what makes sense for their families. Last summer, nearly 300 campers took advantage of the opportunity to choose a tuition other than the top tier. Camp was full and it thrived financially. For 2022, Camp is offering a tuition tier at $2950, which is less than my wife and I paid to send our son to Dudley as a cub twenty years ago. Yes, we actually lowered the tuition that much. The Board, for its part, remains committed to KCA and to developing long-range strategies to enable Camp to continue offering tuition options that working families can afford. Another of our key strategic initiatives for 2022, led by #14571 Pete Groves, is focused on how we will keep camp affordable for decades to come and how we will fund the strategies we devise. After all, affordability is not just something we care about at Camp. It is an essential part of our history and who we are.

 

Much love, JU #11904

1.30.22 - Sunday Talk

I had a text exchange with #13804 Matt Storey last summer after Camp purchased the Frisbie Farm property. He told me about the huge undeveloped spaces that provided great opportunities for outdoor activities and getting back to nature. “What will you do with it?” I asked. “Bring back the cubbie swamp walk,” he suggested. That cubbie swamp walk was a pivotal moment in my cub season in 1976. Under the leadership of #10248 Cam Plowden, half the cub division waded through waist-deep muddy water and pretended to be muskrats on a day hike they called an “acclimatization.” I didn’t even know what that word meant. And, as a New York City kid with little experience in the woods, I was WAY out of my comfort zone. 46 years later I still remember it as a message that I had a lot to learn in this new place and a door that Camp opened for me to a (sometimes pretty challenging) relationship with nature that I might otherwise have missed.

 

One of our Board’s key initiatives for 2022 focuses on environmental strategy. We have only just begun to discuss what our focus will be. Under the leadership of #25416 Alice Tornquist, the Board is exploring everything from how we conduct outdoor education to the effects of changes in Lake Champlain on Camp’s programs. From managing the trees and plantings on both campuses to controlling Camp’s water use, energy use and carbon footprint. From sustainable food sources to making responsible use of the Frisbie Farm Campus. And, yes, whether to bring back the cubbie swamp walk. We start from a good place. Dudley and Kiniya are already very environmentally friendly places — among other things, we grow food on campus at both camps, we mill our own lumber for construction work, and we have a thoughtful outdoors program that helps to connect campers with nature.

 

The Board intends to be purposeful in creating environmental strategies for Camp that build on our history of respect for the environment and allow us to emerge as a national leader on sustainability within the camping world. We know that natural resources are, as Teddy Roosevelt put it, a sacred heritage we hold in trust for future generations. At Dudley and Kiniya, we mean to embrace and protect our natural environment, both at Camp and in the larger world. It’s challenging and heady stuff — all in a day’s work for Camp’s Board as we develop long range strategies for the benefit of Camp’s next 27,000 campers and beyond.

 

Much love, JU #11904

1.23.22 - Sunday Talk

Last week the Camp Board’s Executive Committee met in Southern California to discuss our strategic priorities for 2022 and how we will work together to make Camp the best it can be. It was a carefully planned meeting that involved repeated rapid testing and confirmed triple vaccination by all participants. And the 77-degree temperatures allowed us to meet and conduct all activities outdoors. The result was a productive time and warm reunion with Board Vice Chair #25368 Erinn Harley-Lewis, Treasurer #13565 Chris Rodgers, and Secretary #12664 Ted Smith. Because it was a Camp meeting, we began with an invocation, and the theme was “why not me?”

 

We first discussed Camp history. Chief Beckman, we agreed, was probably Camp’s most influential figure. He opened the Dudley campus in his first season as director in 1908 and built most of the familiar buildings that still stand over the next 40 years. Chief also introduced core Camp traditions like the Camp Motto, leadership training, the daily schedule, and our athletics, overnight hiking and drama and music programs. But we recognized that there were other leaders from Camp’s early days who could well have become the central figure that Chief became. Sumner Dudley, who founded camp, was a pioneer in American camping. He established Camp’s first permanent home in New Jersey and later moved Dudley to Lake Champlain for the first time. If he had not died in 1897, at the age of 43, it could be Mr. Dudley’s vision that shaped Camp. George Peck, who came to Camp in its first season and was camper #1, became director in 1897. He expanded Camp to more than 225 campers, established regular business operations and instituted the 8-week camp season. He was a fixture at Camp, as a visitor, until the 1940s. If he did not have to return to his year-round business in 1903, it could be George Peck that we remember. Finally, the irrepressible Billy Berger, who was director for only one season, committed himself to giving Dudley a permanent home and finding a long-term director to guide Camp for generations. He succeeded spectacularly, overseeing the purchase of the current campus and hiring Chief as his successor. If Billy Berger were more focused on his own advancement at Camp, it might be him we remember.

 

As we considered the possibility of a world in which someone other than Chief Beckman became Dudley’s central historical figure, it led us to ask more basic questions. Why not me? Maybe none of us will serve as Dudley’s or Kiniya’s director or institute programs that become core aspects of Camp. And we obviously did not come to Camp at a formative moment when many basic decisions were still being made. But much like Sumner Dudley, George Peck and Billy Berger, we have the opportunity to make important decisions that keep Camp strong and help it become an even greater place in the future. And why not you? What do you imagine yourself doing to improve Camp Dudley or Camp Kiniya or the lives of the people in the Camp Family? Will you be a leader, a division head, a future director, influential alum or board member. Will you start a new program, identify a new campus, hire a visionary leader, or improve Camp’s financial security? If Camp’s history teaches anything, it is that we need the contributions of a wide range of people. So why not me? And why not you?

 

Much love, JU #11904

1.16.22 - Sunday Talk

The 2022 Camp Dudley and Camp Kiniya Board of Trustees met for the first time this past Wednesday. It was a New Year’s kickoff on Zoom with a packed agenda. We welcomed four new trustees and introduced the Board’s strategic initiatives for the year. Most importantly, we accomplished our first major goal of 2022. The Board voted unanimously to retire all of Camp’s outstanding loans and to restore Camp Dudley and Camp Kiniya to zero debt for the first time in more than 15 years. As a result, Camp will no longer carry a debt service burden and can use funds that would have gone to paying down loans to reinvest in our people, our programs and our facilities.

 

Our debts were incurred to support visionary investments that changed the course of Camp. We took a mortgage loan to purchase Camp Kiniya in 2006 and launch our summer programming for girls. We took construction loans to build the Coleman Dining Hall in 2017 and Mimi’s Lodge in 2019, giving Kiniya’s campus the same core buildings (a dining hall and an auditorium) that anchor the Dudley campus. And we entered into another mortgage loan to purchase the home of Kiniya’s former owners, Jack and Marilyn Williams, which is located on the Kiniya campus, after they both died in 2014. Thanks to the enormous generosity of the Camp Family, we raised the money to pay for each of these projects. The loans allowed us to realize our vision for girls camping sooner, knowing that your contributions would ultimately allow us to pay them off promptly. Wednesday was the day that finally happened.

 

The retirement of Camp’s debt is the result of great financial management by #13804 Matt Storey, #20001 Marnie McDonagh, #10932 JR Scanlon, #17600 Fred Guffey and #22827 Jesse Smith, among others. It is also a tribute to the success of Camp’s development team under #10555 Dave Langston, #19542 Dawn Gay, #8804 John Storey and #15900 Bonnie Vaughn. And we stand on the shoulders of remarkable Board leadership from the likes of #12152 Charlie Johnson, IV, #11846 Tom Canning, #11889 Dwight Poler, #10643 Matt Quigley, #22898 Whitney Phelps and #12764 Chris Perry, who had the financial acumen and confidence in this institution to borrow strategically and enable Camp to realize its dreams, while always assuring that we were secure and in the black. And they accomplished all this even after the pandemic forced us to cancel our summer programs and take in zero tuition dollars in 2020.

 

Over the years, the Board’s discussions on this subject have truly brought out the best in all of us. We had different views about whether Camp should incur debt. As one of the “debt hawks” on Camp’s Board, I have always been very reluctant to approve borrowing. My views are based in our conservative history with respect to loans. Prior to 2006, Camp had only taken on debt once — in 1968 when we agreed to purchase the Westport campus from the YMCA for $140,000 payable over 30 years. But I was persuaded by others with long experience in finance and management that, in order to make a generational opportunity like Camp Dudley at Kiniya happen, we could take out another mortgage loan to buy a second campus in Colchester, so long as we had a plan to raise the funds to pay it back. And given our successes in the Building for the Future capital campaign, some of those same leaders persuaded me that we could take on short term loans to fund key buildings on the Kiniya campus, secure in the knowledge that we would repay them soon. On Wednesday, the tables turned and we “debt hawks” had our day, assuring that Camp made good on its commitment to eliminate these loans in the short term. Over the course of 15 years, our Board, Directors and finance and fundraising teams worked together, listened to one another, realized a dream, paid for it, and restored Camp to its historic position of zero debt. It is a moment for us all to be very proud of what we have accomplished as a Camp Family and a great way to start the year.

 

Much love, JU #11904

1.9.22 - Sunday Talk

If anyone on Camp’s Board of Trustees fulfills the image held by some in our community that Board members are special people, it is my friend Erinn Harley-Lewis. Erinn is probably the hardest working lawyer I know. You can call her at any hour of the day and find her on her computer at what used to be her dining table. Erinn lived in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean before settling in the DC area. She was a teacher and trustee at a school in Kenya. Erinn and her husband have three awesome kids, two of whom were at Camp last summer. She made a viral video of her younger daughter imitating Kamala Harris that got nearly 750,000 views on Twitter alone and was so popular that the Vice President herself commented on it. Erinn also has emerged as a leader in Camp’s Boardroom. She joined the executive committee in just her second year on the Board, led our 2021 task force on diversity, equity and inclusion, and wrote the DEI action plan that we published in October. And now she is our first woman Vice Chair of the Board. That’s pretty special. 

Of course, one of the purposes of these Sunday Talks is to demystify Camp’s Board. And if anyone can do that, it’s also Erinn. She was still very new to Camp when she joined the Board. She had been a Camp parent for only two years. But if you have been around Dudley and Kiniya, you know that we are pretty good at giving talented people jobs they may not feel quite ready to handle and helping them thrive. It happens on the Board in just the same way it does at Camp. And Erinn is a great example. She went from new Camp parent to Board Vice Chair in five years! And her path is a model for how folks with less experience at Camp can become very influential trustees, if they want to make the commitment. I hope a wide range of people in the Camp Family will see themselves in Erinn and become inspired to serve on the Board.

 

At a personal level, my experience with Erinn drives home one of the most important points about Board service. It is another stage in a Dudley or Kiniya lifetime and it carries many of the familiar benefits of Camp. I have been fortunate enough to make several lifelong friends while serving on Camp’s Board — people I did not know before we served together and who are now part of my inner circle. Sound familiar? Erinn Harley-Lewis is definitely one of those. When I think of her, I can’t help hoping that many of you will have the chance I had to make new friends later in life as you work together with them to support the camps we love so well. 

 

Much love, JU #11904

1.2.22 - Sunday Talk

Some of you who were around in the summer of 1988 may remember it as the “summer of love” — a theme cooked up by yours truly and my old friend #12082 Patrick Butler. It started as a joke. We thought it would be funny to announce a “love of the day” at breakfast and have everyone at Camp tell that person “I love you” all day long, whenever they saw them. What evolved was anything but a joke. The theme became transformational. For people who were named “love of the day,” it was amazing to be told “I love you” repeatedly, all day, by everyone you saw. I know. I was one of them late that summer and the experience could sometimes leave you speechless. And it went beyond that. In subtle ways, the summer theme brought out the best in our community — encouraging us all to declare our love for one another openly. Even the toughest and unlikeliest of people were willing to say it out loud.

 

The emergence of the 1988 “summer of love” theme is such an essential Camp story. What started as a joke took on a life of its own and became a meaningful way to build people up, to express who we are, and to strengthen our community. It reminds me of a quotation that was posted on the wall of Edie cabin at Camp Kiniya one summer, which reads “watch carefully, the magic that occurs when you give someone just enough comfort to be themselves.” (h/t #21303 Ellie Whelan) I paraphrased that quotation as part of a talk I gave about Camp a few weeks ago, at the Rotary Club in San Marino, California. Camp, I told them (with the 1988 summer theme firmly in my mind), is about love. And it is an amazing thing to see the magic that occurs when people are part of a community where they know they are loved for who they are.

 

Today, I begin one of the adventures of a lifetime, serving as Chair of Camp’s Board of Trustees. Camp is working on big plans in the coming years, including for how we will use the Frisbie Farm property, how we will keep Camp’s tuition affordable, and how we will make our camps affirming and inclusive places for a wide range of people. We also face major challenges, including how we will navigate the pandemic and its aftermath, how we will adapt to changes in the climate and environment, and how we will meet the evolving health care needs of our community. I can’t tell you today how all that will work out. But I can promise you that our Board’s work on every issue will be rooted in love — for one another, for all members of the Camp Family, for Camp Dudley and Camp Kiniya and for the larger community we lead and serve. After all, as we said back in ’88, love is what Camp is all about.

 

Much love, JU #11904

#11904 John Ulin

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