Our Beliefs & History
We count on the following to guide us in all that we do.
The Other Fellow First
We strive to develop moral, personal, physical, and leadership skills in the spirit of fellowship and fun, enabling boys and girls to lead lives characterized by devotion to others.
OUR CORE VALUES:
Character | Community | Leadership | Stewardship
We believe in inclusion and respect for all individuals. We believe that every member of our community is unique and that respect is the foundation of our culture. We believe that our Camps have a responsibility to create an inclusive, caring and welcoming environment that allows all people to reach their full potential.
We are committed to creating a culture of sustainability through educational programming, healthy living, environmental stewardship, and responsible business practices in our campuses and communities.
Camp Dudley’s history began in 1885, when, with backing from two YMCA associates, George Peck and Rudolph Leypoldt, a 30-year old volunteer named Sumner Francis Dudley started the Boys’ Camping Society or “B.C.S.” Dudley established, through personal example, the importance of committed leadership and the spiritual life.
He also developed Dudley’s first daily program, based on swimming, boating, canoeing and hiking, as well as time for spiritual reflection. Boys were soon encouraged to bring their baseball gloves… and a summer camp was born. For his pioneering initiative, Dudley became known as the “Father of YMCA camping.”
After bouncing around among various sites, Camp Dudley landed in 1908 in Westport, New York at its current site, and the process of building Camp Dudley as we know it today, began.
Camp Dudley’s motto, “The Other Fellow First,” was adopted in the early 20th century and the camper population grew and grew. The campus switched from tents to cabins and several more permanent structures were erected as the enthusiasm for this special place spread.
There have been almost a dozen Camp Directors over the years, several of them remaining at the helm for many years. H.C. “Chief” Beckman guided Camp Dudley from 1908 to 1947, when Bob Marshall began a 22-year stint. Willie Schmidt took over the helm (from Rollie Stichweh) in 1974 and stayed at his post until 1994. Andy Bisselle was the director from 2000 to 2010 when the current Director, Matt Storey, took over the reigns.
More than 100 years ago, in 1919, a summer camp for girls was born on the shores of Lake Champlain. Having been founded by Helen Van Buren on leased land, the new property of 118 acres, with its two miles of waterfront, was purchased in 1925. Buildings were erected without delay and the summer of 1926 saw the new Camp Kiniya well established in a permanent home of its own.
In 1951, Jack and Mimi Williams purchased the Camp and Kiniya continued to thrive under their leadership for 55 consecutive summer.
In 2006, the Williams Family sold Kiniya to Camp Dudley and Marnie McDonagh remained on as Camp Director. Since then, Kiniya has adopted many of Camp Dudley’s extensive program offerings, including leadership and spirituality, while building on its own rich history and traditions.
Today, Kiniya’s property has grown to 146 acres, and our camper numbers have grown from 6 campers in 1919 to 170 campers per session today. We are devoted to supporting girls, in a safe, fun-filled, and electronics-free environment. We partner with parents and families to build character and confidence in the lives of children as we provide lifelong memories, authentic friendships and an undeniable sense of being respected, loved and accepted.