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The Storyteller Project

Alumni of Camp Dudley and Camp Kiniya love to tell stories. Whether it is leaders and staff chatting around a campfire in the summer, an eager camper returning home from their first time on the shores of Lake Champlain and enthusiastically recounting every detail to their parents, or old friends reminiscing over dinner in a city far away from Westport or Colchester, when you get people with camp numbers talking about Camp, they can go on for hours sharing memories. These can be stories from that day, just a few months before, or from decades long ago; regardless of when they took place, they are always a joy to hear. This is the foundation of the Storyteller Project. We want to preserve these stories, share them with the community, and figure out a way that they can be enjoyed for decades to come.

Storyteller Project

The Project Continues

Spring 2024 Update

Since our last update, we have collected more content for the Storyteller Project from some distinguished Dudley alumni, and we have also expanded our options for participation. In December of 2023, we sat down in the camp archives with #8070 Ben Nelson, who reminisced about his many years and many roles as an integral part of our community. His stories include: the history of his famous “Michigans,” the off-season, off-campus alumni football gatherings, and one of his favorite Dudley shows, an adaptation of Winnie the Pooh. Ben remembers #7532 Paul “Grinny” Grinwis as Tigger, his brother #7681 George Nelson as Eeyore, and #10617 Roger Stebbins as Christopher Robin.

In February we were able to sit down via Zoom with #6581 Berkeley Johnson and #7381 Paul Lutz to discuss the different chapters of their long Dudley careers. This included their time as Leaders and members of the board. Among many highlights, Berk discussed Hymn Sings by the old Witherbee fireplace and his favorite Big Shows from the 1930s and ’40s. He enthusiastically described them as, “Something else!!” Paul began by talking about first coming to Camp as a member of the K-Crew with #7405 Willie Schmidt in 1946. As part of his story, Paul recounted memories about what the kitchen and food at Dudley were like “back in the day.” This included great anecdotes about Friday cleanup in the dining hall, plucking over 300 chickens, and peeling an uncountable amount of potatoes for Sunday dinner. Did you know that Sunday lunch was an event open to the Westport community in those days? Paul highlighted that it was a lot of work, but it was also a lot of fun and with great camaraderie.

Finally, #8252 Charlie Johnson III and #8580 Bob Craft recorded and submitted their stories via our website. Charlie contributed great anecdotes from his many Dudley years, including a humorous story about then-Director Schmidt on one of his famous visits to the Capitol in Washington, DC. This story includes a meeting Charlie arranged with then-House Speaker Tip O’Neill and the gifting of a Dudley tie (or as Tip thought, a District of Columbia tie). Bob shared a wonderful story about a canoe trip with a reluctant turned enthusiastic #7446 John Brust.

This continually evolving project will grow and take new forms as more and more people participate. Everyone is welcome! While we will keep facilitating longer sit-down discussions to share with the community, we would also love to hear any shorter, distinct stories you have to tell. We want to hear it, whether it be a stand-out hike or extravaganza, a cherished memory from Beckman Hall, or a funny anecdote about a favorite Leader or camp friend! Email drew@campdudley.org with questions or for more information.

Upload Your Story

Have a story from a time or experience at Camp? We’d love to hear it! It can be video or just audio, recorded on your phone or computer. We’re looking for 1-3 minute clips from all members of our Dudley and Kiniya community. Topics can include, but are not limited to:

  • Cabin Memories
  • Favorite Hike or Canoe Trip
  • Stories from the Stage
  • Friends and Fellowship
  • Memorable Extravaganzas
  • Dining Hall Stories

If you have multiple stories to tell, we’d love to hear them. For ease of editing, organization, and getting them out to our community, please record them as separate pieces. Thank You!


  • Open recording software on your computer (Voice Memos on Mac)
  • Record your story to the Voice Memo program
  • Name it and move it to your desktop
  • Click the “Upload Your Story” button above
  • Drag your story from the desktop to the upload box
  • Complete the Dropbox form
  • Click Upload

Reach out to Dave Langston at dave@campdudley.org or Drew Rider at drew@campdudley.org if you have any questions.

Listen to a sample from #8580 Bob Craft:

If you have questions or would like to participate,
please contact Drew Rider at drew@campdudley.org

Applications for 2024 Available Now!APPLY