Brown Ledge Magazine 2016

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Preparing this magazine has been like planning a birthday party for an old friend. We realized early on that there’s just one way to celebrate her life: honor her with our stories.

We never tire of hearing from current and former Brown Ledgers who put their camp experiences into words. It’s not an easy thing to do, as many of you will attest. It’s hard to convey the meaning of the people and events from our earlier lives and the effect that they had and continue to have on our now-grown selves. But Brown Ledgers, we find, are up to the challenge. In three issues of Brown Ledge, the magazine, we have reached out to dozens of campers, counselors, alumnae,

and BL parents, and our requests for contributions have been met with a near universal, “Sure! When do you need it?” From the 1920s through the 2010s, there are some common themes to our stories: growing confident and independent at camp, the value of hard work and persistence, endearing (and sometimes absurd!) bunkies we have known and loved, the value of failure, and the gift of life-long mentors and friends. Finally, we hear gratitude. Brown Ledgers give thanks

and they revel in the opportunity, as JCs and counselors and then as alumnae, to help re-create the magic for the next generation of campers. Your remembrances come to us via letters, chapel speeches, Ledger and magazine articles, and we cherish every one. Thank you for sharing your stories.

Bill & Kathy Neilsen Directors, Brown Ledge Camp

2-0-1-6 at Brown Ledge Camp: another year, another highly anticipated edition of the Brown Ledge Magazine! I know that, for me, 2016 brought much change, and with change came much uncertainty. It is comforting to know that amidst the chaos of life, some things remain constant. Brown Ledge is one of those constants. No matter the path life takes, whatever roots trip us up along the way, the pattern of Brown Ledge remains the same. We as alums can count on, year after year, a sanctuary of familiarity and solidarity in Brown Ledge and its tradition. I look at the Brown Ledge Magazine as a way of bringing that familiarity into our homes and weaving camp into our daily lives – a reminder that Brown Ledge spirit never dies! Robyn Sonis President, Brown Ledge Board of Directors

Brown Ledge Magazine

Table of Contents 4




2 7 8 10 12 13 C 17

Wanted: Camp Counselors International Perspective Guest Author: Sondra Russman Tradition and Change Guest Author: Amelia Weir Brown Ledge Turns 90 Centerfold: History Timeline Guest Author: Lucy Jenks


18 19 20 21 22 23 24 28

Brown Ledge Foundation List of Donors Planned Giving Circle Endowment Fund Work Weekend Stay Connected Bulletin Board Volunteer Appreciation



Brown Ledge Magazine

by Kim McManus

In 2012, not one, but two essays appeared in Motherlode, the N.Y. Times online parenting blog, extolling the benefits of working as a camp counselor. These essays have resurfaced online every year since, usually in June and August. For those of us who have been a camp counselor for a summer, or twenty summers, neither of the essays contained any surprises. In essence both essays surmised that being a camp counselor is demanding but rewarding work. What did catch our eye was that the essays were written not by camp directors, or former camp counselors, but by parents: parents of past and future camp staff. In a world that demands that our young adults “be productive” and use their summers during college “well” (think: internship, lab work, or working at a “real” job), the essays argued that everyone needed to take a second and examine what camp counselors do, how they spend their day, and what they get from the summer camp experience. Well, let’s dig in and find out.

You will never find a job that makes you work as hard for the amount of fun you will have doing it. You will make more than a few life-long friends. You will find out things about yourself that will truly surprise you. After just one summer, you will have had a permanent, positive impact on the lives of several people. Your perception of what children are able to achieve, given the freedom to choose, to fail, and to try again, will be changed forever. — Dicky Hayward, Riflery

Katharine Watson and Noa Cohen

Brown Ledge Magazine

You realize as you get older at BLC that while the campers and junior counselors are the energy and life that make Brown Ledge what it is, the counselors are the behind the scenes magicians who keep the splendor of camp alive. — Ally Bruschi, Tennis Staff Photo 1976

Being a

Magician To a non-camp person, being a camp counselor appears straightforward – watch over some kids, keep them safe, help the kids have fun, and at some camps, teach a specific activity.

If you are a current, or past, BLC counselor, you know that being a camp counselor is a much more complex and nuanced endeavor. Aside from the blood (damn, mosquitoes), sweat (wood chip day), and tears (six-week slump) that a counselor sheds each summer, a Brown Ledge counselor spends all day doing very specific tasks (some assigned, many not) all in the quest to create a magical place for girls to live, play, and grow.

A counselor has her/his contractual duties – working within a department, sharing three meals a day with her/ his table, overseeing a camper cabin (women), hosting evening games (men), and evening duty. Within these duties, counselors give their talent, passion, and patience. One former head of sailing described his assigned duties as follows: “I felt like I was going non-stop from the first to last day of camp. Managing a junior and senior staff, maintaining eight sailboats (four of which were wooden), running the racing program, planning and giving all the Vanguard lectures, and writing and grading all the tests, and planning and running two sailing overnights. Not to mention the day-to-day operation of the sailing dock with all the moving pieces – campers coming and going, boats coming and going, boats capsizing that needed help, boats becalmed that needed towing in, pinched fingers, lost jewelry, tears of fear, tears of frustration, tears of rage. The dock can be a very busy place. Even when it is calm, that only frees up time to fix something.” And you thought the sailing dock was the tanning dock! The above counselor’s name is purposefully left out because, except for the extra Department Head duties, every counselor at Brown Ledge could insert his/her own overfull list of daily and weekly duties into this article.

Mills Knight Howland, Extravaganza Day Captain; Birthday Theme in the Dining Room; Kylie Mullins coaching Zabette Kerman for the musical; undivided attention on the Rifle Range, Dicky Hayward and Ibby Anda.

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Brown Ledge Magazine – Continued from page 3

By doing their assigned jobs, counselors ensure that camp functions. But it is within the moments that are not required, that are not contractual assigned duties, that counselors give the stuff that makes camp magical for campers. A perfect example of the extra work, of counselors going the extra mile to create the magic-inducing moments, is the somewhat recent tradition of “birthday themes.” Brown Ledgers over the past fifteen years or so have taken birthday tables--specifically, the dressing up for the birthday dinner--to a whole new level. Once upon a time, a birthday table might dress up for dinner, which meant wearing something nice or maybe having some party hats. Well, not anymore. Now birthday dinners have themes, with outfits, decorations (at least three visits to Arts and Crafts), and sometimes accents and/or scripts. Seriously, it’s involved. And don’t get us wrong, it’s fun--a lot of fun. But, oh you young, cool counselor who gets a table request every week for a birthday table… you know: it’s a lot of work. Many a recent counselor is reading this article remembering an evening similar to this: a few weeks into camp, 5:45pm, lying in your bunk relaxing after teaching for hours, relishing the fifteen minutes of cherished alone time before dinner, when suddenly, in a panic, you remember that you need to be a crayon, or a pregnant teenager, or a Supreme Court Justice, or a socially awkward Goth for a camper’s birthday dinner. A lesser counselor, maybe at some other camp, might think “whoops” and not go to dinner in costume. As a Brown Ledge counselor either a) you brought your own personal costume trunk to camp precisely for these moments (you know who you are), or b) you create a minor miracle in the next fifteen minutes with materials found in your cabin that would make McGyver proud.

The ability to deal and pull it together - whether the “it” is an epic birthday costume, running extravaganza day in the rain, or casting twenty skunkers in a one act - is a point of pride for most Brown Ledgers. It’s just what we do. However, a counselor’s willingness to deal, to give a camper extra time, to do an additional task for his department

- all the time, for eight weeks - is when a counselor is giving more than his talents: that counselor is giving camp little bits of himself. And all those bits and pieces - some might say parts of our counselors’ hearts and souls - create the magic that campers do not fully recognize as rare and precious until years after their first summer.

Caroline "Smurf" Murphy, Katie Reynolds, and Emmie Nilsson.

Benefits Package BLC takes a counselor’s blood, sweat, tears, heart, and soul. So what does a staff member get from this deal? Big paycheck? Hmm…no. Meal plan? Yes, but you quite literally have to sing for your supper. Housing? Mosquitoes and chipmunks included free of charge. An informal online survey of past and present counselors revealed that staff get paid back in two ways: belonging to a community and heaps of responsibility. And these two things either make one-summer counselors never forget their eight weeks at Brown

Ledge, or it makes long-term counselors move mountains in their personal and professional lives to keep coming back. There are not many places in this world where we feel that we fully belong, that we are completely integrated into a community. To feel like you belong, you need to be known, and for you to be known, you need to be your real self. As a counselor living and working, side by side, with the staff in the Brown

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It doesn’t matter if you are twenty-one or forty-five, if it is your first year or your twelfth year – everyone is welcoming and supportive. That sense of community makes it so much fun to work alongside other staff members. — Hilary Strimple, Tennis Hilary teaching; Ian McCloud and Stable Boys

Ledge bubble, for over eight weeks, you get known! There is no time to self-edit or keep up a façade: you need to be you at camp, and in doing so we get to know each staff member in a way that does not happen in most work environments. As Liz Bell, former Head of Riding and former Brown Ledge Foundation Development Director, explains, “I was (and still am) my truest self at BLC. At BLC, I am happy, loved, confident, appreciated, joyful, and--most of the time--not stressed out. I was at ease with exactly who I was at any given moment.” And knowing that you belong somewhere stays with you. Jill Danneman Smith, former sailing counselor, shared: “I became who I wanted to be at BLC and I reconnect to that person every time I stroll down the gravel road.” To put it another way, to be known and accepted for who you are is to be valued and loved. Jean Lincoln Bartlett, former sailing counselor, remembers her years on staff as “a period in my life when I had the gift to work for an organization that loved me.” How many times in your life do you think your job loves you? “The philosophy of BLC empowering people to make good choices and learn from their disappointments and accomplishments is a wonderful environment to work in. I have also learned a lot about myself and learned how to be a better teacher at camp.” Lori Angstadt, tennis, office.

Being an integral part of our summer society might make counselors feel great about their experience, but to keep counselors coming back year after year, counselors need a bit more from BLC, and that currency comes in the form of responsibility. To be clear, all counselors have responsibility at camp. From the very first day, we expect new--often young--counselors to take care of another person’s child, AND teach activities that involve some risk. That’s a lot of responsibility! But counselors who reflected most passionately on their time at BLC pointed not just to responsibility, but more responsibility, as the factor that they most appreciated about their time at BLC. If you’re a good counselor at Brown Ledge, we will let you know, by giving you more work, more responsibility:

a phenomenon known by some as the “Kathy compliment”. (Highly likely that H.E.B, Marjorie Brown, and Barbara employed similar tactics.) Katy Robbins Ritz, former swimming counselor and current Board member, had a “Kathy compliment” during one of her first few years on staff. Katy Robbins knew how to push boundaries as a camper. When Katy, as a counselor, had a cabin of her own, Kathy assigned Katy a cabin of girls who also enjoyed testing limits. Katy remembers that at a staff meeting that summer, “Kathy looked right at me and said ‘Payback is a bitch.’” Katy’s immediate reaction was … happiness. Katy recalls that she loved that Kathy trusted her to handle – Continued on page 6



Brown Ledge Magazine – Continued from page 5

this cabin and that, in her words, “I was trusted to use my experiences as a camper and share some hard lessons with my campers.” The key to the “Kathy compliment” is that it is genuine and that you are asked to do something Kathy knows that you have the skills to accomplish. Sometimes it feels like a bit of a stretch, but the job is something Kathy knows you can do and, more importantly, that you are the right person for that job. You may not know yet that you can do it, but she does. In the middle of the

summer, the positives of being given more work are not always self-evident. (“Hey, awesome counselor X, I have a tricky situation. I need you to cover two camper cabins, second session, and here is the laundry list of issues within the cabins.” Umm….thanks?, Kathy.) If the counselor can sense the compliment in the moment, great. But even if she does not view the extra work as a plus, she will likely feel a sense of wellbeing as 1) she is being told “I trust you”, and 2) she becomes immersed in this challenging but doable task.

Olivia Osburn (in picture 2nd year sailing JC, this summer on senior staff) and Wayne Banks.

Camp counselors can out-parent parents. I often believe parents should do less, and should sometimes take themselves out of the picture, especially in the summer, when it’s easy to stop battling and turn some of the toughest parenting challenges over to 20and 21- year olds who can perform magic with their children. — Michael Thompson, author of Homesick and Happy: How Time Away from Parents Can Help a Child Grow

“The hardest thing for me was also the most rewarding. It was the constant responsibility.” Bob Fardelmann, Sailing The combination of belonging and responsibility creates a contentment that many staff members feel during their time at Brown Ledge, and that combination appears to be the true payday for all of their efforts. Michael Kennedy, a golf counselor from the ‘60s and ‘70s, explained that he had “a moment, several moments, that stayed with me for forty years. I was in ‘Plaza Suite’ when I would have this sense of being in line with everything that exists.” We all know that feeling. That moment, or moments, when your abilities and the challenges around you are in perfect proportion. That time in your life when you feel like you are right where you should be, doing what you are meant to do, and doing it with just the right people. For many counselors, they have that feeling not once during the summer but multiple times a day. And when those moments of contentment string together, at some point working at camp simply becomes living at camp. As Mills Knight Howland, former swimming counselor, said when comparing working at BLC to other jobs, “you’re never looking at the clock waiting for the day to be over.” At some point, if a counselor is willing to wade into our community and is given the right amount of responsibility, working at camp becomes a lifestyle--not a job. But that doesn’t mean our staff spends all day skipping down the road, whistling a happy tune. The BLC lifestyle is exhausting. Tossing out magic left and right--while maintaining a safe, fun environment--is tiring work. So while we may not spend all day looking at the clock, all staff appreciate hearing the swim dock shout “5 o’clock! Everyone off the dock!” Some of the staff need to take a power nap, and some need to get their birthday dinner outfit ready.

Brown Ledge Magazine


by Kathy Neilsen


Santi below with his Canoeing/Kayaking Staff - Natasha Buckham and Noa Cohen.

Santiago Amaya It was more than six years ago that Santiago Amaya heard about CCUSA, an organization that recruits college students to travel to the US to work in summer camps. At the time, he was studying languages in his native Bogota, Columbia, and the idea was compelling: an affordable way to improve his English language skills and, at the same time, experience American culture. Santiago went through the long application process but by the spring of 2010, he hadn’t heard from any camps and time was running out. He was happy to finally get an offer to work in the kitchen at Brown Ledge, but Santiago also had a lot of worries. He was the

first person in his family to travel to the US, his English was not strong, and did they really mean to hire a man to work at a girl’s camp? And what about his long hair: Wouldn’t that be a problem in the kitchen? Santiago’s worries coalesced into a vision of finally getting to camp and immediately being sent back home. When he arrived to find welcoming people - men and women - and a green and natural environment - a thorough contrast to Bogota’s congested city life - his anxieties began to evaporate. And then Santi met the head of the kitchen, Pete Dillon. Pete wore a head bandana to cover the long hair that flowed down his back. Santi’s relief was palpable. Some counselors from other countries arrive at Brown Ledge determined to

“get through” their work in anticipation of post-camp travels. Their non-work time is likely to be marked by time on their bunk or socializing with a small and comfortable group. While Brown Ledge tends to win over even the most cautious counselors, Santiago had a different perspective from day one: He did not need to be “won over.” Santi saw opportunity all around him. Rather than recover from a tiring shift in the kitchen by relaxing on his bunk, Santi chose to absorb all that he could at Brown Ledge. But Santi had a major problem: He didn’t know how to swim. The choices, as he saw them, were to avoid the waterfront (eliminating virtually half of the activities), wear a lifejacket when on the docks (a humiliating prospect), or learn to swim. Luckily the swim counselors that summer matched Santi’s determination with their own, and by the end of the season, Santi was an independent swimmer. The following summer Santi was introduced to kayaking through an offhand invitation by the canoe and kayak staff to join them on an evening paddle. Santi tells us that a passion for kayaking was born on that very first excursion. Fast forward to BLC 2015 when Santiago Amaya completed his third year teaching canoeing and kayaking, his first summer as the head of the department. He continues as he started, passing up a nap on his bunk in favor of trying out camp activities and having new experiences. “Every year,” Santi tells us, “I need to learn something new, I need to be able to do something I couldn’t do before.” And his language skills? Santi now teaches English in his native Bogota to a wide range of students, including young men and women who are preparing for their first trip to the United States.



Guest Author: Sondra Russman

What would it be like to return to the camp we love after 27 years? I wondered if it was even possible.

1988 was the last of my six wonderful summers on the riding staff and, to give you perspective, I am twice as old now as I was then! Though I had dreamed of returning, the complexity of life prevented that dream from becoming a reality. But when I received the email from Bill last spring asking if I knew anyone who might be interested in a riding staff position, I thought, “what about me?” Sondra biking with friends near Bend, Oregon 2013

I didn’t really expect my husband, Mike, to respond when I casually said, “Wouldn’t it be ‘interesting’ if we went to Brown Ledge this summer?” He attended alumnae camp years ago, and he got to know Kathy and Bill Neilsen when they spent a month in our city, Bend, Oregon. He’s heard so many stories and he understands camp’s importance in my life. Without any hesitation, Mike encouraged me to go. After a flurry of emails, it was decided that I would help get the barn up and running and join the riding staff for two weeks in June. It was a dream come true. What could be better? I would be around horses and at Brown Ledge. And, I realized, I would not have to shop for or cook family meals for two whole weeks!

I did not have much time to think about my “working vacation” before I arrived in Burlington on June 22. The weather was welcoming with sun, warmth and only mild humidity. (I tell everyone that I moved to the desert because my hair does not do well in humidity!) Green, green, green is what my eyes drank up. Kathy met me and chuckled, referencing the rain and foreshadowing the heavy rains to come. It did not matter! As we turned down Marble Island Road, my stomach butterflies started fluttering. We hung the right up the camp dirt road, and I could feel my heart pounding as BLC came into view. The lush “golf ” field, riding arenas, tennis courts, lake, sailboats, gazebo, horses...and then the new and fabulous barn appeared. I simultaneously felt a surge of excitement and apprehension. Would my memories and nostalgia of days long gone either contaminate or be changed by what I was about to experience? I jumped into preparing for the summer ahead with an enthusiastic group of young counselors and the handful of counselors -- let’s just call them “well seasoned” -- who are over 40 like me! I felt as though I’d been at camp for the

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Sondra Russman and Annie Schwartz 1980s

Sondra with puppy 1980s

Sondra with her riding staff 1980s

I reconnected with important and powerful friendships that ground me and fearlessly remind me who I am.

last 27 years. I reveled in the smell of pine trees and wood shavings and the sound of rain on the cabin roof and mosquitoes buzzing in my ear. My hard camp bed seemed to prime my body for the day’s work to come yet still begged me to stay just a little longer in its warmth. The rhythm of camp beats on and is unchanged. The bugle blows (wouldn’t it be cool if there were a bugle app?) at the same time it always has, getting us out of and into bed and, of course, to the beautiful dining room. What I really loved about the meals (in addition to not cooking them) is that we actually sat for 45 minutes -- eating, talking, singing, and relaxing. In fact, in spite of the all the work I did during my two weeks (and believe me, my aching muscles reminded me I had not had that much physical activity in years), I felt more relaxed than I had in a long time. I am sure that part of the reason I was more relaxed was because I was not answering cell phones, emails, searching the internet, or checking Facebook. I would like to think another reason was that I was older, wiser, more flexible,

and perhaps less serious….I took myself pretty seriously back in my 20’s! That said, as I entered the barn I could definitely feel my inner “type A” emerge, taking stock of what needed to be done before the campers arrived. And yet I immediately noticed the different feel in the barn. Gone are the straight stalls where horses would perform unimaginable feats resulting in unforgettable predicaments. Instead, beautiful and well-bedded box stalls housed (mostly) quiet and solid school horses that were safely groomed, tacked up, fed, and watered. No more cocked hind legs, swishing tails, or campers getting stuck in stalls. Not having to worry about the safety of horses and campers in those stalls significantly reduced the angst I so well remembered during my tenure as a counselor. Another wonderful and equally important change from the 1980s is that campers are offered some flexibility and choice in both if and how much they participate in the riding program. Wednesday is now an optional day for those who ride (I wish I had thought of it!), providing a break for some and focused attention for others. Happy campers and happy horses: This, I realized, is what Brown Ledge is all about.

The two weeks flew by and I really did not want to leave. As usual, it was so very hard to say goodbye, and I vowed to return “next year.” The gifts I received were many. I dusted off my BLC memories and made many complementary new ones. I reconnected with important and powerful friendships that ground me and fearlessly remind me who I am. For two weeks I disconnected from the fast-paced world of the internet and all things “wireless,” and when I left I made a commitment to slow down and be more present by unplugging regularly. The importance of meals as a time to actually sit down, look at each other, share stories, and sing has prompted me to make more time at our home to eat together. Being around horses and being physically active are powerful mood lifters for me and every day those endeavors remind me of being at BLC. Finally, I was assured that the camp we love is strong and healthy, and I am forever grateful to Bill and Kathy for inviting me to return.



Brown Ledge Magazine

The conversations we have at Alumnae Camp often follow a pattern. “How was the summer?” is the first question on most people’s minds. There is an element of politeness there but also a very understandable need for reassurance. We all want to know that Brown Ledge is alive and well and going strong.



by Kathy Neilsen

An overnight trip heads to Valcour Island circa 1950s

A graceful headstand circa 1950’s

Something happens next when speaking with many alums who have not been back to camp for a while. In the course of conversation their eyes open wide and we hear, “Hey! What ever happened to…?” They might ask about someone they knew, a bunkie or counselor from long ago, but they might also ask about something they did - as in, “what ever happened to aquaplaning?” Aquaplaning is no longer a sport at Brown Ledge. The last aquaplane is screwed to the swimming dock, forming a low bench (or shrine, depending on your point of view!) and increasingly, young campers don’t recognize it as an artifact from Brown Ledge’s past. Aquaplaning was officially retired a few years ago at the suggestion of head-of-waterfront Eva Nilsson, and we agreed. The waterskiing department had already added wakeboarding and, on Sundays and in high wind conditions, tubing. Four sports on one dock was one too many. Ironically, aquaplaning was the least safe of the group; the heavy board would occasionally fly across the water towards a fallen camper.

High speed fun circa 1950s

No hands circa 1980s

Brown Ledge is not static. It changes and evolves in ways that are not always predictable, and that’s a good thing. Brown Ledge is strong and flexible enough to allow changes to happen…and wise enough to know that a rigid adherence to the past would have kept us in bloomers and middy blouses. But some changes are less

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The first year JCs go hiking in 2011

Change welcome than others. Take Valcour trips. We could write a book about the history of Brown Ledge and Valcour, but it would include tedious chapters on maritime law, ballast positioning, and navigational aids. So we’ll give you the short version! Camp owner and director Harry Brown was granted the right to buy Tiger Point on the eastern side of Valcour Island, and for decades we had exclusive rights to moor our wooden Chris Craft trip boat in its protected cove. In the late 1970s the State of New York wanted to add the island to the Adirondack Park system, and camp director Barbara Winslow was forced to sell her seven acres, including Tiger Point. We continued to go to Valcour well into the 1990s, hoping to secure our traditional spot each night. Our struggles with the Coast Guard and boat and driver regulations became the final straw. A new boat was built to try to accommodate new demands that included a sprinkler system, three bilge pumps, and an automatically lit life raft. The boat driver was also required to have a license equal to those of 100 ton ferry boat captains and at that point we had to call it quits; there were just too many rules, regulations, and expenses for a summer program to absorb.

Though Valcour overnights were hard to give up, we take solace in knowing that other trips are alive and well at Brown Ledge. Mt. Mansfield, canoeing, and sailing overnights occur each month. In addition, first and second year junior counselor groups each anticipate the yearly trips that they help design. As we watch the JCs arriving back into camp, we appreciate both the importance of the JC program and the power of overnight trips. The girls stumble out of vans happy and exhausted and carrying a renewed sense of camaraderie and assurance in their leadership roles. At Alumnae Camp gatherings we speak with so many of you who have a deep desire to understand how campers, parents, and Brown Ledge itself differ from what you knew a few years or many decades ago. In anticipation of writing this article about tradition and change, we brainstormed a list of topics that included competitions with other camps, telephone wires, ticks, raccoons, Mama Skunk, a gluten-free toaster, and “John Raids.” (Incidentally, raucous “John Raids,” long in decline, were rethought and renamed by the 2015 JCs after James, “John’s sensitive little brother.” We have NOT lost our

sense of humor!) While we emphatically believe that Brown Ledge is far more the same than it is different, even compared to camp’s very early days, there will be no shortage of things to write about in future “Tradition and Change” articles. Some of the writings of camp directors Harry Brown and Barbara Winslow are collected in the winter Brown Ledge office and perusing those journal and Ledger entries tells us that they both had things to say on the subject of change. In a summer Ledger article written before switchover in 1982, Barbara Winslow wrote,

No matter what changes may come in the future, the things you count on, the grove, the point, the cabins comfortable in their setting, the idea, the feeling, the appreciation of each other and of yourselves, these are the things that make memories stay alive; these are the things that can and do withstand certain amounts of carelessness, of disregard. These are the things that you really care about here and share with 56 seasons of other Brown Ledgers.” We look forward to sharing the “things we really care about” with 90 seasons of Brown Ledgers this summer.



Guest Author: Amelia Weir


Times Once upon a time, my friends knew me as an intrepid traveler, perhaps even an inveterate one.

I had lived and worked in Ethiopia and Armenia, possessed a dog-eared booklet of special vaccines, and had evacuated more than one country under threat of imminent war. My husband can regale friends with stories, from our “Arab Spring” Tunisian honeymoon, to the time my multiple Syrian visas landed us in a purgatorial section of the Athens airport, escaping just in time to make our flight as the boarding doors were closing. These days, the extra scrutiny I receive in the security line—requiring my hands to be swabbed for explosives residue—is thanks to the 18-month-old strapped to my chest in a Bjorn carrier. While my exploits these days are a bit more limited as a result, I am most certainly a traveler in an exotic land. It just happens that I don’t need to leave my neighborhood to explore it. I’ve been tackling the language barriers between me and an 18-month-old, discovering playgrounds I never knew existed, and sallying forth into semi-secret back rooms in coffee shops, which I never

had cause to seek out until requiring a stroller parking spot. Not to mention the previously invisible parents, an entirely undiscovered population. There is a foreign world right around me. Most recently, I encountered the latest iteration of this new world, when I belatedly learned that I was meant to be applying for preschools shortly after our daughter’s 1st birthday, complete with college-application-style essay questions. Who knew? While navigating this latest challenge, we toured a small school that quickly struck a chord. Children are encouraged to be independent, to take risks, to be accountable for their actions, to take their community into consideration in their decisions, to be problem solvers. When speaking with the admissions director, she described the idea that it is okay, even desirable, for students sometimes to feel “desperate.” I clearly remember that sense of desperation as a 22-year-old newly arrived in Ethiopia, suddenly accountable for each and every one of my decisions, with no one to weigh in with an opinion

or advice on which course of action I should choose. This ran from the trivial (where to eat dinner) to the potentially life-changing (whether to hitchhike across the no-mans-land of the EritreaEthiopia border during their bitter war – and no, I did not). It was all up to me. Brown Ledge offered us the baby steps that led to me being able to make those larger decisions. While choosing whether to play tennis or go sailing may not be a life-altering fork in the road, it is the cumulative succession of such independent decisions that month after month, summer after summer, creates the autonomy and self-confidence that become the foundation for lasting life skills. Not to mention the very real desperation that ensues from three lightweight campers capsizing the supposedly “un-capsizable” Flying Scot in Malletts Bay. Learning to master these uncharted moments is part of understanding that life will not always be within our control, but that we also are equipped to navigate the unknowns— even the ones in our own backyard.

Brown Ledge Magazine

Happy Birthday There is a grand lady who is celebrating her 90th birthday. She is exuberant and wise and wonderful. She has an undying sense of fun; youthful laughter follows her wherever she goes. Yet she also has a serious sense of purpose. She has a deep and lasting philosophy that directs her; she knows who she is. While she is guided by the past, she does not live in it. She is not a relic; she is a woman of the 21st century. This grand lady’s life has been tested. She has been through fire and rain, and she has experienced more than a few losses in her long life. She still mourns the passing of the great women and men who have guided her and shared her long journey. She has thousands of supporters who feel fortunate to have

by Kathy Neilsen

known her and are grateful for what she has taught them and for the love, friendship, and laughter that forever surrounds her. While many appreciate her joie de vivre, not everyone recognizes her depth. Look beneath the surface and you will see that the people she inspires are working, learning, achieving, and growing. For them, life is a great adventure. The grand old lady has already left a mark upon the world that is deep and wide, and each year her influence grows.

Please join us as we raise a glass to the grandest of grand ladies. Happy Birthday Brown Ledge.



Brown Ledge Magazine

1920s and 30s: Mary Jo Sibley Cressy After reading an article in Maine's Portland Press Herald that showed Mary Jo Sibley Cressy cross-country skiing at age 103 and described her as both feisty and active, we just had to reach out to ask her about her time at Brown Ledge. Jo Jo, as she is called, was at camp in 1928, BLCs second summer. She continued at camp until 1935, the year she married. She remembered Mr. and Mrs. Brown with great affection, saying they were part of what made her time at camp so special. She loved aquaplaning (she could do headstands!) and she waterskied into her 80s. Her favorite camp activities were archery and swimming, and she taught both sports as a senior counselor. Jo Jo's lifelong competitor was her sister, Frannie, who died at age 107. The family is betting that Jo Jo will live to at least 108 just to win! She is pictured here with her great-great-grandson.

1940s: Nancy Frederick Shuker My sister, Anne Frederick DeGersdorf, and I were probably the first campers from Tennessee. My mother saw an ad in the back of Vogue magazine, and was intrigued. My father went to visit the Browns in New York City and was very impressed. So, Anne came to Brown Ledge in 1945 and I, the following year. Sailing was my passion. One of my happiest memories in 1946 involved an overnight trip to Valcour Island on The Snapper, a magnificent 32-foot wooden sloop, reminiscent of earlier, more romantic sailing times. I was also a rider, and remember being thrown from a horse the day before the Mt. Mansfield trip. I broke a rib, but I got wrapped up and climbed the mountain anyway, sore but happy. The early 1940s were war years. My sister Anne remembers vividly on August 6, 1945, when Mr. Brown stood up at lunch and solemnly announced that the US had dropped an atom bomb on Nagasaki and that all our lives would never be the same again. That moment is still etched in my sister's memory because, of course, she thinks he was right. On August 14, he happily announced that World War II had ended. Pandemonium broke loose in camp. People shouted, danced, and jubilantly jumped in the lake. The advanced riders galloped their favorite horses bareback around the ring. These are some of my sister's and my happiest memories of Brown Ledge.

1950s: Susan Dorer Schroeder I was fortunate to have a father who wanted his children to have what he never had. He grew up in Cleveland and he never had the chance to leave the city. He wanted me to be able to go to camp, and at age 12 I knew exactly which camp I wanted to go to. My mother was very strict and I didn't have a lot of freedom at home. At Brown Ledge I was free to be who I was, who I wanted to be, and who I needed to be. I was hooked for life. At camp I did a variety of activities but horses were my passion. My friend – another Susan – and I were Flag and Whistle for the Drill Team. But we both had falls - she got kicked in the head and I damaged my collar bone - so we had to have other girls take over for us: the drill team debacle! After eight years at camp, what I remember most about Brown Ledge is the camaraderie. Although we had different personalities we were all friends, all a part of it. After BLC I was never afraid to try new things or go new places or meet new people. I learned so much.

Brown Ledge Magazine

1960s: Katy Spining Sinclair I went to the rifle range to confirm my assumption that I couldn't shoot. To my surprise, all my shots went through the same hole. I was hooked. I spent the summer at the rifle range where I made wonderful friends, and at 5:30 on banquet night shot the final target for my vanguard. (Where else could a camper spend so much time at one activity, ignoring all others?) The next summers were devoted to canoeing, then to sailing. As campers and JCs, we taught each other and helped each other. We competed with ourselves and cheered for each other. It is truly remarkable to see a girl who has tried for but not earned a vanguard cheer excitedly for her friend who received that award. That love and support among campers and counselors make Brown Ledge a truly remarkable place. Sometimes I imagine myself lying on the Point at Sunday evening Ledger, looking up at the "pine trees high gently touch[ing] the sky," sharing these songs with friends—and I feel at peace. All is well with the camp I love.

1970s: Kathy Ruby Petroni Prior to attending BLC my sisters and I had gone to a co-ed camp. At that camp, there were counselors that slept in the cabin and took care of us to the point that when we first arrived our beds were made and our clothes were neatly arranged on shelves. On parent's visiting day, I had a boy's ID bracelet on. Upon seeing the bracelet, my father announced that next summer we were going to an all-girls camp! That proved to be a great decision. I vividly recall the following summer when he dropped us off in the grove. A counselor helped me carry my trunk to my Skunk Junction cabin and left me alone to unpack and to find my way to the lake for my crib test. I quickly realized that Brown Ledge would be different! My most cherished life memories are of my seven summers there. Today, if I smell a stand of pine trees or hear the slam of a wooden screen door, I am filled with a familiar warmth and a longing to be back on Malletts Bay. I know my life's path would have been very different if I had continued to attend the co-ed camp, where I would have been more concerned about the boys than how to get up on one ski!

1980s: Marie Ouellet I was 13 going on eight when I first came to Brown Ledge. I was extremely shy and had never been away from my parents. Before that summer, I hadn't made many decisions on my own. I'm embarrassed to say that until then, my mother still dressed me – which explains why I showed up at BLC in a matching brown T-shirt and shorts. Ugh! My first two days were spent going to meals and running back to my cabin. I would hear laughter and peek out my window. I finally mustered up the courage to go to the swimming dock. Everyone was nice and friendly! Someone suggested I start working on my basic: My first do-it-on-your-own project. It felt good! The next day, I decided to add tennis to my list of basics. Little did I know that I would eventually teach tennis on those clay courts as a JC as well as a counselor. Those summers at Brown Ledge helped build my confidence. I eventually ended up on the BLC stage! Who would've thought that the little shy girl would one day show up for auditions? Brown Ledge Camp made me the strong woman I am today and I can't thank my parents enough for having sent me to the best place on earth!



Brown Ledge Magazine

1990s: Jenny Sonis So many things that I learned at camp have stayed with me. At Brown Ledge I learned how to shave my legs and how to stay in bed until the very last bugle and still get to breakfast on time. I also learned how to be a leader, a good teacher, and a good student and how to work as part of a team. I was lucky enough to experience Brown Ledge as a camper, JC, and counselor. Although each year brought new experiences, new faces, and new memories, there were many aspects of camp that carried over from summer to summer. For me, that is one of the amazing things about Brown Ledge; no two summers are alike yet the Brown Ledge experience is the same. Though the horses in the barn, the activities on the waterfront, the most popular songs in the dining room, and even the dining room itself may change, the life lessons and strong friendships that camp fosters continue. The memories of Brown Ledge from the 1990s may differ in detail from campers from different decades, but there are common threads that connect us.

2000s: Violette Perrotte One of BLC's greatest gifts to me was my love for America. I came to BLC as a 13 year-old Frenchie with limited English skills and I was welcomed with open arms. Even when I decided it was hysterical to wear a pair of underwear on my head for my first 4th of July... which definitely didn't help America's image of French people! I understood that if I could be myself at Brown Ledge and people loved me for it, then I could be myself anywhere else in America. After my last summer, it became clear to me that if I couldn't spend the rest of my life at BLC, I sure could spend it in the U.S. I only applied to American colleges, and once I got to Johns Hopkins, it became a very common occurrence for my parents to accidently say Brown Ledge instead of Hopkins in our discussions. My name is Violette, but everyone in the U.S calls me Vio. I was given this nickname my first summer at BLC, and it has now basically replaced my name. Every time someone struggles with my name and I say, just call me Vio, I thank Brown Ledge and whoever elected me Most Patriotic Foreigner one 4th of July because it truly made me the most American French girl there is.

2010s: Zabette Kerman I was a very shy ten-year-old. I loved evening games and one night I went down to the field wearing a romper. For those of you who don't know, a romper is a fashionable piece of clothing where the shorts are connected to the shirt with straps, or in my case strings tied behind my neck. Not long after the games began, I needed to pee. Being the shy, dependent, skunker that I was, I would have rather died than go to the bathroom by myself. So I spent ten increasingly stressful minutes trying to find a bathroom companion. Failing miserably, I decided to awkwardly stand to the side and to try to wait for the games to end. That was a horrible decision. Finally it got bad, to the point of grabbing and praying, so I ran the torturous and lonely trip to the bathroom. I ran in a stall, didn't even lock the door, and I tugged and tugged at the knot on the back of my neck but it wouldnt budge. So I peed myself in a bathroom stall while crying. All in all it was a pretty humiliatingly bad experience. But it was also a pretty big turning point. After that, I learned how to take care of myself, I learned about independence, and I learned to pick the right times in life to wear a romper.

Brown Ledge Magazine


Camp Champlain: a boys camp is first on the BLC property!



1894 early 1920s



The 19th Amendment to the Constituion is ratified giving women the right to vote.

Brown Ledge holds its first camp season with 20 campers and 20 counselors

1926 Harry E. and Marjorie P. Brown sign a 99 year lease on the camp property.

The War Years

The first BLC stable is built

Amelia Earhart makes her solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean on May 20th

1929 October 24th: Black Tuesday marks the stock market crash and the beginning of a world-wide depression

1939 The movie Gone with the Wind is released in Atlanta


The D Anne F publis



Diary of Frank is shed

1957 Fred and Twylla Fishel come to Brown Ledge

1955 The polio vaccine is developed by Jonas Salk


1959 Barbara Winslow and Mrs. Brown purchase the camp property from the Malletts Bay Club

1957 Brown Ledge founder HEB dies. Marjorie Brown and Barbara Brown Winslow become directors.

1961 The new waterfront Point House is built

Brown Ledge builds the theater


An is b

1964 The Beatles perform on The Ed Sullivan show on February 9th



new stable built


1969 Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walk on the moon on July 20. Brown Ledge builds its first filter sewer treatment system.

1976 Brown Ledge turns 50 and holds its first Alumnae Camp

1975 American involvement in the Vietnam War ends on April 30th

1983 BL Perpetuators buy Brown Ledge and Bill and Kathy Neilsen become BL's third directors

The ice storm wreaks havoc on January 5th

1989 The fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9th marks the end of the Cold War

1997 Brown Ledge becomes a nonprofit corporation 501(c)(3)

1992 The new sewer mound system is built with tennis courts on top!

1999 Barbara Winslow, BLC's 2nd owner and director, dies at age 79


A time of r for BLC bu women's b contribute room poss

Brown Ledge Magazine

2008 The studio collapses under the weight of snow in March


renewal and renovation uildings. New camper and bathhouses are built and 327 e to make the new dining ible


Fire! Ten Grove cabins are destroyed in December

The stable is renovated and the theater gets a new lighting grid

2007 Anniversaries! Fred and Twylla's 50th and Bill and Kathy's 25th year at BLC



Richard Currie celebrates his 50th year at Brown Ledge

2013 Ten Grove cabins and a new JC cabin are built in time for opening day in June

2016 Happy 90th Birthday Brown Ledge!



Guest Author: Lucy Jenks

In 2009, I arrived at Brown Ledge Camp for second-session as a new 12-year-old. I chose BLC originally for the highcaliber of the equestrian program. However, I continued to attend camp because of the freedom BLC offered me to try new things, and I wanted to learn many of those activities deeply. Little did I know then, those four weeks--and the many more weeks spent on Lake Champlain in the coming years--would do more to inform my life choices than any other condensed time period in my life. Now, I attend Middlebury College in Vermont with two of my close friends from camp, Audrey Bangs and Emma Bliska. We have found that BLC’s passion for allowing its campers to explore new things fostered a creativity and curiosity among all of us that led us to come back to Vermont and attend a small liberal arts college. We sat down to talk about how our experience at BLC informed and continues to inform our current collegiate experience. What do you think you learned from being at camp about yourself and what you want in your community? EMMA: It empowered me a lot as a young girl to be around a lot of other girls and go through formative years with them. As a woman, you face so many issues during that period of time – the early teenage years – and to have a network of other likeminded girls was a huge support network. AUDREY: For me, being comfortable in a smaller community is something I really value. That can be attributed to camp. I don’t want to be someone who was lost in a crowd or be anonymous. I want to know the people around me; in my school and in my community. LUCY: I always joke that Middlebury is like sleep-away camp with homework. It’s a small network of groups of close friends. That aspect teaches co-existence. Camp taught me how to live with people who aren’t exactly like me in terms of life experience or personality. Also, my choice to go to Middlebury instead of a larger research university was influenced by my time at Brown Ledge. I felt very comfortable in a smaller community and in Vermont.


Liberal Arts from L-R: Emma Bliska, Audrey Bangs, and Lucy Jenks; 2nd year students at Middlebury College.

Was there a pull to come back to Vermont for college? AUDREY: At Middlebury I was never homesick, mostly because I felt very comfortable in Vermont. I love that Vermont is its own unique place. People are different here than anywhere else in the country. It is a tiny bit slower. People stop and say hi; they want to get to know you. Community is very valued in Vermont and at Middlebury. LUCY: Vermonters’ generosity and humility are inspiring. Place absolutely informs experience –BLC and Middlebury have been transformative.

Have you taken the life skills you learned at BLC and applied them to your experience at Middlebury? EMMA: I found my experience at Middlebury to be very similar to camp. At camp, because it is so small, you see people all the time and you see friendships develop really quickly. I think that was similar to how my friendships developed here [at Middlebury]. Friends who went to larger universities had a harder time finding those friends. Midd is great because you are living and eating in close quarters – just like camp. LUCY: Camp teaches you a lot about interacting with other, different people. You really learn to talk things over with others, to communicate well, to express yourself in every facet of life. AUDREY: Camp really built my character. It was so important to me. Over my years at Camp, I’ve become so much more patient with people and so much more accepting

of different personalities and people. I am more tolerant. It was much easier to make friends at camp and here at Middlebury.

What has been your experience to go to school all together? LUCY: We all know each other from before Middlebury so it is really comforting to have that sisterhood. Emma introduced me to my first friend here at Middlebury. She forced me out of my comfort zone and took me to a Commons dinner. I wouldn’t have gone without Emma pushing me. AUDREY: We all have a shared experience. We all understand that special experience and place that informed who we are now. We connect a lot around that.

Brown Ledge is unique for its ability to connect young girls who stay in touch from their childhood into their adult years. The BLC camper and alumnae networks are incredibly strong. At BLC I learned independence. I was able to make my own decisions regarding with whom I wanted to spend time and what activities I wanted to do. BLC is the liberal arts of camps. It gives you the opportunity to explore new things, try and fail, and ultimately find a passion. If it were not for BLC, I am confident that I would not be at Middlebury College and not be nearly as happy and fulfilled as I am lucky to say I am.



Brown Ledge Magazine

2015 Review of Giving for

The Brown Ledge Foundation As you can see from the following list, there are hundreds of alumnae, parents, grandparents, current and former staff members, and friends who supported the Brown Ledge Foundation with a gift in 2015 – 462 of you, to be exact. You represent a vital segment of the Brown Ledge community because you are the sustainers of Brown Ledge. You understand how important it is to the future of Brown Ledge that your relationship with camp doesn’t end when your time (or your daughter’s or granddaughter’s time) as a camper, JC, or staff member does. We’ve included a new column on this annual listing which represents the number of years each donor has supported the Brown Ledge Foundation since it was created nineteen years ago in 1997. Perpetuating Brown Ledge depends on the support we receive – whether it’s financial or otherwise – from those of you who not only stay connected with each other through shared memories and experiences, but with camp as it is today. In 2015 we had the support of more than 80 people at Work Weekend who helped with nearly every facet of getting camp

2015 Giving to Brown Ledge Foundation:

ready to welcome campers. During the first week of August, the first and second year JCs did an amazing job during our 16th Annual Phone-a-thon, connecting with hundreds of alums, parents, and friends to raise $15,139 – our most successful phone-a-thon! We ended the summer by welcoming back more than 230 alums and family members for a wonderful Alumnae Camp weekend including a new Alumnae Camp Raffle which raised $2,500. Whether this was your very first year of support, you’re among those who have given some or every one of our 19 years, or you plan to start in 2016 - we are so incredibly grateful to you all! Brown Ledge is celebrating 90 years because of YOU.

Maria Moore Director of Development

$265,899 to the BLF Annual Campaign for Operations, Facilities and Scholarships $6,129 to the BLF Endowment Fund


There is no question in our minds that Brown Ledge made a huge positive impact on all three of our girls … most of all for their self-confidence and independence. Two of the three are now pursuing careers in the theatre, no doubt heavily influenced by the very positive experiences they had in the Brown Ledge Theatre. We lose no opportunity to recommend Brown Ledge to our friends. So we are very happy to support Brown Ledge and expect to continue doing so for a long time to come. – Pankaj Tandon & Karen Clark, parents’ to 3 Brown Ledge alums 2000-09

Brown Ledge Foundation BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Our volunteer Board of Directors is charged with the following mission: The Brown Ledge Foundation oversees the operation, perpetuation, and educational mission of Brown Ledge Camp. The Foundation exists to support Camp’s current and future programs and preserve its natural setting on Lake Champlain. The board comes together three times per year and works together throughout the year on governance, fundraising, and various committees to ensure that camp is well positioned for the future. Board membership is a wonderful way to help BLC thrive, stay connected and learn about what goes into running camp. We are so grateful for the time, energy and support that all board members – current and past – have given over the years. Thank you! 2015-16 Board Members back row: Mary Barton, Kris Stone, Tom Pastore, Nancy Weaver Jones, Bill Neilsen; front row: Ginny Sharp Williams, Emily Rover Grace, Annie Solberg Sarnblad, Robyn Sonis, Katy Robbins Ritz, Kedron Gierman Fix. Not pictured: Amy Hengerer Przybylko, Jenny Wilkinson.


- ANNEX CLUB The Annex Club recognizes those donors who consistently support the Brown Ledge Foundation Annual Campaign. Members have made a gift to the foundation for the past five consecutive years or more.

"10" - NUMERIC

Indicates number of years donated to BLF


10 Sarah Ashworth 18 Bobbi Degnan Atz & Marc Atz 16 Mary Barton Carolyn Barton 17 Lynn (Banana) Benoliel Jacobson 17 Becky Kidder Smith & Thomas C. Smith 18 Anonymous 9 The Capital Group Companies Charitable Foundation 8 Hawk Rock Foundation 7 Emily Rover Grace & Liz Rover Bailey 18 Jill Schropp & DJ Wilson

19 Lori Angstadt 1 Anonymous Brown Ledge Raffle at 2015 Alumnae Camp 6 Bertie Couch Woeltz & Anthony Woeltz 18 Elena Barr Baum 9 Lane Heard & Margaret Bauer 17 Lyda Blank Liz Bell’s 50th Birthday 10 Karen Byerly Nicholson 13 David & Candace Weir 8 Gregg & Emily Donoghue 16 Susan Dorer Schroeder 2 Heidi Hamilton Kerko 11 Dorothy Irrgang Beall 14 Barbara Albright Gille 16 Mary Lou Albright Johnston 17 Susie McKallor Holic 13 Loretta McManus


I learned from BLC to be assertive. I want others to learn to be independent, fearless women. – Ellie Levinson Hood (Camper & JC 1951-57)

17th Annual Phone-a-thon – Call the Clubhouse! EVENINGS OF AUGUST 1-4, 2016 JCs will be ready to take your pledge of support. This is a great chance to hear about 2-0-1-6 at Brown Ledge Camp, and help the JCs to have a great experience and a successful phone-a-thon! JCs will be making calls, but we hope you will call in so that they can enjoy a conversation with you rather than leave a bunch of messages. Watch for details and call-in numbers in the monthly e-news!


Vanguard Circle ($5,000+)

Beehive Society ($1,000-$4,999)

Brown Ledge Magazine

9 Tracy Meerwarth Pester 13 Catherine Melling Turner 18 The Meltzer Family 2 Hilary Meserole Mel Menagh 7 Marilyn Jones & Mitchell Kaplan 18 Dawn Nichols Hazelett 4 Jane Parke Batten Ann Wagner Gill 10 The Pepin Family 6 Annie Solberg Sarnblad Liz Bell’s 50th Birthday 4 Pankaj Tandon & Karen M. Clark 8 Beth Taylor 15 Marcy Tompkins Stanton Bill Godard / Fred & Twylla 1 Maulik Mody of Viking Global Investors LP Teves Brighton 17 Amelia Weir 5 Sarah Wood

Vista Club ($500-$999) 16 Clay H. Barr 18 Lisa Bennett Morse & Dick Morse Fred & Twylla Fishel 19 Jeff & Meera Buckman 14 Emily Wilson Burns 1 Margie Cohen 6 Kevin Counihan & Mary Ann Hertel 18 Ashley Deeks 16 Kedron Gierman Fix & Derek Fix Richard Currie’s 50th Year in the BLT 13 Rachel Greene-Lowell & James R. Lowell, III 8 Anonymous 10 Amy Hengerer Przybylko 3 Hank & Josie Kaestner 3 Stephanie Lane-Kerman

14 Jenny Libien Molly Goodwin & Lori Angstadt 9 Debbie & Rob Maggs Emily, Grace & Gillian Orben & Sarah Riley 18 Emily Maggs Orben 1 Susan Mathews 15 Marcia McCabe & Yvonne Goutman 15 Mark Miller 16 Sue Mooney 8 Olivia Moskowitz & Andrew Montalenti Marty Olsen 10 Christina Nacos 7 Elizabeth & Jack Bunce 14 Chris Nee 4 Tom & Debbie Pastore 1 The Pierson Family Foundation, Inc. Hannah Lindecke 7 The Wall, Plourde & Pahl Families Ellie Wall 12 Bumpy Potter Bacorn 8 Kimberly & Sean McCarthy 18 Kathy Ruby Petroni & Tom Petroni 2 Lily Rusis 17 Carter & Ginny Sharp Williams 7 Ariel Slomka Shin 5 John Bess & Brenda V. Smith 10 Sarah & Tom Rossmassler 18 Liz Smith Strimple 1 SunAge Foundation 8 David & Laurie Title 1 Sally-Ann Tschanz 15 Robin Weaver Nancy Weaver Jones 6 Liz Wedemann Beckwith 7 Jenny Wilkinson & Joel English 2 Susan York Williams Barbara Winslow, Beehive JCs of ‘66-’67 & Mr. Silk 10 Beth Willis Swaintek 6 Kristy Zimbalist 14 Stephanie Zimbalist

Mt. Mansfield Donor ($250-$499) 6 Liz Baydush Milewski 4 Cindy Billington Bauch 11 Carol Blanton & Christopher Ames 1 Michael & Marie Bleau 2 Nancy & Luke Boland 13 Andy Broido Fred & Twylla Fishel 18 Ricki Buckman Bowser 19 Joan Buckman Rugani 18 Dorothy Butler Adams 7 Page Carter 16 Susan Craig 14 Paul & Charlene Dahlquist 1 DigitasLBi 12 Abbey Dodd Sarah Lynn Brown 13 Cecelia & Murray Dry 18 Bob Fardelmann 2 Jessica Fels 19 The Mauer Family of those passed present & future BLers 15 Tara Francis 5 Bob Graham Harry & Marjorie Brown 16 Karen C. Hansen Barb Bercu Sempliner 8 Peter & Suzette Hearn Louise Hearn 9 David & Holly Jacobstein 8 Katharine Jones 14 Nancy Josephs 10 Candy Kelly Smith Clarice & Herb Kelly 4 Cheryl Luria 1 Anonymous 14 David & Lisa Murphy Bill & Kathy Neilsen 8 Randy & Murray Neale – Continued on page 20


Brown Ledge Magazine

The Planned Giving Circle The summer of 2016 represents the 90th season of Brown Ledge Camp. As we reflect on nine decades and think ahead to

celebrating our 100th season and beyond, we would like to recognize and thank the following Brown Ledgers of the Planned Giving Circle who are helping to ensure that we’ll be a thriving, stable organization well into the future.

By including BLC in their long-term estate plans with a charitable bequest or other planned gift, the alums and parents listed here will help to provide a legacy for the future of Brown Ledge Camp. We’re honored to have their support in such a wonderful and lasting way. Their enduring commitment to provide the incredible experiences of Brown Ledge to future generations is a testament to the impact that BLC has had on thousands of girls and young women.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR LEADERSHIP, GENEROSITY, AND THOUGHTFUL SUPPORT: Lori Angstadt Elena Barr Baum Liz Bell Janet Blakeman Martin Mary Brust Karen Byerly Nicholson Ashley Deeks Marilen Hartnett Janet Koppelman Becky Kidder Smith Susie McKallor Holic

Lisa & David Murphy Randy & Murray Neale Phyllis Perkins Adams Edie Plimpton Fleeman Beany Richter Annie Solberg Sarnblad Elaine Tack Marcy Tompkins Stanton Martha Tuttle Shannon Amelia Weir Joan Weiterer Butcher

If you’ve chosen to extend your love and support of BLC beyond your own lifetime and would like to be included in the Planned Giving Circle, please notify Maria Moore, Director of Development, Brown Ledge Foundation, Inc. at (802)862-2442, or BLF, 25 Wilson Street, Burlington, VT 05401. Thank you!

Beehive of 2009 was so excited to see that Lori (Angstadt) was doing this matching challenge. We so admire that she chooses to actively give to camp in this meaningful way, and all felt inspired to start making our contributions now. We are so proud to give back to the camp we love! – Alums of Beehive 2009 16 Bill & Kathy Neilsen 8 Julia Porcino 6 Amy Robinson Evans 15 Sondra Russman Marshall 17 Dart Schmalz 14 Greg & Kathy Snedeker 11 Robyn Sonis Fred & Twylla Fishel 16 Betsy Stookey Chase 5 Barbi Stott Carins 17 Terry Tindall Laurendine 18 Louise Totten Knabe 4 Tom & Jeanne Townsend 19 Riki Von Stroud 10 Tracy Welch Klippel

Grove Contributor ($100 - $249) 19 Merry Alderman Ritsch 9 Alexandra Ames Kornman 2 Matthew Angell 12 Polly Atkins Moretti Dr. & Mrs. Thomas Atkins 10 Janice Ballou 5 Julia Ballou 10 Lisa Bedell Clive 19 Liz Bell 18 Kathryn Bennett Dahlberg & Gunnar Dahlberg 9 Sally Bever Zwiebach 9 Marti Botch Parrish 5 Douglas Brown 3 Allison Buckman Cross 17 Larry & Doris Buxbaum 4 Patricia Callahan Sally DeOliva Mandeville 4 Devin Cash & Family 11 Patti Cassidy Kater 17 Sue Daniels Schwaiger 14 Pat Davidson Perry 4 Renee De Lyon Peiser 15 Dr. & Mrs. Peter DeOreo 1 Kathy DeSpagna 8 Anne Domit Paul & Charlene Dahlquist 9 Lisl Donaldson Delta the BLC pony 11 Howard & Andree Dorne 15 Covie Edwards-Pitt

10 Emily Epstein Landau 3 Lynn Fardelmann Williams 14 Mary Fisher Bernet 2 Adeline Fleming 16 Debbie Fox Roderer & Amy Roderer 17 Linda Greenwald Blaustein & Robert Blaustein 17 Rob Gross 16 Laura Grumpelt Cann Ashley Deeks 10 Susan Grumpelt Deeks 4 Sarah Haeckel & Family 4 Timothy & Lisa Harkness 18 Helen Harper 5 Carolyn Heath Haag 11 Denise Hill Thorn 1 Gregory Houlis 1 Margaret Huling Bonz Marjorie Wood vonSuck/Dannis 14 Ann Hunt Mel Menagh 15 Joanne Jacobs 16 The Zimmerman Family 2 Maile Jones Stina Pepin 1 Claire Kemp 1 Bre Kirk 10 Ann Kirzl 12 Karen Koppenhoefer Castelloes 13 Ada Koransky Meltzer Susie McKallor Holic 18 Jeanne Kramer-Smyth Twylla Fishel 8 Mark & Judy Kubeja 10 Annik LaFarge 6 Ruth Landowne Giordano 8 Galen Laserson 12 Elinor L. Hood 6 Jane Lewis Sandelman 14 Sally Lex Brennan 18 The Lovshin-Smith Family 11 Karen & Beth Marken 1 Kevin & Melissa Martin 12 Adrienne McCafferty Curtis 11 Heather McCollum 7 Charlotte McCorkel 16 Ginny McCulloch Lau 13 Nancy McCulloch Patton 9 Lissa McDonnell Chapin 2 Nancy & Stephen McShea 10 Jen Mijangos 5 Donna Miller

4 Camille Moisson Globerman 1 Gretchen Morin Reilly Dane Morin 14 Barbara Nagle Muench 9 Grant Neale 4 Becky Nyles Carson 1 Matthew Oros 1 Tiffany Ortiz 4 Jamie Ouellet 2 David & Sara Padrusch 13 Laura Parisi Fred & Twylla Fishel 3 Patricia Pennebaker Rutins 1 Ernie Pettie 1 Alix Peveler 12 Nancy Pomeroy Foster 1 Annabelle Prager 7 Pamela Proctor 18 Katherine Proctor 15 Diane Reis 14 Betty Resch 15 Sally Resnick Lex 6 Beany Richter, Hannah Livant & Paul Livant Mel Menagh 15 Katy Robbins Reitz 6 The Snedeker & Roberts Family 6 Katherine Asbeck & Ellen Rome 15 Bobbie Rowland 8 Eleanor Royster Eidels Richard Currie’s 50th Year in the BLT 3 Lori Ruby Fregolle 2 Katherine Schneider 14 Jean Seeler-Gifford 2 Christopher & Debra Seiter 14 Marjorie Shaffer Weaver 11 Megan Shattuck 6 Tammy Shaw 7 Jo Ann, Butch, Lisa & Laura Smith 3 Jenny Sonis 16 Stephanie Southard 17 Kathryn Spining Sinclair 1 Lorette St. Hilaire 2 Standard Insurance 10 Wendy Stifel Hansen 8 Kris Stone 17 Kerry Stroud Green Marjorie Dannis A 4 The Switchback Beerworks 8 Cat Sword 15 Elaine Vedette Tack Martha Tack

7 Olivia Tandon Richard Currie’s 50th Year in the BLT 2 Katie Tracey 1 Ann Travis Ingram 9 Rachel P. (Trumper) Debasitis Mel Menagh 11 Martha Tuttle Shannon 4 Janice Valmassoi 10 Phillip & Maria Vinall 10 Betsy Weaver & Leah Rappaport 8 Nancy Weaver Jones & David Jones Stina Pepin 15 Joan Weiterer Butcher & Bill Butcher 10 Carrie Wells-White 13 Janie Willis Stevens 11 Todd Wilson 10 Kat Yaroschuk 1 Stephanie Zimmerman Liz Bell’s 50th Birthday

Gazebo Supporter ($1-$99) 1 Beehive 2009 8 Maureen Adams Carpenter 9 Erica Amster 2 Valerie Arnade 4 Bill & Jean Bartlett 16 Sarah Bell 6 Bill & Shawn Lawrence 8 Eliza Berkley 10 Hilary Bertsch 5 Nancy Bigelow Sinclair 1 Emma Bliska 1 Mary Kate Blum Reilly Dane Morin 1 Kiley Boland 1 Jan Braumuller 15 Barbara Brewster Howard 1 Ellen Brink 11 Catie Brodie 1 Mary Beth Brown 1 Edward Browne 10 Lisa Buxbaum 12 Leslie Buxbaum Danzig 12 Margy Campbell Mr. Mac 5 Taran Catania 16 Laurie Chase 1 Cate Chase

Brown Ledge Magazine




Endowment Fund The Brown Ledge Foundation Board of Directors has established the Brown Ledge Foundation Endowment Fund, the purpose of which is to provide long-term financial security, maintain scholarships, and support future expanded programs for Brown Ledge Camp (BLC). The BLF Endowment Fund will ultimately provide a reliable source of income where the principal remains intact and distributions can be made to fulfill its purpose to BLC. No distribution of earnings can be made until the principal reaches a minimum of $200,000.

Elena Barr Baum Estate of Ann Bodenweiser Blakley Estate of Laurie Cameron Barbara and Richard Murdock* Robert Schmalz Barbara Leetch Schmalz* *gifts received in 2015 The balance of fund as of December 31, 2015 was $41,590. It is a goal of the Brown Ledge Foundation Board of Directors to build on the generosity of those who have designated the endowment fund, and create a stable financial future for BLC. For information on the BLF Endowment Fund, please contact Maria Moore, Director of Development, at or call (802)862-2442.

I support Brown Ledge Camp as it has been instrumental in my growth and development in my career with the Federal Bureau of Prisons as a Warden and as a strong, positive, confident woman. When I came to Brown Ledge I was shy and a bit withdrawn. After 3 years as a camper and 2 years as a Counselor, I developed a self-confidence I did not previously have. This confidence was developed by my participating in the principles of Brown Ledge (Vanguard in Swimming), and in having the lead in the musical one year. Brown Ledge believed in me and thus I believe in Brown Ledge. Because of this strong, positive belief in Brown Ledge, I have created a bequest in my will to support a scholarship for a camper at Brown Ledge. I also give each year to support this fine camp which has meant so very much to me. – Karen Byerly Nicholson (Camper & JC 1962-65)

1 Michelle Chase 1 Andi Costa 3 Elizabeth Courtney 1 Nancy Crisman 2 Reilly Morin Reilly Dane Morin 15 Caryn Daus Flanagan 2 Quinn Davis 3 Mickey & Norton Davis 15 Kara Demsey Baker 12 Laurel Devaney 1 Hilary Dial 1 Susan Dohan 3 Jean Donahue McDonnell 8 Mathilda Donahue O’Connor 7 Betsy Drapkin Ronel 4 Lyn Egli Eisner 4 Jeanette Emerson 8 Jenna Fahey 2 Helen Feldman 10 Sheila Fenton French 1 Michael Fitzpatrick 7 Chori Folkman Beehive ‘94 9 Jennifer Foltz Richmond Liz Bell’s 50th Birthday 5 Mary Foster 3 Anne Frederick deGersdorff 15 Sue Fromhart 15 Prue Gay Stuhr 11 Jim Gears 12 Beth Gibans 1 J. Chris Gilman 5 Anna Goldstein-Black 11 Michael Grace 12 Alison Greene-Barton 12 Lisa Greenwald & Doug Lavin Beverly & Michael Greenwald 1 Kyle Gross 8 Mary Beth Gruber 1 Richard Guertin 10 Judy Hallberg 4 The Hamilton Family 2 Claire Hamman 1 Tyler Harkness 16 Marilen Hartnett Bill & Kathy Neilsen 3 Peregrine Heard 2 Kendall Henzelman 13 Susan Holt 12 Nancy P. Hubbard

1 Ronald & Lynne Huling Marjorie Wood vonSuck/Dannis 2 Leslie Hyde Alenka Katsnelson 13 Jessica Hysjulien Carter 1 Dina Jameson 2 Vicky Janczyk 13 Andrea Johnson Perham 8 Sarah Josephs Hellewell 7 Melinda & Peter Kaminsky 13 Diana Kelly 1 Patricia Kidd Marjorie Wood vonSuck/Dannis 14 Cynthia Kistler Curtis Delaney Budd 8 Alison Kleger Ramsey 10 Arianna Knapp 5 Josh & Mills Howland 1 Jana Kolinska 1 Alison Kopit 9 Peggy Lamb Merrens 14 Debra Larue Hohener Mel Cody 4 Cindy Lawler 1 Alex & Jennifer Leikikh 3 Rachel Lincoln Grindrod 1 Alex Martin 13 Peggy Mathauer 5 Kirtani Mathauer 2 Caryn & Peter McAllister 5 Hannah McCouch 17 Mary McCulloch Baker 15 Kathleen McKinley Harris 13 Kim McManus 3 Ashley McShea 1 Alexandra Meltzer 3 Sari Meltzer 14 Rachel Merdinger-Kalafer 13 Shelley Midkiff-Borunda 12 Robert M. Miller Bernice Ackerman 3 Susan Montgomery Burrows 2 Alicia Monzeglio 3 Maria & R.J. Moore 13 Sioban Morris 10 Susan Mountrey 4 Christina Mueller 1 The Mylan Family Birdi Mylan 1 Jenny Nelson 6 Meghan O’Brien Morrissey 3 Kathy O’Hara Napier

1 Mary O’Leary 1 Thomas O’Leary 1 Sophie Olmsted 1 Sarah Ordover 5 Marie T. Ouellet 17 Amanda Paisner Burdette 13 Lisi Paltrow Robinson Liz Bell’s 50th Birthday 1 Suji Park 10 Martia Patrick Gordon 4 Rachel Percelay 16 Priscilla Perkins Wilson 8 Hilary Phillips Haynes 1 Margeurite Pickett Wilson 2 Natalia Pinto 17 Edie Plimpton Fleeman Katie & Soupy Reynolds 9 Joshua & Erin Podvin 1 Raphaella Pope 12 Julia Proctor 6 The Quinn Family 16 Gretchen Ratcliff Lipari 10 Tammy Rayevich Leitch Lori Angstadt 3 Linda Roberts Tabas 1 Bill Rodak 6 Amy Roderer 8 Meg Rondeau 9 Julia Rumford 3 Jennifer Ryan Onken 6 Maggie Sanders Moore 1 Lea Sarnblad 1 Emma Sarnblad 1 Michele Schasberger 7 Liz Schiff Mel Menagh 1 Paul & Veronica Scribano 15 Bonnie Shepherd Yocum 17 Franny & Timothy Shuker-Haines 6 Lauren Shweder Biel 6 Adrienne Skinner 8 Alexandra Slack Hindle 7 Ann Smith Kaufher 11 Marty Smith Simonds 1 Marlene Smurzynski 1 Rosemarie & Tom Smurzynski 1 Susan Solberg 1 Kristen Solberg 1 Emma Sonduck 1 Vicki Spilko Marjorie Wood vonSuck/Dannis 6 Susan Steele Guswa Marjorie P. Brown

1 Clarisa Stephens 10 Lynn Swan Fahey 5 Lily Tandon 3 Sarah Title 1 Laura Townsend 3 Katharine Watson 16 Macy Wesson Liz Bell’s 50th Birthday 1 Avery Widen 1 Cheney Williams 2 Diane Willis Alford

Foundation, Corporate & Matching Contributions 1 Amazon Smile Foundation 11 The Barr Foundation 1 Coremotion Foundation 7 David & Candace Weir Foundation 8 Hawk Rock Foundation 3 Mitchell T. Kaplan & Marilyn Jones Fund 11 Kidder Smith Fund at The Boston Foundation 6 Louis F. & Reberta C. Albright Foundation 4 Meerwarth Family Foundation Trust 1 Morgan Stanley Global Impact Funding Trust 1 The Pierson Family Foundation, Inc Hannah Lindecke 6 Rover Family Philanthropic Fund 6 Title Family Fund of Fidelity Charitable 1 Viking Global Foundation, Inc. 7 Whitehall Foundation, Inc. 6 Anthony & Bertie Woeltz Fund of Fidelity Charitable

In Kind Contributions 18 1 1 1 16 7 3 8

Lisa Bennett Morse & Dick Morse Bibens Ace Hardware David Sisco at Designer’s Circle Jewelers Hazelett Strip-Casting Corporation Bill & Kathy Neilsen Barbara O’Reilly Randall Thropp Nancy Weaver Jones & David Jones


Brown Ledge Magazine

Thank You to all who volunteer to keep Brown Ledge beautiful


The Gift that Keeps on Giving A few years ago, there was a BLC alumna who was part of a small crew engaged in a thankless job during Work Weekend: digging a hole for a tree on the field by the tennis courts. The soil was rocky and compact and it was slow going. (There’s a reason we’re named Brown Ledge!) As she strained to extract small shovelfuls from the hole, she said, “I’ve been wondering… who would be doing this work if we weren’t here?”

We’ve thought about that question frequently since that day because the answer points to the reason Work Weekend is so beneficial to Brown Ledge. If hard working alumni and their

families did not rake, paint, plant, mow, weed, and clean in the spring, that work would be done by a) the staff, b) hired contractors, or c) no one. Two summers ago, about 20 staff members took on a lengthy job during pre-camp, a job that had been on the “to do” list for years. They took out the plywood beneath all of the camp beds and brought each piece to the clubhouse where they stained and preserved them in assembly line style. It dawned on us then that the only reason that job was finally accomplished was because of the volunteers at Work Weekend. Because they had taken care of so many of the precamp tasks, the staff was free to dive into jobs further down the list. After that our eyes and ears were attuned to the sights and sounds of other staff – especially the

fix-it men, Wayne Banks and Andrew Mauer – working on new projects that would have remained untouched were it not for the committed alumni who come to camp each spring. Year after year, the benefit is compounded as money is saved and new jobs get tackled. The gains that were made after the first Work Weekend have grown exponentially, and they will continue to grow. Last summer, it pleased us that so many alums arrived in August and immediately said, “Camp looks great!” Of course the summer weather - the right mix of sun and rain - and the brilliant blue skies on Alumnae Camp Weekend didn’t hurt! But we credit - and thank - the loyal and tireless Work Weekend alumni for helping us reach so many of our maintenance and landscaping goals.

Brown Ledge Magazine

Alums from all Brown Ledge eras enjoyed laughing and reconnecting at Alumnae Camp 2015



in 2016-2017

Come on back to BLC! At Brown Ledge Camp, we’re grateful for the strong network of alumnae and families who remain connected with their camp experience. Whether you’ve spent one summer or every possible summer, were a camper, JC, counselor, or all of the above – you’ll be welcomed and find comfort in being back on Malletts Bay.

Work Weekend

Alumnae Camp

This is a wonderful opportunity to connect with Brown Ledge – not just the people, but the place – and help get camp ready for the campers and counselors of 2017. You can get involved in a variety of projects, from painting to gardening to sweeping to cleaning cabins, and much more! Join us and help usher the cabins, theatre, dining room, docks, and everything in between into our 91st summer season! There will be tasks and projects for every age and ability, and you can get the added satisfaction of sleeping in the cabin you just cleaned! Saturday breakfast through Sunday lunch will be provided.

Alumnae Camp occurs over one weekend every other year and lasts from Friday evening through Monday morning. We look forward to welcoming many alums back next summer! Many bunkies will reunite and families will finally have the chance to experience this place they’ve been hearing about. The benefit that many don’t anticipate is the connections you’ll make with Brown Ledgers from other eras. You’ll love the stories shared by a fellow archery JC who was at camp 20 years before or after you! There’s nothing quite like having so much in common with people you’ve just met.

JUNE 3-4, 2017

AUGUST 18-21, 2017

Regional Reunions We enjoyed connecting with Brown Ledgers in a variety of places in the past year, including several California gatherings, Boston, New York City, and Washington D.C. We look forward to more opportunities in the coming year! Please share your photos when you have a Brown Ledge reunion in your neck of the woods.

E-News & Mailings Stay up on all the Brown Ledge news! You won’t miss a thing as long as we can connect with you. We send occasional mailings and a monthly e-newsletter. If you don’t already receive them, please send your email and mailing address to or via the Alumnae Contact page on



Brown Ledge Magazine

y (S Daisy was born to Karis Baile 05-0 6) on January 8, 2016

er, Lyda Mickey Mouse joined Beany Richt ie, Megan Blank , Jamie Dalgleish, Catie Brod r, and Mauer Usry, Melissa Fishel Maue in the fall. Hannah Livant for a NYC reunion

Brown Ledgers gathered at the wedding of Katharine Watson (C 97-02, JC 03-04, S 06, 08-09 and Joe Monthey (S 08-09), including Christy Lynn, Sam Ostrow, Emily Neilsen, Ben Neilsen, Grace Rumford, Kathy Neilsen, Katharine Watson, Joe Monthey Watson, Bill Neilsen, Jenny Schermerhorn, Ellie Prowell, Taylor Watson, Greta Hysjulien, Frankie Hutchinson , Judith Dry

Philly gathering March 2016

(S Dicky and Chelsea Hayward with six 04-12, 14) (S 11) toget her born on mont h old Isaac , who was September 20, 2015.

Ali Buckman (C 90s, JC 97-98, S 00-01) married Mike Cross in Vermont on September 26, 2015 Devon Bergham Ballinger (S04-05, 07, 09) and Ross Ballinger (S 09) celebrated the arrival of Ellis Foster Ballinger at sunrise on September 9, 2015

Bunkies and friends from the 70’s gathered in Vermont in December. Steve Kavner, Kathy Neilsen, Bob Fardelmann, Bill Neilsen and Lynne Kavner

Molly Donelan Leitao (C 96-98, JC 99-00) and her husband, Matthew, along with 3 yr. old daughter, Cecelia, welcomed twins Eloise and Charles in January, 2015.

The Lynn sisters of Middlebury gathered at Polly’s wedding in April. (L-R) Christy Lynn (C97, 99-00, S 04-05,08) with fiancé Sam Ostrow (S97, 99-08), Polly Lynn (C 95, 97) with husband Jason Mikula, and Elsie Lynn (99-02) with husband Oliver Parini. Sam and Christy plan a fall wedding in Vermont.

Brown Ledge Magazine

Karine Nadeau-C arter posed with Karen Bertram and Rob Pugh during a visit to Australia

Peter Henderson DeOreo (Henry) was born October 18, 2015 to Elizabeth DeOreo (C 89, JC 90-91, S 99-05)


Our Washington DC Area Open House

was hosted by the Gillespie family on Saturday, March 12, 2016.

Enjoying their visit here: Lily Padrusch, Kim McManus, Abs Smurzinsky, and Moxie Coleman-Miller

Amos Hugh Podvin was born on July 28, 2015 to Josh (S 03-06, BLF Board 08-14) and Erin Podvin

Ginny Sharp Williams and Katy Roba bins Ritz

Abby Lovshin-Smith (C 95-98, JC 99-00, S 02-06) married Mitchell Watson on September 9, 2015. Other Brown Ledgers pictured include Declan McDaid, Rini Lovshin-Smith and Rose Lovshin

Binny Miller, Kathy Neilsen, Maya Coleman, and Nancy Weaver Jones

Alenka Katsnelson , Hilary Strim ple, Clario n Heard, Rachel Percelay, and Christina Mueller

Karine Nadeau marrie d Liam Carter this fall in Cork, Ireland. At the wedding were Brown Ledgers Howard Dorne, Andree Nadeau Dorne, Robyn Sonis, Jennifer Nadea u, Karine Nadeau-Car ter, Meliss a Knight Howland, Sarah Schermerhorn , Emmie Nilsso n, Eva Nilsson, and Hans Nilsson

Katy Robbins Ritz, Elizabeth Baydush Milewski, and Amanda Poole had a reunion with children in tow, the next generation of Brown Ledgers!

Emmet Jeffrey was born on November 6, 2015 to Beau and Greta Hysjulien Jeffrey (C 00-02, JC 03-04, S 08-10)

our DC Fun Run & A great group came together for Kris Stone, Katy Walk on March 12, 2016! Back row: eth Carpenter Levy, Robbins Ritz, Kathy Neilsen, Elizab Robyn Sonis, Kim Bill Neilsen. Front row: Eva Levy, Solberg Sarnblad McManus, Taran Catania, Annie

Zinnia and Eva Lee Johnston were born to Clinton and Laurel Devaney (C 91-95, JC 96-97, S 13)

Kit and Carol Ames (at ends) hosted a reunion at their San Francisco home in November. Guests included (l-r) Leslie Carr, Kim McManus, and Katie Heller

Soupy Reynolds (Staff 03-08) marrie d Jenn Worley in October, 2015. Brown Ledgers picture d here are Amy Roderer, Edie Plimpton Fleeman, Jenn, Soupy, Noel Keck, Lauren Mottle, Katie Reyno lds.

Layla Guest (C 93-97, JC 98-99, S 01-03. 05-06) and Jordan Allen welcomed Naomi Archer Allen into the world on January 25, 2016


Brown Ledge Magazine

On Saturday, March 19, 2016, a talented group of Brown Ledge alums came together to present a benefit event kicking off the 90th Year celebra tion for Brown Ledge Camp. The BLCabaret celebrated BLC@90 – Good Things That Last – Celebrating Nine Decades of the Camp You Love. The efforts of many people made this possible, and Brown Ledge is grateful to everyone involved who helped to kick off our 90th year and raise $7,650! Alison Mixon, Bob Gilbo, Amanda Poole

Judy Hallberg, Mary Lou Albright Johnston, Bobbi Albright Gille

Thank you to everyone who came out to enjoy the event, and to the following people for creating, producing, directing, and performing in the BLCabaret: Mary Lou Albright Johnston Missy Badger Mary Barton * Steven Bednasz * Sarah Bell Susan Craig * Richard Currie Laurel Devaney Judith Dry Isabelle Fenn * Bob Gilbo Lisa Greenwald

Judy Hallberg Karen Hansen * Arianna Knapp Eleanor Lavin Jenny Libien * Alison Mixon * Kylie Mullins Grant Neale Chris Nee Kathy Neilsen Crispin Perrudo Lizzy Pigott

Amanda Poole * Stephen Randoy Eileen “Beany” Richter * Katy Robbins Ritz Emma Sarnblad Lea Sarnblad * Tammy Shaw Franny Shuker-Haines Zoe Stone Laura Townsend Sarah Weiner * = Cabaret Directors

Martia Patrick Gordon, Pamela Park Proctor, Barbi Stott Cairns,B.J. Martin, and Catie Brodie

Current JCs: Catherine Jones, Caroline Gilman, Charlotte Jones, and Emily Weintraub

Five Brown Ledge Music Directors 1962-2015: Kylie Mullins, Steven Bednasz, Sarah deTute, Susan Craig, Stephen Randoy

1. Susan Craig shares her Year of the CATS' 2. Current Brown Ledge campers perform Brown Ledge Babies. L to R: Emma Sarnblad, Sarah Weiner, Lea Sarnblad, Lizzy Pigott, Eleanor Lavin, and Zoe Stone 3. Richard Currie shares his story about ICE 4. Isabelle Fenn, Franny Shuker-Haines, and Kylie Mullins perform Ho Hey 5. Eleanor Lavin, Zoe Stone, and Lisa Greenwald 6. Laurel Devaney shared Tip Top Tunes of 26 with daughter, Zinnias support 7. Tammy Shaw, Laurel Devaney, Lisa Greenwald, and Grant Neale perform Old Friends 8. The entire cast closes the show with Just Be 9. Judy Hallberg reads a letter from long ago.

Brown Ledge Magazine


Virginia “Terry” Sydnor Lovering

Melanie Menaug h

Susie McKallor Holic

Terry was at Brown Ledge in the late 1940s/ea rly 1950s. Born in 1935 in Richmond, Virginia, Terry attended St. Catherine’s School and Hollins College. Terry was a master gardener, a member of the Virginia Beach Garden Club, a renowned chef and a fiercely proud Virginia n. With her refined taste and elegance, she co-founded the Laughing Gull Gift Shop at Virginia Beach and helped run it for many years. She always had a special place in her heart for Vermont. For nearly six decades, she and her husband, Joe, spent two weeks in Bridgewater each year with dear friends. She was devoted to her children and their spouses, Virginia L. Hopkins (Rick) and Joseph S. Lovering III (Lisa), and her six grandchildren. Terry’s daughter, Ginger, created memory book for her mother’s 80th birthday celebration, and included pictures and memorabilia from BLC.

Brown Ledge alumna Melanie Campbell Menagh (camper and JC 1972-77) died on October 8, 2015. A close friend from her BLC years shared, “Performing on the Brown Ledge stage is how we’ll all remember her.” In love with Vermont from her years at Brown Ledge Camp, Melanie attended Middlebury College, where she graduated in 1981. Melanie spent her young professional days in New York City, working first for Vogue Magazine and then for Vanity Fair. She also worked in publishing as an editor, a travel writer, and is the author of several books. She studied for her Masters in English Literatu re at Middlebury’s Breadloa f School of English which took her to its Lincoln College campus at Oxford University, where she graduated. Melanie is survived by her daughter, Clare Mills (camper 07-11), sister, Melissa Menagh (camper and JC 68-77), son, Mac, and husband, Stephen Mills.

Susie McKallor Holic, long time camper, JC, counselor, and board member (C 56-61, JC 62-63, S 6466) died at her home in Saratoga, California on February 18, 2016 after a long illness. She is survived by her husband of 45 years, Dick Holic. Susie was a kind, generous, bighearted, and engaging person with a grand sense of humor. Her sense of optimism and her delight in the world was infectious. The Brown Ledge archives are full of pictures of Susie exhibiting her characteristic joie de vivre. Susie was passionate about her family, her horses, and Brown Ledge. She started as a 10-year-old camper in 1956 and her attachment to, and support of camp never wavered. Susie was born in Binghamton, New York and after she graduated from Skidmore College in 1967, she went to work for IBM and she remained with the company until retirement.

Sara Hickox Donayre battle Sara Hickox Donayre, Brown Ledger in the 1950’s, lost her three-year valiant in 1941, with pulmona ry fibrosis Friday, August 7, 2015. She was 73. Born in Boston School of Sara received her RN degree from the former Framingham Union Hospital in numerworked Sara 1964. in ty Nursing in 1962 and her B.S. from Boston Universi od, FL Hollywo in career her closed and Peru and Jersey New in ous medical clinics companies, working as a Workers Compensation Case Manager for several insurance Pepe later creating her own business. Sara and her husband of 49 years, Dr. Jose Sara Donayre, enjoyed extensive travel through much of Europe and the U.S. r for a touched many lives and was dedicated to her community, serving as a voluntee children her by survived is Sara , variety of organizations. In addition to her husband Daniel and their spouses, Diana Remlinger (Camper & JC 77-83) (Mark); her son, (Jessica), and her granddaughter, Mila.



Brown Ledge Magazine

by Kathy Neilsen

Mark takes a few moments to relax while fishing down by the lake

You may know Mark Miller as the friendly man with the barrel chest and white goatee who brings his own deer and bear sausage to Alumnae Camp. What you may not have realized is that Mark comes to Malletts Bay each year to help open camp. Mark was the third of the Miller brothers to work in the Brown Ledge kitchen, preceded by his brothers Bob (1958, 59, 60) and Woody (1965). Mark came to camp in 1968 with “Butch the Baker” (both Butch Probst and Mark were at camp in 1968, 69, 70) and their

friendship, strengthened at camp, has stayed strong over the subsequent four and a half decades. They both enjoyed the work and especially the access to the natural environment of Vermont. “It was always fun,” says Mark, who then adds playfully, “It was a girls’ camp, after all!”

Mark kept in touch with Brown Ledge over the years and then, about 15 years ago, he was in the area and stopped by camp to visit with Fred and Twylla Fishel. He offered to mow grass and then he came back the next day to mow again. Mark’s service to Brown Ledge continues to this day. Ask Bill Neilsen about Mark’s pre-camp, week-long contributions and Bill will wax poetic on all the difficult projects that Mark has undertaken and the skill and resourcefulness he brings to each task. Need a cabin jacked up and leveled, stairs rebuilt, roofs repaired, a water heater installed? Mark is the man. He tells an illustrative story about the importance that camp has played in his life. Mark helped create Clinton Controls, a company that makes electrical control panels for waste water treatment. When his business partner died unexpectedly in 1998, Mark felt the loss deeply and didn’t know that the company could continue without his partner’s expertise. As he began to flounder, Mark remembered camp director Barbara Winslow and her admonition to face difficulty by going forward, and he resolved to follow her example and “just do it.” Barbara’s picture, pinned on the bulletin board above his desk, served as a daily reminder and Mark didn’t look back. Now his company has vastly expanded its productivity and reach, helping to clean up Superfund sites and contributing to waste treatment facilities as far away as Iran and the Philippines. Why does Mark spend a week of his precious vacation time at Brown Ledge each summer? He still enjoys the natural beauty of Vermont and the chance to spend evenings relaxing with a fishing pole down by the lake. But more than that, Mark loves to contribute, to “repair things that might go by the wayside,” and to reconnect with a time and place he loved. “Though some things have changed,” he says, “so much remains the same. When I walk through camp, I’m walking back in time.”

Brown Ledge Magazine

Without You... The Picture is Incomplete

80% of camp operating expenses comes from camper tuition and 20% is contributed by you, our loyal and generous alums and parents.

Imagine what - and who - might be missing without your support. Thank You for giving the gift of Brown Ledge!


Mission Statement

Brown Ledge is a non-profit camp that exists to develop community, self-discipline, responsibility and achievement in girls and young women, through self-directed participation in varied activities in a high quality summer program.




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