BROW N L E D G E M
Brown Ledge Magazine
It is said that change is the one constant in life... Though evolutionary biologists tell us that humans are uniquely capable of adapting to change, they are beginning to question if the current rate of change in the 21st century has outstripped our ability to adapt. What happens when we can’t keep up? We are left feeling disconnected, anxious, and adrift. Most of us feel a certain sense of nostalgia when we think about our camp days. But what is nostalgia, beyond a warm remembrance of an earlier time? We were surprised to read an article that likened nostalgia to a defense mechanism, saying that when we feel nostalgic, we are really feeling overwhelmed by the rapid pace of change. Is it possible that nostalgia is, in part, a longing to slow down? Brown Ledge is a place that celebrates each camper’s ability to choose her own pace, where she is free to decide to join a
hip-hop dance class, swim a mile, or sit with friends in the Adirondack chairs on the Vista overlooking Malletts Bay. We are a place where traditions and rituals guide us, connect us to the past, and give meaning to the present—a place that is simultaneously full of spontaneity and predictability. We take comfort in being part of a community where some change is inevitable and welcomed, while most things stay the same. We hope that this issue of Brown Ledge, the magazine, allows you to take a
moment to slow down, indulge your sense of nostalgia, and savor our world of tradition and connection.
Bill & Kathy Neilsen Directors, Brown Ledge Camp P.S. The postcard inserts are designed for your enjoyment and use. They represent the 1950s to 2016 and they celebrate Brown Ledge’s 90+ year history of continuity and change.
Surreal. That was Merriam-Webster’s 2016 Word of the Year. And while the countless Google searches, hashtags, tweets, and re-tweets carried for many a tone of disbelief and disappointment, I can’t help but sit here on this January 22, 2017 afternoon and reflect upon the beautiful truth of that word as it relates to Brown Ledge. Few people have the privilege to be part of a community that unites its members for a lifetime, creating bonds that surpass gaps in distance, age, and beliefs. That Brown Ledge instills in each of us a sense of true belonging and acceptance—creating an ever-lasting dedication to this sisterhood of fierce females—is absolutely, unequivocally surreal. Oh, and that view of Mt. Mansfield from the sailing dock? Yeah, that’s surreal too.
Robyn Sonis President, Brown Ledge Board of Directors
Brown Ledge Magazine
Table of Contents 14
2 7 8 13 14 16 18
Brown Ledgers in the Nonprofit World Guest Author: Bertie Couch Woeltz Tribal Bonds Guest Author: Don Sharp Tradition & Change: BLC Artifacts Guest Author: Sally-Ann Tschanz The Lasting Impact of Marjorie Brown
20 21 22 23 26 30 33
BL Foundation @ 20 Years List of Givers and Shakers Legacy for Future Generations Brown Ledge Endowment Fund Bulletin Board Volunteer Appreciation: Archiving Beehive
Brown Ledge Magazine
BROWN LEDGERS IN THE
"The purpose of life is to discover your gift; the work of life is to develop it; and the meaning of life is to give your gift away."
by Kathy Neilsen Speaking with Brown Ledgers who work in nonprofit organizations was one of the very best parts of our late fall and early winter. Social workers, lawyers, curators, archivists, environmentalists, program directors, fundraisers, lobbyists, journalists, advocates, and more are found in our alumni ranks and ten of them are highlighted here. Our thanks to those who answered the call, and our apologies to those who reached out but couldn’t be included in this article; we simply ran out of room. During these tumultuous times, we are especially proud to know that there are men and women in our community who are developing their gifts and giving those gifts away. On multiple continents around the globe, they bring beauty and healing to a fractured world.
Blythe Taplin (C 92-97, JC 98-99)
Blythe Taplin’s Northeastern Law School program required participation in four full-time internships. Blythe worked with a federal judge, a public defender, and in Palestine representing children held in military camps. Blythe’s last internship was in New Orleans, working with Louisiana’s death row inmates. Though she enjoyed each of the three previous internships, something coalesced in New Orleans.
“The clients, the city, the work…I knew this was where I wanted to stay.” Blythe works for two “sister organizations,” The Capital Appeals Project (www.thejusticecenter.org) and The Promise of Justice Initiative (www.justicespromise.org) and she describes what she does as more of a vocation than a job. She works with a small group of talented and compassionate people who have a wealth of empathy for their clients. Together they practice the art of creative and tireless advocacy. Blythe is well aware that
— David Viscott
appeals for death row inmates is not always a popular cause but she is passionate in her determination that her clients be seen, not as monsters, but as human beings. As Blythe works to gather information that will convince a court that her client is a person worth saving, she is fueled by the belief that “everyone is better than their worst day.” Blythe loves her job. She is honored by the trust she is given by her clients and their families who must retell the painful stories of their lives. And she feels fortunate to be doing this work in her adopted city of New Orleans, a city rich in history, culture, and tradition. We talked about the compassion that her job requires and Blythe sees her mother as an important influence, saying “We both have an appreciation for the underdog.” Blythe also looks to Brown Ledge. Being in the theatre taught her how to act more confident than she felt, a skill she calls upon regularly. And camp taught her to be independent and to brush herself off and move on when things went wrong. Laughing, Blythe quips, “All of the most embarrassing moments of my life happened at Brown Ledge so I had lots of practice!” Whether it was trying out for a play, going for a Vanguard, or joining the swim team (“I was a terrible swimmer!”), Blythe learned to persevere.
Brown Ledge Magazine
Laurel Moran (C 64-67, JC 68-69)
A crusader for the invisible people Laurel Moran holds two positions in the nonprofit world: her “day job” and her “night job.” While they could scarcely be more different, Laurel feels fortunate that both are deeply satisfying. During the day, Laurel is a social worker in a hospital-based program in Maine that provides acute-care services to people experiencing mental health crises. With a degree in expressive arts therapy, this is not the kind of social work Laurel imagined herself doing, but she was surprised to discover that she loved the work. People experiencing a crisis need a take-charge kind of person and, with typical wry humor, Laurel says, “I do like telling people what to do.” What else does it take to do this work? Laurel counsels young social workers that one of the most important things they can do is to listen to people and treat them with respect—something that many of her clients rarely, if ever, experience. Laurel says that she fantasizes
about writing a book titled “The Invisible People” about those who suffer from addiction and mental illness. She considers herself to be a “minor crusader,” seeking to raise awareness about this large but hidden population. In the evenings, Laurel works for the SYDA foundation (www. siddhayoga.org), which is dedicated to protecting, preserving, and facilitating the dissemination of Siddha Yoga teachings. Siddha Yoga incorporates the mystical traditions of ancient Hinduism, and Laurel herself has spent 35 years on this spiritual path. Laurel is one of ten area directors, and she oversees sixty different groups in the eastern United States. Her team of 25 does everything from translating the policies of SYDA to problem solving around concrete issues like finances and broken furnaces. Laurel’s two jobs complement one another. Along with spiritual growth, SYDA emphasizes “being in the world” and followers are charged with “uplifting humanity.” Laurel tells us that a personal quest to be compassionate, honest, and kind helps followers be of service to others, a belief borne out by Laurel’s own experience. SYDA and meditation have been grounding and they have allowed Laurel to continue to do her demanding and intense “day job.”
Alex Ames Kornman (C 96-00, JC 01-02, S 05)
The Lewa Wildlife Conservancy (www. lewa.org) began with a primary mission: to save the black rhinos of Kenya from extinction. Alex Ames Kornman first traveled to Lewa as a volunteer in 2010. She had been working in financial communications in New York City for several years and, she says,
“I needed a challenge and a new environment and that’s exactly what I got!” Lewa’s 61,000 acres is home to 13% of Kenya’s rhino population, a population that had declined from 20,000 to fewer than 300 animals. Alex reports that there have been no poachings on Lewa since 2013, saying that “this kind of success is unprecedented during the current poaching crisis.” But expanded security is only one of the reasons that poaching has been curbed. Community
participation and development is a key part of Lewa’s mission. Rhino protection, tourism, and school funding are intertwined, and Lewa helps to promote the understanding of shared resources in a stable ecosystem. There are plenty of challenges to Alex’s work, not the least of which is working with limited resources. Alex is based in London and she is the only employee in the UK, relying on Skype and email to communicate with colleagues in Kenya and North America. “In order for organizations to thrive in the modern world,” says Alex, “their operations need to be lean, which means there is very little extra money available so you often find yourself making do and finding
creative solutions to problems and doing the work of several people.” Alex loves her job and she is passionate about her work. While she recognizes that passion for the mission is essential, Alex advises those entering the nonprofit world to put professionalism first. “All the best intentions in the world can only get you so far; hard work and high-quality output are essential. Being organized, thoughtful, and efficient will enable you to make a real impact.”
Brown Ledge Magazine
Elena Barr Baum (C 78-81, JC 82-83, S 84)
When we spoke with Elena Barr Baum she was on the road, driving from her home in Virginia to Washington, DC where—as the director of the Holocaust Commission—she would host a panel composed of three people who knew Ellie Wiesel, the celebrated author, political activist, and Holocaust survivor. First starting as a volunteer with the Holocaust Commission of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater (www.jewishva. org), Elena then became its director in 2010. The Holocaust Commission is “teaching tolerance, justice, and moral courage” by supporting education about the Holocaust. The main focus is on “teaching the teachers” through conferences and educational resources. What We Carry, already viewed by 23,000 people, is a multi-media program that includes four films of Holocaust survivors, with additional films ready for distribution this year. Elena feels a special dedication to the survivors she has met:
“They count on the Holocaust Commission to tell their stories; they want to know that the lessons of the Holocaust will survive after they are gone.” Elena has been personally touched by the work she has done for the last six years. “My work with the commission has become a huge part of who I am,” she says. “Knowing survivors makes you think about your own life. I have learned to understand and respect people in a new way and I am mindful of the values—both for myself and my family—that are part of the history of the Holocaust.” By way of illustration, Elena tells the story told to her by a survivor, a man who, at age 20, swam across the Baltic to Denmark to escape the Nazis. He was picked up by a local policeman and given a choice: stay and be turned in to the German occupiers or swim back. Before swimming back to Germany, he was allowed some time to rest. The young man survived, later escaping to Italy, and many decades later he tells the story of the Danish policeman with gratitude, thankful for the rest he was given before swimming back across the Baltic. No wonder that Elena says,
“The people are amazing and the work is important.”
Hayley Doner (C 04-06, JC 07-08, S 13)
Working for Indego Africa (www. indegoafrica.org) was a natural transition for Hayley Doner. As a student at the University of Chicago, Hayley did an internship with survivors of torture and she was a translator for people applying for political asylum. Hayley describes these as amazing experiences that helped her connect with people from different backgrounds. And rather than be overwhelmed or saddened by difficult stories, Hayley found it uplifting to experience human resilience under the worst circumstances:
“Somehow people find hope.” The mission of Indego Africa (IA) is to help artisans lift themselves and their families out of poverty and become empowered businesswomen. Handcrafts is a vital industry in Africa—second only to agriculture—and Indego Africa assures
steady income, fair wages, and business training with the goal of self-sufficiency. Earning an income helps women have more of a voice and a larger role in decision making. According to Hayley, “If you educate women, they will provide first for their families and then grow their businesses.” Indego Africa began in Rwanda whose history of genocide is central to IA’s work. “Anyone over 22 in Rwanda has a traumatic story to tell,” says Hayley, “but Rwanda has been involved in 20 years of reconciliation work and talking and telling truths has been part of the process of healing and moving forward.” Rwanda is helped by a religious tradition that emphasizes forgiveness, and IA is helping the healing process by giving people a focus on the future. When asked about the personal road that led to her work with Indego Africa, Haley calls Brown Ledge her most
important formative experience. It was the place where she could explore her interests and be herself. She formed close relationships and learned empathy, including the ability to understand people from different backgrounds. Haley believes that the openness, friendship, and mutual support that she experienced at Brown Ledge are now put into her work at Indego Africa. At BLC, Haley says, “the day was mine and my decisions mattered. I learned to trust my feelings and own my voice.”
Brown Ledge Magazine
Garland Middleton (C 01-03, JC 04, S 07-09)
We asked Garland Middleton how she got started on the path to becoming a social worker. Garland points to her mother, who is a social worker in private practice in a rural community. She also believes that her art major and her years of teaching art were influential: “I worked with a variety of children and adults, including people with disabilities. The focus then, as it is now, was giving people the tools to lead their lives.” The “now” that Garland refers to is pursuing an advanced degree in social work and working at Street’s Hope, a nonprofit that seeks to provide “holistic, restorative services for women escaping sex trafficking and the commercial sex industry” (www.streetshope.org). Street’s Hope started in 2008 but gained traction in 2012 when it obtained a sober safe house which now shelters ten women in a faith-based program. The
goal of Street’s Hope is to help women heal, transform, and thrive. The work is individualized and is based on the needs of each client, focusing on therapeutic goals as well as concrete issues like education and housing. Garland talks about her clients with respect and pride. “The safe house is a community in the best sense of the word, where older residents help out the younger ones.” One of Garland’s favorite programs at Street’s Hope is an animal-assisted therapy program where residents participate in the training of rescue dogs to become service animals: “I love witnessing the relationship that develops between residents and the dogs, seeing the clients learn about themselves as they learn to take care of the animals.” Garland relates her work as a JC and counselor at Brown Ledge to her work at Street’s Hope. How does teaching a
Charlotte McCorkel (C 95-99, JC 00-01, S 03)
Charlotte McCorkel comes from a family of social workers. In her family, participating in and giving back to the community were clear values and that helped make social work a natural fit. After receiving her graduate degree from Columbia, Charlotte worked with adults with AIDS in New York City before moving to Vermont. For the last eight years she has been working for First Call, the crisis department of the Howard Center (www.howardcenter.org), Chittenden County’s community mental health organization. Charlotte enjoys the collaborative aspect of the work that she does. To effectively work with people in crisis, she must also work with community partners such as the police, schools, and youth services agencies. After years of direct service and supervision work, Charlotte took on a different role last year: leading the team charged with integrating the agency’s crisis-intervention services.
camper to roll a kayak relate to working with women in such dire circumstances? “In both settings people are asked to try things they’ve never done and to pick themselves up after failure,” Garland says. “The settings may be very different but the sense of accomplishment is the same.” At camp and at Street’s Hope,
“I have seen the way small successes contribute to our beliefs about ourselves.”
Though Charlotte loves working with clients and supporting other social workers, she also sees herself as a systems thinker; tackling organizational puzzles appeals to her. She is just now embarking on another systems problem: integrating and streamlining all of the organization’s intake services. What’s it like to wear so many hats within one organization? Charlotte laughs and harkens back to her Brown Ledge days where she was an “all-rounder.” The image she holds of herself at camp is the girl in a bathing suit and riding boots with a tennis racket over her shoulder. Charlotte loves her job but acknowledges that the work can be frustrating; she believes it’s important for people in her field to pick their battles and decide where to put their energy and passion. When asked what advice she would give to social workers entering the field, she says, “Don’t go it alone, find like-minded people, especially concerning issues of social justice. And be sure to maintain a good work-life balance.” Finally, Charlotte says,
“The work is hard and the pay is low, but it is incredibly rewarding. It is both humbling and an honor to do it.”
Brown Ledge Magazine
Paul and Charlene Dahlquist (S 63-65, 80-81, 84, 86-87)
A "retirement" filled with meaningful work and wonderful colleagues Paul Dahlquist uses the word “serendipity” to describe his entry into the nonprofit world in Hawaii. Paul and his wife, Charlene, moved to Hawaii 28 years ago when Paul left his teaching job at Ohio Wesleyan University and “we were too young and too poor to retire.” Positions at the Lyman Museum in Hilo (www. lymanmuseum.org) opened up, and Paul and Charlene were each offered a halftime job: Paul as a curator of Hawaiian art and Charlene as an archivist. Paul grew up in Hawaii and his family history there goes back five generations: his great, great grandfather was a doctor to a group of missionaries who came to Hawaii in 1828. While Paul’s family may have played an important role in Hawaiian history, Paul says, “What did
I know about Hawaiian art? I had to quickly get myself up to speed. It was sink or swim.” While Paul was working upstairs in the museum, Charlene was downstairs working as the librarian and archivist. “It was the best job,” says Charlene. “Interesting people and no deadlines…but unfortunately the pay was directly proportional to the amount of pressure!” The collection of books, photographs (14,000 in total), artifacts, and ephemera was large enough to be interesting and small enough so that Charlene could really get to know it all. Charlene assumed that she would have few visitors but found that she was often visited by professional researchers who already had a depth of knowledge. Like Paul, Charlene loved the people and she considers herself lucky to have worked with “the world’s best volunteers.” Charlene is now experiencing that side of things: she currently volunteers at the Isaacs Art Center. On being a volunteer, Charlene says, “It’s great! They fawn all over you just to keep you there!”
Taran Catania (C 02-06, JC 07-08, S 10)
Taran Catania majored in government and environmental studies in college and she now works as a lobbyist for the National Wildlife Federation. (www.nwf.org) After graduation, Taran was first a field technician for the New Jersey Audubon Society and then she worked for the American Bird Conservancy. Her interest in public policy led her to Washington, DC and the National Wildlife Federation. The NWF was organized in 1936 with a dream of inspiring Americans to create a conservation movement. Protecting and preserving wildlife for future generations has always been at the heart of the NWF, and Taran says that education is an important part of that mission. As a lobbyist, Taran is helping to educate those responsible for making laws related to the environment. Lawmakers know that they can turn to her to get accurate and timely information. Taran says that, simply stated, she and other environmental lobbyists “help stop bad laws and promote good laws” and people in power rely
When asked about his 13 years at the Lyman Museum (he is now, years later, a trustee), Paul immediately talks about the people. “I was so fortunate to work with such a wonderful staff and we have stayed friends with so many of them.” If you know Paul, you will not be surprised to learn that he took great pride in the work. Paul mentions an art exhibit that he returned to curate several years ago. Paintings from the island dating as far back as 1776—when the first Europeans arrived—were paired with current photographs complementing the location or subject matter of the earlier art work. It was an exhibit that prompted a coming together of people from around the island, and the project was a highlight of Paul’s museum career.
on people like Taran to be able to know the difference. The work can be exciting. There are times when the pressure is on and things are happening quickly—when something is scrawled on a napkin and rushed through the halls to the right person. It is clear that Taran is driven by both passion and optimism. She feels fortunate to work with motivated people with shared values. Of course, there are frustrations: redundancy in lobbying efforts, the need for good coordination, and a new administration. Above all, Taran is excited about making an impact saying,
“I am most satisfied when I am most proud, and I am most proud when I work the hardest for the things I believe in.” Taran’s work requires a bold approach. She says that while other women struggled to learn to take their seat at the table, this was something she already knew. Taran looks to Brown Ledge as one source of that self-assurance saying, “BLC empowered me at an early age, and I have the confidence to speak my mind.”
Guest Author: Bertie Couch Woeltz
Come on, admit it. With the arrival of each summer comes a desperate urge to head to the basement, pull out the trunk, and start throwing in the BLC essentials. For me that would be riding boots, jodhpurs, Jantzen racing swimsuit, Converse or Jack Purcell tennis shoes, and my cherished Jack Kramer wood racquet. (I'm really dating myself ). For years, I got to pack that trunk—first as an eleven year old from our home in Florida, then from boarding school in Virginia, and finally from college in Chicago. Now, many years have passed, but one thing remains unchanged; the longing to make a bee-line for Malletts Bay come June. Yep, it comes every year like clockwork. You've been there. We all get it. I can confess that I was concerned that even at my age I have this burning, recurring desire to pack the trunk. Just leave everything behind and get back to Brown Ledge. If my family wants to find a way to quit their day jobs and leave their summer lives in Boston, then I'm happy to have them come along. I feel confident I can find them all counselor jobs in a variety of departments. Anthony, my husband, will direct some plays and work in the theatre department; my children will run the tennis department; and I can do anything that Kathy and Bill will allow (with the exception of
town shopper or store lady!). I pray, "please let me find a way to have this work out, I just have to go.” A few days pass. Reality sets in and I say to myself, "I'm sorry, you don't have to pack the trunk after all because you're not going back to camp this year. Maybe next year. Stay hopeful." So there will be no leaving the barn after a sweaty afternoon of drill practice, or walking back through the grove freezing cold after a 5:00 swim team practice, or starting a song from my table, or getting the basic in an activity that I never would have dreamt of trying. (Sailing.) Or as a JC, blasting the Carol King Tapestry album from Beehive very loudly. These are the memories of a place I always want to return to—so clear, so ingrained that I hang on to them year after year, never letting go. Fortunately for me, I now know that it's "OK" to want to get that trunk out each summer. It's a perfectly normal phenomenon experienced by all Brown Ledgers. My daughter Coco, also a Brown Ledger and now 23, confirmed this for me last summer. She said she wanted to quit her job, pack the trunk, and head up Route 89 come June as well. Coco and I have
Bertie Couch Woeltz (C 68-71, JC 72, S 76)
many similarities, but we went to Brown Ledge in two totally different eras. Not surprisingly, Coco's camp experience a generation later—although not as long as mine—was just as magical. Differences in generations ironically make no difference at all when it comes to Brown Ledge. Why this longing to return? For friendships made, independence gained, or just to be in a place where you can do all you want, when you want. It's incredibly difficult to explain how this all works. The only way I can get the point across is by telling friends, "If you send your daughter to Brown Ledge and she doesn't love it, I'll refund your money." I still haven't had to pay anyone. At Brown Ledge, while you are running to and from activities, making lasting friendships and having loads of fun, you are gaining a true confidence in yourself when you don't even know it. Brown Ledge isn't a place for resume building but for character building. As David Brooks relates in his timely new book, The Road to Character, "The things we call character are capable of a long obedience in the same direction, of staying attached to people and causes and callings consistently through thick and thin. People with character are anchored by permanent attachments to important things and places." Brown Ledge is one of those places. So, pack your trunk and go back every summer, if only in your dreams.
Brown Ledge Magazine
by Kim McManus
What do soldiers in combat, 16th century Native American communities, Londoners during the Blitz, and Brown Ledge Junior Counselors have in common? Possibly a great deal according to author Sebastian Junger. In his compact and powerful book Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging, Junger analyzes why humans seem more content in a tribal setting compared to modern living even if that tribal environment is routinely challenging, uncomfortable, dangerous, and sometimes, life-threatening. Junger did not include Junior Counselors at Brown Ledge Camp as one of his tribal examples—an oversight, to be sure—so we thought we would make the comparison. In Junger’s book, he argues that soldiers suffer PTSD upon returning home from war not because of the atrocities they might have experienced during the conflict, but because of the loneliness of returning home, without their unit, in an ever isolating society. The soldiers lose very quickly the three human needs of competence, autonomy, and community. Junger proposes that a soldier’s life during a conflict more closely resembles a pre-agrarian tribal community than modern society, and that this tribal
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Girls of 16 to 18 can, when given the full opportunity, spontaneously and without undue pressure rise to the occasion of leadership and actually choose to restrict their own behavior in the best interests of the whole. — Harry E. Brown, The JC Plan
community configuration more easily provides for the soldier’s human needs. It goes without saying that pithy analogies between JCs and soldiers—and camp as a war zone—would be wildly inappropriate. But Junger’s book led the BLC office to consider whether some of the tribal elements found in a soldier’s platoon, or in a pre-agrarian huntergatherer society, as outlined by Junger, could help explain how the JC program remains a transformative experience for teenage girls, and why alumnae who have participated in the program are our most loyal advocates.
Designing the JC Plan In 1957, Harry E. Brown used the fall Ledger to explain The Brown Ledge JC Plan. The JC Plan had been in action for a few years and, as was his way, H.E.B. wanted to reflect, in writing, on the program and highlight its uniqueness within the camping industry. H.E.B. explained that creating the role of JCs at Brown Ledge was born out of the need to “fill in a gap, not covered by many camps, represented by the last two or three years of high school” and “to make a camp season most worthwhile, meaningful and attractive to girls
sixteen, seventeen and eighteen years of age under special circumstances.” The JC program has run, with some small modifications, as described in the 1957 Ledger. JCs are full paying customers who volunteer to work in a department for two hours a day, six days a week, so that they can better learn their craft and practice how to teach and lead within the activity. From the beginning, weekly JC meetings have been held with the JC Director or Camp Director to review teaching and leadership concepts. Over time, the additional responsibility of mentoring and caring
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for a camper cabin became an integral part of the program. For decades, the JC program has not only withstood the test of time but has grown and flourished. While other camps struggle to keep the interest of girls over the age of fifteen, the JC program has seen its largest groups enrolled within the past decade, in spite of the recent economic recession. In the past ten years, the average JC group has numbered 42 girls. In 2011, we had 51 JCs! In an age when girls have more opportunities than ever during their high school years—and more pressure to have experiences that will read well on a college application—the JC program remains relevant and competitive. H.E.B. believed that the benefits of the JC Plan were that the program “helps in many ways to prepare a girl for the big transition to college life” (or adulthood). He wrote that the plan did this: “1) by training her in special skills, which, regardless of whether they are ever used or not, give her a feeling of accomplishment and self-confidence; 2) by giving her definite and extensive training in practice-teaching under supervising heads of departments, which becomes a foundation for leadership elsewhere; and 3) by giving her practical experience, under guidance from the camp’s top personnel, in assuming responsibility for her own conduct and behavior.” Sounds a lot like a program that creates community, autonomy and competence. Once again, H.E.B. proved to be an educator ahead of his time. Decades after the JC Plan was implemented, “self-determination theory” developed among social psychologists from studies examining intrinsic and extrinsic forces that impact personal motivation. In the early 2000s, the theory was further studied by Richard Ryan and Edward Deci, who identified “three innate needs that, if satisfied, allow optimal function and growth.” These three needs will resonate with any current or former JC.
JCs on the back of Beehive 1962
JCs in front of Roadside 1980s
JCs on the hammock 2011
Ryan and Deci found that these needs are found “in humanity across time, gender and culture” and that human beings need to feel the following to be content: • They need to feel competent at what they do (competence); • They need to feel authentic in their lives (autonomy); and • They need to feel connected to others (community).
Communal Living Humans are social animals and for much of human history we lived and slept in communal settings more like our JC cabins than our present day homes. The traditional JC cabins of Beehive, Annex, and Roadside each house between 10 and 16 JCs. The new JC cabin, Neverland, fits up to 25 JCs without bunk beds. At any given time in
the history of the JC program, we have had 20 to 50 JCs living and working in camp in the largest cabins with often the tightest quarters. JCs no longer live peaceably with three other girls like when they were campers, but now need to live in relative harmony with 8, 12, or 20 other girls. This can be a difficult change for some JCs, but the transition to, and the benefits of, communal living come swiftly. When living in small open groups, a member of the community cannot get away with selfish behavior, at least not for long, as the group will eventually push back. Cooperation is a survival mechanism for humans and when placed in a JC cabin, JCs instinctually tap into those, sometimes, dormant traits. A JC quickly realizes that for this to work— for her summer to be a success for herself—she must cooperate, share, and put others before herself. Fortunately,
Brown Ledge Magazine
2nd Year JC Tradition Sleeping on the sailing dock
Humans don’t mind hardship, in fact they thrive on it. What they mind is not feeling necessary. — Sebastian Junger we humans survived because of cooperative behaviors so our biology rewards us when we help others by giving us a blast of oxytocin. The feedback loop of working as a group, getting good feelings, and benefiting from group loyalty leads members to “self-sacrifice to promote group welfare,” according to Junger. And communal living does not end at the JCs’ cabin door: JCs are presented constantly with moments to help others, to put the group first, and to cooperate. Whether they like it or not, these moments arise while they are eating, brushing their teeth, walking to their department, and of course, while working and supervising their camper cabin during rest hour. Can you imagine the level of oxytocin running through the veins of JCs at camp? The community feeds the JCs never-ending opportunities to help and the JCs blast that energy back into everything they do for camp.
A Necessary Part of the Community All who live at camp feel the benefits of communal life. The JCs’ experience is heightened by not only being part of the group, but knowing that they are an integral part of the community: as a group and as individuals. The JCs’ role within their activity department and within their camper cabin is threefold: they are the spirit bringers, they bridge the divide between campers and counselors, and they model the values of our community. A department is bereft if it does not have JCs for a summer. The energy that oozes from a JC or a group of JCs is palpable and changes the dynamic of a department the moment they arrive. As H.E.B. noted in The JC Plan: “He (the director) believes that such youthful leaders as they often turn out to be have provided the mainspring, the core, the
SPIRIT that makes Brown Ledge stand out among camps. When we have a ‘top’ JC group in any one season, we have an assured spark that ignites the whole camp to worth-while and pleasurable action.” The JCs hear and see things among the campers that might be missed by the counselors. As important, the campers hold the JCs in the highest esteem. One of the most effective means of teaching campers how we act at Brown Ledge is to have JCs show and tell the campers what behavior is appreciated and expected within our community. The counselors and the directors rely on the JCs to model our culture and to take initiative when behavior is taking place outside of our cultural norms. JCs are highly aware of their place in the community and the importance of their role. Their inactions matter as much as their actions. If the average
Brown Ledge Magazine
JCs at Preview Time 2011. Second year JCs with Author, 2007
Such youthful leaders as they often turn out to be have provided the mainspring, the core, the SPIRIT that makes Brown Ledge stand out among camps. When we have a ‘top’ JC group in any one season, we have an assured spark that ignites the whole camp to worth-while and pleasurable action. — Harry E. Brown, The JC Plan high-energy JC enhances the dynamic of a group, imagine the negative impact of a brooding, pouty JC. It is powerful. It can ruin a meal or the morning on the dock. As individuals, JCs know that their behavior has a direct impact on others: their JC cabin, their department, their camper cabin. They feel it and they are given feedback regularly on how they influence their community. JCs know that they are the glue that holds our culture together from year to year. This sense of purpose, and its importance, cannot be overstated. Nor should we overlook the lack of purpose many teenagers feel in modern society. As Junger noted, “Humans don’t mind hardship, in fact they thrive on it. What they mind is not feeling necessary.” They, the collective JC group, are so important to camp and are so aware of their worth within our society that they are willing to subsume their personal wants (most of the time) for the greater community because protecting the
community will protect their treasured role at BLC. This helps explain JCs cheering themselves hoarse in the pouring rain on Extravaganza Day, spending late nights in Arts and Crafts shellacking dozens of team awards, and scribbling 200 names on tiny scraps of paper for Secret Friends. JCs will run themselves ragged to do all the tasks, assigned and unassigned, that support the community.
Traditions and “Best Self” Camp traditions, our routines, or “our pattern of days” (as H.E.B. referred to it) are held sacrosanct by the Junior Counselors: listening to taps, standing behind your chair before meals, singing in the dining room, Theatre, Ledger, Banquet, the Rose Ceremony, Chapel, rest hour, sleeping on the sailing dock, swimming around Mosquito Island, to name a few. Our “Tradition and Change” column annually reviews what traditions
have morphed, reshaped, or been replaced over the years, but the want—arguably, the need—to have traditions is unwavering by the community, but mostly, by the Junior Counselors. Our traditions are all moments when our society shows that we value cooperation over competition, that we put the community over the individual, and that we celebrate that our whole community exists on the collective effort. By viewing these traditions as essential elements of our world, a JC reveals her inner cave girl, her hunter-gatherer’s soul, yearning to have her basic emotional needs met. After two years in the Junior Counselor program, a JC has—day in and day out, week in and week out—feasted on what she needs most to reach her optimal function and growth: competence, autonomy, and community. It is little wonder that these years at camp are often an alumna’s fondest…and the time when she felt like her “best self.”
Guest Author: Don Sharp
Don Sharp (S 89-96)
The last evening of camp is one every camper, JC, and counselor remembers well for the sights, sounds, smells, flavors, and emotions it brings: the scent of fresh pine branches adorning the dining hall, the girls and women in their white dresses and men in their jackets and ties, the banquet filled with bittersweet songs, the awards ceremony that ends with the “goodnight songs,” sung for the last time, and the candle launching – all tied together by the shared memories of a summer that has nearly come to an end. Apart from the growing sadness as new and old friends prepare to part, it is a happy time. For some girls, however, the last evening is punctuated by disappointment. On the last evening one summer in the mid-1990s, having hiked back up the Point after launching my candle, I found a girl sitting in the Grove on the bench by Fred and Twylla’s cabin, head down, shoulders slumped, waiting. I was the first of the sailing counselors to see her. I knew why she was there, and I knew I could not pass without stopping to talk to her. She had tried for her Vanguard but had not achieved it, and she wanted to talk. I remember thinking that all summer long I had merely been a sailing instructor, and I was about to find out what it meant to be a sailing counselor. I felt utterly unqualified and inexperienced. “Difficult conversations” returns about 12,900,000 results in 0.49 seconds on Google. Many of the results focus on the business world, and—as a manager in my professional life—I have had to conduct
reviews of less-than-stellar performance, explain unfulfilled promotion expectations, and lay people off. Every once in a while, I get a spam email from a training firm or consultancy offering seminars or courses on conducting difficult conversations. Clearly it is an enduring topic, and it’s no wonder why: Difficult conversations are, well, difficult. By my second or third summer at BLC, I knew how to perform Road Duty, how to lead the Sunday dinner grill team in the field, how to put the docks into the water, and how to lead a Mount Mansfield hike and overnight. But I was ill-prepared for that conversation in the Grove. I didn’t have Fred Fishel’s gift of communication. I didn’t have access to seminars, and Google didn’t yet exist. How could I help a teenage girl understand why she didn’t achieve her Vanguard without making her feel inadequate as a sailor or even as a person? How could I help her understand that she was, in fact, a good sailor and a wonderful person? I had no idea what to say, but I sat down, and we worked our
way through that difficult conversation. I recall the girl telling me at one point that perhaps she was too sensitive, as if the disappointment she was feeling was somehow overdone. I offered my view that being sensitive is a good thing, because sensitivity brings with it a direct connection with and openness to life. That although it makes us feel vulnerable, it also fosters compassion and, when coupled with perseverance, resilience. There was no crib sheet or model to follow, we just talked. At the end I think she felt better. As I remember that awards night evening from over two decades ago, I think about a quotation from Maya Angelou that has stuck with me: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” What I’ve concluded about difficult conversations is this: Have them, don’t avoid them, and stay aware of how your conversation partners feel because they will remember.
Brown Ledge Magazine
TRADITION AND CHANGE
Brown Ledge Artifacts Last spring we received an unexpected donation in the mail from an alumna, Helen Smyers Spencer; a wool drill uniform—coat, britches, and hat—carefully preserved since its last wearing in 1940 and in perfect condition. That got us to thinking about other Brown Ledge artifacts and their ability to represent our traditions, our history, and the people and experiences that made our camp lives meaningful.
By Kathy Neilsen, with photography and design contributions from Catherine Alston
Twylla Fishel’s pink work pants were well used and they are still cherished as a reminder of her thrift and hard work
No one needed to teach Fred and Twylla Fishel how to reduce, reuse, or recyle; it was part of their DNA. Twylla used to respond to our gentle teasing about her saving habits with a robust, “I’m Scotch,” embracing her heritage to explain her thrifty habits. Twylla’s pink pants, which hold evidence of dozens of painting and staining projects, became legendary as she wore them through the late summer and fall when the Fishels stayed on to help close up camp for the winter. Fred was as thrifty as Twylla and his binoculars, a key tool of his head-of-waterfront trade, show the wear and tear that resulted from their many years of service.
Fred Fishel was Brown Ledge’s ever-vigilant head of waterfront for over 50 years, beginning in 1957
Brown Ledge Magazine
A few of BLC's many buglers: Sue Heidel, Sandy Sudman, Kim McManus, Greg Snedeker, and Andrew Mauer who is assisted by bugler-in-training Finn Shapiro
Did this ever happen to you? In the course of being told about a friend’s experience at another camp, you realize that a loud speaker—or maybe a giant gong—was used to announce daily events like meals and bedtime. And you, in response, feel ever-so-slightly superior as you think about our real, live bugler who makes 45 calls each day to keep us in the right place and on time. Ours is a 90+ year tradition and no matter how hard it might be to find a bugler each summer (we’ve had a few who came to camp without being able to blow a note and had to learn fast), we will not retire the position of camp bugler any time soon.
Above: Drill Uniforms through the ages. Below: the Drill Team of 2014
Research camps from the early decades of the 20th century and you will see a clear military influence. Though our free-choice program is decidedly un-military, the influence can be seen in our first drill team uniform. Pictures from the 1930s show that each individually-fitted uniform is complete with hat and arm patches featuring the Brown Ledge crest. The uniform was changed in the 1970s to a simpler dark brown coat with yellow collar and polka dotted stock tie, and changed again in the ‘90s for a simple blue coat and white tie. No matter the uniform or the era, the honor associated with being chosen for the Brown Ledge mounted drill never changes.
Guest Author: Sally-Ann Tschanz
As I stared into my cocktail, seated at the gorgeous dimly lit bar of The Hen of the Wood in downtown Burlington, I couldn’t help wonder how this happened. 05446 is an awfully long way from Australia, where I grew up, and from France, which has been my home for more than 15 years. And yet in so many ways after three summers of my daughter at Brown Ledge, it feels strangely familiar. I know where to get a haircut. I have a favorite breakfast place. Driving down the winding road into Shelburne Farms feels instantly relaxing. I no longer miss the turn off to Malletts Bay Road. While it’s possible that the emotion was sparked by the gin, I honestly think it was the unsettling realization that the moment had come when I needed to see my daughter more than she needed to see me. I’d come a long way to see her for a couple
of days mid-camp (we live in France on the border with Switzerland) and while we had some fun moments during our short visit, I definitely had the feeling I was interrupting somehow. She was not an easy toddler. Actually, those first few years are a blur for me. I do have vivid memories of her sitting in her high-chair with her mouth firmly shut at mealtimes, opening it only to yell at me “non, pas ça!” (no, not that!). Her other favorite thing to do was to lie down in the middle of a crosswalk as we tried to cross the street while I juggled the groceries and her baby brother in a carrier. As a new parent you conceptually understand—because everyone tells
Brown Ledge parent Sally-Ann Tschanz with her daughter Sophie
you—that they grow up so fast. But at that stage, the growing up cannot seem to come soon enough. Going away to camp was not at all part of my vernacular growing up. In fact, I was afraid to spend the night anywhere until I was about 13 years old. Many times my parents had to do a midnight rescue. Looking back, I can’t exactly pinpoint what I was afraid of. My daughter, on the other hand, has always been fearless. She would climb on furniture the minute my back was turned, which eventually turned into a love of gymnastics. She danced her heart out from the age of three. She didn’t blink an eye at the idea of going to the
Brown Ledge Magazine
but the years are short U.S. for four weeks for camp when she was 11 years old. The next year, it had turned into eight weeks and even my best friends were talking behind my back saying I was a bad mother for letting her go for so long. Eight weeks is a long time no matter where you’re from. But when you’re sending your child to another country where it would take you a day to get there if you needed to, it’s something else altogether. After three years, I now know that I will not hear much from my daughter over the summer, and I am reluctantly learning to accept it. Usually one or two cards and a sporadic phone call. Typically it’s me who is trying to work the time zone difference to coincide with a meal time when she might be around… but not at the precise moment that they are singing a song she likes… or making important announcements…
or some other critical thing that seems to keep her so busy all summer. I’m trying not to take it personally. For any of those moms out there who think they will be getting calls after two weeks, be warned it may not happen! I’ve more or less contented myself with stalking the SmugMug page for glimpses of long, curly brown hair and pale skin to make sure she is still alive. So far each summer, I have made a flying visit mid-camp and each time she feels like a familiar stranger. She seems taller than I remember and more confident. It’s fun to observe her from afar when she doesn’t know I’ve arrived yet, but also to listen to other people describe her. I’m always surprised at how well they seem to know her in such a short time. As I am hustled to meet the bunkies—some of whom I’ve met before or seen in various Instagram pics or
Anya Steinmetz, Kari Stevermer, Sophie Tschanz, Mimi Guertin, DJ Green
photos that arrive in the holiday card— I’m always struck by the sense of this whole other self-contained life they have at Brown Ledge. Watching our children grow is, of course, a joy and an honor, but somewhere in the background is that dull ache that Kahlil Gibran calls "the pain of too much tenderness." So for me the summer days are long. But for my daughter, the years are short before she will only be a camper in her heart.
Brown Ledge Magazine
GENERATIONS & GENEROSITY
The Lasting Impact of Marjorie Brown
By Maria Moore
These notes from campers receiving scholarship support could be from any summer of the past five or six decades. Campers who write are often aware that they’ve enjoyed a special experience, but less is likely known about the woman for whom their scholarship is named. The existence and operation of the scholarship fund, which was established to honor BLC’s first co-director, Marjorie Brown, has continued through the efforts of many devoted volunteers and supporters. Mrs. Brown, who was involved in directing camp each summer from its first in 1927 until the early ‘60s, was described in a past BLC booklet in this way: “Bold experiments are more likely to succeed if belief in them is thoroughly shared. From the beginnings of Brown Ledge, Mrs. Brown created, through her own very special qualities, the steady, warm foundation on which belief is built. Almost unruffleable, she fulfilled the demands made on her with neat dispatch. She saw people as they were and took the seeing in crisp, humorous stride. She was a resilient
sounding board for individuals with ideas to bounce. Great numbers of us learned from her how to make the ‘experiment’ work.” Though it’s changed over the years, financial help has been available to attend Brown Ledge in a formal sense since the late ‘60s. As Twylla Fishel shared in the spring 1994 Alumnae Ledger, the official Marjorie P. Brown (MPB) Scholarship Fund was created by Barbara Winslow, then camp director and daughter of BLC’s founders, around the dinner table one spring evening in memory of her mother. “Mrs. Brown believed that campers who gave of themselves and participated fully in camp life would receive far more in return and a lifelong memory.” Twylla and Fred Fishel, who were at BLC as the heads of swimming and the waterfront respectively from 1957 to 2007, helped to co-chair the first scholarship committee. In the early years, there was a single recipient each
summer of a partial scholarship—partial because, as Barbara wrote in the 1971 Brown Ledger, “Mrs. Brown believed deeply in the contribution of initiative by the individual.” By 1986, the number of scholarships available had expanded to ten. Succeeding Twylla and Fred was their daughter, Melissa Fishel Mauer, who grew up coming to camp; was a camper, JC, and counselor in the late 60s and 70s; and has been sharing her expertise as camp nurse since 1999. For six years she chaired the committee of volunteers who review applications and award scholarships to campers, helping to make the Brown Ledge experience accessible to more families. Melissa remembers her parents were happy to be involved in the scholarship fund at its inception. She said they knew Marjorie Brown well and were proud to be able to honor her in such a tangible way. Early committee members exchanged information with handwritten letters and
Brown Ledge Magazine
Melissa Fishel Mauer with her parents Fred and Twylla. Right: Barbara Winslow surrounded by campers
phone calls to Twylla with their votes. Over time a shift to emails and online sharing tools has made the process more efficient for this group, which is spread around the country. Another factor driving that shift is the number of requests. When asked what changed most notably during her years volunteering for the scholarship committee, Melissa said, “I can tell you that the thing that stands out most are the numbers. The number of applicants has grown considerably over the years to upwards of 25-30 applicants annually these days.”
been generously making these scholarships possible since before the mid-‘90s when a bequest from a beloved counselor, Mr. Mac, was used as a catalyst to renew efforts to build up the scholarship fund. Pledge cards were sent out with the mailing of the Alumnae Ledger, and Twylla would report on the fund drive results with the names of those who had contributed in the following publication. Looking at that list of those early years of the fund, you see many familiar names of alums and parents who continue to give annually to this day.
The application process—reviewed and refined over the years—asks information of parents, but has always asked of the girls who apply not only how they will benefit from their summer, but how they will contribute to the Brown Ledge community. The committee today consists of five members: alums or staff members from all different states and BLC eras. Lori Angstadt, current chairperson and BLC staff member since 1982, shared, “We each read through applications and get to know the campers. While we can’t always fund every request, we do our best to spread the limited resources to those who request help. It’s extremely satisfying to see campers make the most of their opportunity to experience Brown Ledge, and over time I’ve seen many pay it forward.”
Today the MPB Scholarship Fund is one of three primary areas to which donors to the Brown Ledge Foundation can designate their support, and we’re fortunate that many do. In 2016, more than 330 people contributed $141,500 for scholarships. Among them was the family of alumna Anne Goelet Sijmonsbergen (camper ‘73-‘77), who made a generous gift to the fund through the Goelet Family Foundation. Anne and her mother, Hallie Goelet, shared that they see BLC as an amazing place where girls can develop confidence, emotional strength, and independence in an open and kind environment. Anne remembers her summers well and now enjoys seeing her daughter, Sofia, counting down the days to camp. She said, “It’s important that all girls have access to this experience and we wanted to give others the same opportunity. We also hope to encourage others who might be able to give their support. We love that Brown Ledge reaches families who otherwise would not have the resources to provide such an experience.”
Raising funds for the MPB Scholarship Fund was an early fundraising endeavor for Brown Ledge and was happening even before the formation of the Brown Ledge Foundation as a nonprofit organization in 1997. Alumnae and parents have
Another aspect of Brown Ledge scholarships is our unique partnership with Saratoga Mentoring, an organization that matches adult volunteers with children from challenging life circumstances. For over 13 years, BLC has been partnering with Saratoga Mentoring to provide summer camp to girls in their program who would most benefit from the experience. Each summer, we’ve been able to offer one session of camp to four or five girls. Last year, we received a generous multi-year gift from alumna Jane Batten of Virginia. Jane’s gift will fund two more years of these scholarships, which allows us to offer the chance for those girls who thrive at BLC to return for multiple summers. Jane was a camper in the early ’50s, and she shared, “My summers at BLC were high points in my early years. I wanted other young women to have that experience, especially ones facing challenging upbringings. Thanks to BLC for being a special place for those special girls.” Girls from this program are selected carefully by the director, Brenda Jensen. About her selection process, Brenda writes, “I choose the kids who need it the most. The girls who need to see life from a different perspective; those who need the opportunity to relax and be a kid, with nothing to worry about but themselves. They come back home having been able to be in control of their own lives for a month and this is huge. When the girls who attend camp tell me about their experiences they use words like ‘fun,’ ‘friends,’ and ‘swimming,’ but it is all the other unsaid stuff that makes the biggest difference to these girls, things like acceptance, freedom, peace, belonging, safe, and nurturing. Brown Ledge is a life changing experience for these girls.” The philosophy on which BLC is built lives on through the generosity of generations of Brown Ledgers. It has been the effort, energy, and support of many that has carried on the spirit that Marjorie Brown helped to create.
Brown Ledge Magazine
2016 Review of Giving for
The Brown Ledge Foundation
Gratitude for 20 Years of Support from the Brown Ledge Community Brown Ledge is truly fortunate to have a vibrant, active, and supportive community of alumnae and families who are able to help sustain and give back to camp. Philanthropic giving is personal, and the reasons are as individual as each person. Many things can impact our willingness, capacity, and desire to support and invest in an organization. We are beyond grateful that you value the Brown Ledge experience and want it to be here for this and future generations of campers. These next few pages are meant to acknowledge the wonderful generosity and powerful, giving spirit of all who have made a contribution to BLC—not just financial and not just in 2016. While this list recognizes those who did give last year, those gifts are built on the support we received in each prior year. We celebrate the 20-year history of the Brown Ledge Foundation (BLF), which was established as a nonprofit organization in 1997. We also celebrate the 15 years leading up to that when the Brown Ledge Perpetuators, a group of dedicated alumnae and staff members, worked with Barbara Winslow, camp owner and director from 1957 to 1983, to make it possible for anyone in our camp community to become a shareholder so that the Brown Ledge legacy and philosophy would continue.
2016 Giving to Brown Ledge Foundation:
Some highlights from this past year: • In June, we had the help of more than 70 people at our annual Work Weekend to get camp ready to welcome campers. • In July, the BLF Board of Directors and staff were joined by several former directors to share an update about BLC and learn from their historical perspective. • In August, the JCs, for the second year in a row, held the most successful BLC phone-a-thon in its 17-year run, reaching out to alums, staff members, and families and raising over $25,000. • On #GivingTuesday in November, the BLF Board Members offered a match and inspired a record-setting day of giving, resulting in 91 donations totaling nearly $14,000. Many alumnae, parents, grandparents, and friends of BLC have helped to make this celebration of our 90th year possible.
Maria Moore Director of Development
$389,904 to the BLF Annual Campaign for Operations, Facilities and Scholarships $2,500 to the BLF Endowment Fund
18th Annual Phone-a-thon JULY 11-13, 2017 In August, 2016, the JCs held our annual phone-a-thon in the Clubhouse. They each took shifts over three evenings to talk to and reach out to alums, parents, and family members, asking for their support of the Brown Ledge Foundation. This experience of sharing, in their own words, why BLC is important, hearing the stories of alums from all different eras, and seeing the tangible results of giving by so many members of this community is an invaluable part of what the JCs learn at camp. Thanks to everyone who made a gift, the JCs had the most successful phone-a-thon ever, raising over $25,000! Please help the JCs have another great experience during the 18th Annual Phone-a-thon this summer! You can call the Clubhouse OR receive a call from a JC. Watch for details and call-in numbers in the monthly BLC e-news.
Brown Ledge Magazine
Former Brown Ledge Perpetuators & Brown Ledge Foundation Board Members:
2017 Board Members: (standing) Tom Pastore, Mary Barton, Katy Robbins Ritz, Carol Blanton, Nancy Weaver Jones, Kris Stone, Bill Neilsen (Treasurer); (seated) Ginny Sharp Williams (Secretary), Robyn Sonis (President), Tara Francis. Not pictured: Annie Solberg Sarnblad (Vice President)
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 members come together three times per year and work 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. If you have questions for the board or would like information about joining, please send an email to email@example.com. We are so grateful for the time, energy, and support that all board members—current and past—have given over the years. Thank you!
Vanguard Circle ($5,000+) 17 Mary Barton 5 Jane Parke Batten 18 Lynn (Banana) Benoliel Jacobson 19 Anonymous 1 Michael & Maureen Champa 19 Bobbi Degnan Atz & Marc Atz 1 Goelet Family Foundation 9 Hawk Rock Foundation 18 Becky Kidder Smith & Thomas C. Smith 2 Mary C. Short
Beehive Society ($1,000–$4,999) 15 Barbara Albright Gille 17 Mary Lou Albright Johnston 8 Kemper & Catherine Alston H Robin Hazel Manary 20 Lori Angstadt 19 Elena Barr Baum H Lori Angstadt 10 Lane Heard & Margaret Bauer 18 Lyda Blank
- 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.
12 Carol Blanton & Christopher Ames 11 Karen Byerly Nicholson 1 2016 Cabaret to benefit BLC in NYC 10 Andie Dee Butler & Matthew Butler 9 Ann Hazelett Cordner 12 Dorothy Irrgang Beall 15 Nancy & Annie Josephs 1 Gail & James Kellogg Family Fund of the Community Foundation of NJ 14 Candace King Weir 14 Loretta McManus 10 Tracy Meerwarth Pester 17 Sue Mooney 6 Hans & Eva Nilsson 6 Sam Ostrow & Christy Lynn 11 Patty Polsky H Fred & Twylla Fishel 1 Tamara Powell 9 Kate Richard & Meg Richard Ferron 4 Andrew & Peggy Shinn 5 Stephanie Stifel Coughlan 16 Elaine Vedette Tack 5 Pankaj Tandon & Karen M. Clark 13 Blythe Taplin 18 Amelia Weir 11 Carrie Wells-White 11 Beth Willis Swaintek 1 Elizabeth & Kimo Winterbottom 15 Stephanie Zimbalist 7 Kristy Zimbalist
"10" - NUMERAL
Lori Angstadt Sarah Ashworth Missy Badger Elena Barr Baum Liz Bell Lisa Bennett Morse Lyda Blank Andy Broido Jeff Buckman Ann Burkett LaFarge* Bobbi Degnan Atz Susan Craig Claudia Daub Crawford Sally de Oliva Mandeville* Ashley Deeks Kay Diaz Gregg Donoghue Abbey Dodd Bob Fardelmann Frederick Fishel* Kedron Gierman Fix Di Glossman Lisa Greenwald Thea Grivakes Moulton Toddy Hagans* Judy Hallberg Amy Hengerer Przybylko Gene Humphrey* Janet Koppelman Heather McCollum Cara Jacobstein Zimmerman Geraldine Kent Pulito
Becky Kidder Smith Toni Ladenburg Delacorte* Judy Little Dannemann Susie McKallor Holic* Kim McManus Emily Maggs Orben Sarah Maggs Riley Jen Mijangos Spencer Molly Miller Ettenger Sue Mooney Barbara Murdock Randy Neale Barbara O’Reilly Josh Podvin Emily Rover Grace Bonnie Royster Dart Schmalz Jill Schropp Don Sharp Franny Shuker-Haines Butch Smith Liz Smith Strimple Greg Snedeker Kerry Stroud Green Sally Suter Lownsbery Riki Von Stroud Amelia Weir Macy Wesson Jenny Wilkinson Barbara Winslow* Marjorie Wood Dannis* *deceased
Vista Club ($500–$999) 11 Missy Badger 17 Mrs. Clay H. Barr H Elena & Jaden Baum 20 Liz Bell H Beehive 1982 19 Lisa Bennett Morse & Dick Morse 8 Teves Brighton 20 Jeff & Meera Buckman 8 Page & Jack Carter 2 Margie Cohen 17 Kate Dee 17 Susan Dorer Schroeder 17 Kedron Gierman Fix & Derek Fix 13 Lisa Greenwald & Doug Lavin 10 David & Holly Jacobstein H Cara & Ellie Zimmerman 15 Jenny Libien 3 Nancy Lowe Diver 10 Debbie & Rob Maggs H Sarah, Emily, Grace, & Gillian 19 Emily Maggs Orben 2 Susan Mathews 16 Marcia McCabe & Yvonne Goutman 16 Mark Miller M Fred & Twylla Fishel
Indicates number of years donated to BLF
– Continued on page 22
- IN MEMORY OF
-IN HONOR OF
Brown Ledge Magazine
A Legacy for Future Generations of Brown Ledgers The summer of 2017 represents the 91st season of Brown Ledge Camp. As we reflect on the nine decades past 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 are providing 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 Marcia McCabe 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, maria@ brownledge.org or BLF, 25 Wilson Street, Burlington, VT 05401. Thank you!
9 Olivia Moskowitz & Andrew Montalenti M Marty Olsen 15 Chris Nee 5 Emily Neilsen 11 Anonymous 8 The Wall, Plourde & Pahl Families M Ellie Wall 13 Bumpy Potter Bacorn M Dorothy Potter 9 Kimberly & Sean McCarthy 8 Sarah Ripmaster Johnson 19 The Meltzer Family H BLC's 90th Year 19 Jill Schropp & DJ Wilson 18 Carter & Ginny Sharp Williams 11 Sarah & Tom Rossmassler 19 Liz Smith Strimple H My daughters & the BLF Board of Dir. 13 Andrew & Ellen Sonis 9 Kris Stone 9 David & Laurie Title 16 Marcy Tompkins Stanton 19 Louise Totten Knabe 16 Robin Weaver H Nancy Weaver Jones, Malia Grace Jones, & Maile Jones 9 Nancy Weaver Jones H Malia & Maile Jones M Rick Bellows 7 Liz Wedemann Beckwith 11 Tracy Welch Klippel 8 Jenny Wilkinson & Joel English 3 Susan York Williams
Mt. Mansfield Donor ($250–$499) 1 Helen & Ibby Anda & Emily Underwood 1 Deb Bailey 5 Cindy Billington Bauch 14 Andy Broido 19 Ricki Buckman Bowser 20 Joan Buckman Rugani 4 David Burger 1 Tim Crowley 19 Ashley Deeks 8 Betsy Drapkin Ronel 16 Covie Edwards-Pitt & Matthew Weinzierl 9 Nina Enthoven Warren 19 Bob Fardelmann 3 Adeline Fleming 16 Tara Francis 6 Bob Graham 17 Karen C. Hansen M Barb Bercu & Bibsy Raff Nace
- ANNEX CLUB
17 Janet Koppelman & Kevin Harlow M Toddy Hagans 9 Katharine Jones 11 Donna Kalp H Lori Angstadt 1 Carisa Koontz Sykes 14 Ada Koransky Meltzer M Susie McKallor Holic 1 John & Maura McCormack 18 Mary McCulloch Baker M Fred & Twylla Fishel 15 David & Lisa Murphy H Bill & Kathy Neilsen 1 Samir Murty 6 Karine Nadeau-Carter 8 Elizabeth & Jack Bunce 9 Randy & Murray Neale M Barbara Winslow 17 Bill & Kathy Neilsen 8 Barbara O'Reilly M Bibsy Raff Nace & Susie McKallor Holic 5 Tom & Debbie Pastore H Joanna Matthews Pastore 9 Amanda Poole Delaney M Sarah Lynn Brown 9 Julia Porcino 1 Jane & Kevin Rigby M Ann B. LaFarge 16 Katy Robbins Ritz 7 Norma & Ken Roberts 4 Linda Roberts Tabas M Estelle Roberts 3 Armins & Cynthia Rusis 16 Sondra Russman Marshall 18 Dart Schmalz 8 Ariel Slomka Shin 15 Greg & Kathy Snedeker 7 Annie Sarnblad 1 Pete & Tara Stahl 17 Betsy Stookey Chase 1 Stephanie Templeton 2 Sally-Ann Tschanz 20 Riki Von Stroud 17 Macy Wesson 15 Emily Wilson Burns 6 Sarah Wood
Grove Contributor ($99–$249) 9 Maureen Adams Carpenter 20 Merry Alderman Ritsch 1 Ellen & Frank Ammirato 4 Judith Amster H Granddaughter & Future BLer, Dina!
NUMERAL number of years donated to BLF
- IN MEMORY OF
10 Erica Amster 9 Lucy Anda 9 Aliyana & Jim Gewirtzman & Anne Bryant 13 Polly Atkins Moretti M Fred & Twylla Fishel 12 Jennifer Baliotti LaForce 11 Janice Ballou 6 Julia Ballou 2 Erin Ballou 11 Lisa Bedell Clive 10 Sally Bever Zwiebach 1 Wendy Brainard 10 Laura Bredemeier M Twylla, Fred, Barbara, Toddy, & Mrs Brown 4 Ali Buckman Cross 18 Larry & Doris Buxbaum 5 Mark & Bonnie Cazer 3 Susan Cole Klug 1 Deborah Cooper 9 Richard Currie 15 Paul & Charlene Dahlquist 18 Sue Daniels Schwaiger M Fred & Twylla Fishel 16 Caryn Daus Flanagan H Lori Angstadt 8 Lise Demers 9 Liz DeOreo M Fred & Twylla Fishel 7 Greg Craig & Derry Noyes 13 Laurel Devaney 10 Delta, the BLC Pony 12 Howard & Andree Dorne M Fred & Twylla Fishel 14 Cecelia & Murray Dry H Judith Dry 5 Lyn Egli Eisner 5 Jeanette & Robert Emerson 13 Barbara Evans Cohn 11 Sheila Fenton French 15 Mary Fisher Bernet 2 Laura Fleck 17 Debbie Fox Roderer & Amy Roderer 7 Katie Frank 2 Chris & Rory Gilman 1 Marquis Gilmore 1 Bobby & Lora Gray 18 Linda Greenwald Blaustein & Robert Blaustein M Beverly & Michael Greenwald 18 Rob Gross 17 Laura Grumpelt Cann H Ashley Deeks 5 Sarah Haeckel & Family 8 Karen Haley, Daniela's Mom M Daniela Mottle 5 Margaret & Robin Hamilton – Continued on page 23
-IN HONOR OF
5 Timothy & Lisa Harkness 19 Helen Harper 2 Thomas Hart 4 Jennifer "T-Spoon" Hart McLaughlin 17 Marilen Hartnett H BLC's 90th Year M Fred & Twylla Fishel 11 Amy Hengerer Przybylko 1 Brook Hersey & Alex DeLuca 1 The Heun Family 6 Jane Holt 1 Melvina L. Houlis 15 Ann E. Hunt 9 Mary Lou Irvine Grant 17 The Zimmerman Family 9 Sarah Josephs Hellewell 10 Lara Kalkus Purchase 1 Peter Kellogg 1 Kate Kellogg Peeler 11 Candy Kelly Smith M Clarice & Herb Kelly 11 Arianna Knapp 1 Lucy LaFarge, MD M Ann B. LaFarge 1 Frank & Starr Lamson 7 Ruth Landowne Giordano 1 Peter Lane 4 Stephanie Lane-Kerman 9 Galen Laserson 1 Jeanne-Marie Leroux 13 Elinor L. Hood 7 Jane Lewis Sandelman 15 Sally Lex Brennan 3 Don Lilley 9 Judy Little Dannemann M Jamie Dannemann H Jillian Dannemann 19 The Lovshin-Smith Family 5 Cheryl Luria & future BLer Sarah 2 Kevin & Melissa Martin 13 Adrienne McCafferty Curtis 1 Linda McClellan H Helen Smyers Spencer 12 Heather McCollum 8 Charlotte McCorkel 17 Virginia Lau 14 Nancy McCulloch Patton 10 Lissa McDonnell Chapin 3 Colleen McEnroe H Sally Evans 14 Kim McManus 15 Rachel Merdinger-Kalafer 6 Donna Miller 5 Camille Moisson Globerman 1 Marika Moosbrugger M Ann B. LaFarge 1 Donna Mori-Campbell 11 Janet & W. Lane Morrison 1 Susan Mostek 5 Lauren J. Mottle M Daniela Mottle 11 Susan Mountrey 2 Kylie Mullins 13 Barbara & Dick Murdock 15 Aimee Murdock Burke
2 The Mylan Family 3 Lisa Nadeau-Legge 15 Barbara Nagle Muench M Fred & Twylla Fishel 5 Becky Nyles Carson 3 David & Sara Padrusch 1 Gary Page 9 Marlene Paltrow Kanegis 3 Natalia Pinto Maffett 10 Josh, Erin, & Amos Podvin 1 Corintha Pohle 13 Nancy Pomeroy Foster 2 Albert & Lyudmila Pope 19 Wycky Proctor 8 Pamela Proctor 4 Ellie Prowell 7 The Quinn Family 11 Tammy Rayevich Leitch 15 Betty Resch 16 Sarah Resnick Lex 1 Priscilla Rice Oehl 1 The Rosow Family 16 Dr. Bobbie Rowland 7 Robin Schneider Hauck & Steven Hauck 15 Jean Seeler-Gifford 3 Christopher & Debra Seiter 15 Marjorie Shaffer Weaver 5 M. Rust & Nancy Sharp 2 Allison Shuker Devlin 1 Wendy Sidewater 8 Jo Ann, Butch, Lisa & Laura Smith M Twylla & Fred Fishel & Jim Cass 6 John Bess & Brenda V. Smith 12 Robyn Sonis 17 Stephanie Southard 18 Katy Spining Sinclair 4 Mirja C. Spooner Haffner 1 Reuven Steinberg 11 Wendy Stifel Hansen 17 Amy Stifel Quinn 8 Taylor Strimple Keenan 9 Cat Sword 8 Olivia Tandon 1 The Tarantino Family 6 Tanya Tarar Oblak 3 Karen Tilbor 18 Terry Tindall Laurendine 5 Tom & Jeanne Townsend 3 Anonymous 2 Ann Travis Ingram 12 Martha Tuttle Shannon 5 Janice Valmassoi 11 Maria & Phil Vinall 12 Laurie & Bob Walker 15 Susan Watson 16 Joan Weiterer Butcher & Bill Butcher 3 Kathryn Wellin Thier M Freda Barnett Rosenblum 12 Bruce & Joanne Westbrook 2 Avery & Julia Widen 14 Janie Willis Stevens 12 Todd Wilson M Fred & Twylla Fishel 1 Rebecca Wilson
Gazebo Supporter ($1â€“$99) 3 Lauren Aldoroty
10 Alexandra Ames Kornman 6 Carolyn Andrews Patterson 1 Brenda Applin 3 Valerie Arnade 12 Laura Bailey Brown 7 Liz Baydush Milewski 17 Sarah Bell 19 Kathryn Bennett Dahlberg & Gunnar Dahlberg 7 Bill & Shawn Lawrence 9 Eliza Berkley 1 Catherine Bernstein 11 Hilary Bertsch 6 Nancy Bigelow Sinclair 12 Connie Birgel Haile 2 Emma Bliska 1 Claire Boland 4 Jordan Boughrum Scovel 2 Jan Braumuller 3 Tracy Breton 16 Barbara Brewster Howard H BLC's 90th Year 12 Catie Brodie 6 Anonymous 2 Mary Beth Brown 2 Ted Browne 2 Anonymous 11 Lisa Buxbaum H Valentina Cardenas 5 Patricia Callahan 13 Margy Campbell M Mr. Mac 12 Patti Cassidy Kater 6 Taran Catania 5 Andrea Cater 1 Rebecca Chace M Ann B. LaFarge 1 Elaine Chang 2 Cate Chase 17 Laurie Chase 1 Anonymous 1 Kathey Coombs 1 Erin Cosel-Pieper Dolan 2 Mary Beth Coudal 6 Jillian Dannemann Smith 15 Pat Davidson Perry 16 Kara Demsey Baker 1 Pete Dillon 4 Jean Donahue McDonnell 9 Mathilda Donahue O'Connor 4 Hayley Doner 9 Gregg & Emily Donoghue 2 Audrey Emerson 9 Jenna Fahey 3 Helen Feldman 8 Chori Folkman H Beehive 1994 3 Pam Fortunoff Williams 11 Betsi Fox Oliver 16 Sue Fromhart â€“ Continued on page 24
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.
WE HAVE RECEIVED CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE FUND FROM: Barbara and Richard Murdock Robert Schmalz The balance of fund as of December 31, 2016 was $45,845. 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 supporting the BLF Endowment Fund, please contact Maria Moore, Director of Development, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (802)862-2442.
Brown Ledge Magazine
“A Wonderful Gift to the Camp We Love” Making a Charitable Distribution from an IRA
by Barbara Murdock
Serving as a Brown Ledge Foundation Board Member in the early 2000’s, there were several members who wished to take the next step to plan for the long-term health of the Brown Ledge Foundation by setting up an endowment fund. We felt there was a great need to be ready to attract and receive generous donations which could be invested for support and perpetuation of Brown Ledge Camp. The BLF Endowment Fund was established as a separate entity for this purpose.
made permanent. Distributions from one’s Traditional IRA made to nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations, as is The Brown Ledge Foundation, will not be taxed. When one takes any distribution from their Traditional IRA, those dollars are taxed at the ordinary income rates. Giving this distribution, which becomes required once we attain the age of 70 1/2, to charity will not require this tax. This is especially useful for senior citizens, and a wonderful gift to the camp we love!
Now, as a retiree from my own financial planning practice, I keep active and up to date managing finances for my family. I wanted to share information about an IRS ruling, recently
To learn more about making a charitable gift from your IRA and other ways you can support Brown Ledge, please visit brownledge.org/give/ways-give.
16 Prudence Gay Stuhr M Suki Kahne Groseclose 12 Anonymous 13 Beth Gibans 1 Anne Goelet Sijmonsbergen 6 Anna Goldstein-Black 12 Michael Grace 1 John & Lucette Green 1 Greenberg, Wexler & Eig, LLC H Jeanne Kramer-Smyth 13 Alison Greene-Barton 2 Kyle Gross 9 Mary Beth Gruber 5 Georgia Gruzen 2 Richard Guertin 7 Elizabeth Healey Kilbride 4 Anonymous 3 Louise Hearn 14 Ann Hedges 1 Allison Henderson 3 Chloe Hewins 1 Abbie Higgs 3 Molly & Jacob Robinson 1 Fran Hocking 14 Susan Holt 2 Gregory Houlis 1 Pattie Houlis 13 Nancy P. Hubbard 14 Jessica Hysjulien Carter 5 Greta Hysjulien Jeffrey 3 Cheryl Jackson 16 Joanne Jacobs 2 Dina Jameson 14 Andrea Johnson Perham 3 Malia Jones 3 Maile Jones 8 Melinda & Peter Kaminsky 6 Amanda Katz 4 Steve Kavner 6 Noel Keck 4 Caitlin Kellough 14 Diana Kelly 15 Cynthia Kistler Curtis 9 Alison Kleger Ramsey 2 Jana Kolinska 2 Lynda Kommel-Browne 2 Bruce Koolage Forsberg 19 Jeanne Kramer-Smyth 9 Mark & Judy Kubeja 11 Annik LaFarge 2 Didi Lamarre Thomas M Fred & Twylla Fishel 4 Rachel Lincoln Grindrod 2 Hannah Livant 10 Annabel Lukins Stelling 1 Richard Mable
- ANNEX CLUB
15 Robin Manookian Fleck 2 Alex Martin 5 Patti Marx Kirchgassner 14 Peggy Mathauer M Fred & Twylla Fishel 3 Caryn & Peter McAllister 6 Hannah McCouch 3 Taylor McCruden 1 Jen McIntyre 16 Kathleen McKinley Harris M John & Lyn Morrow 16 Judy Mederos Barrington 4 Sari Meltzer 1 Natalie Meltzer 4 Garland Middleton 4 Sarah Middleton 14 Shelley Midkiff-Borunda 1 Izzy Mikaiel 13 Robert M. Miller M Bernice Ackerman 4 Maria & R.J. Moore 2 Pamela Morse Cota H Lisa Bennett Morse 5 Chrissy Mueller 16 Dee Murdock Day 10 Grant E. Neale 2 Sophie Olmsted 2 Claudia Oppenheim Cameron 2 Katie Ostrow 1 Suzanne Parker & Josef Wille 13 Maggie Parker Selbert H Carolyn Larkin 3 Phebe Parkin & Margaret Parkin 11 Martia Patrick Gordon 4 Patricia Pennebaker Rutins 17 Priscilla Perkins Wilson 2 Litia Perta 2 Marguerite Pickett Wilson 18 Edie Plimpton Fleeman 1 Lucy Prager Weintraub 13 Julia Proctor 4 Stephen Randoy 1 Leah Rappaport 1 Lis & Peter Reed H All who make BLC so special! 1 Katie Reynolds 7 Beany Richter & Paul Livant 7 Amy Roderer 1 Nancy G. Rome H Katherine Asbeck & the 2016 JCs 9 Meg Rondeau 8 Rachel Ropeik 13 Sally Ross Davis 4 Grace Rumford 1 Karen Sahr H Malia & Maile Jones
NUMERAL number of years donated to BLF
- IN MEMORY OF
7 Maggie Sanders Moore 2 Britta Schasberger 2 Michele Schasberger 1 Brittany Seraphin 7 Tammy Shaw 16 Bonnie Shepherd Yocum 1 Amy Shinn 18 Franny & Timothy Shuker-Haines 7 Lauren Shweder Biel 7 Adrienne Skinner 12 Marty Smith Simonds 3 Brian Sobel 1 Amy Southworth 9 Colette Spillane Diggs 1 Stealing from Work Theater Company 7 Susan Steele Guswa 18 Kerry Stroud Green 1 Karisa Thompson 3 Julia Tillman Caplan 4 Sarah Title 10 Rachel P. (Trumper) Debasitis M Mel Menagh 1 Helen Turner Murphy 1 Carol Uchwal H Grace Gilmore 11 Betsy Weaver & Leah Rappaport 2 Ted Welch 10 Wendy Wergeles M Barbara Winslow 3 Diane Willis Alford
Foundation, Corporate & Matching Gifts 2 Amazon Smile Foundation 2 Bank of America Charitable Foundation, Inc. 12 The Barr Foundation H Elena & Jaden Baum 12 Kidder Smith Fund at The Boston Foundation 10 The Capital Group Companies Charitable Foundation 2 Coremotion Foundation 8 David & Candace Weir Foundation 1 Goelet Family Foundation 8 The Gornick Fund 9 Hawk Rock Foundation 1 JJCJ Foundation, Inc. 7 The Kalkus Foundation 7 Louis F. & Reberta C. Albright Foundation 5 Meerwarth Family Foundation Trust 4 Moody's Matching Gift Foundation 2 Morgan Stanley Global Impact Funding Trust – Continued on page 25
-IN HONOR OF
Brown Ledge Magazine
to the Brown Ledge Community Work Weekend June 2-3, 2018
Alumnae Camp August 18-21, 2017 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 this summer! Bunkies will reunite and family members will finally have the chance to experience this place they’ve been hearing SO MUCH 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 sailing JC who was at camp 15 years after you! There’s nothing quite like having so much in common with people you’ve just met. The next Alumnae Camp weekend will be in 2019. Stay tuned! Dates and details are TBD and will be shared on our website at brownledge.org/alumnae.
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 maria@ brownledge.org or via the Alumnae Contact page on our website at brownledge.org/alumnae.
1 Olberg Charitable Trust H Eleanor Prowell, Ann Prowell Reihmann, Elizabeth Mitchell 2 Anonymous 2 The Pierson Family Foundation, Inc. H Hannah Lindecke 7 Title Family Fund of Fidelity Charitable 3 Viking Global Foundation, Inc.
In Kind Gifts A Single Pebble Restaurant ACE Hardware, Lakeshore Drive Lori Angstadt Mary Barton Lyda Blank
Don’t miss this opportunity to connect with Brown Ledge – not just the people, but the place – and help get camp ready for the campers and counselors of 2018. With a wide variety of projects to choose from such as painting, weeding and gardening, cleaning cabins, and much more, you can be part of making sure we’re ready for our 92nd 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 provided.
Regional Reunions We enjoyed connecting with Brown Ledgers in a variety of places in the past year, including New York City, Virginia, Washington, DC, and Boston. 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.
Lisa Buxbaum Bobbi Degnan Atz Designer's Circle Jewelers Anne Goelet Sijmonsbergen GoPro Hilton Garden Inn Burlington Downtown Jim Hinkle Brittany Hyde Photography Jeanne Kramer-Smyth Lenore Lemanski Rose Lovshin Dick Mazza's General Store Jackie Ross Meltzer Janet & W. Lane Morrison Mona Neale McCruden Bill & Kathy Neilsen Hans & Eva Nilsson
Tom & Debbie Pastore Pizzeria Verità David (Butch) Probst Tiny Portraits by Monte Ritz River Cove Animal Hospital Angela Ruggiero Ginny Sharp Williams Annie Solberg Sarnblad Robyn Sonis Kris Stone Stowe Mountain Lodge Stowe Mountain Resort Dick & Liz Smith Strimple Sarah Walker Steven & Barbara Watson Nancy Weaver Jones Jenny Wilkinson Janie Willis Stevens
Brown Ledge Magazine
Natasha Knorr (C99-05, JC 0607, S 09, 11-12, 14-16) and Charlie Smith (S 15-16) got engaged in Rome during the Holidays and went on to celebrate in Florence. This was taken in the Piazza di Santa Maria Novella. Frances Moore (S 06-07) and Owen Davies. “He proposed on 2nd Sept with a surprise meal and group of my friends present. We are planning to get married August or September 2018.”
vember 30, ss was born on No Maylin Mackay Cro ison Buckman Cross (C 90 All and e 2016 to Mik -01) 96, JC 97-98 , S 00
Kirtani Mathauer (C 98-02, JC 03-04) and Curtis Garrow. “We got engaged at Curtis' parent's home on Christmas Day 2016 in front of family and friends. It was a complete shock to me and everyone knew, even my son Kayden!”
Lynda Hutchinson (C 92-93, JC 94-95, S 97-01, 03-08) shared, “We welcomed August Michael Fraser on July 18, 2016. Big brother Alexander, now in Kindergarten (!) adores him and we do too. We're all looking forward to introducing August to his BLC family at Alumnae Camp in 2017.”
Greta Hysjulien Jeffrey (C 0002, JC 03-04, S 08-10) with her son, Emmet, and Kelcy Gears (C 02-04, S 08-11) enjoyed some time together in California.
Alexandra (Slack) Hindle (C 93-96, JC 97-98) had a daughter, Caroline, on April 11, 2016. She joins big brother Nathan, 3.
Emily Neilsen (C 91-96, JC 97-98, S 00-01, 04, 07) and husband, Chad Beisswang er, a son, Leander Hall Neilsen on Januwelcomed 2017. Kathy and Bill Neilsen are ary 31, enjoying grandparenthood!
Brown Ledge Magazine
Mary Murphy Wilde (S 00-05, 07) shared this October, 2016 photo of her two children, Josh (3.5 yrs. on left) and Libby (5.5 yrs. on right) with Henr y (1 yr.) who is the son of Elizabeth DeOreo (C89, JC 9091, S 99-05)
Margy Campbell Lamere (C 70-72, JC 73, S 76-79) shared, â€œI have a new grandson, Charles Hunter Lamere; Charlie was born Nov. 22, 2016. He already shows an affinity for swimming and ball games, enjoys bouncing to various dining room and Preview Time songs, and finds the BLC Goodnight Songs particularly soothing. Predicting waterfront staff 2037 or so.â€? 08) and Christy Lynn (C97, 99-0 0, S04- 05, ied in Sam Ostrow (S97, 99-0 8) were marr. 2016 , Colchester in September
Karis Bailey (S 05-06) shared this picture of her beautiful baby girl & future BLer, Daisy Bailey-Daniels, born January 8, 2016.
Malia Jones (C 01-05, JC 06-07, S 09) is engaged to Danny Kelleher. They met their senior year in college and are planning a spring 2018 wedding.
Gemma Barnes (S 06) shared the arrival of her son, Lincoln Russell Raymond Thomas, who was born on the Isle of Man on Augus t 5, 2016. "He enjoys camp songs and bubble baths and dislikes butternut squash and getting dressed. Hoping to be staff in 2034."
Margaret Parkin Wil 95- 01, JC 02, S08 -09liams (C ) and her husband, Sean, are hav with son, Henry, who ing fun was born June 19, 2016.
Alex Ames Kornman (C 96-00, JC 01-02, S 05) and her husband welcomed Teddy Kornman on April 14, 2017, 7lbs 6oz.
Monalika Mathauer Watkins (C 1981-1986) with granddaughters Braegha, born August 10, 2014 and Brielyn, born August 19, 2016. Great Grandmother is Pegg y Mathauer (S 76-0 4).
Brown Ledge Magazine
1) and Emily Rover Grace (C 86-9omed a her husband, Charlie, welc6. Carter 201 son, Carter, on July 25, se. joins big sister, Eloi
Laura Parisi (C 93-97, JC 98-99, S 01-02, 04) & Martin Peter’s Baby Shower in January, 2017 was also a BLC reunion! L 2 R: Lyda Blank, Teves Brighton, Robyn Sonis, Laura Parisi, Polly Witker, and Sarah Bell
Summer Shidler Lei D’Anna (C 89-95, 97, JC 96) shared, “We welcomed our son, Crewe Holokai D'Anna last March, and our family of five will be visiting Japan, Vietnam and Hawaii this year. My oldest daughter, Caroline, turns 7 in April and looks forward to her first summer at BLC in just a few years!”
AJ Parisi-Peters was born to Laura Parisi and Martin Peters on April 7, clocking in at 8 pound ounces and 21 inches long. “He's named after s 9 his grandf ather, Anthony Joseph Parisi. He is and Martin and I are totally smitten. The dogadorable is Calla!”
Melinda Relyea (C 92-96, JC 97-98) and Jamie Kearns welcomed James Joseph Kearns IV Born December 16, 2015
Thea Korpi Perry was born December 8, 2016 to Andy Butter field (S 01-04, 07) and Alyson Perry
This reunion of alums in August, 2016 included Sarah Schermerhorn (C 91-97, JC 98-99, S 02-05, 08) Catherine Michaud (C 92-95, JC 96-97, S 99-03) and Elizabeth DeOreo (C89, JC 90-91, S 99-05) with son, Henry.
Jennifer “T-Spoon” Hart McLaughli (S 03-05) and Sean McLaughlin n shared this photo of their children Kate Hart McLaughlin (4), Thomas Richard McLaughlin (2), and Anna Elizabeth McLaughlin (the newbie).
Brown Ledge Magazine
S ALUMNAE OBITUARIES S Elizabeth “Bibsy” Raff Nace Elizabeth “Bibsy” Raff Nace died on August 3, 2016. She was 65. Bibsy was a camper and JC from 1962-69. When asked many years ago to share some of her favorite camp memories, she included, "Getting up on water skis in 1963, CTE's and horse shows, singing in the Grove, the first days of each season, and Ledger on the Point." Bibsy was a 1973 graduate of Skidmore College and later earned her Masters of Education from SUNY Plattsburgh. She was very active in several organizations including Eastern NY Dressage & Combined Training Assoc. She also belonged to the Albany Obedience Club for Dogs. With her great love of horses, she spent many years of her life riding, caring for, and showing horses. Survivors include her husband, Tom, and daughter, Ella.
Ann Burkett LaFarge Ann Burkett LaFarge died on May 27, 2016. She was 83. Ann was a camper, JC, and counselor from 1946-53, and was on the original board of BL Perpetuators. She was the mother of three Brown Ledgers - Tildy, Annik, and Louisa, and a son, Albert. Many alums remember fondly the years she hosted the annual camp reunion before the National Horse Show in NYC. Ann will also be remembered as an editor and novelist. After teaching English in New York City for years, she began her second career in book publishing, as an editor at E.P. Dutton in the 1970s. When she retired from publishing, she started writing a book review column, "The Constant Reader," that was syndicated in a number of newspapers throughout the Hudson River Valley region of New York.
Susan Kahne (Greer) “Suki" Groseclose Susan Kahne (Greer) "Suki" Groseclose passed away in Santa Fe, New Mexico on November 5, 2016 at the age of 76. Her close friend and BLC Bunkie, Prue (Gay) Stuhr (C 54-56, JC 57-58, S 60) shared this remembrance of Suki: 1-9-5-6 at Brown Ledge Camp, as the song goes, was the tune Suki and I would sing whenever we met. Suki, who was an embodiment of Brown Ledge Spirit, passed away in November, 2016 at 76 from Alzheimer’s. She was a natural athlete in riding and tennis. She adored riding the BLC bay mare, Gavotte. An owner from a local town had a horse called “The Minor”. He needed an excellent and fearless rider to test the height the horse could jump. One evening Suki and “The Minor” sailed over a 5 foot fence. Throughout much of her life she played competitive tennis, became a tennis official, even officiating at Wimbledon. She was dedicated to raising her 4 children, Kate, John, Lauren, and Matthew Greer and to her husband, Everett Groseclose. Because of BLC, we were close friends for 50 years. Her Brown Ledge experience was a huge part of her life.
Brown Ledge Magazine
ARCHIVING BROWN LEDGE HISTORY
Volunteer Appreciation It wasn’t long ago that archiving Brown Ledge history meant only one thing: going through boxes and boxes of 8” x 10” black and white photos to try to identify the subjects and write (faintly in pencil, please) the names on the back. The pictures were kept in cardboard boxes in the damp basement at 155 Dodds Court (Barbara Winslow’s winter address) until 1983 and after that, in “dry” storage units that proved to be anything but. Both locations would make a preservationist shudder but, back
then, preserving Brown Ledge history was not at the top of anyone’s priority list. All that has changed, thanks to many Brown Ledgers, including Lyda Blank, Nancy Jones, Tom Pastore, Jeanne Kramer, and Barbara O’Reilly. What has also changed is what is meant by “archiving.” What began as simply identifying campers and counselors in old photos has expanded to include labeling, sorting, and digitally preserving pictures from every era and making them accessible to our community.
Interviewing became another archiving endeavor in the early 2000s. Spearheaded and coordinated by development and alumni coordinator Liz Bell, volunteers were sent to interview older alums and the transcribed results have been carefully preserved. That project has morphed and expanded; now alumni from many eras are being interviewed and videotaped by board members. Fair warning: You might be tapped for a session on the directors’ porch at alumnae camp this summer!
Brown Ledge Magazine
(C 77-80, JC 81-82, S 84, 87, 95-97, 05-07)
Lyda Blank documenting the names on the Beehive walls in 2016.
Lyda Blank’s archiving work began in the late 1980s as she helped tack up old pictures on the clubhouse walls in preparation for Alumnae Camp. Retrieving pictures from the camp storage unit was overwhelming and discouraging; thousands of photos were
Tom Pastore (BLF 12-17)
Tom Pastore described the problem he had when he joined the BLC Board of Directors. His daughter Kate had been a camper, JC, and counselor but he wondered, “How do I get to really know a camp that I only know through my daughter?” In solving this problem, Tom had a leg up. He may not have known a lot about Brown Ledge but he is a camp person to the core, having been a camper, counselor, and active alum at Camp Dudley in Northern New York. Tom knew instinctively that there were stories to be told amongst the alumni of Brown Ledge and that he could learn from them. He borrowed a camera from
the school where he taught and went to work interviewing, starting with the generation of former campers who knew the original owners and directors, Harry and Marjorie Brown. Tom had another advantage as he began his interviews: a master’s degree in history, which gave him an ear for the oral tradition and a feeling for the questions that might elicit the best stories. As Tom was making an important contribution, he was also developing an appreciation for the timelessness of the Brown Ledge experience. While he acknowledges that “everything changes over time,” he believes that BLC changes less. “If the Browns came back they would still recognize their camp, and it is comforting to know that there are traditions that last.”
gathered in makeshift containers and they were in danger of becoming damaged and lost. Efforts at preservation and archiving began slowly, starting with putting pictures in protective plastic sleeves and writing names on the backs. Lyda laughs when she thinks about archiving sessions with horse enthusiasts. Liz Bell comes to mind and while she may not have had a perfect memory for the riders, she remembered all of the horses. (To this day, there are photos identified only by the name of the horse.) What kept Lyda going on this arduous task was a delight in the stories. Twylla Fishel often helped in the efforts: Her memory was legendary, and she shared remembrances about many of the campers and counselors pictured. Even when she didn’t know the people, Twylla was expert at separating unknown waterfront photos into decades, using bathing suit styles as her guide. Many other Brown Ledgers helped along the way, and Lyda delights in all the times that a new picture led to an outburst of “Remember her? I haven’t thought about her in years!” And always, more stories followed.
Brown Ledge Magazine
Jeanne Kramer-Smyth (C82-84, JC 85-86)
For Jeanne Kramer-Smyth, Brown Ledge archiving started with a question posed to her at Alumnae Camp:
“How should Brown Ledge preserve its history?” It is hard to imagine anyone more qualified to answer that question than Jeanne. She has had a 20-year career in software and data development with a specialty in digital preservation. Her Master’s of Library Science degree focused on archiving, and she currently works at the World Bank as a digital archivist. When Jeanne was approached at Alumnae Camp, she responded by asking some questions of her own. “What information (pictures, lists, journals, etc.) do you want to keep?” “What are the highest priorities?” “How do you want to access and use the information that you preserve in
(C 62-66, JC 67-68, BLP 88-94)
When we asked Barbara O’Reilly why she got involved in archiving pictures, her straightforward reply was, “I had some time on my hands and it needed to be done.” The project has turned out to be tedious, rewarding, and surprisingly fun. Barbara has a remarkable memory for Brown Ledgers from her era, even girls who were only at camp for one summer. She also enjoys seeing the whole of Brown Ledge history through pictures, including the hair and clothes styles that change each decade only to change back again. In her usual self-deprecating way, Barbara speculates about how useful it is to have so much of her brain space taken up with such minutia, but then she agrees that her memory and attention to detail make her the right person for the job. There have been frustrations
Nancy Jones (C 69-71, BLF 11-17) Nancy Jones’ involvement with archiving started with a discussion with then development director Liz Bell about one piece of the archiving issue, the need
the future?” Jeanne’s questions helped us “think about how to think about the problem” and ultimately to decide on some basic goals. From the start, Jeanne encouraged us to develop ways to store information that are useful. For example, if we want to be able to more easily find pictures for various projects and publications (including this magazine!), we have to develop a storage and retrieval system that reflects that need. Slowly, plans have emerged and we are gathering and preserving camp’s history. Thanks to Jeanne, we no longer wringing our hands asking, “What are we going to do with all those pictures?!” We have a path forward.
to endure; with the course corrections to the archiving project have come reversals. Just ask Barbara how many plastic sleeves she has been instructed to put on and then subsequently take off of old pictures in her years of archiving. Fortunately, it’s not all tedium; looking at camp pictures brings back great memories while reminding Barbara of the permanence of Brown Ledge. While the hair styles and even some activities have changed over the years, the girls have the same smiles on their faces, they’re having the same fun, and they’re learning the same life lessons.
for a place to store BLC photos and memorabilia. But Nancy is the type of person who sees the big picture, and she is adept at identifying the pieces to a puzzle that will move a project forward. In the case of archiving, Nancy has been both a central organizer and a cheerleader. She recognized that Brown Ledge needed both expertise and boots on the ground, and she got alums involved and energized to meet those needs. Something that has been driving Nancy has been the realization that Brown Ledge’s 100 year anniversary is now less than a decade away. She found herself
wondering, “How are we going to celebrate that milestone and honor our history? How will we utilize the pictures and stories from the past?” Nancy must be pleased that the benefits of picture archiving are already in evidence, and creating magazine articles and finding the right image for fundraising endeavors is becoming ever-so-much easier as pictures are chronicled and digitized. Nancy has played a key role in interviewing alums. She is tireless: No doubt you will see her at Alumnae Camp with camera and tripod while the rest of us lounge on the dock!
Join the campaign to rebuild Beehive!
Represent your BLC era in a friendly competition between the decades. Visit
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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. SUMMER 2017
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BROWN LEDGE CAMP