Tag Archives: Dudley


This past month, I went to Camp Dudley at Kiniya for my fourth year. Camp Dudley is simply the boys camp on the NY side of Lake Champlain, and Camp Kiniya is the girls camp on the VT side of Lake Champlain. During these four week periods, we learn so much, especially from our motto, “The Other Fellow First”. We are taught to ‘not count the days, to make the days count’ and to cherish every moment, because these magical twenty-six days only happen once every year.

As I already said, this year was my fourth year back at Camp Kiniya which means at the end of the session, I would receive my kiwi disc. A kiwi disc is a small round charm and it is engraved with Kiniya. On the back side it says ‘Kiwi’, the year you became a kiwi ‘2015’, and your camp number ‘#22737’.


Kiwi Discs

This year I was in the senior division in cabin Schmidt, named after Willie Schmidt who was one of the Camp Dudley directors. I met an exorbitant amount of new friends and reunited with so many of my past camp friends. My best friend from camp, Rose, who lives in Minnesota, for fourth year in a row, we were in the same cabin! My majors this year were climbing and studio art which I learned so much in! Now I am obsessed with climbing.

The Kiniya cheer goes a little something like this…

05446! Morning dips, HEY! Kiwi Discs! Saaaaaay, Kinyia! Rise and shine, MEET out in the pines! Cross many miles see the smiles! Girls, to waterskii, riding WHOO! White and blue forever true! Dudley, at Kiniya! TAPSSS…

A Kiniya Day

We wake up to a nice and chilly Vermont morning, get dressed, and head over to the dining hall. After a delicious breakfast, we race back to our cabin to do our inspection jobs. Inspection jobs can vary from being a waitress at meals, sweeping, positivity patrol, neat police, trash, and bathroom patrol. Once the cabin is ready for inspection, we divide into our majors – either our individual majors or arts majors. After a fun hour of majors, we have team competition which is basically playing other teams at different sports. Soon after, we head back to the dining hall for lunch and then rest hour. Rest hour is simply an hour in our cabins of resting. This is the time to write letters, make friendship bracelets, read a book, and even take a nap! After a nice rest hour, we have team activity which is our team, going to different places together such as the waterfront or arts and crafts. Then comes our final meal of the day. The day of the week determines what we will be doing for evening activity after dinner. This includes all-camp games,  Wednesday and Saturday Night Shows, Hymn Sing, and Council Ring. After the fun and games, we come back to our cabins ‘and reflect on the day together during evening Vespers.’


  • Founded in 1919 by Helen Van Buren
  • Campers per session- 155
  • Number of cabins- 16
  • Minimum to maximum age as a camper- 9 1/2 until 15 years old.

Vermont Sunset

Cabin Schmidt2

My cabin- Schmidt

HoustonRobot PaddleBoard  WindBlows

The Dudley Life

Senior Cabin: Hamilton

Senior Cabin: Hamilton

In case you don’t know the Dudley cheer imagine this being hollered by 400+ people on the opening day of the oldest (since 1885) all boys camp in America:

D-U-D-L-E-Y / Whitewashed cookies, chicken pie / Pink music, pickeral fry / Westport, Westport my oh my / All ye campers stand in line / take your hats off just like mine / (really fast) Bevo, bivo, boom get a rat trap bigger than a cat trap, bevo, bivo, BOOM!


This was my 4th summer at Dudley and sadly, my last as a camper. Like many before and after me, I am lucky enough to have gone every year starting as a Cub, then a Plebe, Junior, and this summer as a Senior. I’ve had cool leaders every summer and it feels like each summer only gets better than the one before.

My team at Dudley - Wensley

My team at Dudley – Wensley

There is usually one team sport or game in the morning and the afternoon. Sometimes after the sport you played with your team you do a major. You choose 3 types of majors: arts, team, and individual. If today you only have one major you have choice time after team sports. lets give an example of a typical Dudley day. You and a new friend walk into the cafeteria and sit at your cabin table, you ask the person sitting next to you if you could see the schedule. you see on the schedule the latest news, your first activity, and your second activity. Your first activity is soccer against your rival team. Then you look down the paper and see choice time written on it. You look at the very bottom of the first page and see that every activity is open besides tennis and archery. after your sport you and your friend go to swim point to jump in the lake. After 50 minutes of having fun, you here the lunch horn and head back up to the dining hall. After lunch, you repeat the process again, except that you have a 45 minute rest period. Here is a link for more: Dudley Day

Now I am in the process of applying for the leadership ranks. It starts as an Aide which is fun because the Aide works in a cabin but also gets to play sports and do activities with the Seniors – a big WIN in my opinion! After Aide comes Junior Leader (JL), Assistant Leader (AL), and then Leader. My goal is to continue to rise through the leadership program over the next few years so that I can continue to have these awesome summer blasts at Dudley.

Dudley Hymn Sing

Dudley Hymn Sing

Every Sunday night, the entire camp sits on the floor, back-to-back, and sings songs both loud and soft that include the cheer, the Dudley Hymn, and others that you would know like Amazing Grace or Study War No More. It’s a great time to be together and reflect on the special times we enjoy at camp. You can use this link to see a video: Dudley Hymn Sing

Dudley is the center of my life. I feel that whenever I am doing something that is remotely similar or close to Dudley it makes me happy. I practice the Dudley motto, the other fellow first, at home and every day when I get the chance to express it. My whole summer revolves around Dudley and I cant imagine a life without it.

Reuniting with my sister, Louisa, and her friend, Rose - both Kiniya girls!

Reuniting with my sister, Louisa, and her friend, Rose – both Kiniya girls!

The Other Fellow First

If you don’t know me, it’s simple. I have a life saying, The Other Fellow First, which has been preached to both of my children since day 1. The motto comes from Camp Dudley. Sebastian & Louisa will be going for their 4th season this summer and are the 3G of Gammills.

So why mention a camp motto now? Let me explain. When you put yourself out there in the world, in places that you have never been, have no idea about the language, and are basically in a vulnerable position, you find that many people from many cultures have the same life motto simply by experience.

For example:

  • A friend of my cousin’s welcomes us (strangers) into their home in Wanaka, New Zealand, serves us a delicious steak with plenty of wine, and then says we are welcome to stay as long as we want.
  • Air BnB host takes her day off to drive us around Sydney and then to share a secret beach to swim.
  • Another Air BnB host uses her day off to drive us to the Barossa wine country and takes us to exclusive wineries that she has access. Cool!
  • Australian volunteer in Nusa Penida, Indonesia, notices that Sebastian really likes fireworks on New Year’s Eve (shocker!) and gives him an armful to take on our journey to Bali.
  • The sister of a friend not only hosts us in her apartment but takes us out to dinners and arranges our sightseeing in Malaysia.
  • An elderly Thai woman with her adult daughter are sitting next to us at a food stall in Bangkok. Daughter hands my wife a local drink and says, “Here, this is for you and what Thai like to drink.” Then her mother turns around and hands us a grilled banana. Yum!
  • I’d like to close with yet one more example of why I feel strongly about education through experience for my children. Onn is a longtime high school buddy and I am glad that we’ve stayed in touch over the years. To put it simply (and I will be sharing a separate blog on our Penang experience), Onn took us into his home with his family and provided a place to stay. More than that, he showed my children the meaning of The Other Fellow First. He embraced them, taught them some martial arts, fed them amazing foods, and played with them on ziplines and ropes. I could go on and on but the moral of this story is that both Sebastian and Louisa saw how happy Onn was to share his life and talents. How he truly practiced and lived The Other Fellow First.

My perspective is quite one-dimensional when it comes to teaching my children (just as many parents, we want the best for them). It’s a wonderful feeling to experience and share similar values with both friends and strangers from all walks of life. And even better when those people impact your children in a positive way, much like that teacher you always loved!

The Other Fellow First – a darn good reason to get outside, meet others, and share your values! Thank you to Onn, Wai Fung, Sue, Mel, the Turner Family and everyone of you that practices The Other Fellow First!

P.S. Just off the press are these two articles for you to enjoy and they apply to this blog: Timeless Appeal and NYT Solo Traveler