I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to 2021. As my family and I quietly count down the last days of 2020 at home, I had a chance to read over my notes from a few meetings I had with F&W community members when I first started.
Don’t get me wrong, the rounds of Bananagrams with my family and exposure to a dessert charcuterie board (I didn’t realize that was a thing!) have been fun, but I’m looking forward to camp. I’m looking forward to some of that nourishing inspiration that can be found at F&W. One alumna shared with me that F&W had been the blueprint of her life. That really stuck with me, and I can’t tell you how fortunate I feel to be a part of the F&W community and lead the organization.
2021 will bring a mix of change, hope, and renewal. Together, we’ll be letting out those big breaths that we’ve been holding as we adapt, again, to a new normal. For those of us returning to camp, there’s the promise of reconnecting with others and with ourselves and this special place.
There will be change and over the coming weeks, I’d like to continue to share those changes, and F&W’s response to them, with you. One that I’d like to share with you today relates to Saltash Mountain Camp and the Quester program.
Saltash Mountain Camp and the Quester program’s director Jeff Bounds will not be returning to camp this summer. Jeff has served as the Director of Saltash Mountain Camp for 12 years, and he also started and directed our Questers program based out of SAM Camp. I am disappointed I won’t have the chance to get to know and work with Jeff. Jeff’s reputation preceded my meeting him: family friends whose children were SAM campers raved about Jeff as a Director. The skits, the trips, the music, the food! Jeff will be working with Michelle Golden, our Program Director, on transition planning over the next couple of months. Later in January, we will be hosting a SAM community farewell for Jeff as he starts a new chapter.
Although we will all miss Jeff dearly, rest assured that we will still be holding Saltash Mountain Camp this summer. We have already launched a search for an Interim SAM Director, and we will share more news as we have it.
As I return to work with my F&W colleagues next week, I’ll be thinking about another camp alumnus who shared that even thirty years later he takes something he learned at F&W to work every day. I would welcome hearing what you bring to work, or school, or life from your time at F&W.
I wish you and your dear ones a New Year of peace, health, and joy, and I hope our paths will cross in 2021.
Frances McLaughlin, Executive Director