I would never have imagined that the COVID pandemic would result in us canceling Camp Dogwood Summer Academy for two years in a row, especially since this would have been its 25th year. We were forced to do so not because any one contracted COVID, but because we were understaffed, which was also the experience of many other camps nationwide. Sadly, this reflects the times in which we are living. I know many of you were disappointed, as were we at the Foundation, as well as my entire family. I am nevertheless grateful that we were able to salvage a part of the season through our several in-person outings.
My mantra has become “moving on,” and that is what we are doing, through the jumble of sometimes conflicting messages around the pandemic that give rise to an uneasiness amongst us all. I thank all the participants, chaperones and student nurses who accompanied us on the summer field trips to the Catoctin Wildlife Preserve in Thurmont, Maryland, and Shenandoah River Canoeing in Shenandoah, Virginia. For the coming school year, we have exciting programming for the Saturday Institute, our Student Adventures In Leadership (SAIL) program, and our Educational series, all of which you will read about in this edition of this newsletter.
I want to take a moment to encourage the Parents and Guardians of the AnBryce Foundation to take advantage of the opportunity for your children to engage with the Masters of Social Work student intern who is joining us this year. During these challenging times, it is important that our children learn to feel comfortable in speaking about what they are feeling. It’s important for us to do the same. The world has become so complex over my lifetime, and it will become even more so over the lifetimes of our children, given the increasing influence of technology and its effect on our interactions. We must help them learn how to manage stress and confront the challenges they will face. Here’s hoping you will utilize to its fullest our new programming around our youth’s emotional well-being.
As you know, we are searching for an Executive Director, as well as a Director of the Summer Camp Residential programs, and are at the same time focused on strategic planning. My entire family, many of our University Scholars, Donna White who was once our Program Director, and is now the director of Break Through Tech in Washington, D.C., and Rafiq Kalam-Id-Din, who was the Executive Director of AnBryce in the 2000’s, and now heads the Ember Charter School in Brooklyn, New York, are helping us chart some new beginnings at the Foundation. So we have a lot to do, and are continually thankful for your support. We at the AnBryce Foundation are excited about the future, even when the storms come.
Lastly, I am eternally grateful to Scott Mills, the Farm Property Manager, and his team, for always being there to lend a helping hand, in addition to keeping the buildings and land in pristine condition. Scott’s work ethic is exemplary!
Best wishes, always.
Beatrice W. Welters
Co-Founder, AnBryce Foundation
Founder, Camp Dogwood Summer Academy