The Brown Ledge Foundation, Inc.
Brown Ledge Camp was established in 1926 by Harry and Marjorie Brown and run by the couple for it’s first 30 years. In the early 1960s, the Browns handed Brown Ledge over to their daughter, Barbara Winslow, who acted as the camp’s Director for the next 23 years or so. In the late 1970s, a group of dedicated alums worked with Barbara Winslow to create the Brown Ledge Perpetuators, Inc. for the express purpose of purchasing and continuing the operations of camp.
In 1997, BL Perpetuators, Inc. donated their shares to create The Brown Ledge Foundation, Inc.. The Foundation is a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is, “to oversee 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 Foundation is governed by a group of volunteer board members – alums and parents of alums and campers – who come together three times per year and work year-round on governance, fundraising, and ensuring 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 protected]. We are so grateful for the time, energy, and support that all board members – current and past – have given over the years!
2017-18 Board of Directors:
Mary Barton came to Brown Ledge at age 9 with older sister Betsy (having been preceded by sisters Carolyn and Anne.) She was hooked, spending every full summer from 1973 to 1981 at the camp she loved. Theatre and the archery range were her special passions, and she is proud to recall that she passed her crib test (eventually) each summer. As a camper, JC and counselor she was avid to learn about girl’s development and leadership and was grateful for the supportive environment of camp. Mary is a doctor, trained in primary care who works for a non-profit organization in Washington DC that aims to improve health care quality.
Carol Blanton’s first Brown Ledge experience was walking over from the Malletts Bay Club (BLC’s decades-long neighbor and where her husband’s family has summered since 1900) with her young daughter, Alexandra Ames. Those visits planted a seed and Alexandra started camp at age 10, continuing as a JC and counselor for 10 years. Carol’s love of Brown Ledge grew from watching her daughter flourish there. After a 40-year career in fundraising with The Nature Conservancy she and her husband, Christopher Ames, purchased their own home at the Malletts Bay Club where they now spend half the year (the rest of their time in San Francisco). As a neighbor, alum parent and life-long fundraiser, Carol is committed to doing all she can to support and strengthen Brown Ledge and the important work it does.
Tara Francis was a camper, JC and counselor from 1981 to 1990. “I loved everything about the waterfront, but also spent a lot of time playing tennis and archery. I don’t think there were enough hours in the day for me as I would run around doing as many activities as I could. As far as I’m concerned, I spent eight of the best summers of my life at BLC. I am thrilled that my older daughter has begun her summers at camp, and my younger daughter will, too, as soon as she’s old enough. I am a registered nurse and I live in central Massachusetts with my two daughters, Barbara and Phoebe, and my husband.”
Tim Harkness joined the BLC staff in 1991 as a swimming counselor and enjoyed two summers at Brown Ledge. In 2011, he became a Brown Ledge dad when his daughter, Katie made her way to Malletts Bay (where she ultimately became a swimming JC for two summers — go swimming!). The Harkness clan added a second BLC camper when Caroline started in 2017, the same year Tim joined the board. Tim lives in Connecticut with his wife, Lisa. Although their two sons missed the Brown Ledge experience, they have lived it vicariously for a long, long time. When not schlepping kids to camp, Tim practices law in New York city and has coached one sport or another each of the last twenty years.
Nancy Weaver Jones attended BLC for two first-session summers. Although her older sisters, Robin and Betsy attended camp for full summers, it seemed to have the lifelong impact on Nancy. Nancy’s two daughters, Malia and Maile also spent a total of 15 summers at BLC, as did eight other cousins and nieces. Nancy also has two sons who spent summers at camp in New England as well. Nancy lives in Palo Alto, California with her husband, David. She has been involved in many nonprofit boards serving children and families on the San Francisco Peninsula. This is Nancy’s last of six years on the Brown Ledge Board.
Rachel (Lincoln) Grindrod spent many summers in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s at BLC, alongside her sisters Jennifer and Hannah Lincoln, enjoying the power and ensuing responsibility unique to the BLC model of freedom of choice and expression in daily camper activities. She is eternally grateful for the safe and supportive space on Malletts Bay that allowed her to mold her own identity during those formative pre-teen and early-teen years. Rachel is excited to be on the Board, utilizing skills from her professional background in private equity investing and real estate to help protect and promote such a nurturing place for the next generations of women leaders. Rachel lives in Atlanta, GA with her husband and young children.
Tom Pastore’s introduction to Brown Ledge came by way of his daughter, Kate, who was a camper from 2007 to 2011, a junior counselor in 2012 and 2013, and a staff member from 2015 to 2017. With a background of 25+ years in independent schools and with an appreciation of the power of summer camps through his own experiences as a camper, counselor, and staff member at a camp he attended for 19 years, Tom joined the Brown Ledge Board of Directors in 2013. He has greatly enjoyed his association with Brown Ledge through the joy it has brought his daughter and through witnessing first hand the dedication and commitment of its Alumnae in their efforts to support Brown Ledge for present and future campers.
Katy Robbins Ritz started at Brown Ledge in 1985 and from day one, knew she had found her “home away from home.” She is the Associate Director of Development at The Windward School where she supports all fundraising efforts for the school. Previously, she was the Director of Annual Giving at The Nightingale-Bamford School in New York City. She started her fundraising career at The Michael J. Fox Foundation where she ran Team Fox, the community fundraising division. Prior to fundraising, Katy spent nearly 12 years working in Communications and Public Relations working for many national magazine brands including: Real Simple, FORTUNE, TIME, Better Homes and Gardens, CosmoGirl! and O, The Oprah Magazine. She lives in Sleepy Hollow, NY with her husband and two kids.
Annie Solberg Sarnblad (Vice President) spent 6 wonderful summers at Brown Ledge in the 1980s and has 2 daughters that have loved going to Brown Ledge. Annie is a global expert in reading facial expressions and has developed her own, easy-to-absorb teaching techniques based on the knowledge she accumulated studying seven languages through immersion. As a strategic advisor to Fortune 500s, startups and family offices, Annie has spent 18 years in Asia, Europe and the US helping CEOs and management teams make informed decisions about whom they can trust. In addition to corporate clients, Annie helps high profile families with heightened security needs, individuals navigating charged political situations, law enforcement, teachers and peace mediators. Annie has also taught microexpressions to Brown Ledge Counselors and JCs.
Robyn Sonis (President) came to Brown Ledge in 1991 at the ripe age of 9. She chose Brown Ledge because that’s where her big sister went to camp and Robyn, being the typical younger sister, had to do everything her sister did (thanks, Jenny Sonis!). From that first summer, Robyn was hooked, and for the next 8 years, BLC was her summertime home. An avid equestrienne, Robyn spent the majority of her summers in the barn. She served as drill captain for three summers and received both her Starred Intermediate and Vanguard in Horsemanship. Robyn then returned (and returned, and returned) to BLC as a staff member in the barn from ’01-’05, and then as Head of Riding in 2012. In her non-Brown Ledge life, Robyn lives in Atlanta, GA, practices real estate law with the firm of Campbell & Brannon, LLC, and coaches a high school equestrian team.
Kris Stone loved her four summers as a camper (1978-1981), spending a lot of time in the theater and on the sailing dock. Thirty-three years later, she sent her own camper up to Malletts Bay. She hopes every camper will be just as excited one day to pack a daughter’s trunk and then wait – and wait – for that first letter home! As an alum, board member, and BLC parent, she enjoys parent outreach, welcoming families to the camp we love. Kris lives in historic New Castle, Delaware, with her daughter Z, and works in advertising.
Ginny Sharp Williams (Secretary) often refers to her six years at BLC – ’83-’87 as a camper and JC and ’89 as a Riding counselor – as the best summers of her life. Learning about responsibility and independence at a young age on Lake Champlain was a formative experience. Ginny’s daughter has found the same love for that camp on Malletts Bay with six years as a camper as of the summer of 2017. Ginny lives outside of Philadelphia with her husband, Carter, son, Cal and daughter Cheney. She is involved with her children’s schools and works in fundraising for a non-profit as well as product development and marketing.