Camp Director Prospectus
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.
Brown Ledge Camp seeks a new Camp Director to lead “the different camp” for girls on the beautiful shores of Lake Champlain in Malletts Bay, VT. The Director will be responsible for ensuring that Brown Ledge Camp is well positioned to continue offering a quality program, with a unique philosophy, in a beautiful location, for decades to come. The Director reports directly to the Board of Directors of The Brown Ledge Foundation, Inc., and has overall strategic and operational responsibility for the staff, programs, expansion and execution of its mission, as well as a primary role in fundraising.
Brown Ledge Camp History:
Harry and Marjorie Brown established Brown Ledge Camp in 1926. The Browns served as directors for over three decades before handing Brown Ledge over to their daughter, Barbara Winslow, who acted as the camp’s Director until the early 1980s. In the later years of her directorship, Barbara recognized the need for a mechanism to perpetuate Brown Ledge. To that end, in the late 1970s, a group of current and former staff members with selected alumnae, founded the BL Perpetuators, Inc. to purchase and continue operation of camp. When Barbara stepped down as the Director of Brown Ledge in 1983, the BL Perpetuators hired Bill and Kathy Neilsen as co-Directors. Since they assumed day-to-day operations over 30 years ago, the Neilsens have upheld the traditions established by the Brown family while steering camp successfully into the 21st Century. In 1997, BL Perpetuators, Inc. donated their shares to create the Brown Ledge Foundation, a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization established to perpetuate Brown Ledge Camp.
Brown Ledge Camp began in 1926 as “the different camp”, when the founder put his beliefs about learning and camping, freedom and responsibility, and girls and youth into practice. Harry Brown believed that young women had the capability to make choices for themselves, creating the Freedom of Choice model for Brown Ledge Camp.
Harry and Marjorie Brown developed this philosophy not because the girls of their time were over-scheduled, but because they knew that girls of “camper age” were and are able to make good choices; that girls know what they like to do, and, if given the freedom to make their own choices, will choose well. Although the world has changed significantly since 1926, the camp’s Freedom of Choice philosophy has not. Considered progressive in the early 20th century, this philosophy is still relevant today and, arguably has a greater impact on a camper’s growth and development than ever.
The Freedom of Choice framework offers nearly unlimited opportunity for self-discovery and self-realization in a fun, open, and supportive atmosphere; it is an experience in democratic living under optimal conditions where freedom and responsibility are carefully linked and guided. Brown Ledge’s structure of open activity time communicates to girls that they are capable of making good decisions. That is not to say that campers will not make mistakes, but at Brown Ledge, campers are given the space to make mistakes because failing is as important to the learning process as succeeding.
After several summers, many campers and counselors call Brown Ledge a second home. Alumnae often say it is the place where they learned the most, made their best friends and became the women they are today. Brown Ledge has played a significant role in the lives of generations of young women.
Primary Responsibilities of the Next Camp Director:
- Provide leadership for all aspects of Brown Ledge Camp.
- Oversee the management and day-to-day operations of the camp year-round.
- Hire, manage and mentor full-time and summer staff.
- Ensure compliance with all local, state and federal legal requirements.
- Guarantee the ongoing financial health of the camp through careful fiscal management, ongoing financial reporting to the Board of Directors and fundraising activities.
Desired Qualities/Qualifications of the Next Camp Director:
- Is an enthusiastic, articulate, and compelling spokesperson for Brown Ledge Camp’s mission, philosophy, and programs.
- Exhibits integrity, passion and respect for Brown Ledge traditions and inspires trust and respect.
- Is able to connect with a wide range of people and has strong inter-personal skills (humility, patience, sense of humor, self-awareness, etc.) to engage effectively with key constituents – staff, campers, parents, alumnae, neighbors and the Colchester community, including the numerous vendors who provide service to Brown Ledge.
- Understands the critical importance of providing an outstanding camper experience by empowering and supporting staff, holding staff accountable for outcomes, and motivating and inspiring campers and staff to maximize their camp experience.
- Has proficiency or capability in:
- o Recruitment, hiring and managing a diverse staff.
- o Budgets and operational procedures in a resource-constrained environment.
- o Fundraising.
- o Marketing/branding/communications.
- o Camper recruitment and retention.
- o Camp policies and procedures.
- o Managing a complex facility under sometimes challenging conditions.
- Experience working with youth, preferably within a camp or educational context.
- An eagerness to deeply engage with the Brown Ledge Community.
- A willingness to, and ideally, experience in, raising significant resources.
- For non-Vermonters, a willingness to consider relocation to Vermont.
Interested and qualified candidates should submit electronically in one email and as separate documents (preferable PDFs) the following materials:
- A cover letter expressing their interest in the Director position
- A current resume
- A one-page statement of camping/educational philosophy and practice
- A list of five (5) professional/personal references with name, phone number and email addresses to: [email protected]