Coniston Community Fundraisers

The Coniston Community has stepped up in a BIG way and hundreds of campers and alumni got involved in very unique ways to ensure the future of Coniston.

1st-year staff members, John Shelley and Ellie Wilson jumped into action when they heard Camp needed help by creating a fundraiser. These entrepreneurs sold homemade friendship bracelets and more importantly found a way of keeping the spirit of Camp alive during these times.

On June 25, 2020 over 150 CIT groups across the country from the late 90’s through the 2010’s gathered for a special trivia night fundraiser to help support Camp during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to the generosity of so many, thousands of dollars were raised.

More than just a financial boost, the night was an opportunity for old friends to reconnect, laugh, and reminisce about summers on the lake. Congratulations to the 2001/2002 CIT team who took home the big win to have the donations to Camp made in their honor!

After spending five summers at Coniston, Kiley MacLeod knew that she wanted to help the place that has given her so much. She created a fundraiser to sell custom embroidered hats.

George Floyd and BLM

To Our Coniston Community: 

Black lives matter. We apologize for not speaking up sooner to say this and make sure you all know that we are paying attention and that we as an organization unequivocally believe in the cause of racial justice, stand with the Black community, and condemn racism.

We didn’t release a statement earlier both because we were afraid to say the wrong thing and because we weren’t sure if we had anything valuable to add to this conversation. We also did not want to make an empty statement that isn’t backed up by concrete actions Camp is taking to become a more inclusive and actively anti-racist organization. 

However, we realized last week that the wrong thing to say is nothing at all. We want you, our Coniston community, to know we are paying attention, we are listening, we are having conversations, and we are actively working on those concrete steps. We understand the importance of taking action and we hope you understand that it will take time to figure out how to translate the values each of us on staff and on our board holds individually into actions that an entire organization takes — including steps to make sure that we are truly living our anti-racist values and teaching them to campers during camp sessions when we are once again open. 

Camp has always worked hard to teach and live the values of respect, honesty, inclusivity, responsibility, and caring. But we acknowledge that we need to and must go further and we’re deeply committed to doing that. We also acknowledge that, despite our good intentions, Camp has not always felt welcoming to every community member. 

As a predominantly white organization, we have a special responsibility to our community to teach and model anti-racist behavior. History teaches us that movements for change are most successful when privileged communities use their voices to advocate on behalf of marginalized communities. And our hearts tell us that it is the right thing to do. 

John Tilley, John McNair, Nicole Berthiaume 
June 10, 2020

Community Collaborates to Keep Outdoors Safe

The outdoors provides many people a breath of fresh air and a place to clear their mind and get some exercise during state’s stay at home orders and reopening plans. Getting out to enjoy the local bike trail or take a local hike is an activity that many have taken up to help provide structure or relaxation. Outdoor recreation has been increasingly sought after giving everyone the ability to exercise, clear their head or just take in some beauty while maintaining proper distancing measures. However, hiking mountains or exploring rivers does come with some risks. 

With access to the outdoors there are many people and puppies (Yes, we said dogs!) behind the scenes that ensure the safety of those venturing to explore their backyards and communities. This past weekend, New England K9 Search and Rescue came to Coniston’s property to practice and train. At Coniston, these air-scent trained rescue dogs are able to practice land and water rescue scenarios to hone their skills and remain trained and ready to execute. This collaboration helps ensure the safety of many people exploring their local areas and allows New England K9 Search and Rescue an ideal free space to constantly train and keep people safe. Even during quarantine these volunteers help keep New Englanders exploring the outdoors safe in case of emergency.

New England K9 Search and Rescue aims to provide, without cost, trained search and rescue personnel and K9s to the law enforcement agencies of Vermont and New Hampshire to assist in their efforts to locate lost and missing persons. They offer assistance to the Upper Valley Wilderness Response team and have been helping the local area since its founding in 1981.

From Coniston, we would like to say thank you to the New England K9 Search and Rescue for volunteering your time to keep New England safe. We are very thankful we are able to collaborate with New England K9 in order to ensure a safer and better community.

COVID-19 Brings the Most Talented Communications Team of Volunteers to Life!

In response to COVID-19, a Communications Committee was formed to support the communication needs for Camp. Without this committees support and hard work the Coniston Community would not be as well informed.

The committee is chaired by Board Member, Lynne Delise, and a group of highly talented communication and fundraising alumni. Members of the committee include:

Anna Kelsey, Grassroots Prospects Manager at Democratic National Committee

Liz Morris, MBA Candidate | The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth and Formerly the Assistant Director of Planned Giving for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Joe Whelan, Assistant Director of Development, Regional & Global Programs at University of Delaware, MBA Candidate