LAJF Staff Changes -- Discussion Thread (5 replies and 21 comments)
I am opening this dialogue amongst the SaveCRS folks to discuss what should reactions be to the BOD and the alumni community around Richard's departure.
The crisis of leadership at the current BOD has come to a head with Richard and other staffers leaving. While we have political capital and the high ground, we should explore how best to shape the future of CRS and LAJF during this time of crisis.
Rob Sarlls 78-79 BOD early 90s
First, let's not limit this to just the SaveCRS folks. I think we want this forum to be a place for all voices to be heard. So anyone reading this thread should feel welcome to register and contribute, whether they identify with SaveCRS or not.
Second, let's not celebrate the circumstances that led to Richard's resignation. He is apparently dealing with some very difficult family situations, and no one should be happy about that.
With those two caveats out of the way, I presume that Richard and the staff's departure will have a positive effect on the budget. His salary was one of our biggest pet peeves. I have already written to Damian to volunteer my services if the Foundation finds itself in need of some office work. I work and live near the LAJF office, so if they want to hold off on hiring some staff and load some work onto me, I'll do what I can. I encourage others to do the same to alleviate the need to spend money to replace people so quickly. And, I think there is more need than ever to send out our poll. Four simple questions to see where the alumni community stand vis-à-vis Red Hook. Those are my suggestions for how to proceed right now.
Pete Comas, 1989
Pete that's a great idea - would you take the lead and send alumni to this forum?
How how Pete. I am still trying to digest the implications of the news. I have an extremely limited amount of time that I can dedicate to anything at the moment, but following your lead I will do what I can.
I have been reading and listening, and enjoying. Please keep up the great input. Best wishes to all of you who hold Rising Sun in your heart, mikes
Mikes, regardless of past, current, or future CRS/LAJF issues know that you are loved, respected, and missed by many of us.
100% agree with scottpaulkaye
I also want to suggest, and I admit that this is highly presumptive -- if it's at all possible -- hire Mikes as Executive Director -- if he even wants the job. I think at least as far as the 1989-2001 alumni/alumnae are concerned, Mikes embodies what Camp Rising Sun is all about. I've reached out to him personally and to his wife over the last few months and haven't gotten any response. I have no idea if he is interested in LAJF or CRS anymore. But a boy can dream, can't he?
I think an alumnus would be a brilliant choice at this point - and one with CD experience would be a plus. And since rebuilding alumni trust and support (financial and otherwise) is really the condition precedent for sustaining CRS at this point (and not chasing external rainbows) "going internal" within our broader community would make a ton of sense
It's awesome that you have offered to volunteer your time and energy to help out at the LAJF office, Pete. How-how! It seems at some point there was a posting from Laura, but I can't imagine he'd be interested in re-engaging in LAJF activity. I also remember that their daughter (Kinsey?) had a serious long-term struggle with Lyme disease...so the Hudson Valley probably doesn't hold a lot of appeal to the Peter-Borges family. You never know, though. I'm not sure if Mary Murphy would be interested in an ED position, but she would be my first choice.
I agree that both Michael Peter and Mary would be good choices to become the next Executive Director. If it was up to me though, the best qualified person to be the next Executive Director would be Johnny Reinhard. Johnny has served in all aspects of the LAJF from Counselors at both camps to serving on LAJF committees. He knows how to apply for grants and how to fund raise - re: the American Festival Microtonal Music. Johnny is level headed and inclusive - and he's a strong leader. He knows how to reach teenagers. He's the right person to lead the foundation in the future.
Mikes was a great CD in 1993. I have nothing but highest respect for him. It would be great if he decided to reconnect with the community now that we're in trouble.
Thanks for the very kind words. It really was a good year! -mikes
I hope that Richard's personal / family matters resolve in a satisfactory manner.
This time of change is a great opportunity for the concerned and energized alumni of CRS to continue to show their love and support for CRS and try to get things "back on track" for the future of our beloved Camp. I am sure that among the large number of alums who have identified with the Save CRS "call to action" that there will be many who can help in important ways: donations, strategic planning, expert advice, volunteering...maybe even help find a new ED? How How to Pete Comas for stepping up!
I second Niko's sentiment. I log on now to add my voice in support of working together to sustain CRS into the future.
Staff changes=the perfect time to move the LAJF offices to the big building at Clinton. More than just savings=a year round "center"and gathering place to visit, reconnect, and volunteer=our CRS community center! I look forward to volunteering my help to Cameron for the probably minor design, structural, and electrical changes. "there's always a welcome for you"... Stephen Bang '65,'66...
I also endorse Niko's comments. In order to change things, the best way to change them is to "be the change". Join committees; assert your influence. The BOD is us (alumni), was us, will be us, and can be you. Talk is cheap; act.
By the way, planning on having a social sponsored by the NYAA on 25 April at 230 (place TBD), after the BOD meeting (which is an open meeting). Good chance to dialog.
I have been generally quiet on line, preferring to listen to the dialogue and understand everyone's point of view. I believe in 2 basic points:
1) The BOD runs the Camps, but it does not represent or reflect the values of Camp. The Board has had a long history (35 years) of encouraging Campers to be articulate and outspoken (respectfully) during a camp season, but lambasts alumni who act them same when discussing their own personal views of how the LAJF should function.
2) Now is the time for all the Alumni to gather and re-write the by-laws governing the LAJF. We need to call our own "Constitutional Convention" and make the organization more reflective of Alumni views.
3) It is a very bad idea to have two 4 week sessions or ever co-locate the Boys and Girls camps. Four weeks are not enough time to break down barriers and attitudes and develop levels of trust between members of the camp community. A worse idea would be to co-locate camps and have 14 - 16 year olds living within proximity of each other. Instead of personal growth and developing a spirit of giving, the hormonal masses will concentrate on "getting to know the other camp" instead of developing the treasures in its own. It will be their youthful priority and the summer will be lost. I implore everyone to harkin back to their teenage years and ask if this would not be the case.
Thank you for your time. Please, continue to support the work of JC Calderon, Andrew Clateman, Pete Comas, Rob Sarlls, Seth Frank and everyone else.
John Tumino '81, '82, '92-'97 BOD
We need somehow to reach the ENTIRE CRS alumni and alumnae groups. Following these pages I am seeing mostly the same few people responding. I suspect this is because we have not reach very far into the CRS community.
Jonathan ALL ARE WELCOME HERE - we have always wanted to give a voice to all alumni who want to freely discuss hard issues and together find solutions.
We have invited people on We Gotta Talk to come visit and we will look into trying to reach everyone to know to come to this forum
agree 100% with not co-locating.
I really like the idea of constitutional convention, but it is important that we have no standing to do so. LAJF is not a membership association (perhaps it should become one?) and it's the BOD and only the BOD that can amend or change LAJF's founding documents. For whatever reason, LAJF is according to its own internal governance structure and aristocracy and not a democracy.
Now, what might make sense is for a group of alumni and current BOD members to get together and try to hash out a plan to transform LAJF into a more democratic body. Right now the BOD going is a self-perpetuating group of alumni and friends of CRS that is accountable to alumni in only the most rudimentary way (i.e. if the alumni don't like what the BOD's doing they can make a big stink and they can withhold donations, but that's really it). There needs to be serious discussion of how to reform the governance structure to make the BOD accountable to alumni and friends of CRS.
Obviously, the BOD has a lot on its plate right now, but perhaps the BOD could be convinced to form a committee that would look specifically at how to reform governance with an eye specifically towards making the BOD a more representative and accountable body.
Candidly, I feel somewhat separated from recent issues simply because I am CRS 1955. But whatever the future brings, I will continue my little annual $ contribution
which helps to preserve my 60-year-old memories - and a buncha B&W photos to boot!
The Bronx, NY
Dave. Hi. Did you have a career at the piano? I think of you fondly. Would love to see any photos. I also am happy to help with my 60 y/0 memories, John Randall
So someone remembers time spent in the Willie House/Barn?! My fantasy of a career collapsed in HS when high-profile music schools revealed they had a student wanting instant piano skills without devoting hard work learning the basics. Without a piano even nearby me since '65, I spend much time listening to the best recordings, sometimes attending concerts! db, '55
Please point out where in LAJF articles or bylaws it states that it has any legal or fiduciary obligation to its most important stakeholders, save actual campers - that would be us alumni