Today, in the final post of the CRS-Program Area Highlight series, we hear from Eva Stylianou and Sofia Logan, former CRS Art and Music Counselors. Creative expression is an integral part of the CRS experience, and providing a space for campers to engage in the arts and music, provides campers the opportunity to “explore music and dance as tools for social change, telling different cultural stories through artistic expression.”
Executive Director, Helene Mattera (‘97, ‘98, ‘00, ‘01, ‘10, ‘11, ‘12, ‘15, ‘16, ‘17) writes to Camp Rising Sun (CRS) alumni and friends of CRS. She highlights the past year, which includes various alumni gatherings and events, one-on-one visits, and visitors to the office. She invites everyone to attend Alumni Weekend at Camp, from July 20-22, 2018.
This week’s CRS Program Highlight comes from Amit Singh, a counselor on the 2017 Wilderness Team. He discusses how the Red Hook camping trip was created, and the lessons the campers learned. He also discusses the ongoing need for purchasing new camping equipment. “The biggest advantage of this trip was that the campers got to experience Red Hook, and it was no longer this mystical place that the counselors talked about.”
This week, we learn more about Instructions time from the 2016 Instructions Counselor, Ritham Mehta (‘11, ‘14-‘16). Instructions are vital to the Rising Sun program. Instructions provide Campers an opportunity to demonstrate their leadership skills by teaching an instruction to their peers. It also provides alumni and friends an opportunity to engage with the campers, as they visit Camp for the day and share their professional knowledge.
This week, in our CRS summer staff series, we hear from Sonia Wargacka (‘10, ‘16, ‘17), the 2016-2017 Projects Counselor. Sonia discusses why she values projects, and how projects empower campers. “There is a lot to say about empowerment when we talk about hammers, table saws, construction, and painting. Enabling all of our campers to make projects happen and be the change they want to see first at Camp, and then in the world, is for me one of the most important elements of Camp Rising Sun.”
Throughout December, we will be highlighting the stories of former Camp Rising Sun counselors to hear what they valued most in their program areas. This is to increase awareness and understanding of how donations make these opportunities possible. This week, Antonella Cornejo (CRS ’16-’17) reflects on two summers working in the CRS kitchen and the importance of cultural meals to the camp experience.
Meet the new LAJF staff!
Announcement of Christina Busso's departure in January
Second Solicitation of Interested Alumni/ae
- The Search Committee, consisting of representative members of the broader LAJF community, convened in early September. After advertisement to the CRS community and non-profit philanthropic job sites, there were 24 applicants, of whom 10 were deemed potentially capable. The top 3 candidates were interviewed and evaluated using an evaluation metric of 20 valued skillsets. A rank order was presented to the Executive Committee, with a recommendation to hire the first choice, Christina Busso. Unfortunately, Christina has opted to take another position at the French International School in the DC area (click here or read below for a letter from Christina).
- Losing Christina is a major loss to the LAJF. She has worked tirelessly throughout her tenure for the good of the organization, and in particular this past year. We will not speak for Christina, but are concerned that her reluctance to continue on with LAJF is related to the negativity within some sectors of the alumni community. If we hope to establish a stable and highly productive Foundation staff, it will be important for all of us to reflect on this, and how we can create an environment that is conducive to retention of first-class personnel.
- The Search Committee felt it would be prudent to consider expanding the search with a search firm. An option of hiring an interim alumnus/a was raised in order to afford time to do so.
- We are working on a transition plan and will communicate further thoughts with the CRS community in short order. In the meantime we will continue our search process with further interviewing of current candidates, and extending our search with a firm if necessary.
- If you are interested in being considered for the LAJF Executive Director position, or if you would like to learn more, please contact the Search Committee. The staff liaison is Program Director Helene Mattera and you may also contact Board President Pat O'Malley at email@example.com or Board President-Elect Damian Brennan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pat O'Malley, '80
President, LAJF Board of Directors
December 30, 2015
Dear Friends of Rising Sun,
It is with both excitement and a bit of a heavy heart that I share with you my plans to embark on a new professional journey and opportunity. In February 2016 I will be joining the French International School, Lycée Rochambeau, in the Washington, DC area. I will be joining this pre-K to 12th grade independent school as the Director of Advancement, leading fundraising, alumni engagement, public relations and school enrollment. While I look forward to joining this school's diverse community of talented students and engaging faculty and staff, I am also eager to maintain my strong connections with the Rising Sun community, where I will remain an active member of the alumni community.
My journey to and with Rising Sun began 23 years ago and I could never have imagined then how my path would evolve. Over the past 11 years as a Foundation staff member I have devoted my professional work and my personal passion to the Camp and Alumni community. Focused on Alumni Relations, Fundraising, Communications, Program support and Foundation Operations, I have been honored and humbled to serve the extraordinary Rising Sun community.
As the Foundation looks to the future, starting with 2016, there are a number of pressing challenges that have stirred passion throughout the community. At times like these it is so important that the community be thoughtful, cooperative, and above all, respectful. As we move forward as a community I hope we can all remember and exemplify the guiding values that CRS have given us:
- We strive to model the lessons initiated at Camp: In all that we do as a community, we seek to engage in respectful dialogue while seeking both to understand one another and be understood.
- We are courageous: We must be willing to make difficult decisions but also flexible to adjust our plans and our own ideas based on the facts as we learn them.
- We value the service of others: The CRS community is rich with talent and fortunate to be led by dozens of dedicated alumni volunteers, including those who serve on committees and the Board. Volunteers are the lifeblood of CRS and receive only our appreciation as compensation.
- We are respectful: High quality Camp and Alumni programming is made possible because of the work of dedicated, professional, year-round staff. These staff members tirelessly devote their talents to advancing the mission and ideals of Rising Sun. They deserve our respect and support.
A friend recently said to me that as campers, and then later as a community of alumni, Rising Sun offers us each an opportunity to bring out the best in one another. I sincerely hope we can do that.
As I move on professionally, I will remember that while Camp seasons end, the CRS experience will always be a part of who I am wherever I go. I look forward to working with the community as we face the challenges and opportunities of the future.
Christina Rose Busso, JD, CFRE
CRS '93, '94, '99, '05-'15