An Invitation to Adventure! The New Mondamin Logo

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Summer is by far the most anticipated season here at camp, full of sunshine and fun, laughter and friends. But fall and spring are magical, too. Like bookends to the summer, fall and spring usher in beautiful, sometimes stark, changes to the landscape. This past spring certainly brought about rapid change at Mondamin, as Gordon and I stepped into leadership positions and began to assess the steps that would be needed to revitalize camp for a second century of excellence in outdoor adventure for boys.

We decided, among other things, to design a new logo that would best represent the spirit of Mondamin. Over the summer and early fall, we talked to many alumni, campers, their parents, and staff. We heard that they valued, above all, the experience of extraordinary adventures at camp. We collaborated with Aiden and Teddy, and worked through several design concepts. All throughout the process, we got lots of feedback from many of you. Well, I’m excited to present the new design here!

The mountains and the water are naturally our playground, the arena in which we challenge our personal frontiers, be they external or internal. The canoe paddle on the horizon line represents all the tools and the skills we learn at camp which enable us to travel into the wilderness and have those adventures again and again. The rising sun in the distance centers us, guiding us on our way. It also represents the light in all of us, the fire burning bright that both compels us to better ourselves and ties us together in community. To honor tradition, we decided to keep the original lettering for “Mondamin,” a classic font that dates back to our materials and signs from the 1920s. Another reason we chose this particular design is that it harmonizes well with Green Cove’s logo of that noble pine tree and the view from Otie’s Knob. Both are an invitation into special places where adventures and personal growth are fostered: wild and challenging places in which lifelong friendships are made.

I believe our old logo, the silhouette of a Native American, was chosen by my grandfather to honor and promote the central values in the Mondamin story: a respectful relationship with the environment and a commitment to personal struggle in the service of community. During our second century, these values will continue to hold sway, and I hope that this new logo will welcome even more boys into our adventurous camp family. Let’s get after it!

David Bell, Director

About David Bell

I grew up at Camp Mondamin paddling the rivers, hiking and riding the trails, and climbing the peaks of Western North Carolina. In the wilderness and on Lake Summit, my counselors encouraged me to explore the world, but more importantly, myself. As I later pursued graduate school in history and a career in teaching, camp continued to be my homebase. I have spent many summers on the paddling staffs of both Mondamin and Green Cove, headed paddling, and served as a line head and assistant director at Mondamin. Adventures took me around the world; for 25 years, I have taught youth and adults at the Nantahala Outdoor Center (NC), Friends Seminary (NYC), National Taiwan University, and Kang Chiao International School (Taiwan).

My wonderful wife Yijun, a Waldorf-trained teacher and counselor herself at Green Cove for several years, has inspired and encouraged me to continue to grow as an educator. Our daughter Emery will be at Green Cove this summer for her second year, and our son Benjamin plans to be back at Mondamin in 2024. Gordon Grant, one of my mentors in education, and I are working together this year to lead Mondamin into its next, great chapter. We sincerely hope you will join us on the journey!

David Bell