Next Steps and New Leadership for Camp Mondamin

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From: Mondamin and Green Cove Leadership Team

There is no other way to say it: We are deeply sorry for the cancellation of this summer’s sessions caused by our failure to secure sufficient staff. Many people have been hurt by this: first and foremost, the boys who are missing a summer here; but also the staff who looked forward to serving this summer, the parents, and the entire camp community who put their faith in us.

Over the past two weeks, we have felt overwhelmed with emotion and gratitude for all of the messages we have received from many of you. It’s a testament to the strength of our extended camp family. Please keep it up. We welcome any and all comments, questions and suggestions.

To give you a clearer picture of what is coming, here are a few things we are doing now:

● Andrew Bell is moving on to new opportunities. David Bell and Gordon Grant will return to camp to lead a team of existing and new staff. David and Gordon have long personal histories with camp and education in many forms see bios here Both David and Gordon are committed to serving their existing schools in Taiwan and the US, respectively, through June. After that, we are fully present at camp.

● For this summer, 2023, we will be hosting Alumni Camp as in the past (can’t wait to see you there!). In addition, we are working to plan other small-scale events around the theme of moving forward. We will communicate in greater detail about these events in May and June.

● We are already planning our return in 2024 with a full offering of summer programs that are innovative, while still connected to the philosophies and traditions that have made the camp so influential for over a century.

● Lastly, one of the most wonderful things about Mondamin is the community that surrounds camp. We will be reaching out to our large network of camp friends and alumni and engaging in purposeful reflection about what has made this summer camp so influential in so many peoples’ lives, and to strengthen our commitment to those practices. With your help, we will return this camp to its place in American education and summer camping.

The timetable for this change begins now, and will continue through this summer and the fall of 2023. Look for a further update from us about summer events and what you can do to help by late May, but please reach out to us ( sooner if you have questions.

In continuing friendship,

David Bell, Gordon Grant, Calla Bell Williamson, and Frank Bell, Jr.

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