Hello IB and BDC communities:

It’s been 23 years since I was last on staff at IB as the Director. In that time I have raised two children, one of whom spent seven years at IB. I’ve worked at The Home and Boston GLASS, ran a high school teen parenting program, ran three daycares for the YMCA Boston, been a PE teacher, DEI director, worked for PFLAG greater Boston, taught gender education for MA Department of ED, and ran the Barn Day Camp at Farm & Wilderness. A year ago, I started a consulting business with Dusty Clitheroe from IB and we have been swamped with work. Dusty has taken it on full-time. I help with training while she coordinates the Organizational Change part of the business. Dusty and I met at IB back in the late ’80s.

This summer I was blessed with spending two mornings at IB lifeguarding and teaching canoeing skills. It was wonderful. I taught canoe-over-canoe rescue and basic care of canoe equipment, which was so fun. In fact, on the second day when a canoe tipped, the campers immediately went into canoe-over-canoe rescue in the middle of the lake. So fun to see them execute the skill flawlessly and on their own. I even got to join in the fun on a relay. where Tori Clitheroe and I swam about 30 yards and switched paddleboards.

I am so psyched to be back helping IB nurture and support female-identified and non-binary youth to recognize their strengths by challenging them to learn new skills and experience the wonderful outdoors. I want every camper to be able to come back and point out to several generations how they helped build IB. Someone asked me the other day if I could name the first work project I did. Not only could I name it, but I am also still in touch with the staff member I spent hours with working on it.

Folks may be wondering, “What about you being the Director of BDC?” The BDC is and has been in a really solid place. I am very proud of the capable leadership and program staff at BDC. Frances and I will work together on a leadership plan for BDC in the coming months, and I’ll continue to stay closely involved.

The BDC has been home to me for 17 years and has helped raise both of my kids. The staff and campers are folks I care deeply about and I want to continue to nurture their growth. Every summer, my staff work really hard to provide a wonderful experience for campers. They are what makes the BDC the amazing place that it is.  Looking ahead to camp next summer, I expect many staff to return and that we’ll be able to bring back swim lessons, and more opportunities for campers to experience different program areas in the afternoons.

I look forward to supporting IB and the BDC through the F&W journey. Please feel free to reach out with questions at polly@farmandwilderness.org.

Peace,

Polly Williams

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