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         In this issue:
 
Message From Ted Wisniewski, Interim Director
 
MountainCamp Scholarships
 
2014 Mountain Calendar Campaign

The Mountain              Matters

April, 2013                                       

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Introduction Message from Ted Wisniewski, Interim Director
Introduction from Ted Wisniewski, Interim DirectorTedKids

Hello, some of you may be wondering how a Polish-Catholic kid from Cheektowaga, NY, ended up being the newest interim director of The Mountain. That's a great question, and I will answer it the best way I know how, with honesty.
 
As a lad I spent most of my summers attending summer camp. Being a camper turned into being a counselor working at summer camps throughout college. After I graduated from Buffalo State University with a Bachelors of Science in Education, I started my professional career with Eckerd Youth Alternatives as a counselor-teacher at a year-round residential camp in Exeter, Rhode Island. As my career progressed, I moved to North Carolina where I was promoted and eventually became the Residential Director of Camp E-Tik-Etu until May 2011. I spent 20 years working for Eckerd, working with kids and adults, teaching communication skills, emotional self control, anger management, conflict resolution and sometimes..... just how to be a kid.
 
The first reason I am at The Mountain is because my parents had the wisdom to send me to summer camp. Summer camp was truly a life enhancing experience for me; it shaped and molded me in so many positive ways. I am a firm believer that summer camp teaches kids independence and self worth, and allows kids to develop who they are and what they want to be. My experiences at summer camp were the catalyst that started my journey to The Mountain. 
 
Early in my Eckerd career I knew that I wanted to be a camp director. I did accomplish that goal with Eckerd, and that was good, I learned how to manage people and property, budgets and finances, and conflicts and chaos. I also met my wonderful wife, Wendy, and we were blessed with two fantastic children, our daughter Tessa, 9 years old, and son Daniel who turns 2 on May 5, 2013.
 
The values that The Mountain represents are the same values my parents instilled in me as a youth. To respect others, respect the planet, love each other even if you don’t look, think, or act alike attracted me to the position of interim director. With those lessons taught and modeled in my parents house, coupled with the UU’s seven principles, being at The Mountain was a natural fit.
 
The Mountain has a rich history and tradition of helping youth and adults find friends and solitude. As we move deeper into 2013, I look forward to getting to know  you and your children or grandchildren at summer camp or any other program The Mountain has to offer.  

Volunteer Work Weekend this past March 29-31 was absolutely wonderful!  So much amazing 'work' was done and entertaining programs by the Deadly Banjos and wildlife photographer Bill Lea were enjoyed by all.  What made the weekend so special was the fact that not only did we have fun and accomplish some great improvements to our facility, but we had on hand a dedicated group of hard-working people who have never even been to The Mountain working side by side with some our of early founders to do it!

And speaking of volunteers, The Mountain certainly does have some of the best!  We have been joyfully celebrating April as National Volunteer Month with several of our 'long stay' volunteers.  As always, the work and the camaraderie The Mountain Community enjoys with Don and Jean Morrison from Camden, Maine was invaluable.  And staying with us up until after Homecoming is Harriet Lawrence, making such a difference by working so diligently and competently in the office, leading hikes for groups and keeping us all on our toes.  Thank you to all of our volunteers whether you come for a few hours, few days or several weeks.  Contact our volunteer coordinator Julia Jamieson if you want to become involved!     

Mountain Calendar for 2014
As many of you know, the Mountain facility itself was ageing when Little Scaly was purchased back in 1978, and the harsh environment and limited resources ever since have really taken a toll!  So this year we are making plans for the publication of a 2014 Mountain Calendar that will help provide funding for upkeep and repair beyond the basic maintenance that is budgeted through our Annual Campaign.  The hope is that one day, once we bring everything up to date, we will have funds available for emergencies.  By 'selling' months and days, giving patrons the opportunity to remember a special anniversary, birthday or maybe just help a good cause, we hope to generate the means to repair and/or replace worn out equipment and facilities.  All of our Mountain Programs will be listed on the Calendar and there will be beautiful keepsake photographs of The Mountain throughout the publication.  Calendars will also be on sale for $15.00 each and will be available in plenty of time for holiday giving.  Click here for more information about how you can participate!!

Upcoming Programs
We still have openings in all of our MountainCamp sessions.  Don't let any young person miss out on this amazing experience.  Limited Scholarships are still available as well.

A fantastic, fun Homecoming Weekend is planned for the Memorial Day Holiday, continuing the tradition of bringing the Mountain Community together as we celebrate our past and plan for our future.  Whether you are new to The Mountain or have been around for decades, this weekend is for everyone who loves to call The Mountain home!  Click here for a schedule.

Still haven't outgrown your need for Camp?  Most of us have not and don't want to either!  What if you could share your Camp experience with those you love?  You can make that happen by signing up for Intergenerational Family Camp. And don't forget that Grandmas and Grandpas love s'mores too!

Memorials and Milestones
The special place that The Mountain holds in the hearts of so many is enduring.   Through the years it has been a place of remembrance and a place of celebration.  If there are special milestones you would like for us to publish to The Mountain Community through this newsletter, please send your information to christy.kelly@mountaincenters.org
 
We hope to see you at The Mountain soon!
 

To Register on line
for a
Program or Retreat 

Click Here
Upcoming Programs:

UU Womenspirit

Mountain Homecoming
May 24-27


2013 MountainCamp
June and July

RE Week sponsored by LREDA

Mountain Family Camp
August 2-8

SUUFI

Thanksgiving


Find the complete calendar at www.mountaincenters.org.


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The Mountain Retreat & Learning Center
PO Box 1299
3872 Dillard Rd
Highlands, North Carolina 28741-1299
US

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