A Letter to the Red Pine Community
To: The Red Pine Camp Community September 6, 2007
Campers - Parents - Counselors - Staff - Alumnae
From: Pleasant T. Rowland
It is with pleasure and pride that I become the steward of Red Pine Camp-and not without a bit of appropriate trepidation! What a privilege it is to carry on the work of the Wittenkamp family who has left such a legacy. They have been thoughtful stewards of one of the most extraordinary pieces of land in the Northwoods. More important, they have taken loving care of generations of girls whose lives were forever marked by their days at Red Pine. I am proud to count myself as one of them.
I would not be here without the determined efforts of Red Pine alumnae who marshaled their energies to preserve the camp and its traditions that we all love. I suspect the Wittenkamps had some idea of how deeply they engrained the Red Pine spirit in their campers-but it was never on display with more passion than in the last few weeks.
As most of you know, much of my career has been devoted to influencing the lives of young girls, and my years at American Girl gave me great insight into the challenges they have growing up in today's world. Red Pine Camp is an oasis from the incessant media message to grow up too fast. It is a place blessedly free of cell phones, YouTube, instant messaging and consumer pressure. It is a place with deeper values and higher aspirations. I give you my word that it will remain so.
I will turn to the alumnae to guide and operate Red Pine. With Sarah's blessing, Connie Scholfield has been appointed as the new Executive Director; she is eminently qualified for the position and will be a marvelous leader. Her biography follows. A board of alumnae advisors will be formed to assist Connie.
I so appreciate the show of support from those alums that were present at the Labor Day reunion. It was a very moving moment in Red Pine's history as dozens of alumnae stepped forward with warm and funny remembrances of their camp days and expressed their deep appreciation for the work of Sarah, Irene, Robin and Jim. Tears of sadness and joy flowed freely.
It seems an appropriate moment to share a few lines from one of my favorite poems by W.B. Yeats. They express the mission of my foundation and are especially fitting at this moment in the life of Red Pine.
Look up in the sun's eye and give
What the exultant heart calls good
That some new day may breed the best
Because you gave, not what they would
But the right twigs for an eagle's nest!
Pleasant T. Rowland