Donna Smythe Wilson
It is at this time of year, when our minds drift to warmer places, that I fondly picture the sunset over the KBIA cove. So much so, that the cover of my family calendar this year is the KBIA sunset with all the pink, yellow, orange and blue tones. Whether you’re new to the KBIA family or several generations in, we all have our special memories and stories that warm our hearts even on the coldest days of winter — some I’m sure include the KBIA sunset.
Our recent social media campaign speaks volumes to the strength of our community and the rich, long-lasting traditions which began 112 years ago. It is within the #IfNotForKBIA stories that we can truly understand the special bond that our community has for KBIA. I have come to appreciate this more over the past two years, as we have all come together with patience to ensure our special place is resilient through all circumstances. Under the leadership of Mimi, along with our incredible staff and counselors, we are confident that the summer ahead will have excellence in programming, enhanced facilities, and protocols in place where we are confident that our children will create their own special #IfNotForKBIA stories.
While 2021 was not the typical KBIA summer, there are many things for which we can be thankful: the support of our members, benefactors, and community; the smiling faces (under the masks) of our incredible staff/counselors/CITs; and most importantly children, KBIA classes, beach campfires, new members, and strong financial standings to lead us into next year. With the successful rollout of our online registration, signing up for classes was seamless. This system allowed us to track attendance assisting with safety feature for pandemic health check-in and contact tracing should outbreaks occur. With the help of the KBIA Board of Directors, we have come together to provide guidance and insight to Mimi and her staff throughout the year. It has been my pleasure to work with this incredible group of volunteers, and I would like to thank Lisa Luken and Leigh Griswold Boudreau for their time on the Board and welcome our new 2022 Board members, Dave Belanger, Charlie Buckley, and Laura O’Garr.
As we prepare for the summer of 2022, we will continue to follow strict COVID protocols as we plan our programming. While a select few classes will not be back to pre-pandemic levels, we will be increasing the sizes this summer much closer to pre-pandemic levels with safety measures in place. Additionally, we are hopeful that we will be able to welcome back classes and activities that have been put on hold. Movie nights, Free swim, Free Sail, and the Snack Shack will be back! I know my kids are super excited.
I want to make you aware, with as much advance notice as possible, that for the Summer of 2022, KBIA will have in place a Mandatory Vaccination Policy, requiring that all employees and eligible children participating in KBIA be vaccinated for COVID-19 or obtain an approved medical exemption. The KBIA Board of Directors believes that vaccines serve as an important tool to reduce the impact of COVID-19, and protect the children attending KBIA. Full details on our 2022 Mandatory Vacation Policy will be made available prior to registration.
Preparing for an unknown stage of a global pandemic is never easy. As such, KBIA will continue to monitor all our policies according to the best guidance from the CDC and the American Camp Association as we have since 2020 to keep our community as safe as possible. KBIA is a gathering place for all of us — one of great joy. We aim to continue and build on our strong foundation as a community through all this change. And yet, some things never change — like the draw of a KBIA sunset. My family and I are excited to get back to Kennebunk this summer, and I am really looking forward to sitting on the Adirondack chairs overlooking the cove while enjoying the notorious KBIA sunset.
Donna Smythe Wilson
President of the KBIA Board of Directors