When you speak to any alum about FLC, you often hear them refer to FLC as their “second home”. It is this community that FLC has built and nourished over the past 90 years that makes FLC so unique and special to so many of us. To this effort, we have decided, with the help of Gary Confer, to reach out to some of our alumni to highlight their role at FLC and to learn what they are up to these days. This month we are featuring two prominent FLC leaders from the boys’ camp and the girls’ camp.
Kelly Fair McCurdy
The Waterfront Director position at FLC is one of the key positions in ensuring a safe and enjoyable camp experience for campers. Forest Lake was fortunate to have Kelly Fair McCurdy in that role for the years 1996-2000. Kelly was a native of Sweetwater, NJ and had worked in a local day camp prior to joining the staff at FLC. She attended and graduated from Stockton State College in New Jersey.
In the meantime, Kelly and her husband have been married for ten years and have a four year old daughter, Emma, who keeps Kelly busy as a full time, stay –at-home-mom. The McCurdys live in Boynton Beach, Florida which allows Kelly to maintain her enjoyment of water sports – mainly swimming and boating.
One of Kelly’s major contributions to FLC was bringing several other outstanding staff members with her from central New Jersey two of whom were her siblings – Bill Fair worked as a general counselor and became the waterfront director and Cindy Fair joined the staff as one of the girls’ camp head counselors. The third recruit that Kelly suggested to FLC was George McDonnell who began as athletic director and then served as boys’ camp head counselor.
Kelly ran an excellent waterfront at FLC, enjoyed a perfect safety record, and injected friendliness and enthusiasm to that portion of the camp program.
Chief among the reasons that Forest Lake has enjoyed a long, successful run is the length of tenure of key personnel. The “Pantheon” of FLC greats would include the likes of Ollie VanCise, Scholly, Tom Allen, Mike Pariseau, Chris Stamm, Mike Clarke, Gary Roberts, John Cullen, Bob Duffy, John Bockelman, Marion and Bert, the Combs men to name a few. No doubt at the top of the list would appear the name Jeff Cobb.
Jeff’s association with Forest Lake began in 1983 and he returned to camp each summer through the summer of 1999. During that time, Jeff served as waterfront director, junior camp head counselor, upper camp head counselor, and finally as program director. Jeff arrived at Forest Lake with prior camp experience at Camp Briarwood so he was no stranger to the demands of summer camp work.
Jeff graduated from Wake Forest (BA) and Old Dominion (MA) and has been involved in education for his entire career. For most of his time in education, Jeff has been a classroom teacher but segued into administration for a number of years as president of the Virginia Beach Education Association and then as vice-president of the Virginia State Education Association. In the meantime, Jeff has returned to the classroom.
A diehard sports fan, Jeff closely follows the fortunes of Wake Forest, Old Dominion, the Orioles, and the Ravens. He also remains in touch with a number of other FLC alum – John Bok, Mike Clarke, Chris Stamm, Dan Combs, and the “Hudson River Group”. Jeff was instrumental in bringing Jim “Satterman” Satterfield to FLC who improved the athletic and golf departments along with providing outstanding humor “Carnac” to weekly campfires.
Jeff was the steadiest of the steady in terms of his work at camp. Highly organized and keenly perceptive, Jeff was always ahead of things, and the several areas of the camp that he managed were smooth operations. Plus, Jeff’s wry sense of humor always added wit to any proceedings.
Among Jeff’s favorite camp memories were teasing Stammer about bringing the juniors up from swim in a drizzle about 10 seconds before the heavens opened, John Bockelman’s helicopter aeronautics, Bert’s banana cream pie, the Combs many contributions, shuttling groups of trippers to the high peaks and the obligatory stop at the Noonmark diner, and working side by side with Mike Clarke in the HO.
Speaking of Mike Clarke, Jeff is hoping to travel across the Atlantic this summer to pay Mike a visit.
Would you like to connect or reconnect with other FLC alumni? If so, we have a great Alumni Network Database – you can establish an account or update your account below.
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