“IslandWood is poised to make a real difference because we are inspiring the next generation of climate stewards.”
Marguerite Kondracke has been engaged with IslandWood since she first walked our campus over 10 years ago. She has recently served as our board chair and we were excited to catch up with her this summer.
How did you initially learn about IslandWood and what inspired you to be involved?
When we moved to Bainbridge in 2008, I was thinking about summer camps and opportunities for my grandchildren. The first time I walked the [IslandWood] campus, from the wooded path to the main lodge, it felt magical and I wanted to learn more. The more I learned, the more I was inspired and wanted to be involved.
My favorite memories as a child were outside in the woods at summer camp. And as an adult, I still love the woods. When I am outside I am my best self and I want that opportunity for every child. In both my professional work and my volunteer work, I’ve always focused on children. As I learned more about IslandWood, I saw a place where my passion for the outdoors and my commitment to children really came together.
Why is IslandWood important to the greater Seattle community?
With our growing awareness of climate change, IslandWood is poised to make a real difference because we are inspiring the next generation of climate stewards. In addition, it’s truly one of the best places for the community to gather, and that will be so important once this virus has passed and we are able to come together again. It’s a very special place for adults and it’s such a wonderful resource for the greater community. It’s not just a source for education, but a source for connection.
What have you learned in your decade of service to IslandWood and as a member of the Board of Directors?
Board service has been a very rewarding opportunity to work with great people who share the same passions. The board members are deeply committed to the mission. A lot of volunteer boards are just in name only, or symbolic, and very rarely as deeply engaged as they are with this organization. I think these members are extra special. They have a real commitment to the mission and the staff, the kids, and the teachers-in-training.
What are your hopes for IslandWood in the decade to come?
We have a growing role to play in the climate change crisis. And with the pandemic, everything is changing and traditional education is being re-examined. The future, the new normal, will include more digital learning, more virtual experiences, more small group activities, and IslandWood is part of that future and can help lead the way.
It was a lucky fit for me and IslandWood, and has been a very rewarding decade. My older grandson went to camp today, his eighth year at IslandWood. This is likely his last camp summer. It’s been quite the journey for both of us.