Sometime after the turn of the 21st Century, Yale started letting students back into the colleges during that time before school actually began. It became a special time to renew friendships and establish new ones. Students called it “Camp Yale.”
Tim Harkness, a founder of Feb Club, was looking for the next big thing. Ben Slotznick, who had been holding porch parties for the Yale Club of Central PA, was looking for a way to make these end of summer events spread to every hamlet – like Feb Club has.
So … in 2016 Ben met with Tim, still chief evangelist for Feb Club. Tim said, “What are you talking about?” When Ben replied, “Feb Club in August … or September.” Tim said, “I can do that.” The rest is history.
In 2017, Ben worked with Karen Jahn and Nory Babbitt of AYA on a pilot program to help fund Camp Yale Emeritus events focused on Bulldogs of the Last Decade (BOLD alumni) and hosted or co-hosted by BOLD alumni. The pilot was a great success. A summary and video were presented at the AYA Assembly during the Club breakout session (for video see https://vimeo.com/239485086).
In 2018, Camp Yale helped organized 42 events in 21 Yale clubs and regions in 6 countries. Over 500 young alumni attended a Camp Yale event, and the total attendance was over 1000. For these efforts Camp Yale Emeritus won the Yale Alumni Association’s Board of Governor’s Excellence Award for Outstanding Innovation: https://www.facebook.com/CampYaleEmeritus/photos/a.1409704589337300/1618689171772173/?type=3&theater. A summary of the 2018 efforts was presented at the Yale Alumni Asssociation Assembly during the Club breakout session. For a pdf of the Power Point presentation click here. The Power Point presentation included a short embedded video, which can be found at https://vimeo.com/300838229
For his work with Camp Yale and other projects Ben Slotznick also won a 2018 AYA Leadership Award.