January 30, 2024
Dear LPC Community,
In June, 2023 the LPC Fundraising Committee launched an ambitious effort to raise over 100,000 euro before the end of the year. We knew it was a steep challenge, but we could not pass up the opportunity to help support the future of LPC. Faced with that challenge, the LPC community rallied and stepped up in a big way.
We are so excited to announce that by December 31, 2023 – the LPC Global Fundraising Initiative raised over 102,000 euros, in a joint effort that has seen contributions from many different countries in Europe as well as the USA.
We want to give our heartfelt thanks to everyone who made a contribution, regardless of the size. Each and every donation helped us meet and exceed our fundraising goal. Thanks to your contribution, once again this year we will be able to hold culturally, ethnically and economically diverse camp groups as well as support our volunteer staff members going to camp by helping cover their expenses.
Our gratitude goes out to this wonderful LPC community for helping us achieve and exceed our fundraising goal!
Patrick Neely, Chair
LPC Global Fundraising Initiative
Dear Friend of LPC,
Four short years after the conclusion of World War Two, Natalie Peterson held the first summer camp that would eventually become Luethi-Peterson Camps International (LPC), with the ambitious goal of fostering peace and international understanding. By bringing children from previously warring nations together to spend a summer sharing cultural insights, languages, and the freedom of childhood, Natalie believed that trust between historic enemies could be built, and as a result, future conflicts could be avoided.
Remarkably, each summer for the last seven decades, children from around the world have gathered at LPC camps to perpetuate Natalie’s vision. Lifelong friendships have been created, cultural ideas have been imported to new destinations, and the number of “LPC summers changed my life” stories are too numerous to count. The success and longevity of that original vision is truly awe inspiring.
A big part of that success stems from LPC’s unwavering commitment to financially support a large number of counselors and campers who would otherwise not be able to participate in an LPC camp experience. Through scholarships and other grants, LPC strives to foster an inclusive environment by bringing together campers and counselors from diverse regional, ethnic, cultural and socio-economic backgrounds, furthering the mission that Natalie first envisioned in 1949. As supporters of LPC, it is up to us to carry on that vision, and ensure that LPC continues to be an effective force for peace and international cooperation.
However, our organization stands at a crossroads. The financial demand of supporting our diverse camp participants, coupled with two years of Covid related shutdowns with no income from camp tuitions to offset our annual expenses, has had a significant impact on our fiscal stability. LPC’s financial reserves have dwindled to historically low levels, and the long-term financial health of the organization is in question.
With this in mind, we are launching the 2023 LPC Global Fundraising Initiative to ensure that the organization remains strong and vibrant for the next generation of LPC campers. We have set a goal of raising 100,000 euros by the end of 2023, all of which will go to the LPC general fund to help place LPC on solid financial footing, allowing us to continue operating summer camps and offering scholarships to campers and counselors. Like Natalie’s original vision, attempting to raise 100,000 euros is an ambitious goal, but with the help and support of the LPC family, we know that it can be done.
But it will take all of us working together, so please consider making a donation to LPC. I would encourage you to share the LPC story with your friends and family, and invite them to make a contribution as well. No donation amount is too small – as every euro raised will help build and strengthen LPC’s financial foundation.
In the United States, you can make a tax-deductible contribution by clicking on this link, or mailing a check to
PO Box 82
Wakefield RI 02880.
Outside of the United States, you can make a contribution by bank transfer or by credit card through Wise (recipient: Luethi Peterson Camps International).
LPC International bank account information:
Account holder: Luethi Peterson Camps International, CH-3860 Meiringen, Switzerland
IBAN: CH31 0079 0016 5975 2117 4
Account Nr: 16 5975 2117 4
Clearing Number: 790
Swift or BLZ: KBBECH22XXX
Bank address: Berner Kantonalbank AG, Bahnhofstrasse 2, CH-3401 Burgdorf, Switzerland
Thank you for your consideration, and your help in making the LPC Global Fundraising Initiative a success.
Patrick Neely, Chair
2023 LPC Global Fundraising Initiative
Dear LPC community,
It is with heavy hearts that we learned of the passing on April 14th of Ed Koren, the talented cartoonist who created LPC’s beloved “Fuzzies” logo.
Ed brought joy and humor to countless people through his cartoons and illustrations.
After his son Nat attended Freedom as a camper in 1976, Ed drew the LPC Fuzzies as a generous gift, and years later also made drawings for the San Francisco/Bay Area LPC support group and for the LPC/Ecole Song Book.
We extend our deepest condolences to Ed’s family, friends.
Below are the beautiful and heartwarming works Ed donated to LPC.
Thank you, Ed, for sharing your gifts with us and leaving a lasting impact on LPC and the world of cartooning.
New York Times obituary
Dear LPC Community,
This past year, the LPC Executive Committee conducted a search for a new Central Office Administrator. We received several applications from very qualified people, all from within the LPC community. At the Christmas Conference, a new administrator was selected.
We would like to introduce Bruna Melis as the new LPC Central Office Administrator (COA). Bruna is a long time LPCer, having been a camper and counsellor over many years. Her familiarity with all aspects of LPC will be of great benefit to our organization and to her new role as COA. You can reach Bruna at the same email address for the LPC Office: Office@luethipetersoncamps.org.
We appreciate Colin Townes-Anderson’s work in this role over the past three years. We are also grateful for Bruna’s commitment to LPC, and for taking on this important administrative role.
The Executive Committee
Mo Tunney, Chris Signorino, and Laia Fabre
Hello LPC Friends,
Our third LPC Silent Auction, which ended Nov. 6, raised $6,211 ($578 was from donations to the LPC Endowment fund). This was slightly more than we raised from last year’s auction, which is wonderful!
There were 54 active participants, who between them made 202 bids on a total of 52 items and experiences offered by members of the LPC community. The three most popular items were: a Swedish hand-made multi-wood butterknife, hand-knit socks, and Cwmcoch Black Welsh Mountain Wool.
Many thanks to all who helped make this auction work so well to benefit LPC. We welcome feedback on how it went, and are also happy to help with any problems that might come up with receiving your winning item. Please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
From the Silent Auction Team (Nina Horáková, Sara Bartholomew, Frida Tidén)
Hello LPC Friends, Our third silent auction to benefit LPC began on Oct. 28th! It will close on Sunday, Nov. 6th at noon PST, 3pm EST, 8pm GMT and 9pm CET.
Here is the link to get to the auction: https://app.galabid.com/lpcauction2022/items The LPC community has donated over 55 wonderful things to bid on, from tangible objects to crafts and experiences. If you do not see anything that interests you, look at the bottom of the page for an item called: “Donate to LPC’s Endowment fund” (*described below). So it is easy for everyone to help LPC!
Piet-Hein will announce the auction at his LPC Radio Show on Sunday, October 30th 7-9pm CEST (NOTE: for one time only, 2-4pm EDT and 11am-1pm PDT in the U.S., due to clocks going back an hour in Europe). Here is the link to join: https://bit.ly/2pGnP3v
And there will be a Virtual Pöschtli on Saturday, November 5th to showcase some of the auction items (1-3pm EST, 6-8pm CEST). Here is the link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89078104433?pwd=NDMvdVM5Z09FVU5WeGFVU1llb0R5dz09
Thank you for supporting LPC through this fundraising effort.
The Silent Auction team
Nina Horáková, Sara Bartholomew, Frida Tidén
*From the LPC International website: “The LPC Endowment is an investment account created to generate annual income for LPC’s operating expenses, scholarships and special projects. Funds in the Endowment, whether contributed by LPC supporters or transferred from other cash accounts at the direction of LPC’s governing body, are invested in socially responsible investments in accordance with LPC’s Investment Policy.”
As previously announced, LPC will be hosting our World Gathering at the Ecole d’Humanité from July 6-9, 2023. More information can be found on the World Gathering webpage here.
Please email the World Gathering organizers at email@example.com if you have any further questions.
May 15, 1924 – January 4, 2022
Written By Debby Drew
On January 4th of this year, just as we were doing our final CC Putzpauze, Vera Soudkova died. Vera was very important to LPC in the late 1960’s and I would like to take a moment to remember her. Vera and her husband Dušan were both doctors living and working in Brno, Czechoslovakia with their three sons Štěpán, Dušan and Ivan. They were dissatisfied with the oppression of life in the USSR and wanted to expand opportunities for their children. They had a colleague in Canada name Carl Robinow (who happened to be my mother’s cousin) and they asked him about possible international camp opportunities for children. Carl put them in touch with LPC and Vera along with young Dušan and Ivan went to camp in Gargnäs Sweden in 1967. This is what Dan Streit wrote about that summer:
“Wow, Vera made it to 97! I’m not surprised, particularly as she made it through her first camp, Gargnäs ’67, with a male staff consisting of Alain, Thomas Calice, Stephen Allberry, me (all 17-18) and old co-director Jack Bierschenk (20). The shenanigans were as you might expect from that bunch, but Vera smiled and continued to get done the things that had to get done, and her quiet, responsible demeanor (in stark contrast to the boy counsellors…) had a huge, soothing effect on the camp. She immediately became Natalie’s right hand (sorry, Jack) and best friend (the two “ancient” 40 year-olds…). She was sufficiently inspired by what Natalie was doing to commit herself to finding sites for LPC.”
The following year, Vera helped organize our first camp in Czechoslovakia which Rob Streit and I directed. I had the rare opportunity to spend 3 weeks with Vera and her family before the camp started. She arranged for me to observe open heart surgery in her hospital, taught me a little Czech and introduced me to living with a family with a blind member (their son Štěpán). I also joined them on their weekly Sunday family hikes. By the end of the three weeks, they presented me with a certificate of adoption as their daughter, Debinka Drewova. In retrospect, I can see that those three weeks had a significant influence on the rest of my life.
Rob Streit had similar thoughts about Vera and wrote, “I met Věra for the first time in 1968, during the Prague Spring. I was to co-direct an international children’s camp in Slovakia that would not have existed but for Vera’s extraordinary initiative, determination and guidance. The experience changed my life, and I have Věra to thank for that. In our conversations she was always fully engaged, with a wonderful mixture of warmth and seriousness. For a person with such a vast range of knowledge and interests Věra spoke and acted with remarkable humility. She cared deeply about people and showed that care both personally and in her professional life. She was lovely to watch with her family. I’m so grateful to have known Věra.”
In 1968, the wave of liberalization that had started in Czechoslovakia ended abruptly with the invasion of Russian troops. Vera and Dušan decided to it was time to get out and they left their home for good. Carl Robinow helped get them established in Kingston Ontario where they lived out their lives. Dušan and Ivan continued to go to camp for several years, and Vera found a site on the Hudson Bay for our first and only Canadian camp called Moose Factory.
I visited Vera a few times in Kingston, and she once surprised me by showing up at an LPC Inc. board meeting in Rhode Island. We always picked up right where we left off with a strong and loving connection. Vera was a friend, mother, sister, and mentor – always supportive and loving, always an inspiration. I am saddened by her death and at the same time extremely grateful for her life and her presence in my life and for her contribution to LPC. Here is the obituary that was written about her life:
SOUDEK, Vera, M.D., D. P. H. – 97, Kingston, passed away on January 4, 2022, at Kingston General Hospital following a brief illness. Born on May 15, 1924, in Brno, Czechoslovakia, she was a daughter of the late Alois Pištěcký and Ludmila Pištěcká (née Cahová). She is survived by her sons Dušan Soudek, Halifax, and Ivan Soudek, Kingston; her grandchildren Martin Soudek, Ottawa, and Lucy Soudek (Ted Moffatt), Kingston; her great grandson Simon Moffatt, Kingston; special family friend Jane Somerville, Kingston; and other relatives in the Czech Republic and in Canada.
She was predeceased by her husband of 65 years, Dušan Eduard Soudek; by her sister Lidmila Pištěcká; by her two infant brothers; and by her eldest son Štěpán Soudek. She grew up in Bratislava, Slovakia, where her civil engineer father designed highway bridges. In 1942 the family was repatriated back to her home town of Brno, where she studied nursing. It was during compulsory labour, known as Totaleinsatz, in a vaccine research and production facility where she met her future husband, Dušan Sr. As all Czech-language universities were closed during the Nazi occupation, she didn’t start her study of medicine until after Liberation in 1945. She graduated from Masaryk University in 1949, eventually qualifying in pediatrics and serving as a staff pediatrician at the University Children’s Hospital in Brno.
In 1968, after the crushing of the Prague Spring by Soviet tanks, she and her husband took their family, which by now included three sons, to Canada, eventually settling in Kingston. She held several staff positions at the Queen’s University Department of Pediatrics before switching to public health, obtaining a Diploma in Public Health at the University of Toronto in 1972. Subsequently she was based in Brockville, serving as the Medical Officer of Health at the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit. Her final position, before retirement in 1986, was as the Medical Officer of Health for the Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox and Addington Health Unit.
She had eclectic interests and boundless energy. Over the years her household included at least one dog, the occasional cat, and, for a while, a horse. She thoroughly enjoyed her bountiful garden and the tranquil cottage on Fifth Depot Lake, where she kept bees. Her volunteer work included lichen identification at the Fowler Herbarium at Queen’s University and eradication of invasive plants at the Lemoine Point Conservation Area, among many others. Her travels ranged widely, from rafting Northern rivers to hiking in the Andes. She organized two international children’s camps, in Slovakia and in Moose Factory, Ontario. She had a talent for languages, polishing her French and her Spanish until her final years.
Following a series of strokes, she moved to Kingston’s Providence Manor, where she lived the last nine years of her life. Her body has been cremated and a celebration of her life, and that of her late husband, will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations in Vera’s memory may be made to a charity of your choice. Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting: www.gftompkinscentral.ca We are grateful for the excellent care provided by the staff of Providence Manor and by her physicians.
I am happy to announce that we are currently planning 3 summer camps for this summer. If you are interested in joining the waiting list, please email Office@luethipetersoncamps.org.
Camps in 2022
For Younger Campers
USA : Freedom, New Hampshire
Ages: 9 – 14
Dates: July 5th – July 26th
Directors: Debby Drew (USA) & Julia Fiebig (USA)
Estonia : Kiidi
Ages: 9 – 14
Dates: July 15th – August 6th
Directors: Laia Fabre (Spain) & Tomek Chilarski (Poland)
For Older Campers
Norway : Heggnes, Dale i Sunnfjord
Ages: 14 – 17
Dates: July 26th – August 9th
Directors: Till Schwantes (Germany)