Kristen Kirby Dragalin Named New Director of Pilgrim Day Camp

Kristen Kirby Dragalin Named New Director of Pilgrim Day Camp

Kristen Kirby Dragalin
Director for Pilgrim Day Camp
Kristen Kirby Dragalin has been named as the new Director for Pilgrim Day Camp, taking over for her father Jon Kirby, who is retiring.

Pilgrim Day Camp is located on the 113 acres of sprawling fields and woods that make up the Conference's Framingham, MA, campus. It is a traditional summer day camp with over 50 years of experience in providing children safe, summer fun. It offers full and half-day sessions for children 3 to 14 years old and runs for 8 weeks in two-week sessions. The camp – which serves over 1,000 campers each summer – offers children an opportunity to be challenged, to learn new skills, and to make lifelong friendships.

Kristen has plenty of knowledge about Pilgrim Day Camp since she has been the Assistant Director there since June 2013.  During that time, she has been responsible for creating the outdoor curriculum for the campers that includes athletics, arts, music, and nature projects.  In addition, she has been the main contact for parents, has trained and managed camp counselors, implemented schedules and logistics, and has led communications by creating and managing the camp website, writing daily blogs, publishing videos, and posting to social media. For two years before the pandemic hit, Kristen worked as the Director of Adventures of PDC, creating an off-season educational camp program which helped attract new clients.

“I am impressed with the clarity of call and vision that Kristen brings to the Pilgrim Day Camp program and am eager to work with her towards continued support of the legacy of excellence!” said Rev. Dr. Chris S. Davies, SNEUCC Executive Minister for Programs and Initiatives.

“I've always considered Pilgrim Day Camp my second home,” said Dragalin.  “It's been my dream to continue the camp's legacy and share my joy of PDC with others in the community. I'm so excited about this opportunity and am looking forward to the future."

Kristen’s background is based on educating children and designing curriculum. Since 2009 and during off-season at the camp, she taught English and was a Special Education Teacher for students of Grades 6 and 8 at New York’s Bronx Park Middle School (which she helped found) and the Blake Middle School in Medfield, Massachusetts. At the Bronx Park school, where she was named Teacher of the Year in 2015, she was team leader, Head of English curriculum, and a District mentor coach where it was her responsibility to help create a warm culture and well-working team to help all students be their best selves.

“Helping campers to be their best selves will continue to be the focus of Pilgrim Day Camp,” said Dragalin. “In addition to ensuring fun, we will emphasize a warm welcome for each child, care for the natural world, and respect for the differences among us.”

Dragalin is just one member of the Kirby family who has ties to the camp. Jon Kirby has headed up the camp for 48 years, and his daughters have all played major roles. 

Jon will stay on in 2023 as the Assistant Director in support of the leadership transition.

Follow Pilgrim Day Camp on Facebook.

Editor's Note: Camp is fully registered for the summer, but they are still hiring. Apply here



Marlene Gasdia-Cochrane

Marlene Gasdia-Cochrane writes news articles for the SNEUCC website. She is also the editor of the Starting With Scripture newsletter. Contact her if: Your church has a great story to tell about an innovative ministry. You have a prayer request to ...

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