history>  Hall of Fame>  Amelia "Malli" Ruden

Alice Rich Northrop Memorial
Hall of Fame

For dedicated and distinguished service  

Amelia "Malli" Ruden  

Camp director from about 1958 to 1967
Amelia Ruden
At the end of the season in 1966, architect Walter Anicka stands with
camp director Amelia "Malli" Ruden,
before ground is broken for the new building,
which served the camp for 27 years before it was destroyed by fire in 1993.

Malli was the camp's director in 1961 when I first attended Northrop. As a registered nurse, she saw to the needs of every camper, counselor and aide as well as Mrs. Foster, our wonderful, robust cook. Malli was more than a nurse though. She knew how to take the dollar and stretch it into two! Whether stretching the funds, planning, and shopping for the meals, organizing and caring for the whole kit and kaboodle known as Northrop, Mrs.Ruden was there for every one of us. Of course, one didn't want to get caught slacking off when she was in charge because she certainly ran a tight ship. In spite of her many rules, her business-like way of managing the chores, her vigilant overseeing of the washing of hundreds and hundreds of dishes each summer, she was warm and caring.

Once, when I was an aide, she took me into Great Barrington to go shopping with her and to help with the week's groceries. At that time I was still new to my role and nervous and scared. I suppose she knew it. When we were finished shopping, she pulled into the local Friendly's, bought us lunch, and sat there talking with me until lunch was done and our Sunday dishes completely empty! Mrs. Ruden was at camp at least through 1969 when I graduated from college. She would open camp in early summer before anyone else got there, and close down in late August when we all went home. First and last at camp for so many years, doing a superb job of operating this very special place so it would become memories for so many of us surely entitles this woman to be honored as a member of Northrop's Hall of Fame.

Mallie and Karl were good friends to me. From the time I was 14 until I was 32, they were in my life. She always knew something was bothering me just by the look on my face. Her gentle ways and wisdom soothed my internal storms on many occasions. She supported my journey into adulthood as a woman. I feel blessed in this gift. So many young people do not have mentors today. If they could, Mallie would be a superb role model.

--Susan Argutto

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