In the late 1980’s, a teenage boy helped his teacher move some office equipment when she asked him, “How would you like to go to Austria this summer?”
The teacher was Heidi Fischer, president of the Philadelphia chapter. She knew her chapter was looking for a Village junior counselor, and she thought Graham Hudgings was the perfect candidate, and he was.
A new tradition was borne, as the next year, a classmate of Graham’s became a JC representing the Philadelphia Chapter.
Currently the Brandywine Valley Chapter is one of 25 chapters in the United States.
Margaret and Jim Hudgings had served as host parents for many international students who attended Westtown School, a Quaker day and boarding school not far from Philadelphia, in the valley of the Brandywine River. They were so impressed by their son’s CISV experience that they volunteered to coordinate the Philadelphia Chapter’s Interchange program.
They began a two-year Interchange with Norway in 1988. Margaret and Jim Hudgings, Woody Lathbury, Dee Noland, Faith D’Urbano and Nancy and Chuck Wilson, all of who had children who had traveled with the Philadelphia Chapter, obtained Steering Committee status for the Brandywine Valley Chapter. A village delegation was sent to Sweden in 1991. In 1993, Brandywine Valley hosted its first Village on the beautiful campus of the Williamson Trade School in Middletown, PA. Brandywine Valley obtained official USA chapter status.
There are more than 60 countries worldwide that have CISV chapters. Since 2017, more than 400 local children have participated in CISV programs. We have a very active Junior Branch (ages 11-25) of former and potential delegates.
Monthly meetings are held on the first Thursday of the month at the Fugett Middle School in West Chester at 7:00 PM. All are welcome!