Tuesday, December 13, 2016

What's new for 2017

Registration for 2017 is just around the corner. We hope it is up and ready to go this week!!!!!!

Before you sign up, we wanted to let you know we have been doing a lot of planning and working on next summer.

So what has changed for the next season you ask???

1.      Early Registration Discounts- If you register and pay in full the amount during the discount periods (Snowshoe Hare $75 , Early Bird $25 ) you get great discounts off the cost of camp. We also offer sibling discount- after you register your first child, you will get $25 for each additional sibling that signs up.  The dates for these discount rates and other important dates can be found here.  We are using a new registration software company-so it should all run smoothly this summer.    

2.      Instead of choosing one week, we will have five weeks to choose from! Sessions start the week after the 4th of July week.

3.      Depending on the number of campers, we will have 4 to 6 cabins open! That means more counselors and more campers each week! We will be recruiting counselors who are 18 and older who have had a year in college and who are excited to work with children. A few of the counselors from last year will be visiting this summer too! Don't forget to request a bunk-mate if you have a friend coming to camp with you.

4.         Camp session will now run from Sunday to Friday night. We start the same time as last year, but closing ceremonies will be after 5:30 pm on Friday. (We also can make arrangements to have you pick up your child a little later if you can't miss work- details will follow). There were a number of reason why we were forced to do this, but we know it will be a great summer. If you have questions, please let me know!

5.       Classes - You now can sign up for two classes (which you will participate in each morning) when you register. We have many new classes, like wood working, bush craft, Archery, Beginner swim lessons, campfire cooking and many more!

6.       Choice activities- when you arrive at camp, you can sign up for one afternoon choice which will be unique classes offered by staff and volunteers. These classes will change week to week, but we will try to have these choices on the blog and face book page a few weeks before you arrive. This lets our staff express their creativity and have all kinds of fun choices.

7.       Specials- these activities are offered a couple times during the week, and will take the place of one of the class periods or one choice class period in the week. This years specials will include canoeing and fishing. For example, we might go fishing 1st period on Tuesday and choice period on Thursday. Fishing and Canoeing are the two special activities this summer. (to take canoeing, your child must be comfortable in deep water and must pass the swim evaluation when they arrive at camp)

8.       We will be rolling out our CIT program! The counselor in training program will be for campers 14 years and older.
                a. CIT I    is for a14 year old (or older), and will be a class to teach them about leadership. -You can sign up for this when you register online under classes.
                b. CIT II  is for a 15 year old (or older), and is a class teaching them about dealing with camper issues. CIT II will help with tuck ins, shadow a counselor on a class, and learn the ins and outs of being a camp counselor. You can sign up for this when you register online.
                c. CIT III is for camper 16 years of age. The first week of the program is learning the final pieces of being a camp counselor. If they pass the CIT program ,they will be invited back a second week (at no cost to the family) to assist staff and learn more about the program. You can sign up for this online. It will be listed under specials.  Worried about missing a step because your child is old enough to be a CIT II? Dont worry, we will have special "catch up session" for your child.

9. Mooseling camp will be during the summer rather than at the end of it. Mooseling camp is a camp for the little ones- it gives them the experience of camp with thier parents- its a great way to get introduce them to camp!

10. Adirondack Family Weekend- We will offer this camp program in June, where you can share a weekend of camp with your family. Registration for this program will being after the begining of the year.

There are more things at camp this summer- keep checking the website and our facebook page for details.

We look forward to seeing you this summer!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Snowshoe Hares

Are you as excited for next summer as I am? Do you know what I think of this time of year?


Rabbits you ask? Well, to be more precise, Snowshoe Hares. We do have them around at camp, and I keep an eye out for them around this time of year. 

Q: What do Snowshoe Hares use to keep their fur looking Spiffy? 

A: Hare Spray! 

Q: What do you call ten Showshoe Hares hopping backward through the snow? 

A: A receeding hare line!  

Sorry- I think it's in the job description for camp directors to like corny jokes... 

Speaking of snowshoe hares...We will kick off registration in the next week or so. And the first round of registration will be called.... Shoeshoe Hare Registration. (like the segue?)

If you register during the Snowshoe Hare Registration dates, you can receive major discounts. And you get the very first choices of sessions and classes!

Once Snowshoe Hare registration ends (January 9th), Early Bird registration will take over. You will still receive some discounts if you register during this time. After Early Bird is our normal registration.

We do have additional discounts that can apply. If your a "firstie"*, you get your reward discount. You also can save when you register siblings. ($25 for each child after the first child has been registered). All discounts are per session! If you come multiple session, you get the discounts for each session, not just once!

And let's not forget our Lantern family program.For each family you get to sign up for camp, you receive a $50 discount off 2018 registration. (Make sure they put your family name down for the question "How did you hear about camp?"

 Watch our blog for more details! I look forward to seeing you all at camp!

 * Firsties are campers that came to our first summer session in 2016

Friday, December 2, 2016

The "Off Season"

So what happens at camp when it isn't summer anymore?

Over the years I have heard so many theories about what a camp director does in the off season...  Some people believe the picture to the left- that we just sit around, drink coffee and warm ourselves by the fire. (I wish that was true!)

But the truth is we do a lot of things around Camp. We had a group come up to help get camp ready for the winter.
Moving Carpet ball

Fixing Emergency Boxes
It's not all work!
 We also work on many projects that we want to have done for next summer. We were able to get the foundation for Manor House repaired, and have fixed all of the outside boards. We are re-glazing the windows and will work on the inside this spring when it gets a little warmer. Manor house, for those of you not familiar with the building, is the section that is off the back of the Boy's Bath House. We will be housing senior male staff in that building this summer. (I will have a blog post about manor house upgrades later!)

My Sisters Amy and Max helped a lot!

Boards and Batons
Finished painting- Still need to replace windows.
I've also upgraded the website to get it ready for 2017- We have so many new and exciting things for next summer! And we also are changing over our registration system to Ultra-Camp, who have a great team that will make it easier for you to sign up for camp. I will be positing all of the new stuff here soon.

We had meetings with the Campfire Council- a group of people who are dedicated to making camp great. And we are working on getting donations for camperships for 2017. (Thank you Speculator Lions Club for 2 campership donations for 2017 already!!!)

And we have a number of new spring programs and work projects planned- watch our facebook page for details.

A lot goes on at camp during the winter. I will keep you posted as things happen here at camp. Keep warm!

Friday, September 30, 2016

Campfire Stew

This post was originally suppose to go out yesterday, but as it is with many things, other stuff got in the way...

Campfire Stew... Once a tradition at camp, it's origins are clouded in mystery (of course, once I publish this, alumni from all over will tell me the real origin story). Some years it was a part of camp, and other years is wasn't around. But when it was around, many stories were told about the concoctions staff would make.

Typically on a Wednesday or Thursday Night, tribes would meet around the campfires that were located around the camp to make campfire stew for dinner. Each tribe would be given a large pot and would mix together ingredients over the open fire. Everyone had the base ingredients, but every counselor had either a special way of cooking it or one special ingredient that they would add to make it their own.

Many stories were made around those fires. Often most of the counselors would be off entertaining the children while one or two unlucky (or lucky- depends on your perspective) would cook the stew. Also some of the staff had to clean up the pots afterwards, and if you didn't soap the bottom of the pans before you started, you were in a world of trouble and a long night of scrubbing!

I think this is where some of the famous cam icons appeared, like the dehydrated water and the left handed smoke shifters. Staff would send troublesome campers out to get these items from the other tribes, and the campers ended up doing a circuit of campfires before returning to their own campfire.

Chef Cathie E. Peck, who was the Food Service Manager at camp while I was here in the 90's had the following recipe.


               1/2 cup dehydrated onions

               1 pound sliced bacon*

               2.5 pounds lean ground beef

               2 cans (51-ounce) vegetable beef soup

               1 can (50-ounce) tomato soup

               canned vegetables, drained*


               1.  Build campfire and create a good bed of hot coals.

               2.  Add 1 cup warm water to the onions, stir and let stand.

               3.  Use a tablespoon of dish detergent and soap the outside of the cooking pot.

               4.  Cut bacon strips in half and place in the bottom of the pot.

                    Place pot over coals and cook the bacon.

                    Stir gently to cook the bacon evenly and prevent burning.

                    Drain the grease, keeping well away from hot coals and open flames.

               5.  Drain liquid excess liquid from the onions and carefully add to the bacon.

               6.  Continue to stir until the onions are transparent and tender.

               7.  Add the ground beef and continue to stir.

               8.  When the meat is browned, add soups and optional canned vegetables.

               9.  Heat the mixture and serve on hamburg buns.  Serves 2 tribes.

               10. Remove pot from heat and soak as soon as possible.


               The addition of bacon to the original recipe is an optional ingredient.

               Some counselors have requested the following additions to their stew:

                              Canned potatoes                             Canned kidney beans

                              Canned corn                                   Canned peas

                              Canned carrots                               Canned beans

               For best results drain the ingredients before adding to the stew.

So why talk about campfire stew? Well I hear a rumor that there will be the first annual Campfire Stew Cook Off  at the next Alumni Gathering in May! Watch the facebook page or blog for details.

Oh, has anyone seen my red handled left handed smoke shifter lying around anywhere?

Historic Registry

The camp in 1938
For those of you who don't know the history of camp... Back in the 1930's the camp was build as a CCC camp. The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was a public work relief program that operated from 1933 to 1942 in the United States for unemployed, unmarried men from relief families as part of the New Deal. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civilian_Conservation_Corps)

In 1945- 4-H purchased the buildings and began running a summer camp program until 2004.

After the camp was sold in 2010, the owners Donald and Caroline Naysmith put in a lot of hard work to improve the buildings and restore the camp. They also applied to the Historic Registry to have camp added to the list.
In June the Camp was added to the State Register of Historic Places, and in August it was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
This list isn't just as the CCC Camp. It is also  on the Registy as a 4-H Camp!

If you would like a comprehensive history of camp, let us know. We have the full write up of all the details of the camp in a pdf- which will be posted on our website soon.

When you visit camp you can see the plaque below the mural in the Recreation Hall.

We also have a copy of the photo (at the top) and will be getting a large reproduction of it for the wall below the mural.

We are still looking for some of the lost memorabilia from when the camp was a 4-H Camp. Things like the framed photos of Missy Vaill- for whom the tree at stonehenge ( a rock circle) was planted.  The SeaBee Lodge* sign, more of the old CCC pictures and the old camp sign. And the county dedication signs for the cabins, like the Montgomery County sack shack sign.

We are putting together a wall of history for the camp, and would love to add these to it. If you know where these items are, and would like to donate them to camp, please contact us!

Camp has a rich history, and we look forward to adding more memories for years to come.

* The Seabee lodge sign was a sign made by who we think was the NMCB-27 ("Skibees") Naval Reserve unit that built many of the "newer" cabins and the Director's cabin, better known as the SeaBee Lodge. My memory is fuzzy, but I think the sign was of a bee with a machine gun over a clover.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Mooselings on the LOOSE!!!

We had our official first Official Mooseling Weekend! 11 little Mooselings came to camp for an overnight experience with their parents.

The Mooseling Weekend is an overnight program for campers 4 to 8 years of age and their parents.We want to provide the young ones with a camp experience of their very own.

First it was a tour of camp.. We had to see where everything was and what were the rules of camp. We also played some new games to get to know each other.

Then it was time for a nature walk.  First we had to find "critters" on the trail...

one of the Critters

 Then we had a visit from one of our camp friends.. A Red Eft! (The eastern newt (Notophthalmus viridescens) is a common newt of eastern North America. ... Red eft[edit]. The red eft (juvenile) stage is a bright orangish-red in color, with darker red spots outlined in black)  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_newt

And We then learned the rules to a great game called Camouflage! 

We also played some field games

Followed by crafts in the Rec Hall

And then it was time for a swim!

What are they planning?

Breaking out the old lifeguard skills

After dinner we played with the parachute

And had a campfire with smores!

And then we sent the mooselings to bed for the night. The next morning we had the flag ceremony.

And after breakfast we had outdoor cooking

Judi was getting Lunch ready
And then we had Moose crafts where we made moose puppets.

And made Eagle Eyes

A few Bell helpers

After a picture, we said goodby to the mooselings, the staff helped clean
And took a much needed nap!

We had a great weekend. Thank you to all the Mooselings and their parents, and to all of the staff that made the weekend possible. We hope to see you all next year July 22nd and 23rd for our next Mooselings weekend!