Thursday, January 25, 2018

6 Reasons Why Camp Counselors are the Future Leaders of America

According to a Huffington Post  news article called Camp Counselor as Modern-Day Superhero, a former camp counselor, now turned writer said "While my life as a camper shaped me, it was being a camp counselor that defined me. This was my first significant leadership role."

Traditional camps that provide an experience based around fun are hard to come by these days, especially ones that offer leadership responsibilities and freedom to their camp counselors.

Camp Sacandaga is true to its roots and provides the educational setting for counselors to learn and grow to become the future leaders of America.

There are three key principles that are strongly drilled into both campers and staff alike: kindness, respect, and responsibility. With these core philosophies, it provides the proper instruction to become respectable, productive leaders in life.

On top of providing a traditional, fun camp experience, Camp Sacandaga provides counselors with the proper training to excel in the summer sessions, as well as skills they can apply to their future endeavors. Here are six examples why camp counselors will be the future leaders of America:

      Responsibility. Counselors are responsible for the campers assigned to their respective cabin. Therefore, they must learn to care for and lead these campers throughout their time at camp.
      Leadership. By being in charge of a cabin of campers, counselors must lead by example. This trait wraps tightly with responsibilities, since leaders have a lot of duties to their work and their peers.
      Freedom. Being away at camp for about a month during the summer comes with the freedom to be on their own. This proves they are mature enough to take care of themselves on their own and manage themselves.
      Time Management. As counselors, they have the duty of making sure their campers are on time for camp activities and meals. Leaders must know deadlines and important dates, and only by setting aside time will the task be complete.
      Scheduling. In a traditional camp, campers are given various activities to partake in. Counselors must learn to schedule and plan accordingly.
      Appreciation. Counselors working at the camp for the summer are in it for many reasons, but it is always important to appreciate the work that is done and strive for growth.

Camp Sacandaga is a true traditional camp that provides an amazing experience for both campers and counselors. Not only is it for wholesome fun, but it can provide useful insights towards shaping a future leader.  

Article written by Stephanie Son.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Moose Mug

So as I am busy at work advertising  and finding wonderful folks to work here this summer, I often need a little boost to get me going. Of course, the boost I am talking about is coffee!  I've got  french press, a coffee maker that grinds the beans before it brews, a espresso maker and a Keurig. I use the Keurig the most with one of those reusable filters and my own coffee.
As you may have guessed...I LOVE Coffee!!!

The mug I use changes from day to day, but on rare occasions in the winter, and almost every day in the summer, I use one mug...

THE Moose Mug.
I know I was given the moose mug by staff at LG Cook 4-H camp, but for the life of me I can't remember why. It isn't the first time I got one from staff.  I've had other mugs like the Tigger mug that I use to use  at the camp way back when it was owned by 4-H . I actually got that one from the staff of an outdoor education center, Horizons for Youth, which is no longer around. I used that mug for years before the moose.

But the moose mug has seem to stay around the longest, and is one that always seems to spark conversation with parent at check in day. It is a "vintage" mug that was made by Birchstone Studios out of Maine. You can't get them anymore.

How do I know that? 
The first moose mug...
One day, way back when I was working at LG Cook, I came back from a weekend and some very worried staff came to me with a small plastic container with shards of ceramics in it.... apparently a "chipmunk" had knocked it off the fireplace in the dining hall. When I investigated further I noticed that one of the Dining Hall lights was knocked askew and a few other things were broken or out of place. I am assuming that someone was kicking around a soccer ball inside and well, that was the end of the mug. I never found out the truth, but staff were really broken up about it. I never knew staff were as attached to the mug as I was. I knew staff like to joke around about it, and would sometimes hide it or hold it for ransom, but it always found it's way home. It was weird, but I actually felt something was missing.
Amanda's home made Moose Mug
I guess I was moping around because Amanda Eddings, one of our amazing arts and crafts staff , took time from her busy schedule and made me a "temporary" mug.
I was so moved by the gesture. I couldn't drink out of it, ( the inside glaze wasn't the kind you are suppose to have in order for it to be safe to drink out of) but it was special all the same. 

They were able to get a replacement for it, but years later the mug got broken again. I think it got dropped, but I wasn't too concerned about it. I could just go online and get another one. Until I tried to replace it. Apparently it is a "vintage"mug that isn't made anymore. Eventually after a long internet search we were able to find a replacement. I've tried to find other ones, but have never been able to find the large one like the one I have now.

This isn't the only mug I have gotten from the staff at LG Cook. I got a huge rattlesnake mug the year I was catching rattlesnakes around camp (LG Cook)...there was a drought that year, and they would come down to the lake for water). I would get a radio call, get my bucket and a stick, and would gather up the snakes and take them out back into the woods. Staff thought I was crazy (which I probably was), but I felt good about letting them go where they would be safe and sound.
I use the moose mug now at camp almost exclusively, although I sometime have a different mug each day just to throw staff off. At the end of last summer I was given a camping mug by staff here at Camp Sacandaga. It may not be a moose mug, but it holds just as much meaning an sentiment as all the other mugs do, if not more. You see, the staff last summer was our first full hired staff, and they did such an amazing job setting the foundation for staff to come. I will always remember and cherish the mug, just like I will always cherish those few.

 I am getting ready to hire staff for next summer. We will have twice as many counselors, and we hope many more campers. Watch for future posts about staff and camp.

I hope you are staying warm with thoughts of summer camp. If not...Have a cup of coffee! It tastes like summer!

Mug Hall of Fame.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Wow, It's been awhile since I was able to post in the blog. Between keeping the camp clear from snow, recruiting campers and all the local committee meetings, I've had a hard time keeping up with things.

The main thing I have been working on is getting children to come to camp. Heads in Beds!  It's how I spend a majority of my time.

You see, without campers, our camp can not survive. And this is the year where we need even more campers just to make ends meet. We need that base of campers in order to ensure that the camp will be here in the years to come.

I have reached out to folks to help get the word out about camp. ROOST and the Adirondack Experience has been re-posting many of our facebook posts. The Adirondacks Speculator Region Chamber of Commerce also has been working hard to make sure people see what we post. We have been sending out camp photos with quotes and have been trying many different things just to get people to know we are here.

I have people offering many suggestions to help. And we appreciate every bit of advice and support. Some ask for flyers to post around. Some want brochures to put at locations around camp. Others want more pictures and quotes sent out. We will be doing all those things.

But we also did some research. We knew that the American Camp Association has done studies that state that over 80% of camp families learn about the camp through word of mouth. When we looked at our campers from last year , we found that 86% of the new campers heard about camp from a family friend or relative!

We need to get out there and talk up camp!

The only way we will get those "Heads in Beds" are if folks like you get out there and let people know that camp is here, it's a great program and that their kids will have an experience that can change their lives. Many of you know how camp has impacted your lives. Its now your turn to pass that torch and let people know about camp.

We already have a HERD program for our families. If they recommend one new camper, and the new camper registers, we give recommending family $50 off their next registration, and $50 for each additional recommendation. The new family just needs to let us know they were recommended by a camp family by answering the "How did you learn about Camp" question when they register. If a camp family recommends 5 campers- they get a whole week for free!!!

We have been working on an additional program, and Alumni HERD, where alumni could recommend children and get $50 donated to a campership fund, with 5 referals getting a full campership given in the name of the alumni who helped to recruit the campers. Or we may offer a weekend rental of the Annex ( It is still a work in progress, and we will roll it out soon. I would appreciate any input you have.

So how can you help? 

  1. Sharing is Caring! When you see something posted, you can re-post it. Sometimes things in the facebook group won't share- not to worry! I re-post most things on the business page ( You can share them from there!
  2. Want more of the memes? (the cool camp photos with quotes on them). We have them hidden on our camp webpage at Got ideas for more pictures or got really cool quotes? send them our way.
  3. If you want flyers, I can send you out what I can get. Brochures are a little more expensive, so I try to not send them out as much, and we haven't seen a major return on that expense.
  4. Keep talking with friends and families!.  Share stories of your experiences, talk it up and let people know how much it impacted your lives.
  5. If you know of people or organizations that would like to donate to help children come to camp...let me know. I can go out and chat with them.
 Thank you for taking the time to read our blog, and for supporting camp!

 And now some gratuitous pictures of camp in the snow...