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Questions Parents Always Ask

Sending your child to coed summer camp for the first time brings up all kinds of questions. Here are many helpful answers but please don’t hesitate to call if you have a question we haven’t answered!

General

What is your philosophy?
What is your philosophy?

To encourage and instill self-confidence, independence, leadership, sharing, effort, and other related core life values in a child through a build-up of small and large accomplishments under the guise of having fun – extraordinary fun — in the environment of a caring and nurturing community and through the prism of deep, lasting friendships making it safe for a child to seek out and discover his/her true self.

How do you make this happen?
How do you make this happen?

See the 12 Secrets of the Great Summer Camp

Is there a dress code?
Is there a dress code?

It’s very basic, comfortable, and casual. We give you a suggested list.
Basically, our concerns are to keep our campers safe and healthy and to stay away from trying to outdo one another in the clothing department. The only sanctioned fashion shows at Camp are all inclusive events like ADK’s Project Runway and several extraordinary make-your-own special theme disguise and make-up days. So, for example, for different reasons, smooth-soled sandals are not appropriate, nor are string bikinis or low hanging pants. Close-toed shoes, a warm sweatshirt and rain attire are necessary items (It can rain and get cold up here). Mostly, campers bring clothes they already have. A uniform of sorts (a navy blue t-shirt and matching navy or khaki shorts or pants) is worn from Retreat (our pre-dinner flag-lowering ceremony) through the end of the evening.

What if we forget to send something with our child?
What if we forget to send something with our child?

We try to minimize your risks. We will hold all passport and ticket originals and information, money, cell phones, i-pads and other electronics for our campers while they are with us. We’ll remind you more than once to label your child’s clothes, as they are sent off premises for laundry; and, inevitably, some things go missing. As for forgotten items, don’t worry. We have daily US postal service. We can also make arrangements to purchase something in town and we have a small camp store for necessities like soap, toothbrushes and flashlights.

How often is laundry done?
How often is laundry done?

Laundry is sent out each week in cabin laundry bags to the Sunshine Laundromat in town and comes back the next day. We ask that parents send enough clothing to get a child through the week and make sure camper names are included on all clothing, sheets, and towels.

How can I communicate with my child?
How can I communicate with my child?

Parents are encouraged to write letters and emails. Log In to email your camper and track your child through pictures, videos and personal messages. Parents may also fax letters or schedule a time to speak with their child on the phone after the first week. Communication via the telephone is kept to a minimum to ensure a camper’s complete immersion in our Camp environment.

What makes an ideal ADK camper?
What makes an ideal ADK camper?

An “ideal” Adirondack Camper is intellectually curious, environmentally adventurous, enjoys the out-of-doors, is friendly and kind and wants to have fun! 

Where are you located?
Where are you located?

On the northern end of beautiful Lake George in upstate New York on a heavily forested peninsula surrounded on three sides by the Lake’s crystal clear waters. With nearly a mile and a half of waterfront we are surrounded on all sides by several hundred acres of “forever wild” Nature Conservancy land.
We are 4.25 hours equidistant from Boston and New York City, 3 hours from Montreal, 5.5 hours from Philadelphia and a day’s travel from most anywhere else in the world. Bus transportation is made available between Camp and New York City and Tarrytown, NY. Airport pick-up and drop-off is also available on a limited basis at Albany NY, Burlington VT and Boston, MA airports for an extra charge.

How long are your sessions and how much do they cost?
How long are your sessions and how much do they cost?

We offer flexible programs to meet your child’s needs. Please see the Tuition and Schedule of sessions for details or call us.

What is my best strategy to ensure a space for my child?
What is my best strategy to ensure a space for my child?

Enroll fast and early. Some age categories are already half filled for the next year by the end of the preceding summer. Enroll during the September/October early-enrollment period and receive substantial incentives. Deposit and tuition paid-in are refundable, subject to a small fee, right up to April 1st.

How can I donate to the Adirondack Camp Scholarship Fund?
How can I donate to the Adirondack Camp Scholarship Fund?

There are two ways you can donate to donate to the Scholarship Fund. The first is mailing a check made out to the Adirondack Camp Scholarship fund to the camp office. The second option is to go to the Adirondack Camp Scholarship fund website www.adirondackscholarship.org and donate online.

Where do I go to purchase my child's required camp uniform?
Where do I go to purchase my child's required camp uniform?

Please contact the camp office to inquire about uniforms. You can reach Rikki Galusha at 518-547-8261.

How do I get my child's trunk to camp?
How do I get my child's trunk to camp?

Campers traveling to camp by car may bring their trunks with them. Campers arriving by bus will need to ship their trunks to camp, as space on the bus is limited. Trunks may be shipped via FedEx or UPS directly to camp at the following address: Adirondack Camp, 302 Warrick Road, Putnam Station, NY 12861

Can I send care packages to camp?
Can I send care packages to camp?

Absolutely! BUT, please don’t send any food (for bug and critter reasons).

Who's Who

Who are the current owners?
Who are the current owners?

The Levitch-Goodwin Family. Alex and Linda have owned Adirondack since 1979. Alex attended Adirondack for four years as a young boy twenty years before that. The story goes–Camp was so much fun, he bought it! Meet Alex & Linda!

Who is the Camp Director?
Who is the Camp Director?

Matt Basinet, is a former camper and counselor with a 33 year relationship with ADK. A professional educator, Matt is a graduate of Boston College and Columbia Teachers College, Matt is the Upper School Dean of Students, math teacher and coach of the ice hockey and cross country track teams at the Greenwich Country Day School. Matt’s wife , Nina, was also once an Adirondack counselor; and currently teaches English at Greenwich Country Day. Together they have two children: Jack and Anna. Meet Matt!

Who is the camp Assistant Director?
Who is the camp Assistant Director?

Merritt Duffy, also a former camper and counselor with a 32 year relationship with ADK earns her living in the off-season as a 4th generation owner of her family’s independent insurance agency located in Elizabeth, NJ. Merritt received her undergraduate degree in Fine Arts from Cedar Crest College and M.A.T. Secondary Education English from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Her husband, Jim, is a long time supporter of ADK and their daughter, Heather, attended camp for thirteen summers. Meet Merrit!

About Our Campers

How many campers do you take?
How many campers do you take?

We pride ourselves on our relatively small size roughly 200 campers at any one time—as it affords a more personalized, nurturing, familial environment and experience.

  • Campers per staff person: fewer than 3:1
  • Campers per cabin: 8-14
  • Boys/girls: 50/50
  • Youngest–oldest: 7-17
Are you gender specific?
Are you gender specific?

We are a residential co-educational camp for all activities with separate cabin lines for boys and girls.

Where do Adirondack’s campers come from?
Where do Adirondack’s campers come from?
  • Northeast USA Region-55%
  • Other US Regions–25%
  • International (everywhere else!)–20%
Percent of eligible campers repeating enrollment year-to-year
Percent of eligible campers repeating enrollment year-to-year

75%

Are you a full English Immersion camp?
Are you a full English Immersion camp?

Yes! At any one time there may be half a dozen different languages in the air around camp. Counselors with polyglot language skills are highly valued at ADK. English, however, is the preferred native tongue; and we do everything in our power from small bribes to big personal recognitions to motivate all of our global campers to speak English–which they fairly well need to do with preponderance of those of us that hail from the States but also as between fellow country campers. Simply put, Adirondack is a full English immersion camp with a history of spectacular results. This commitment also means that we must limit the number of children from any one language group by sheer total number as well as the number in a given cabin (already delineated by sex and age grouping), in order to assure the strongest likelihood of success.

Our Staff

Who joins your staff?
Who joins your staff?

Individual educators with parenting experience, recent and older former campers, young adults from around the world, together with a core group of professionals that returns every summer to assure the preservation of ADK spirit, traditions and level of excellence–every single member of the ADK staff undergoes an intense selection process that starts with the validation of a deep love and empathy for children of all ages, a pied piper like capacity for getting and keeping kids excited about the opportunities around them and a heightened sense of responsibility and common sense essential in the care and supervision of children.

Where does your staff come from?
Where does your staff come from?

We have a core group of counselors that return every summer. This group is comprised principally of educators and parents. It maintains our spirit, traditions and level of excellence. They come from all over the US. The balance of our counselors comes from a variety of backgrounds and different countries.

How old are your counselors?
How old are your counselors?

18 – 65 years old.

What percentage of your staff returns the next year, outside of your core group?
What percentage of your staff returns the next year, outside of your core group?

50%.

How do you select your counselors?
How do you select your counselors?

The process is not unlike a college admission or senior job position recruiting effort. It is highly selective. Even if one is a returning alumnus, we ask all of our applicants to compete for each position. We have a formal application process, which includes qualification screening, in-person interviews, personal references and background checks. We also utilize camp services such as Camp America, Bunac, Camp Staff, or Inter-exchange with regard to recruitment and attendant background checks and selection of international staff.

What kind of special training do you have for your staff?
What kind of special training do you have for your staff?

Every counselor is required to successfully complete an intensive, ten day, exclusive “Adirondack U Leadership and ADK” course program offered pre-season, every summer. Selected returning counselors are rewarded for excellence by being invited to join the Adirondack U faculty for a given summer and participate both as ADK teachers and students. We also offer pre-season lifeguard training and recertification for First Aid CPR for the Professional Rescuer and R.T.E. designations and require appropriate certifications from staff, especially in certain more “front line” activities like swimming and adventure wilderness trips. Meet the staff!

Our Activities and Facilities

How extensive are your activities & facilities?
How extensive are your activities & facilities?

See interactive map. The peninsula supports some 35 plus or minus activities ranging from fencing to culinary fun. There are, essentially, four “pillar” camps in the one: (1) water sports, which offers nine different swimming and boating dock areas along its extensive waterfront and an armada half the size of the entire camper population; (2) land sports, which has the only soccer field in the entire country that features a 10% angle of incline or decline–depending on which way you are headed; (3) wilderness adventure, which takes in everything from the five quests of the Adirondacks to climbing the cliff faces of several old, craggy peaks to kayaking wild waters and (some years) learning how to cantor a horse; and (4) Creative Arts, which sponsors each summer a festival of visiting artists and artisans and looks to offer everything from movie making to hip hop to Italian culinary fun to jam sessions with the musical instruments your child has brought from home. Though we encourage our campers to try out a number of different activities, especially over a succession of summers, swimming is our only required activity. It is so because of the importance of water and safety in our daily camp lives. Campers may opt out once they reach an advanced level of Instruction, or they can continue on in specialty areas in accordance, still, with American Red Cross guidelines for swim instruction and standards.

How competitive are your activities?
How competitive are your activities?

How you play the game and what you take away from it including good old-fashioned sportsmanship are more important to us than final scores. Camp’s primary focus is on the success of the individual and, through such perspective, on to the question of what each camper is able to contribute, as well, to his/her team and to Camp as a whole. Campers are encouraged to select their own programs and to challenge themselves to their fullest potentials. Putting ones all into something counts just as much to us as having all the skills. This isn’t to say we don’t have our share of fiercely fought competitions of Blue/White and Awiskini games for those who opt to be involved, but also recognize just as importantly, the individual accomplishments of repelling down a cliff face or climbing to the summit of a mountain. Campers can also challenge each other to various competitions in many activities in addition to our daily schedule, such as Fencing and Tennis Ladders, soccer’s “World Cup” and inter-camp competitions. Blue/White incorporates all of our activities (even fishing!) and all age groups, so each child will have an ability to positively impact his/her team on many levels.

Health and Safety

How do you protect the health and safety of your campers?
How do you protect the health and safety of your campers?

We have an infirmary with R.N.’s on staff, 24 hours a day, plus a visiting pediatrician. We are also under the jurisdiction and guidelines of the New York State Department of Health affecting all areas of Camp.

...on the waterfront?
...on the waterfront?

American Red Cross guidelines and WSI certified instructors, swim tests, and personalized swim instruction.

...on trips?
...on trips?

Minimum of WFR, WFA, or RTE certified instructors, medical kits, and a copy of each camper’s medical history and emergency contact information. A certified lifeguard with First Aid for the Professional Rescuer is also included on all trips that may include a water exposure. 

Is there a hospital nearby?
Is there a hospital nearby?

Yes, nine miles from Camp.

In case of emergency, how are parents notified?
In case of emergency, how are parents notified?

As soon as possible by telephone.

What about the Food?
What about the Food?

Our food is nutritious and well prepared. We have a daily soup, salad, and fruit bar and bi-weekly cookouts.

Does Adirondack make provisions for special diets?
Does Adirondack make provisions for special diets?

We do our best to accommodate lactose intolerant and vegetarian/vegan diets, but ask that you please contact Camp to discuss your child’s dietary needs.

Cabin Life

What are the cabins like?
What are the cabins like?

Most of our cabins are a 40×40 foot square layout with high ceilings and bunk-style beds. Trunks and footlockers are used for storage of personal belongings and campers sleep tucked under mosquito nets at night. With the exception of our one cabin for fifteen year old girls, there is no electricity in the cabins. Bath-houses serve each cabin line with hot and cold running water, shower and toilet facilities.

Our cabins are “open-air” (without screens) with roll-down canvas flaps for when it rains. For anyone who likes to fall asleep listening to the wind rustling through the trees and waves lapping against the shore–our cabins are the best around. If your child’s bunk is near an exterior wall facing the ball-field, he/she may even see a shooting star from one of the best spots in North America. For anyone who likes these sorts of privileges, you are going to love our cabins.

What if my child doesn’t know anyone in the cabin?
What if my child doesn’t know anyone in the cabin?

Returning campers are our greatest allies in making your child feel welcome and all are under the ever-watchful eyes of counselors who ensure that cabin bonding occurs and new friends are made. With the start of each session, the first thing returning campers do is to prepare to welcome the first-timers. Senior campers also volunteer to “adopt” the youngest first timers for the first orientation week of camp. We have many gatherings by cabin and age-groups over the course of the season–all designed to integrate new campers into our camp community and to be made to feel a special part of it.

What if my child misses home?
What if my child misses home?

It’s not unusual and can happen at almost any age. Our counselors are specially trained and are sensitive to the emotions experienced by campers who miss home. The most important antidotes we offer to a child who is missing home are: love, caring, sympathy and things to do to keep them busy! It is important, to, to acknowledge to the camper that what he or she is experiencing is real, that it can be painful, but with time will pass. We have a common sense approach–i.e., keep a child that is missing home as engaged in camp life as possible and consult and work with the parents (behind the scenes) to help with the camper’s positive adjustment.

What if my child wakes up in the middle of the night or is afraid of the dark?
What if my child wakes up in the middle of the night or is afraid of the dark?

Counselors live in cabins with campers and are always there for campers who may wake up in the middle of the night. Counselors rotate evening duties to always ensure presence 24 hours a day. We also have illumination on each main building (including the exterior of the bath houses or perches as we call them) creating a suffused light throughout the trees when dark.

What if my child forgets to bring an important item or clothing to Camp?
What if my child forgets to bring an important item or clothing to Camp?

No worries. We have daily US postal service and we can also make arrangements to purchase something in town for you. We also have a small camp store for necessities like soap, toothbrushes, and flashlights.

How can I get in touch with my child or his/her counselor?
How can I get in touch with my child or his/her counselor?

If you have an issue or concern about your child – our Assistant Director/Camper Advocate is your primary point of contact. You may email or call her directly. Parents may also fax letters daily or schedule a time to speak with their child on the phone after the first week. Parents are also encouraged to write letters and emails daily and may also request to speak directly with a counselor or the Camp Director or one of the Owners.

When can I visit?
When can I visit?

We have a visiting day for parents and siblings during the first session of the season. Please see the Tuition and Schedule page for more information.

Getting To Know Us

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