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Competition & Service

Summer camp is about coming into one’s own with a growing sense of self and confidence. We build our overnight Camp program day on top of day, week on top of week, holistically and individually for each of our campers. The longer a child stays, the more they gain from the experience.

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Much of a camper’s day is spent in organized activities — basketball, rock climbing, sailing, wake surfing, fencing, drama, culinary art — and whatever the activity, there is an opportunity for fun and for achievement.

We encourage children to branch out and try new things so they will be challenged. These small daily challenges build over time, providing memorable “wins” on which a child can look back feel a sense of accomplishment. These wins and bigger accomplishments build a child’s sense of independence.

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Competition &
the Adirondack Spirit

We strive to teach the concept of competing with oneself. There is no better rival than the voice inside one’s own head. Our summer camp counselors know how to work with that voice and to guide your child to challenge his or her self in constructive ways.

Every day is filled with opportunities to best the achievements of the previous day and every camper will make his or her own decisions as to how he or she wants to engage. We encourage a lot more than winning; we celebrate spirit, effort, courage, cooperation, independence and leadership.

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A Century-Old Camp Color War

Team Blue and Team White. Two colors, two teams. This spirited rivarly has been a core tradition of Adirondack Camp for over a hundred years! Campers of all ages and skill levels compete in a series of summer-long events, over 50 in all. Each event has a plaque and that plaque is awarded to the winning team. The team with the most plaques at the end of August is the proud victor for the summer.

Your designated team color is not only assigned for life but also passes through generations. In fact, anyone in your family will wear the same color. ADK has third and fourth-generation Blue and White Team campers who proudly compete on the same team of their great-grandparents. But despite the heritage and passion, Blue/White is a friendly competition and the intensity of the rivarly is only matched by the sportsmanship and spirit each team has for the other.

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At Adirondack Camp we believe in recognizing the outstanding achievements and character of our campers. Awards are presented not only to those who have excelled in camp activities, but also to those who have demonstrated dedication and love of Camp.

At the conclusion of each session, we hold an Awards Banquet to present our highest awards. Here are a few waiting to be earned:

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The Adirondack Eagle

The Adirondack Eagle is one of the oldest awards in North American camping and is held in very high regard by all who are awarded it. In order for a camper to be eligible for an Eagle they must have earned an Emblem, Become a Brave at Awiskini, and have exhibited qualities and characteristics of our 10 plaques.

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The Adirondack Emblem

An Adirondack Emblem is Adirondack’s way of recognizing campers for their all-around success in many different activities over the course of the summer.

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The Director’s Award

Awarded a the sole discretion of the Director to a staff member who best exemplifies the spirit, philosophy, and 10 commitments of Adirondack Camp.

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Blue/White Trophy

Awarded to the team with the most Blue/White plaques at the end of the summer.

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The John Halasz Adirondack Spirit Trophy

Presented in honor and memory of John Halasz and his 30+ years of outstanding contribution, love, and service to Adirondack Camp. The entire camp votes (including staff) for the winner of this award for an eight week camper.

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Pam Warrick Award

Awarded to an outstanding camper in the CIT program.

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Henry J. Taylor Best Camper Cup

Awarded by Line Heads to the best Junior, Intermediate, and Senior campers on their line each session.

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Activity Plaques

Every activity has a plaque to represent skills and camper development. Activity counselors are encouraged to carefully choose those campers who are most deserving of being awarded this honor.

Feats large and small are honored (ranging from ‘neatest trunk’ to ‘outstanding contribution to the kayaking program’), and every camper returns home with ribbons – tangible reminders of their accomplishments at Adirondack Camp.


Another way we grow at Camp is through service. At Adirondack, there are two opportunities for service — community service, and taking on responsibilities as you age.

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We are all privileged to share this peninsula with each other during our summers. In that spirit, every camper is encouraged to help out the larger Camp community.

After 7 years at Adirondack, it has changed who I am completely. It taught me how to be a leader, be able to be liked for who I am and not someone else, and most of all to be a good friend. Without ADK, I don’t know who I would be.

Shai, NY


Service may include helping others to set out food for a meal, cleaning out a campfire circle, sweeping the Dining Hall, or being a big brother or sister to a younger camper.