Retreat Ceremony History at Adirondack Camp
In the 1920s, the military ceremony of Retreat started being used daily at Adirondack Camp where it is still practiced to this day each summer. The tradition originally started out on Senior Point before moving to the top of the ballfield in the early 1930s where it has remained ever since.
During Retreat, all of camp gathers in formation wearing camp uniforms from oldest to youngest cabin. Attendance is taken and ‘Retreat’ is played live before a camper fires a cannon. Campers and staff then “parade, rest” and salute the lowering of the American flag as ‘To the Colors’ is played live by our Bugler. On special occassions such as Bastille Day, we instead lower the French flag as our French campers and staff proudly sing ‘La Marseillaise.’
We’re one of the only overnight camps in the world that still practices many military traditions to this day. Every day at Adirondack Camp, we wake up, transition, and end our day to live bugle calls such as Reveille, Call to Quarters, and Taps. Every cabin cleans together and has a point-based inspection for cleanliness each morning, and we always gather at 5:45pm for the ceremony of Retreat every evening.
Almost a century later, the tradition of Retreat is still practiced every evening at Adirondack Camp in the summer. Kids gets the opportunity to participate in the ceremony either by firing the cannon or getting to lower and fold the American flag.