At Adirondack Camp, our core values – including courage, effort, creativity and cooperation – will always guide and spur us forward. So when the world threw us a curveball this past Spring and upended so many lives in our camp community, we got to work. We knew our ADK family would need us now, more than ever – and we weren’t going to let them down.
Pre-Summer preparations were already in full swing when Covid-19 hit New York. Having survived every other major world event since 1904, we were determined to find a path to open.
Back in 1918, during the Spanish Flu epidemic, families sent their children to Adirondack Camp to escape unhealthy conditions in the city. Given Adirondack Camp’s beautiful and remote location, our peninsula is the perfect ‘safe place’ for kids. All of our cabins and most of our buildings are open to the breeze from Lake George, and we initially hoped we could provide a similar secure bubble for kids again.
ADK is the perfect place to be isolated from the world, yet together with your friends.
But Covid-19 was new and full of unknowns. We rethought every detail of the ADK summer to ensure a positive and healthy experience. I am so proud of our senior staff for all of the effort, cooperation, and creativity they put into completely re-planning the Summer.
Amidst the turmoil, we were staying in touch with you, our ADK family. You were patient and hopeful as we all did our best to chart our course through the unknown. You encouraged us again and again! You told us, “I trust you,” and “We’re in this together.” The Adirondack spirit is so strong!
After consulting with many medical and camp professionals, reviewing state and federal guidelines, and after many, many internal discussions, we decided that a “normal” summer would be too great a risk. It was gut-wrenching.
After this decision was made, we had a “Now what?” moment and we wondered what would come next. We had already tried to pull back our big improvements for the year but they were too far along, and we had worked so hard making pre-camp preparations — it would have been such a shame to let it all go to waste.
We opened Camp to our families and had a happy and safe time! Not everyone was able to come, and that was sad, but those of us who were able to gather on our peninsula were grateful and had so much fun!
We practiced new protocols. We learned new lessons. We are better prepared for 2021.
The experience of Camp for our kids has never been more important. ADK stands out amongst the many summer camps as a throwback to a simpler time. Children live outdoors in fresh air, unplugged, spending their days laughing and playing as they grow into strong young men and women. Every Adirondack camper, parent, and counselor knows it is a transformative experience.
Tell your friends — our private peninsula on Lake George is a safe place where children grow emotionally as they develop skills and forge lifelong friendships. People have come to ADK for over a century because the Adirondack spirit is strong and unifying. We will not give in to fear, whether it is a global pandemic, racial tensions, or whatever else the world throws at us! We will emerge more resilient, and with a stronger appreciation for our shared values of cooperation, leadership and service as well as renewed respect for our global and cultural diversity. Adirondack Camp stands for more than just fun — at ADK we strive for extraordinary things, deep connections, and meaningful community!
Thank you, dear family, thank you. We faced unprecedented uncertainty together, and we are stronger for it.