Sending your child to summer camp for the first time brings up all kinds of questions. Here are many helpful answers; but please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have a question we haven’t answered!
Camp is on the northern end of beautiful Lake George in upstate New York. We are 4.5 hours from Boston and New York City, 3 hours from Montreal, and 5.5 hours from Philadelphia.
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, New York, Newark, New Jersey Burlington, Vermont, and Boston, Massachusetts, airports for an extra charge.
We give you a suggested list (PDF), but it’s very basic, comfortable, and casual. Our concerns are to keep campers safe and healthy, and to stay away from trying to outdo one another in the clothing department.
Close-toed shoes, a warm sweatshirt and rain attire are necessary items. 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.
Smooth-soled sandals are not appropriate, nor are string bikinis, or low hanging pants.
Laundry is done each week by cabin in our own on-site laundromat 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.
Uniforms may be purchase from Maine Camp Outfitters. Please contact the camp office if you have questions.
We have daily US postal service if you need to send something to Camp. We can also make arrangements to purchase something in town if needed. We have a small Camp store for necessities like soap, toothbrushes and flashlights.
Absolutely! BUT, please don’t send any food (for bug and critter reasons).
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:
302 Warrick Road
Putnam Station, NY 12861
We have a visiting day for parents and siblings during the first session of the season. Please see the Dates & Rates page for more information.
Parents are encouraged to write letters and emails. Email your camper at and log in to 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.
If you have an issue or concern about your child – our Assistant Director/Camper Advocate, Merritt Duffy, is your primary point of contact. You may email or call her directly at or 518 547-8261.
We offer vegetarian meals during the summer and do our best to accommodate gluten-free and lactose intolerant diets. We are nut aware but not nut free. So although we do not serve any peanut butter (we use sun butter instead) we cannot guarantee no nuts.
We also do our best to make picky eaters happy! Fresh fruit is part of every meal. We offer hot and cold breakfast options, an oatmeal bar, a salad bar, a fresh wrap bar, Chef Carlo’s special soups, afternoon cookie breaks, and more. If you have any any questions or concerns, please contact Camp to discuss your child’s dietary needs.
Our cabins are “open-air” (without screens) with roll-down canvas flaps for when it rains, and mosquito nets for sleeping. 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.
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. 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, showers, and toilet facilities.
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.
It’s not unusual, and can happen at almost any age. Our counselors are specially trained and sensitive to the emotions experienced by campers who miss home.
We take a common sense approach to missing home. The most important antidotes we offer are love, caring, sympathy, and lots of things to keep kids engaged! It is important to acknowledge to the camper that what he or she is experiencing is real, but with time will pass. In some instances we consult and work with parents, behind the scenes, to help with their child’s positive adjustment.
Counselors live in cabins with campers, and are always there for the campers. 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) creating a suffused light throughout the trees when dark.
We recruit educators with parenting experience, recent and older former campers, and young adults from around the world, to work together with a core group of professionals who return every summer to assure the preservation of ADK spirit, traditions, and level of excellence.
Every member of the ADK staff undergoes a rigorous selection process. We look for a deep love and empathy for children of all ages, a Pied Piper like capacity for getting kids excited about the opportunities around them, a strong sense of responsibility, and common sense — all essential in the care and supervision of children.
Our staff ranges from 18 to 65 years old. It’s a wonderful combination of wisdom and enthusiasm!
Our highly selective process is very much like college admissions. We begin with qualification screening, then hold in-person interviews, check personal references, and finish with background checks. We also utilize camp services such as Camp America, Camp Leaders, or Inter-exchange to recruit and screen international staff.
Every counselor, every year, is required to successfully complete an intensive, 10 day, exclusive Adirondack U leadership course before the summer.
More than half of our staff are Red Cross certified for First Aid and CPR. Waterfront staff have their Lifeguard qualifications. Wilderness Adventure staff have Wilderness First Aid or Wilderness First Responder.