In 1912 a group of boys under the leadership of the Schenectady YMCA’s Boy’s Work Secretary, Claude E. “Pops” Drake, made an exploratory trip of Lake George using a motor-powered war canoe named “Chingachgook.”
Continued interest in the opportunity for boys to experience the outdoors led to the establishment of a small encampment on Basin Bay, across the lake from Pilot Knob, in the summer of 1913. For the 1914 season enrollment skyrocketed, necessitating a much larger campground, and the camp’s present Pilot Knob location was purchased.
Many summer seasons have come and gone since these early days of camp, but the traditions and values that brought campers to Camp Chingachgook many years ago are still alive and well today. The waters of Lake George still refresh campers on warm summer days. The view from the top of Buck Mountain still inspires all who hike to the summit. Camp counselors still provide leadership and teach valuable lessons. Most importantly, the friendships made each summer at Camp Chingachgook still last a lifetime.
"Lake George is without comparison, the most beautiful water I ever saw; formed by a contour of mountains into a basin... finely interspersed with islands, its water limpid as crystal, and the mountainsides covered with rich groves... down to the water-edge: here and there precipices of rock to checker the scene and save it from monotony."
-Thomas Jefferson, May 31, 1791