We’re building kids that are confident, independent, resilient, and who understand that our community is better together. Serving campers aged 7 to 15, our overnight camp program is made up of six 1 or 2-week sessions. Campers may choose to stay for multiple sessions and we offer an optional “hold over” weekend in between each session. Our overnight camp experience is intentionally based on our core values of caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility. We value the opportunity to learn and grow with each and every camper while providing a variety of activities that give each camper an enriching and fun experience.
We start the morning with the bugle call of reveille, spend the busy day connecting with friends, trying new things in skills classes, cooling off at the lake during free swim, and then wrap up each day with an all-camp evening program, followed by the sound of taps playing across Camp as campers settle into their bunks for the night. While our campers always talk about how much fun they have, we know our true impact is in the growth they experience by being a part of our Camp family. You can learn more specifics about our program by scrolling down on this page or by setting up a tour.
Two Role Models & New Best Friends
Welcome to your home away from home! Camp is made up of four units, based on age and gender, each with their own unique culture, cheers, and traditions. Campers aged 13-15 call the Senior Units home while campers aged 7-12 live in the Junior Units. Each cabin or yurt houses 8-10 campers (whose ages are within 12 months of each other), two counselors, and a counselor in training (CIT). Campers are allowed to make up to two cabin mate requests that we do our best to honor, though many campers come to camp without knowing anyone and quickly make new friends! Our counselors are trained to focus the first few days of camp on creating a strong cabin community that is inclusive and supportive. Campers sleep in bunks and should bring bedding that makes them feel at home, sheets and a blanket or a sleeping bag both work! Bathhouses are centrally located in each unit, a short walk from the cabins.
Each day, cabins will do a morning activity together (anything from dance parties to hikes and from sports to swimming, it’s up to them), eat meals together, participate in evening program as a group, and wind down the day with a “Vespers” activity that encourages reflection and connecting with each other. Our staff promotes compassion, respect, and self-sufficiency within the cabin. Campers help with daily chores and compete for the cleanest cabin award. Cabins are a camper’s home base while at Chingachgook and are where lasting friendships are formed and countless memories and inside jokes are made.
We hire only the most caring and talented young adults to be role models for our campers and nearly 80% of our staff were once campers or CITs at Chingachgook! Staff participate in wilderness training courses, receive certifications for the skills they are teaching, and attend a full week of pre-camp training sessions on youth development. Our team of year-round directors interviews, reference checks, and background checks each staff member prior to hiring. Our professional role models are here to provide your children with lessons and memories that will last a lifetime. Camp also employs a team of healthcare professionals who provide consistent care for our campers throughout the summer.
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From Archery to Sailing, Something for everyone!
Warm, summer days at Chingachgook are filled with opportunities for campers to learn a new activity or refine their skills. We strive to give campers a balance of structured and unstructured activity time that allows them to learn, explore and have fun! Prior to arriving at Camp, campers may preference their top 10 skill classes and are assigned 4 of those classes to participate in each day. Campers can choose from over 30 skill classes and each class offers a skill progression so that any ability level can participate. Beyond teaching the basics of specific sports, arts, or boating, skill classes are a time for our staff to foster social, emotional, and personal growth in each camper by focusing activities on character development. For example, soccer not only teaches the ins and out of the game, but more importantly encourages teamwork, responsibility, and perseverance.
We also offer opportunities each day for campers to mix up their schedule by enjoying some different activities or downtime during free swim. We believe this balance of structured and unstructured time gives campers the best opportunity to make decisions about their day, meet a variety of new people, and develop skills in the activities they are most interested in.
A Genuine Wilderness Experience
Providing a genuine wilderness experience for young people has been a major part of our mission since the early days of Camp. That tradition continues today with camping and wilderness excursions incorporated into all of our programs.
One-Week Sessions: One-week session campers spend an afternoon with their cabin group venturing from Camp by foot or by boat. Cabin groups summit mountains, paddle to a Lake George island, and explore the beauty in our own backyard!
Two-Week Sessions: Two-week session campers depart from Camp the second Monday of their session for a three-day, two-night wilderness excursion. They travel by boat, bus, or foot to reach their destination. Each of our three-day hikes are rated for difficulty, divided by age, and gender. With the help of their counselors, campers list their preferences and are then sorted by the Unit Directors into Excursion Groups. Each group is staffed with counselors trained in Wilderness First Aid and training specific to the location of their trip.
Evening Programs, Special Events & Themes
Our staff go above and beyond to make each overnight camp session memorable and unique! Special events and session themes are a huge part of Chingachgook’s history. Chingachgook’s programs blend creativity and tradition to provide a unique experience for every camper. Each of our six overnight camp sessions has a theme, brought to life by our staff and campers that tie all of our events together. Follow the theme’s characters as they hilariously solve problems, go on epic quests and bring Camp together. Our themes range from popular movies like Hercules and Toy Story to time travel, mystery sessions, and to our favorite fictional camp family, the McCluskey’s, Family Reunion.
Every session, the theme includes Chingachgook’s traditional canoe race, where campers and staff dress up in costumes to cheer on their unit as they fight to claim the canoe race trophy! Evening programs can range from scavenger hunts, to “Gold Rush” and the all-camp dance. Each evening program gets a creative twist each session to incorporate our theme and makes each day a once-in-a-lifetime event.
Some special events are tailored to cater to our different ages of campers while others are camp-wide and all inclusive. All of our events are designed to provide opportunities that teach our core values while connecting campers in engaging activities that will provide endless memories.
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Time to Refuel & Reconnect
Chingachgook’s food service department provides three well-balanced, nutritious, hearty meals and an afternoon snack each day. With the busy days at Camp, it is important for campers to sit back, relax and refuel. The Dining Hall also provides a great setting for campers to catch up with their counselors and cabinmates. Each cabin has its own set table for the week and we dine together family-style. Sharing laughs and stories over delicious food is a great way for our camp community to connect. Plus, Camp meals are like no other….at any moment you may hear cheers erupt, music playing, or a dance party beginning.
Breakfast might be pancakes or egg sandwiches, lunch we enjoy tacos, pizza and cookouts, for dinner we may offer spaghetti and meatballs, Thanksgiving dinner with all the sides or BBQ chicken. We offer a salad bar option at lunch and dinner daily plus scrambled eggs and a cereal bar at breakfast each day. Our Dining Hall is a nut-free facility and we can accommodate a variety of dietary needs and restrictions. Every meal includes a vegetarian option and we also offer gluten-free substitutes for those who need it. For questions or concerns regarding your child’s dietary needs, please contact us.
BECOME A CHINGACHGOOK KID TODAY!
Summer will be here before we know it! Our registration opens in early Fall each year and will remain open until sessions are filled. Some of our sessions form waitlists as early as January, so the earlier you sign up the better!
You can check out our current dates and rates here to best plan out your child’s session(s). Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions. If you are ready to sign up for the best summer ever, you can click here to reserve your spot today!
“My son was made to feel valued and an important part of the group. He was involved in activities that were engaging, new and exciting where he could gain confidence. He was able to learn the process of peer discussion and shared decision making.”
— Parent of a Sr. Boy Camper