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Archive for the ‘Alumni adventures’ Category

January Camp Reunion in NYC!

Posted: January 11, 2019

Happy new year to you all!  We hope it’s off to a great start!  We certainly kicked things off the right way at our annual NYC camper reunion.  Those who were able to make it last weekend had a blast visiting with camp friends, skating and enjoying the slide show of images from the 2018 summer.  It was a perfect way to spend a Winter day and we wish you could have all been there.  You’ll find a link to the slide show below (the password is “skating”):

January, and the new year, officially starts the countdown to the 2019 camp season.  If you haven’t yet registered, now is the time to do so.  Kate and Doug have been busy enrolling new campers and will continue to do so, in earnest, this Winter.  In fact, they’ll be hosting an open house for prospective families in Manhattan, this Saturday, January 12th, at 2:00pm.  And, another in Brooklyn on Saturday, January 26th at 2:30pm.  If you know of any families who should come and learn more about NCC, please put them in touch with us.  Thank you!

We wish you all a wonderful Winter!











2018 Augur Lake ice out contest

Posted: February 15, 2018

When thinking of Augur Lake, it’s always nice to imagine splashing around in the swim area, steadily paddling a canoe to Blueberry island, practicing wet exits in a kayak, taking a paddle board to Whip island, rowing out to your favorite fishing spot, making perfect tacks on your windsurfer or sailing into the Augur. The reality now is that the lake is much better suited to ice skating, ice fishing or ice sailing. With a layer of approximately 18 inches of ice on the surface, it is anyone’s guess as to when we’ll be able to enjoy activities on Augur Lake that don’t begin with the word ‘ice’!

If you would like to be the ‘anyone’ or the ‘someone’ to guess the date when Augur lake will be completely ice free once more, follow this link to submit your predictions –















NCC Reunion in NYC!

Posted: January 11, 2018


This past weekend, a large, boisterous group of NCC campers, past and present, along with parents and siblings, gathered in Manhattan for our annual camp reunion.  We re-connected with friends, skated on the ice rink and enjoyed a slide show of photos from last summer.  Attendance was good despite the frigid temps and the recent storm, proving that NCC folks are hearty and adventurous (but we already knew that).









We enjoyed seeing so many of you and sharing in your excitement for the 2018 season.  We hope that those of you who weren’t there are having a great Winter.  Do you hold your own mini camp reunion in your neck of the woods?  We recently received a photo from a group of staff members who got together while in Portugal, so anything is possible!  If you do meet up with camp friends this year, we’d love it if you sent us pictures.  We’ll be sending a link to the reunion slide show to current camp families by email.









Best wishes in this new year, and don’t forget that this is the perfect time to introduce other families you may know to North Country Camps.  Many people look for camps at this point in the year and Kate and Doug are excited to meet with them and answer questions.  We have open house events planned for Washington D.C. on January 28th and in CT on February 11th and are always happy to meet with families individually as well.  It’s also the perfect time to register your own children!

Stay warm!

Join our Alumni connection system!

Posted: December 7, 2017

Some of you already know that although camp continues to feel very much like it always has, we are making advances in the communication world, with the help of new technology. We love that our campers get a break from their devices and the fast pace of social media, texting and cell phones during the summer. However, we are embarking on what we think will be the very best of both worlds with our alumni system. We’ve moved into a really useful online system for registering campers and are now working towards a new way of being connected to all of you wonderful people who are past campers and staff members.

Take a look at our Alumni connection system by following this link. by visiting the alumni section on our website, where you can also set up your account. Once we receive notification of you joining, we’ll get you going with the next step.

Our hope is that you’ll  keep us updated with your whereabouts and contact information, but you’ll also be able to track down and e-mail old buddies! This is truly exciting to us as we think about all the friendships that can be rekindled!
































NCC Alums Making a Difference!

Posted: November 21, 2017

We never get tired of hearing about the ways in which North Country Camps has inspired campers and counselors to accomplish great things.  Here’s an excellent example:  The Gowanus Canal is a waterfront in Brooklyn, NY that has benefited from the care of an NCC alum, who moved to an apartment nearby in the early 1990′s.  Once heavily polluted by years of industrial use and neglect, the tides have turned, and cleanup is now underway.

Owen Foote (Lincoln ’77-’83) came across the Gowanus waterfront when he moved to Brooklyn in 1991 and Inspired by 7 seasons of summer camp, decided to fight for change.  Skeptics said it was a hopeless cause and why bother as no one used or cared about the Canal anyway.  A pumping station had been broken for decades, stolen cars were being dumped in the waterfront and properties had been abandoned.

Owen had been taught at Lincoln that you can achieve anything if you persevere and since the Canal was dangerous to touch, he began to lead walking and cycling tours to show how nature was returning to the waterfront, believing that through recreation, he could help inspire restoration.  Almost a decade later, after the flushing pump was finally repaired, Owen launched a canoe and conducted the first boat-tour of the waterfront.  After twenty years of being stuck on land, his J-stroke returned as if he had been on Lake Auger the week before!

Now, eighteen seasons later, the EPA has begun sediment removal via the Superfund program, properties have been restored and Canal wildlife is thriving.  To celebrate (and raise funds) Owen participated in a SuperFUN race on the waterway in October with his mom Chloe (Whip ’48-’49, ’52-’53, ’55-’56, staff ’57,’59) and despite not finishing first, they raised over $6,000 at the event that attracted over 500 people to the shoreline.  With continued perseverance by these NCC alums, we are confident this waterfront will continue to be cared for in years to come.  If you’d be interested in helping out, check out the “Gowanus Dredgers” website:

Do you have a similar story?  If so, we’d love to hear it!  Just send us a note at:


Register now for the 2018 season at:




NCC Reunion in NYC!

Posted: January 11, 2017

It was a wild and wintry weekend in New York City, the site of our 2017 camp reunion!  Despite the snow storm and howling winds, a large group of campers, parents and counselors made their way across the frozen tundra, to Chelsea Piers, intent on enjoying the company of camp friends.

The mood was festive.  Many boys and girls skated  out on the rink, while others spent their time catching up with cabinmates and dreaming of the summer to come!  The whole crowd enjoyed a slide show of images from this past summer.  If geography, or weather kept you from making it to reunion, check it out here:  The password is the (one word) title of the play performed at camp this past summer.  We know that many of you hold mini-reunions on your own, during the school year.  Getting together with camp friends is a wonderful way to stay connected and we hope you’ll send us a picture of your group!



We hope that the new year is off to a great start for all of you.  Enjoy the winter, stay warm and start getting ready for the 2017 camp season.  It’s going to be great!

There is still room in many sections of camp, for the upcoming summer.  If you know someone who would enjoy the NCC experience, please put them in touch with us.  Kate and Doug would love to speak with them.  There are several open house events on the horizon; perfect opportunities for prospective families to learn more.  We’ll be in Boston on January 15th and in NYC on January 29th.  Ask Kate, or Doug for more details!

NCC on the West Coast!

Posted: March 4, 2016

Most people who have attended North Country Camps can remember when Pete, Jan, Nancy, Bruce, Bob, Frau, Kate or Doug came to their house to talk with them about camp.  They almost certainly brought a slide show with them, and answered questions as they described life at Lincoln, or Whippoorwill.

We continue to believe that these in-person meetings are the ideal way to learn about camp.  We still visit lots of families individually, but have also started organizing open house events, with the help of NCC alums, who are willing to open up their homes and spread the word to their social webs.  These events have been quite successful and we’ve done them all over the northeast.  However, this past weekend marked a first for North Country Camps; an open house event on the west coast!

There is a strong concentration of NCC alums in the bay area of California, many of whom have children and are starting to think through the logistics of sending them east for the summer.  So, Doug hopped on a plane to meet up with a group of them, at the home of Kenny Widmann, who went to camp in the 80′s and was on the staff for many years in the 90′s.  It was a fun and informative gathering with many children in attendance, including one current Whippoorwill camper!

We love events like this, so if you think you have a good space to host an open house and some potential families who would be interested in attending, let us know.  Whether it’s this year, or next, we’d love to hear from you!  Enrollment for the 2016 season is chugging along, but we still have room for new campers in most age groups.  And, we know that the vast majority of new families we meet, come to us because an alum, or family member of a current camper points them in our direction.  It’s how camp works and we thank you!  We hope you’re all staying warm.  Spring is on its way and that means it won’t be long until the shores of Augur lake ring out with the laughter, shouts and songs of adventurous children, once again!

Ted’s Winter Tale

Posted: March 6, 2014

Ted Sonneborn kindly wrote a description of some of the winter trips he’s been taking with friends over the past couple of years. We love to hear stories of wilderness adventures that connect us with our days at North Country Camps. If anyone else has stories to share, please feel welcome to be in touch with us at

In March 2012, Barry Needleman and I climbed Noonmark with Neil Van Dyke. We had a great time and wondered why we didn’t spend more time out in the mountains during that time of year. On the descent that day an idea was born: climbing the 46 in winter.


Barry with Seward in the background


We had each climbed a few High Peaks in winter in prior years but those were only sporadic efforts.  In January 2013, we set out to chase our goal, starting the challenge with a hike up Whiteface and Esther.  It was a fun, tough start – the temperature hovered near zero all day.  Since then we’ve climbed more than twenty peaks together through wet snow, packed snow and fresh powder that went up to our waists.  Alumni from both Whippoorwill and Lincoln have joined us on our various adventures, including Neil, Jack Schneider, Will Holland, Chris Freyer, Robin Gucker, Ruth Needleman, Paul Sonneborn, and Paul Ferrari.  We’ve also each climbed solo on a few occasions.


Will and Ted's excellent adventures!


The difference between winter hiking and summer hiking isn’t just the cold, snow and snowshoes, it’s the many extra layers, three hats, four pairs of gloves, frozen water bottles, and frozen peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  Best of all, there are no bugs in the winter and there’s no mud, roots or rocks – when the trails are packed you can fly along like walking on a smooth snow sidewalk. Insulated boots with microspikes, crampons, or snowshoes enable you to move forward towards your destination safely and in comfort.


Approaching the summit of Haystack


The summits remain breezy and beautiful, though completely transformed once the snow and ice lay cover on the crown. With temperatures often below zero up top, there’s usually just enough time to take a picture before heading down to the protection of trees for a quick snack. The coveted summer-time slide-climbs are highlighted by the snow, allowing one to dream of the fun to come in warm weather. There are days where a five minute break is too long, for coldness sets in quickly; conversely there are days where the sun warms you and longer breaks are welcomed when graced with slightly warmer temperatures.


Hiking up Haystack


Although people do camp in winter, we’ve chosen to do all our climbing as day trips.  That means in comparison to summer camp trips, we’ve ended up climbing some odd combinations of peaks.  For example, we set out a few weeks ago to climb the Lower Range, but only got as far as Upper and Lower Wolf Jaws because so much deep, fresh snow slowed us down too much to continue that day to Gothics and Armstrong.  So we went back a few weeks later for a Gothics and Armstrong day trip from the Ausable Club.  That’s another major characteristic of winter climbing – the weather and conditions often have a major effect on your plans, and frequently prevent you from doing what you intended to do.  You always have to be smart, and recognize your limitations.  Being careful in the mountains is always important, but especially so in winter.

I plan to follow up this post with trip reports about each of our climbs. We’re also hoping to do a slideshow this summer of photos we’ve taken over the last two winters. So stay tuned, and who knows – maybe next winter some of you can join us on our hikes as we head toward our goal of finishing on Phelps on March 8, 2015.

The end of Autumn in the north country

Posted: October 28, 2013

Greetings from the far north!  Fall moves quickly up here and while it’s not yet Halloween, the leaves are all gone and the high peaks are capped in snow.  What a Fall it was though!  We had beautiful, warm weather for longer than anyone can reasonably expect at this latitude and, of course, it’s always lovely watching the reds, yellows, oranges, pinks and other colors that defy identification, creep down the mountain sides and cover the ground.  The green at camp held out longer than in most areas, and then turned and dropped abruptly, almost overnight.  We thought some of you might like to see what Lincoln and Whip look like during this time of transition.


One of the rituals of Fall for my family is the annual CLAC gathering over the Columbus day weekend.  This tradition of several camp friends and their families gathering for a weekend of outdoor fun, goes back to the late 60′s and has always been one of my favorite “holidays!”  This year, a hike up Goodnow mountain and a delicious dinner at Frau’s were shared by a good group of camp and non-camp folks.  See how many you can pick out in the photos!  And, we know that there are other similar gatherings of camp alumni around the country, at various times of the year.  Why not send us some pictures of yours this year and maybe a “trip report?!”

In other news, we’re pleased to announce that this month has given us a new member of the camp community.  Kate gave birth to her new daughter, Matilda, on October 22nd.  She, her husband Doug and Matilda are all doing very well!



As Fall moves its way south, we hope you’ll all get to enjoy the color and the crisp air.  Best wishes with school and work.  As the leaves disappear and the cold winds move in, just remember that each day brings us closer to the 2014 camp season and summer!

NCC Camper Reunion!

Posted: January 12, 2013

It was so wonderful to see all of you who made it to our annual Camp reunion on January 5th.  We had a great time skating, catching up with friends and watching a slideshow from this past summer.   We missed those of you who were unable to attend this time, but there’s no reason you need to miss out completely.  Below, you’ll find a link to the slideshow via smugmug.  Hope you enjoy it!


































We’re counting down the days until we see you moving into your cabins for another fabulous summer!

Slide show link:!i=2314766537&k=HqHjrq9


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