The North Country Camps Foundation

Established in 2017, the North Country Camps Foundation, Inc. is inspired by the 100+ year history of the North Country Camps and has been created to support and conduct the successful continuation of camps Lincoln and Whippoorwill into the future.

Our nonprofit organization offers families the opportunity to choose summer experiences for their children centered on wilderness living, learning, leadership development and diverse community living.

Nestled in the Adirondack region of New York State, the North Country Camps were established by Colba “Chief” Gucker in 1920 and have invited children and their families into the camp community ever since.

The foundation will continue to expand on the Gucker family’s legacy with the support of generations of campers, parents and our extended community.  It is led by a Board of Directors comprised of individuals who understand the history and tradition of the North Country Camps and are committed to carrying out the Foundation’s mission.

Board Members

Barry Needleman attended Lincoln from 1977 to 1981, and was a staff member from 1984 to 1993.  He has returned for portions of each summer since 1993 to lead trips for both camps and help run the Lincoln waterfront.  Barry and his wife, Ruth, met at camp in 1989.  Ruth is currently an Associate Director who runs the trip programs at both camps.  Their children, Hannah and Sam, both attended camp and worked there.


Barry is the managing partner of McLane, Middleton, New Hampshire’s largest law firm. His practice focuses on energy project development and environmental law.  He has held several leadership positions at McLane, including spending eight years on the firm’s Management Committee and chairing McLane’s Energy Practice Group.  


Barry served as the Gucker Campership Fund Counsel from 2006 until 2017.  He also served for two years on the Board of the Adirondack Mountain Club.


Barry holds a B.A. from Clark University, a J.D. from Lewis and Clark, Northwestern School of Law and an LL.M. in Environmental Law from George Washington University.  He and Ruth live in Hopkinton, New Hampshire but also spend time at their home in Essex, New York.  Barry has completed multiple rounds of the Adirondack 46, including two winter rounds, and loves sharing his passion for the mountains with campers during the summer. 


Anda Adams attended Whippoorwill from 1990 to 1993, and served on the staff from 1997 to 2001.  She credits her camp experience as the catalyst for her career in education.


In her work as an educator and administrator over the last 18 years, Anda has focused on the powerful impact of outdoor educational opportunities and the importance of providing access to rigorous and joyful learning experiences for all students.  She currently serves as the Assistant Superintendent for the Cambridge Public Schools (MA), where she oversees curriculum, instruction, assessment and professional learning.


Anda holds an A.B. in History from Brown University, a Masters of Public Policy from Georgetown, and a doctorate in Education Leadership from Harvard.  She lives in Framingham, Massachusetts.  With great joy, she introduced her daughter Tilda to North Country Camps at Old Timers' Weekend in August 2016 and cannot wait for her to have the full camp experience. 

Betsy Ginsberg was a Whippoorwill camper from 1982 to 1987, and returned as a staff member for several years beginning in 1991. Betsy is a law professor at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law where she founded and directs the Civil Rights Clinic.  Prior to teaching, Betsy practiced law in California and New York, where she worked for non-profits seeking to reform prisons and jails and to enforce constitutional standards in the treatment of prisoners and detainees.


Betsy holds a B.A. from Wesleyan and a J.D. from New York University School of Law.  She and husband Alex live in Brooklyn, NY with their children Fay and Cyrus, who spent his first summer at Lincoln in 2017. 


Brian Ruder attended Camp Lincoln with three of his siblings from 1964 to 1969 and returned as a counselor in 1973 where he met his wife-to-be Ginny Lang Ruder (camper 1965-1969). Their children, Adam and Dave, also attended Camp Lincoln in the 1990’s and both returned as counselors as well.


Brian is founder and CEO of Skylight Counselors LLC a strategic marketing and business development consulting group. He founded Skylight Counselors in 2001 after a 23 year management career at Citigroup, the H.J.Heinz Company and PepsiCo.


Brian also serves as the chairman of the Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries in Beacon, NY. This research-based scientific and policy institute studies the effects of humanity on river systems and how to optimize the divergent needs and interests of industry, transportation, recreation, development and the environment.


From 2007 to 2011 Brian served as board chair of the Adirondack Council. He remains on the Council board and chairs the Government Relations committee. He is also on the board of the Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA) which spearheads economic development in the North Country for clean industry and thriving local communities. 


Brian holds a B.A. in American History from Washington University in St. Louis and an MBA in marketing from the Tuck School at Dartmouth College.  Brian and Ginny live in Scarsdale, New York and also spend time at their home on Silver Lake in the Adirondacks.

Elaine Mizer was a Whippoorwill camper from 1974 to 1979, having been introduced to camp by Steve Frauenthal, who taught with her father for 20 years.   


Elaine has spent her entire career in Human Resources and is the Chief Human Resources Officer at Commonfund, an asset manager that supports school endowments and foundations.  Elaine previously served on the board of Fertile Hope, a non-profit focused on providing fertility resources to cancer patients.


Elaine holds a B.A. degree in Human Resources from Western Connecticut State University.   She resides in South Salem, New York with her husband Ed and two teenage sons, Brett and Travis.

Emily Byrne was a camper at Whippoorwill from 1994 to 2000.  She spent most of her early childhood summers in and around the camp health centers helping her mother, Betsy, nurse broken and sick campers back to health.  Emily subsequently served on the Whippoorwill staff from 2004 to 2008.


Emily currently serves as the Deputy Fiscal Officer for the Vermont General Assembly, Joint Fiscal Office.  Currently she also volunteers on the Board of the Vermont Federal Credit Union.


She holds an M.P.A from Syracuse University, a M.S. from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, and a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin.  Emily resides in Montpelier, Vermont with her family, a former Wheezer and third generation Lincoln alum, a future cubbie, and a future birdie. 

Rachel Willner Thompson was a Whippoorwill camper from 1986 to 1990, and returned as a staff member for several years beginning in 1994. Her two eldest children, Caleb and Nate, are now enthusiastic campers at Lincoln.  Rachel is a pediatric emergency medicine physician and assistant professor of pediatrics at Boston Medical Center & Boston University School of Medicine.  In addition to her clinical role, Rachel is the Clerkship Director for pediatric medical education for the BU medical students and loves the opportunity this provides for mentoring those students who choose a career in pediatrics.

Rachel holds a B.A. from Harvard College and received her M.D. from Yale University School of Medicine.  She and husband Joel live in Jamaica Plain, MA with their children Caleb, Nate & Nora.