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2023 NCC Newsletter

Greetings to the NCC Community!

As we reflect back on 2023 and look ahead to 2024, we want to start by wishing the happiest of birthdays to Pete Gucker, who turned 99 earlier this month, and Jan Farrington who will be 98 in February!  They continue to be an inspiration to us all.  

collage of Jan and Pete


2023 Season Summary 

The 2023 season showcased a number of opportunities that were brand-new to almost all of our campers, including a return to canoe trips across all three Saranac lakes; the resumption of our nearly 60-year friendly sports rivalry with Camp Poko-MacCready; and full-court, 5-on-5-plus basketball on Lincoln’s newly created and very popular court. Whippoorwill’s new woodshop hummed with the construction of boxes, bookcases and gifts for the Peanut Present exchange at final Council Fire. 

The ropes course was a lead attraction for kids of all ages, and a stalwart band of riders from both camps made sure the horses got a daily dose of NCC love. Our goats - Wednesday, Edith, Fern and Patty - also caught the affections of campers and provided endless activity ideas such as goat yoga, goat art, goat games and mixed goat care.  

Collage of campers around camp

On and around the field, weekly camper-vs-staff games at Lincoln such as capture the flag, soccer, and volleyball (not newcomb!) kept spirits and energy levels high, while Whippoorwill campers reinvigorated roof ball and all-camp games of sardines and manhunt. Archers out on the ranges made quick work of personal goals and amassed milestone ranks. Several staff pitched in to make the biking program more robust than ever, and wood and art shops at both camps showcased projects of noteworthy skill and dedication. 

At the waterfront, fishing continued its resurgence at Lincoln, especially after two different campers each landed northern pikes over two feet long! Whippoorwill introduced “new species” to Augur Lake, transforming Birdie Beach into Mermaid Cove to harness campers’ inner mermaid spirits and care for seahorses. Frequent wind and rain tested Whip and Lincoln sailors’ and canoeists' heavy-weather bona fides, but never their resolve.   

North Country Camps’ unstoppable campers and always-creative staff thrived on the challenge of devising rain-friendly activities, whether inventing new lodge games like “Impede-ment” (ask your camper!), or throwing cleanliness to the mercy of the elements with good old-fashioned Racket Smack-it, Tracking, Hydraulic Engineering, or Amphibian Research, a.k.a. Frog Catch-and-Release. Fed up with the mud, Whippoorwill Seniors turned their section into a beach tableau with glittery inflatables and a rainbow-colored beach umbrella, which made cameo appearances in different locales throughout the summer. 

Finally, camp wouldn’t be the same without a generous helping of special events including the Pioneer Meet, a County Fair, a heartwarming stage production of The Greatest Showman, a Gymkhana in the horse-riding ring with cowboy commentators, and our yearly Chief’s Cup and Farrington Cup sailing races. 

At Lincoln, campers cheered for a photo-finish Pinewood Derby, a Ninja-Turtles-themed Final Four competition and of course our Top Gun Final Banquet!  At Whippoorwill, we had a series of special events over the summer that included a magical under-the-sea dinner prepared by the workgroup, campers rushing the hills for an afternoon in search of gold, kids spending time seeking out and capturing those elusive “most-wanted counselors” and everyone donning their finest for “A Night in Paris” prom complete with brie, confit de poulet, ratatouille and eclairs from our amazingly talented chefs.    

All this amidst a dazzling and ever-expanding array of Adirondack hikes, paddles, bushwhacks, Champlain sails, rock climbs, and extended trips.

Last one packed for ‘24 is a chunk of Lackawanna coal! 

Collage of campers doing various activities and smiling


2023 Adirondack Leadership Experience (ALE)

During the 2023 camp season we ran the ALE Program for a group of four 16-year-olds. True to the spirit of NCC, the program was heavily trip-focused and full of different adventures. It culminated in a 9-day Canadian canoe trip in a remote area several hundred miles northwest of Montreal.

Collage of Adirondack Leadership Experience campers


2023 Family Camp

At the end of the summer we welcomed 13 families to Camp for three days of fun. The waterfront was busy with sailors, canoers and swimmers. We had big crowds at our expanded ropes course, made several ascents of Pinnacle, held a concert in the Red Barn and enjoyed delicious food at each meal. 

Collage of smiling kids during family camp


2024 Alumni Weekend

Start planning now for the 2024 Alumni Weekend! It will run from dinner on Friday, August 16 through lunch on Sunday, August 18. Registration will open in May. We look forward to welcoming you all to the North Country for a weekend of activities around camp, some local hikes, a Saturday concert in the Red Barn and plenty of reconnecting with old friends.


April 8, 2024 Eclipse in Keeseville!

Mark your calendars for Monday, April 8, 2024. The next total solar eclipse is coming to Keeseville!  (See the path here: Come experience this once-in-a-lifetime event with your NCC family. Plans are in the works for a gathering in and around camp, including a group climb of Pinnacle. It’s too early in the season to offer accommodations at camp but there are many hotels and Airbnb lodgings in the area. Places are now accepting reservations and do expect to fill up quickly. If you need any assistance, please email 


Alumni Meet-Ups

In 2023 we had a fantastic alumni meet-up in Manhattan with over 60 NCC folks attending, a lovely "Kids and Coffee" event in Connecticut and a great spring gathering in Boston. The Committee continues to work on coordinating informal meet-ups in various regions across the country. We’ll be in touch about upcoming save-the-dates so keep an eye on social media!  If you’d like to see a meet-up organized in your part of the country, please contact

Collage of alumni at various alumni get togethers


Camper and Staff Recruiting

Our own community is one of our best sources for both camper and staff referrals. Nobody knows camp better than you, and we count on our alumni and camp families to share that enthusiasm with prospective campers and staff. 

If you know any families who might be interested in NCC, our virtual open houses are an easy, low-key way for prospective families to meet our camp leaders, see a slideshow and learn all about NCC.  A schedule and information about open houses can be found here.

The wonderful NCC experience we all know and love is really dependent on outstanding staff members. If you know anyone who might like to work at NCC in 2024, please encourage them to visit our webpage where we have specific information about employment at camp.



Spring Alumni Work Day

Each year a small, hearty group of staffers arrive in late May to start opening up camp for the season. We invariably have the need for extra hands to help with a range of projects. If you like the idea of jumping in for a day and assisting our pre-pre crew, then we invite you to join us on Saturday, June 8th for the 2024 Alumni Work Day. Participants are welcome to join us for meals and take a dip in the lake. If you’re interested in participating, please RSVP or reach out for more information:


NCC Blog

Did you have a chance to see our Blog posts this past summer? If not, take a look! They are full of great NCC pictures and cover the following topics: Meet the Staff, Pioneer Meet, Sailing on the Orion, Extended Trip Season, and more!


Planned Giving

We are grateful to our alumni community for your generosity and giving. Thanks to you, North Country Camps will continue to provide the unique community and wilderness experiences that so many of us cherished in our youth.

Please consider extending your support for camp through your estate planning by adding us as a beneficiary of funds or stock. Because the North Country Camps Foundation is a nonprofit organization, you can simply list us in your will or trust as follows:

North Country Camps Foundation

395 Frontage Road

Keeseville, NY 12944

EIN # 37-1862801

If you’d like to discuss your plan for legacy giving, we would welcome the conversation.

Simply email Barry Needleman at


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