A traditional overnight brother sister camp in the Adirondack Mountains
Where are you located?
For those of you that know the area, we are about 15 minutes north of Lake George Village, just off of Route 9. For the rest of you, we are at the southern end of the Adirondack Park, located on 400 private acres of pristine park. We are:
Our campers come from all over the United States, and all over the world. The majority of our campers come from the greater NYC, northern NJ area. We have a growing population from eastern Massachusetts, as well as southern Connecticut. Additionally, we have campers from all over the world including France, Spain, China, Germany, Venezuela, and Denmark. How do we have campers from all over the world? Alumni grow older and move abroad, and word of mouth simply travels!
What type of training does your staff have?
We value the opportunity to work with our staff prior to Opening Day of camp. Staff Training begins during the off-season but fully takes shape 10 days before campers arrive on June 30th. There are a variety of methods we use during orientation to reach all types of learning abilities, including lectures, role-playing, team building, reading, videos, and hearing experiential stories. We continue with Staff Training throughout the summer and value the opportunity to debrief with staff and evaluate performance as well as discuss and problem solve any camper situations.
How does the program work?
Our program is choice based. Our campers, every morning, choose the activities they will do for the day ahead. Campers often share how they value this system as it allows them to be responsible for their learning and their actions. It gives them great autonomy to have a say in how their day will unfold. Staff step in and offer suggestions if they feel a camper is limiting their options or not taking advantage of new experiences. Campers love the diversity and flexibility of our daily changing schedule.
Do you require the campers to go on camping trips?
All junior campers enjoy an overnight at one of our on-site camp outpost. While we do not require our senior campers to go on an overnight camping trip, we do offer a number of exciting overnight Wilderness Expeditions during the course of the summer. Backpacking and canoeing provide incredible opportunities for our campers to fully enjoy the Adirondacks Mountains and lakes around camp. We also offer many day hikes during our camping season for all ages.
Are electronics allowed?
We do not allow campers to have game type electronics or cell phones at camp. Kindles are included as they are able to pickup WiFi signals. We feel strongly that the use of any game devices or cell phones limit a campers experience while at camp. Camp is a wonderfully unique opportunity for people of all ages to disconnect electronically and connect personally with the world around them. Devices that solely play music are allowed during rest hour and bedtime.
Do the campers have chores?
Yes. We feel it is very important to teach our campers both individual responsibility, as well as a responsibility to their cabin community. Campers are required, daily, to make their bed, keep their locker in order, and generally keep their individual space clean and free of clutter. Additionally, every day each camper is given a cabin chore to complete. This can vary from sweeping the cabin, taking out the trash, or cleaning the toilet areas. Also, in the Mess Hall, the campers take turns being the cabin waiter or hopper. Every day who ever is the waiter/hopper, they are required to set the cabin’s table, to bring all the food to the cabin’s table, and to clear away all the dishes once everyone is finished.
Can I talk to my son/daughter?
Yes and no. We do not allow any phone calls for campers during their first week of stay. Beginning the second week, we allow campers staying for 4 weeks or longer a single phone call. While we know speaking to your child is very important and can provide a sense of relief, we have a responsibility to provide a fluid, uninterrupted experience. In order to provide a growing experience for your child, we limit those phone calls caringly. You are allowed to “speak” to your child daily through email. We have a system where parents can log in and send their child an email. Emails are printed and delivered to the campers just like regular mail. We strongly encourage old-fashioned letter writing as a way to communicate with your camper and for your camper to communicate with you. Nothing beats receiving a letter in the mail! Click here to contact your camper.
What type of sessions do you offer?
Our most popular option is our 4-week session. Historically, either the first 4-week session or our last 3-week session is usually chosen. That said, we do have other options for all our campers and their needs: we have 2, 3, 4, 5 and 7 week sessions. We also inform all our families that if there is room, all our campers are welcome to extend their stay at FLC!
Do you provide transportation?
We do. We provide transportation from both JFK and Albany airports. We also provide transportation from Paramus, NJ as well as White Plains, NY. All transportation is provided at a fee and is available on specific session dates. If your child is arriving at a different airport or on an alternative date, if we are able to schedule a private pick up for you, then we will. Since it will be a private pick up, please understand the fees will be higher.
What is a brother/sister camp?
Being a Brother/Sister camp means we value family! We are one large family at Forest Lake and we value single sex experiences for our campers. This means we have two camps sitting on the same property. The living areas are separate, as are almost all the daily activities (an exception being drama). Although our daily activities are single sex, we value the opportunity to come together as a whole family. Special events like campfire, chapel, Carnival and our annual square dances are enjoyed together with both camps. Every Sunday we offer an opportunity for siblings from both camps to come together for a healthy game of kickball or a sibling tennis match. Siblings have time to “check in”, see how each other is doing, and hear what activities they are participating in. Having both camps on the same property allows us to run separate programs that are geared appropriately to each gender, however siblings need not go to different camps. We find it is a nice option for siblings of opposite genders.
What kind of camp are you?
We are a traditional sleep away camp. This means we offer numerous activities for our campers to experience a breadth of variety. We want our campers to be able to try different things so they can learn about themselves, what they enjoy, and how to extend themselves and do something they might otherwise not have the opportunity. If you would like additional information on the benefits of a traditional summer camp, we encourage you to read the American Camp Association article titled “The Values of the Traditional Camp Experience”.
Are you a competitive camp?
No, but we have the option if so desired. The daily program activities involve all campers with an emphasis on individual instruction. Everyone has an opportunity to improve individually and even when scrimmages take place, sportsmanship is the primary lesson. For the more competitive athletes, there is the opportunity to join the FLC team that competes against teams from other, local camps. Therefore, all campers have the opportunity to participate at a level that appeals to them.
What is the camper to staff ratio?
The minimum living ratio we have in the cabins is 1:8, and many of the cabins would also have a Junior Counselor in the cabin as well (if not another full counselor). The overall staff to camper ratio is somewhere in between 1:3 and 1:4.
What is the weather like?
Our weather is very pleasant during the summer months. We average mid to high 80’s during the day and the evenings are generally cooler. During the day shorts are very appropriate, and many evenings find campers donning sweatshirts or pants.
Can I have a list of references?
Of course! Just inquire to the camp office and we can provide you with a list of reference in your area.
Who owns FLC?
From 1926 to 2008 the Confer family owned Forest Lake Camp. The Blanck and Kelly families now own FLC. Geoff Blanck was a camper in the 70’s and 80’s with his brother Rob and his dad Bob was an FLC camper, CIT, and counselor in the 50’s and 60’s. His daughters are third generation campers. Tobin Kelly was a long time camper himself at Camp Tohkomeupog in NH as well as a counselor, Head Counselor and Alumni Director. Tobin’s daughter also attends Forest Lake Camp.