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Camp Fairs and ‘Summer Camp Socials’ [VIDEO]


Executive Director Brian DeGroat in front of a new Pok-O display.

          It was a busy weekend in Westchester and NYC for Pok-O-MacCready Camps.  On Saturday and Sunday, there were two camp fairs, each followed up by one of our new “Get2Kno Pok-O: Summer Camp Socials”. Saturday was laser tag, rock climbing and an open arcade in Ardsley, NY and Sunday was bowling at Chelsea piers.  Both days brought out great crowd of current camp families and new ‘prospective families’. Fun and food was had all around; stories were shared and new friendships made. A successful weekend! We are looking forward to the three remaining events in Philadelphia, Boston and Connecticut.  Don’t miss out on these Summer Camp Socials! Stay tuned and check for updates here.
(Also, when you know you are going, give us a call or e-mail, we’d love to hear from you)

(Here’s a video recap of the
Westchester & NYC Summer Camp Socials)


Summer Camp Blog: “Get2Kno” Pok-O MacCready Camps!

        The previous summer camp blog entry was about setting goals and achieving these goals step-by-step. Pok-O-MacCready Summer Camps always has the goal to GROW our current family and SHARE the greatest summer camp in the universe with more communities. It is simple, more kids means more fun activities. 
        So, our first step was to plan the Get2Kno Pok-O: Summer Camp Socials. 

           Executive Director Brian Degroat said this about these new ‘socials’:

                “We realized that our best promoters for camp are our current families. So we created opportunities for potential campers to meet current campers and have a ‘hang out’. Then they can continue to forge the relationships they make during the summer, while making new friends they may then see that summer!  We would love to see just as many new faces as familiar ones at these socials.”

                When and where will these events be?

                We are going to have events in NYC, New Jersey, Westchester, Boston, Connecticut and Philadelphia but the first event is:

The Gravity Vault Indoor Rock Gym
(Chatham, New Jersey)
January 14th 2017


               We will have access to their 40+ Foot Climbing Walls and over 14,000+ Square Feet of Climbing.  There will be food and refreshments in addition to the climbing. The day is all-inclusive and completely free.  We do suggest that you arrive about 10 minutes early to get set-up with climbing equipment.  This will be the kick-off of the Get2Kno Pok-O: Summer Camp Socials, so we hope to see as many of you there as we can!

                What are ways current camp families can help?      

               Simply showing up, having fun and sharing those loving camp memories are enough, but if you would like to take it a step further, talk to anyone you know who is interested in summer camp.  Share the event on-line and in-person. The Facebook link below will bring you to the events page for Pok-O-MacCready Camps. 


(Click for Facebook)

           This can be shared on Facebook itself or any online groups you may be a part of.)  Bring friends or family members who’ve known about your summer camp experiences but have never tried it out. The goals of these activity-based events are simply to share some good times and possibly grow the Pok-O-MacCready Community!



…and if you’d like, print and post some flyers! (They also can be found on the Facebook event page)

                How do I get to the first event?

                All of the directions can be found online through the Facebook or The Gravity Vault website, but here is the exact address for the Chatham location, where our event will be held.

40 Watchung Avenue
Chatham, NJ 07928
January 14th  

                Can’t make it this time?

                Don’t worry! We have more fun activities ahead. Stay tuned and check out the Facebook. Or e-mail us at for more information.



Summer Camp Blog: Setting Goals & Moving Forward


“The person who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.” -Confucius

      The goals we set for ourselves and how we plan to attain them can often feel like trying to move a mountain. Our desires can stand in front of us and seem so close, yet so dauntingly high up. The journey’s trail isn’t always nicely laid out. For reasons out of any control, it may be flooded or (in our case now) covered in snow. Sight of the peak might get covered up by trees and almost seem to rise higher and higher as we navigate new paths due to natural adversity. Do not worry.

      A Pok-O-MacCready camper is no stranger to the task of climbing a mountain and sometimes even the simplest seeming hike can present the greatest struggle.  Footsteps can get weary, branches can seem to grab at you and it may seem like the whole world is trying to stop you.  In this struggle is the opportunity for personal and communal growth. Let us think to the quote above, take a breath of fresh air and see how the goals we set can be like small stones or footsteps; rewarding us

  Often, there is no difference in the bright smile of a camper who receives the Pok-O patch or a 46r patch. One can lead to the other. This is an example of setting smaller, more attainable goals in pursuit of a larger one.  Let us think even smaller! A healthy goal can even be “let’s eat lunch up ahead where the trail levels”.  Campers and counselors alike will find a new energy when they know they are about to reach a destination. So, in this new year let us set goals both the size of mountains and molehills.  Move stones, not boulders and we’ll all see each other at the peak.

     Now, let us look ahead for Pok-O-MacCready Camps.  Ski week has ended and instead of good-byes, “see-you-laters” were exchanged.  All because, though it may seem at a distance, summer camp is approaching quickly.  Take a walk down the nature trail and you will hear the banging of busy hammers and saws as the 1812 Homestead’s Candle Shop and Schoolhouse gets fixed up.  Back at the Pok-O-Queen you will hear the busy sounds, of ringing phones and keyboards typing. It’s that exciting time of year where the grounds are slowly restored, stone-by-stone, and the administrative staff works diligently; tending to all campers and family, both new and returning.  The summer is shaping up, but we can use all the help we can get!

     Maintaining Pok-O-MacCready Camps is a great task, much like moving a mountain. There are many stones and it’s takes a group effort.  That is why we look to our Alumni families and anyone who has been a part of this community to help. A couple weeks ago we posted a message from Jack Swan and if you are interested in helping out, give it a read!
Here’s the link (click)

Enjoy your winter, and we’ll see you all soon!

Ski Week Update!


      Only days ago, the bus arrived at the MacCready Farmhouse parking lot. Now, we approach our last day at Whiteface for Ski Week 2016. Saturday will be a cold one, but the buzz of a new year has already promised to warm up the campers. It will be another exciting day of winter sports and mountaineering, followed up by a later-than-usual ‘lights out’ to allow for the New Years Eve celebration.  Yet, after a week at the mountain, it will be no easy task to stay awake for the ball drop.

      To recap, we had a high-energy start to the week.  The first day took off well and we got to the mountain earlier than most. Then, despite long days and early mornings, we even managed to eek out to the slopes earlier in the days that followed.  Wonderful lunches were packed and the cookies still continued to boast their popularity.  The Pok-O campers and counselors have become a common sight at Base Camp this time of year, commandeering the corner tables; especially since this is our 50th Ski Week anniversary!

      Ski week is a special time for campers and often acts as a reunion to stave off the longing for another summer. Familiar faces come together to celebrate tradition and share them across the seasons. Hot chocolate and tea still has a policy and saying “tonight” during a meal still causes an explosion of singing.

      Yes, we do ski/snowboard, many hours of it, but the fun does not stop when the snow gloves come off. Nighttime activities during Ski Week include movies, games, filmmaking, hikes and rock-climbing.  Often, with the bursting energy in the Pok-O Queen during this time, it’s hard to fathom that a whole day was spent at the mountain. Yet, there is a curious lack of opposition when it comes time for lights-out. 

      We thought you’d all like to hear more about what goes on here during this special week, so we put together a special ski-week edition of “Ask the Camper” video; . Enjoy!

Photo of The Week

The third installment of Photo of The Week! We got some snow yesterday as you can see, the seasons definitely change quickly around here! 













Hockey Boards 

Read more…

The Snow is Coming









As we watched the snow fall here at Pok-O for the first time, we can’t help but think back on all our warm, sunny, beautiful summer camp days! We may have to wait eight months for summer to roll back around but we do not have to wait to catch up with all your friends from summer camp! We can all get together at our annual Ski Week.

Read more…

Photo of The Week

Last week we started a new blog series where we will be posting weekly photos of Pok-O-MacCready through fall, winter, and spring. Now everyone will be able to experience the beauty of the Adirondacks through the seasons! Check back every week for new photos, and in case you missed last week, Photo of The Week

Horse Field 
















You can see frost still in the field the sun has yet to melt. 

Read more…

The Annual Sheep Roundup

sheep exitToday we got a chance to take a break from answering phone calls and emails in the office to relocate our sheep for the winter.  We move our two sheep, André and Lady Baba, from the Homestead down to the Sugar Cube Barn, where we install a heater to keep them warm through the colder months.



Brian, Sarah, and Pat greeting André at the Sugar Cube

Read more…

Photo of The Week


Ever wonder what camp looks like outside of summer?

Today is the first installment of a *new* weekly recurring blog series!

We had our first snow fall here in Willsboro last week. That led us to talking about how most campers and camp families do not get the chance to see Pok-O outside of the summer camp season, except for those who attend Ski Week of course. This new blog series will be weekly photos of Pok-O-MacCready through fall, winter, and spring. Now everyone will be able to experience the beauty of the Adirondacks through the seasons! Check back every week for new photos!


Tack Barn


barn week 1

 Sailing Docks


sailing docks week 1


Indoor Rock Climbing in the Adirondacks

Female Rock Climber on WallIf you’re interested in rock climbing in the Adirondacks, an indoor rock climbing center is a great way to learn or hone your skills. Located in the Adirondacks, The Crux climbing center in Willsboro, NY offers a wide array of indoor climbing elements and routes to climbers of all ages and abilities. The friendly and knowledgeable staff is also pretty fun to hang out with, too.

Winter is the Perfect Time to Learn to Rock Climb

When the weather is nice, the last place you want to be is inside, which is why winter is the perfect time to learn to rock climb. The Crux, which is owned and operated by Pok-O-MacCready Camps and used almost exclusively by campers in the summer, is open to the public from mid-October to mid-May. So that when the snow melts and the weather turns warm, you’ll be ready to get out and explore rock climbing in the Adirondacks.

Discounts on Indoor Rock Climbing

The Crux offers recurring events throughout the winter season for big discounts and deals on indoor rock climbing. The first Monday of every month is Ladies Night, when all women can climb for free, and men can do the same of the third Monday of the month. There’s also a $10 College Night and free equipment rentals for the Kids Club.

Host an Indoor Rock Climbing Party

Indoor rock climbing is great for school trips, girl scout & boy scout troops, corporate team building retreats, birthday parties and community groups. At The Crux, groups of 8-15 climbers qualify for a special rate, and the space is also available to rent for your private party or function.

Is Your Child Interested in a Summer Camp with Rock Climbing?

Pok-O-MacCready Camps offers intensive climbing classes at The Crux as part of their summer camp in the Adirondacks. Sessions last from 2 weeks to 7 weeks and include both overnight and day camp options. Request a free DVD and information packet from Pok-O-MacCready camps, or contact the Outdoor Education Center for more information on the indoor climbing center.

Fun Outdoor Activities at Our Wilderness Camp for Kids


Nothing can match the lessons learned, the breathtaking beauty, the challenges overcome, and the camaraderie felt during a camp trip into the mountains. If you are looking for a wilderness camp in the USA with a diverse, well-established outdoor adventure program staffed by experienced counselors and specialists and suited to all ages and abilities, Pok-O-MacCready is all that and more!

Summer Wilderness Camp in the Adirondacks

Abundant in natural beauty, the Adirondacks provide campers with access to more than 6 million acres of woodland, rocks, rivers, lakes and mountains to explore. Wilderness trips are sent out of camp nearly every day and vary in length from half-day to day-long, overnight, and multi-day excursions. There are trips of varying difficulty levels and every camper has the opportunity to participate in a variety of fun outdoor activities.


Wilderness camps in the Adirondacks provide campers with access to one of the most dramatic mountain ranges in the country. In fact, many campers aim to climb all 46 high peaks with elevations above 4,000 feet to become “Adirondack 46ers”, but most start out on a group of small local mountains that offer picturesque summits, diverse forests and beautiful views of Lake Champlain.

Mountain Biking

Bring your own bike to wilderness camp or use one of ours from the Hard Rock Bike Shop. During both day trips and overnight trips, campers experience biking on lumber roads, racing to the bottom of Whiteface or Gore Mountain, and traversing the well-marked trail network at Mount Van Hoevenberg.


The Adirondacks offer some of the best rock climbing in the northeastern United States, but unlike other wilderness camps for kids, Pok-O-MacCready provides campers with access to a state-of-the-art indoor rock climbing center, as well. Under expert instruction, campers learn basic safety and skills at the “The Crux” indoor facility, and then on extended rock climbing trips into the Adirondacks.


With several dozen boats and two trailers, our wilderness camp for kids offers canoeing and kayaking trips to all corners of the Adirondacks. By navigating the Saranac Lake chain and other waters, and camping on remote islands, campers learn why these scenic and often relaxing trips are so popular.


Several wilderness camps in the USA offer fishing, but for Northern Pike, Perch and Bass we recommend Long Pond in the Adirondacks. As a bonus, several beautiful campsites situated on the shores of the pond are owned by Pok-O-MacCready. If the demand warrants, extended fishing and fly-fishing excursions are sent to lakes and streams of the Adirondacks.


Unlike other wilderness camps for kids, Pok-O-MacCready has access to the vast and windy waters of nearby Lake Champlain. Using well-equipped state campgrounds as bases, sailors learn skills on the more forgiving Long Pond, before taking out fleet of Lasers onto the lake to experience the joy and challenge of riding the wind.

Scenic Trips

These very popular trips are ideal for campers who want to experience the beauty of the Adirondack wilderness and spend a day wandering trails and exploring waterfalls without the extreme demand of climbing a mountain. We strongly encourage every camper to try at least one trip, and this is a wonderful option for a fun day spent in nature.

Sign Up For An Experience of a Lifetime at our Wilderness Camp for Kids!

On our wilderness trips, all campers and counselors share the responsibility of carrying gear, cooking, route finding, and campsite etiquette. Led by experienced counselors and staff members, and with an emphasis on safety and skills, campers are exposed to all aspects of wilderness living. All of our trip leaders go through extensive training during pre-camp, including Wilderness First Aid and CPR certifications, orienteering skills, campsite selection and set-up, and outdoor cooking.

Interested in learning more about Pok-O-MacCready’s wilderness camp? Request a free DVD or contact us.

10 Adirondack Mountains Pok-O-MacCready Campers Climb

With picturesque summits and diverse forests, the Adirondacks represent one of the most dramatic mountain ranges in the country, and Pok-O-MacCready is proud to call them home. Our Adirondack summer camp is nestled among a group of small local mountains, which serve as a gentle introduction to hiking, camping and wilderness skills.

Becoming an “Adirondack 46er”

After exploring the beautiful views of Lake Champlain and the local landscape, many Pok-O campers choose to expand their horizons in the Adirondack High Peak Wilderness. Each summer, Pok-O-MacCready offers hiking trips to all forty-six high peaks, with elevations over 4,000 feet. Individual campers and counselors who hike all forty-six, usually over the course of several summers, are then celebrated as “Adirondack 46ers”.

10 Adirondack Mountains

Here are 10 of the Adirondack High Peaks included in Pok-O-MacCready’s Adirondack Summer Camp itinerary.

CascadeCascade Mountain – Regarded as one of the easiest of the 46 High Peaks, the distance to the top is 2.4 miles with an ascent of 1,940 feet. A treeless summit affords hikers spectacular views.


Lower WolfjawLower Wolf Jaw Mountain – This hike is 8.7 miles with an elevation of 4,175 feet, and takes about 8 hours. The summit is mostly tree covered, but the hike up is the best part.


Upper WolfjawUpper Wolf Jaw Mountain – At 4,185 feet, this is the 29th highest peak. It takes 11 hours to hike the 12.7 miles and, at 2.3 miles, there are nice views of Big Slide and Whiteface Mountains.


SaddlebackSaddleback Mountain – The 17th highest peak at 4,515 feet, it takes approximately 10 hours to hike. It’s 13.4 miles to the top and features a double summit, connected by a ridgeline.


TabletopTabletop Mountain – Located in Essex County, this mountain is the 19th highest peak in New York. The hike is 15.2 miles, takes an average of 13 hours, and has three summits.


GothicsGothics Mountain – At 4,736 feet, this hike can be 15 miles round-trip, and take up to 10 hours to complete. There are fixed cables and ladders along the route and a hidden cave at the summit.


GiantGiant Mountain – The trail is 6 miles long and will take between 4 and 10 hours to hike, round-trip. Located far from the other peaks, it stands out as a giant at an elevation of 4,627 feet.


WrightWright Peak – This hike is 7 miles long and will take an average of 7 hours. At the summit, remnants of a U.S. B-47 bomber are scattered from a crash in 1962 and marked with a plaque.


WhitefaceWhiteface Mountain – A popular ski destination near Lake Placid, this mountain offers a 360-view of the Adirondacks, Vermont and Canada. The hike is 10.4 miles and takes about 8.5 hours.


MarcyMount Marcy – At 5,344 feet, this is the highest peak in New York State and one of the most visited in the world. The 7.4 mile hike to the summit is worth the trek, which is usually completed over 2 days.   


Wilderness Camp in the Adirondacks

At Pok-O-MacCready, every camper has the opportunity to participate in a variety of wilderness experiences. Wilderness trips set out nearly every day and vary in length from half-day to day-long, overnight and multi-day excursions. There are trips of varying difficulty levels and distance to appeal to all campers.

Request a free DVD from Pok-O-MacCready Camps to learn more about our wilderness camp in the Adirondacks.

Summer Camp in the Beautiful Adirondacks

Adirondack Summer Camp | Pok-O-MacCready CampsAdirondack summer camps have been a tradition for many children and families since the late 1800s. The crack of screen doors and laughter, the smell of campfires and s’mores, the view of mountaintop sunsets and shimmering moonlit lakes – it’s summer camp nostalgia at its best, and it still exists in the Adirondacks.

Abundant in natural beauty, the Adirondacks provide campers with access to more than 6 million acres of woodland, rocks, rivers, lakes and mountains to explore. It’s no wonder that generations of parents have chosen this beautiful area for their children’s summer camp experience.

Discover the many benefits of a summer camp in the Adirondacks

While there are many great camps in upstate New York to choose from, the Adirondacks offer a unique environment and an experience unlike any other.

Our Adirondack Summer Camp is located on a beautiful lake in New York’s Adirondack Mountains. Set on 300 private acres of wilderness with pristine waterfront, Pok-O-MacCready gives visitors the feeling of being in a rustic Adirondack summer camp, surrounded by natural beauty.

Campers and visitors have access to not only our facilities and property, but the adjacent Adirondack Park. We offer several summer camp activities that you might not find elsewhere, such as our “History & Mystery” trips, which lead campers into the wilderness to learn about the legends of the Adirondacks. Other unique camp activities include archery, horseback riding, camp craft, candle making and homesteading.

We consider it a privilege to be able to share this gorgeous part of the country with our campers each summer, and enjoy fostering their love of the outdoors while teaching them stewardship for the environment.

Thinking about sending your child to summer camp in the Adirondacks?

If you are looking for a worthwhile outdoor summer camp experience for your child, there is no better setting than the Adirondacks! Request a free DVD from Pok-O-MacCready Camps to learn more about our summer camp in the Adirondacks.

What Kids Learn at Summer Camp

Every summer, we watch our campers grow and learn. We know that at the end of their stay, they will pack up the life experiences they have gained, the lessons they have learned, and the friendships they have built, and return home with more than when they arrived.

With this year’s lessons and experiences fresh in our minds, we decided to reflect on exactly what kids learn at summer camp in the Adirondacks.

New Skills 

Summer camp provides children with an opportunity for self-discovery. It pushes them out of their comfort zone and exposes them to new activities and experiences that they may not have at home. Campers inevitably discover new things about themselves – a hidden talent, a new hobby, even a lifelong passion. By exploring various types of activities, children have a greater chance of finding something that they excel at and enjoy.



Camp teaches kids how to communicate, work together, and be team leaders. Living in a cabin with others, sharing chores, resolving disagreements, children learn to figure things out on their own and make it work. They experience diversity, and learn acceptance, compassion, understanding and respect for others, as well as the social skills needed to build long-lasting friendships.









Kids are empowered to think for themselves and make their own decisions at camp. Away from the supervision of parents and teachers, they have the freedom to manage their daily choices in a safe environment. Through peer support and the guidance of camp staff, campers discover what works and doesn’t work. They explore their likes and dislikes, and build character without parental dependency.



With its non-competitive activities and diverse opportunities to succeed, camp life is a real boost for a child’s self-confidence and self-esteem. Beyond the courage to jump off a dock or climb the rock wall, kids learn to take risks and make mistakes without the fear of failure or bad grades. They experience ups and downs and develop the confidence and coping skills needed to face more challenging issues as they get older.


Want to know what else kids learn at summer camp?

All of these skills will help a child excel at home, school and beyond, and we’ve just scratched the surface. If you’d like to know more about the benefits of attending summer camp in the Adirondacks, request a free DVD and information packet from Pok-O-MacCready.

This Perfect Place

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Original lyrics by Caroline and Jaida

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