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The Countdown Continues…!

                 

                Here at Pok-O-MacCready Summer Camp, in under a week, buses and cars full of campers and their families will be pulling past the Pok-O-Moonshine pillars or onto the MacCready Field. The 113th summer, of the “Greatest Summer Camp in the Universe”, is on the horizon. June 25th is marked on calendars all over the world and here at camp the 2017 Summer Camp Counselors and Staff prepare with bursting excitement. Tools of all variety, pressure washers, lawn mowers and weed-whackers have made their way around Upper and Lower camp in the hands of our staff. Docks are in the water and boats too!

                It is pre-camp, a special time for the upcoming summer. A time for this community of passionate staff to start the year off right.  All-hands are on deck and the to-do list is lengthy. Once summer camp counselors begin to filter in; no time is wasted.  Even some of the Pok-O-MacCready Outdoor Education Staff, who occupy the camp year- round, get in on the action.  Everyone works with the camper’s summer fun in mind and meanwhile, get to have fun themselves. Games, gatherings and get-to-know you activities are planned among the work projects. A good time is as necessary as work here and we included some pictures below to prove both!  (Who says chopping wood ain’t fun!?)

                Veteran counselor and section head, Lucy Ripman says pre-camp is not just about the preparation of the area but “building relationships between counselors while training”. (During this time counselors actually attend or teach classes that campers will have during the summer)   

                                          Similarly, new counselor Ryan Porter believes that pre-camp is a time to “prep camp, but definitely get to know sections, fellow counselors, activities-to-come and camp spirit.”  As a counselor from across the pond, Ryan is looking forward to the Revolutionary War Game, an early favorite among campers and counselors alike. Yet, however you look at it, with just days away till drop-off, the camp is looking gorgeous and filling with bright energy. 

                The 2017 summer is almost here and we cannot wait to share it with you! Check back to this blog every day to see updates from camp, including pictures and links so you can experience “The Greatest Summer Camp in the Universe”, at home!

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! 

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Hockey Boards 

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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 

11/07/16

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

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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

10/31/16

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 Sailing Docks

10/31/16

sailing docks week 1

 

Fun Outdoor Activities at Our Wilderness Camp for Kids

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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.

Hiking

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.

Rock-Climbing

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.

Canoeing/Kayaking

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.

Fishing

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.

Sailing

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.

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.

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Teamwork 

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.

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Independence 

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.

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Confidence 

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.

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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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Cheers… and Tears for 2016!

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The dark cloud hanging over camp Saturday morning – a rare sight during the summer of 2016 – was symbolic:

The end of another memorable season came with sadness, even grief over leaving good friends.  “I’m having a little trouble dealing with it right now,” voiced Piper, upon seeing her friends leave.

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But the memories from seven weeks of fun, activities, friendship and love… will last forever!

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See you in 2017!!!

Sailing for the Cup (Updated)

In a rare victory for younger campers, Sasha M and Christian T captured the Jack’s Cup Sailing Regatta, held Friday morning on the relatively calm water of Long Pond.

16_jackscup02“We weren’t sure we were going to win as there were some pretty good sailors out there.  We thought Dean and George were going to win,” said the champion yachtsmen, of the Advanced Section boys they bettered in the final.

Dean, a former Jack’s Cup champion who earlier this summer won the Long Pond Regatta, and George said that “with so little wind, it came down to weight, but they definitely had skill, and had one of the best starts I’ve ever seen from a team”

Read more…

Baskets… Paddles… and a Top Boy Rider

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“It was a very big surprise; I’ve never been honor camper before and I’m just really happy that my peers thought so highly of me.  It was a great night!”

James’s remarks about winning Pok-O-MacCready’s biggest prize appropriately captured the mood and spirit of the boy’s session #2 banquet, which was held Thursday evening in Rob16_poko3wkBanq10inson Hall.

Following a dinner ably cooked by the kitchen staff, and served by the CIT’s, the awards commenced.

And it was an historic ceremony, with Henri being the first ever boy to capture the highest equestrian award— the Unicorn plaque for riding excellence.

Among the other highlights were the presentation of trip points, with Liam receiving the most for the summer- having spent over two and a half weeks exclusively on wilderness trips.  Also, years of service:  Jackson K and Sean T each earned traditional Adirondack pack baskets for their eight summers at camp.

Finally, there was the evening’s most prestigious citations:

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Quest For Beauty

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Leonard, one of camp’s newest 46ers, wrote this poem, which he read at the final camp service of the summer.  Written about the Advanced Section’s sunrise climb up Haystack Mountain, the poem eloquently evokes the feelings many have in the mountains.

A voice in the dark cuts through my deep slumber, causing disturbance and confusion until all at once I remember where I am.

The hard packed earth of our campsite is cushioned by a layer of down, protecting me from the cold and harsh jungle outside. 

Once again, I hear the sound, ordering me out of the comfort of my tent, and into the darkness of the night.

The others emerge quickly awakened. A good man lends me his flashlight, nonchalantly saving my life, and we are ready.

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Final Exams

A full summer of class activities ended Thursday; campers will take part in Crazy Clubs Friday morning.

In Archery, kid’s had one more chance to earn medals… In Pottery and crafts, it was time to finish up a project… Sports teams played their final games.

Below was the end-of-semester recital performed by all members of music class.  Not grammy-award winning, but impressive, considering many were novice musicians at the start of the summer.

The Candle Ceremony

An always emotional end to the girl’s camp banquet is the candle ceremony, with songs led by the C.I.T’s, and candle march led by each of the honor campers.  Here are just a few short video excerpts:

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