”We love you Jean, Oh yes, we do”

Legendary camp figure passes

Jean Sidaras, 1973


“Years ago, when one thought of MacCready, one thought of horseback riding, horse shows, horse prep, horsemasters and horse sh*%! (shoes, of course).  Now, when a camper boards the bus at the end of the camp season, her pillow case is stuffed not only with riding ribbons, but also precious pieces of pottery, homemade candles and soap from the Homestead, tediously constructed crafts, the script from the camp play, and that prized red, yellow, blue, green or black feather from Indian Games….

“Camp MacCready:  ‘You’ve come a long way, baby!'”

-Jean Sidaras, 1984



Jean Sidaras,longtime director of Camp MacCready, passed away Tuesday morning, October 23, in central New York, of complications from  pneumonia and previously existing medical conditions.

Jean was the head of the girl’s camp from 1973 until 1995– the 23 years being exactly half the entire history of the camp.   Under her leadership, Camp MacCready grew from second class status in a traditionally male environment, to an equal entity- in status and name- as Pok-O-MacCready.  In 1996, she passed the camp director’s bell to Melissa Livsey, who has continued in that post for 16 summers. “Jean, Jean the dancing machine. I will miss you more than you will ever know,” said Livsey.  “I love you. Thank you for helping to make me the person I am today. You are my mentor and my friend. Your spirit lives on at camp. Whenever I sit at your table, go by the candy store or Jean Mart, go up to your “room” or sit on the porch to mark laundry bags, I think of you. I know you are smiling down on us”
Sidaras remained on staff until 2007, acting as a consultant while also managing the camp store.  In fact, the camp store (“Jean Mart’), along with a tree and a cabin, have since been named in her honor.

Upon news of her death, Pok-O-MacCready Camps issued this statement:

   “For many years Jean was director of Lake George Camp for girls. When it closed she took over directorship of Camp MacCready, a position she held from 1973 until 1995. For those of us who had the privilege of working with Jean during that period we feel truly blessed. Jean’s work ethic was unparalleled, but Jean also took time to play as well as sunbathe! Many practices Jean put into place in 1973 are still in place today; a testament to Jean’s thorough knowledge of running a camp. Jean’s legacy at camp has spanned more than two generations and will go on for many more.
“She will be greatly missed by the entire camp family. The Camp family extends its most sincere sympathy to Jean’s family.

Added Judy Murphy, a camper and counselor during Jean’s first several years at camp in the 1970’s:  “I remember Jean’s first summer at camp and how quickly everyone embraced her into the MacCready family. She was full of energy, encouragement, and enthusiasm. Jean led the way for MacCready equality during those early years. Many great co-ed activities like Indian Week evolved thanks to Jean’s perseverance. Jean was a great supporter of the riding program and helped the staff in so many small ways.

Other tributes appear below.  Jean Sidaras was predeceased by her husband, Ed, and is survived by numerous children and grandchildren, several of them associated with camp.  A memorial service, originally scheduled for November 3, has been changed to November 10 at at Evergreen cemetery in Cazenovia, NY., according to Shai Walker, assistant director at camp and grandson to Jean.  Please check the Pok-O Alumni Facebook page for specific details and updates.

“United as one, we will work together to ensure that boys and girls have happy and fulfilling summers for years to come.”
-Jean Sidaras, 2004


Jean Sidaras – 1992

“So very, very sorry to hear this. She was a great camp director, and so comforting that first year when I was homesick! Jean is a big part of my good memories of those summers, and I extend my sympathies to all who knew her.”

“Unbelievable person with a heart 10 times bigger than her! we had a lot of great times together.”

“Big loss…. God bless her and her family. I will never forget her convincing me to stay at camp as I cried and begged to go home.”

“This is a big loss for our Pok-O-MacCready family! Jean was an amazing leader and an amazing lady she truly made a difference in each and everyone of us who got to know her and work with her.”

“Announcements were never a horrible death to die because of Jean.”

“She was a great lady. I have so many wonderful memories of my summers with Jean. The MacCready girls will never forget her. We love you Jean!”

“I’ll never forget her kindness and how she always made me feel at home.”

“Jean has always been a person I wanted to be around, whether it was for a night of cocktails, as the Head of Camp MacCready, or as a wise old sage stationed in Cazenovia.”

“The mark of a true leader is the number of great leaders they help create. I doubt there are very few people who went through either camp or Cazenovia in the last 40 years, who weren’t affected in a positive way from Jean.  She was the capital ‘M’ in Pok-O-MacCready.”

“I’m so sorry that she will not be with us physically anymore but it is obvious that she will be with us in spirit always because she has touched so many lives.”


Jean with Jules Comeau, 1973

“Jean was such an influence on me and my whole family and I can’t think of camp without thinking of her.”

“It’s a an honor to have known, worked with and shared life with a woman who demonstrated that life is so valuable.”

“A wonderful woman who could not have been more dedicated towards helping counselors become better people and campers having the time of their lives. She gave us responsibilities that helped us grow into the women we all are today; all of us that much better for having had Jean in our lives. She will be missed!”

“She was, and remains, a legend… if it’s true that we live on in the memories of the people whose lives we touch, she may well outlive us all.”

photos and quotes reprinted from Facebook.  Add your own comment HERE

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Pok-O-MacCready Camps
1391 Reber Road, Willsboro, NY 12996

Located in New York’s Adirondack Mountains

[email protected]

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