History

Early Campers at YMCA Camp Chingachgook on Lake George

The Chingachgook Tradition

In 1912 a group of boys under the leadership of the Schenectady YMCA’s Boy’s Work Secretary, Claude E. “Pops” Drake, made an exploratory trip of Lake George using a motor-powered war canoe named “Chingachgook.”

Continued interest in the opportunity for boys to experience the outdoors led to the1958 Junior Boys Cabin Group at Camp Chingachgook on Lake George establishment of a small encampment on Basin Bay, across the lake from Pilot Knob, in the summer of 1913.  For the 1914 season enrollment skyrocketed, necessitating a much larger campground, and the camp’s present Pilot Knob site was purchased.

Many summer seasons have come and gone since these early days of camp, but the traditions and values that brought campers to Camp Chingachgook long ago are still alive and well today. The waters of Lake George still refresh campers on warm summer days.  The view from the top of Buck Mountain still inspires all who hike to the summit. Camp counselors still provide leadership and teach valuable lessons.

Most importantly, the friendships made each summer at Camp Chingachgook still last a lifetime.