Overnight Camp

Chingachgook Overnight Camp

We’re building kids that are confident, independent, resilient and who understand that our community is better together. Serving campers aged 7 to 15, our overnight camp program is made up of six 1 or 2 week sessions. Campers may choose to stay for multiple sessions and we offer an optional “hold over” weekend in between each session. Our overnight camp experience is intentionally based on our core values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility. We value the opportunity to learn and grown with each and every camper, while providing a variety of activities that give each camper the best time of their lives.

 

We start the morning with the bugle call of reveille, spend the busy day connecting with friends, trying new things in skills classes, cooling off at the lake during free swim, and then wrap up each day with an all-camp evening program, followed by the sound of taps playing across Camp as campers settle into their bunks for the night.  While our campers always talk about how much fun they have, we know our true impact is in the growth they experience by being a part of our Camp family. You can learn more specifics about our program by scrolling down on this page or by visiting us for an open house or setting up a tour.

“My son was made to feel valued and an important part of the group. He was involved in activities that were engaging, new and exciting where he could gain confidence. He was able to learn the process of peer discussion and shared decision making.”        -Parent of a Sr. Boy Camper

Cabin Life: Two Role Models and New Best Friends

Welcome to your home away from home! Camp is made up of four units, based on age and gender, each with their own unique culture, cheers and traditions. Campers aged 13-15 call the Senior Units home while campers aged 7-12 live in the Junior Units. Each cabin or yurt houses 8-10 campers (whose ages are within 12 months of each other), two counselors, and a counselor in training (CIT). Campers are allowed to make up to two cabin mate requests that we do our best to honor, though many campers come to camp without knowing anyone and quickly make new friends! Our counselors are trained to focus the first few days of camp on creating a strong cabin community that is inclusive and supportive. Campers sleep in bunks and should bring bedding that makes them feel at home, sheets and a blanket or a sleeping bag both work! You can check out our full packing list here.  Bath houses are centrally located in each unit, a short walk from the cabins.

 

Each day, cabins will do a morning activity together (anything from dance parties to hikes and sports or swimming, it’s up to them!), eat meals together, participate in evening program as a group and wind down the day with a “Vespers” activity that encourages reflection and connecting with each other.  Our staff promote compassion, respect, and self-sufficiency within the cabin. Campers help with daily chores and compete for the cleanest cabin award. Cabins are a camper’s home base while at Chingachgook, and is where lasting friendships are formed and countless memories and inside jokes are made.

 

Our staff are a big reason your child will want to come back year after year! We select only the most caring and talented young adults to be role models for our campers and nearly 80% of our staff were once campers or CITs at Chingachgook! Staff participate in wilderness training courses, receive certifications for the skills they are teaching, and attend a full week of pre-camp training sessions on youth development. Our team of year-round directors interview, reference check and background check each staff member prior to hiring. Our professional role models are here to provide your children with lessons and memories that will last a lifetime. Camp also employs a team of healthcare professionals who provide consistent care for our campers throughout the summer.


Skill Classes: From Archery to Sailing, Something for Everyone

Warm, summer days at Chingachgook are filled with opportunities for campers to learn a new activity or refine their skills. We strive to give campers a balance of structured and unstructured activity time that allows them to learn, explore and have fun! Prior to arriving at Camp, campers may preference their top 10 skill classes and are assigned 4 of those classes to participate in each day. The earlier a camper submits the form, the better chance they have of getting their top choice class! Campers can choose from over 30 skill classes and each class offers a skill progression so that any ability level can participate. Beyond teaching the basics of specific sports, arts or boating, skill classes are a time for our staff to foster social, emotional and personal growth in each camper by focusing activities on character development. For example, soccer not only teaches the ins and out of the game, but more importantly encourages teamwork, responsibility and perseverance.

 

We also offer opportunities each day for campers to mix up their schedule by choosing a different open rec activity and having some down time during free swim. We believe this balance of structured and unstructured time gives campers the best opportunity to make decisions about their day, meet a variety of new people, and develop skills in the activities they are most interested in. Take a look at our daily schedule here, and view a complete list of our skills classes and open rec options here.


Honoring Our Roots: A Genuine Wilderness Experience

Providing a genuine wilderness experience for young people has been a major part of our mission since the early days of Camp. That tradition continues today with camping and wilderness excursions incorporated into all of our programs.

 

One Week Sessions – One week session campers spend an afternoon with their cabin group venturing from Camp by foot or by boat. Cabin groups summit mountains, paddle to a Lake George island, and explore the beauty in our own backyard!

 

Two Week Sessions – Two week session campers depart from Camp the second Monday of their session for a three day, two night wilderness excursion. They travel by boat, bus, or foot to reach their destination. Each of our three day camp-outs are rated for difficulty, divided by age, and gender. With the help of their counselors, campers list their preferences and are then sorted by the Unit Directors into Excursion Groups. Each group is staffed with counselors trained in Wilderness First Aid and training specific to the location of their trip.

» Excursions for Senior Campers

Excursions for Senior Campers

 

Pharaoh Wilderness

Treadway Mountain Senior

Rating A, Must be a strong backpacker

Your first day will be spent hiking into your campsite at either Grizzle Ocean or Clear Pond lean-tos. On the second day, you will hike up Treadway Mt. for stunning views of the surrounding region and to eat lunch. The hike up Treadway is fairly quick, so you might have time to explore the many beautiful ponds surrounding Putnam Pond. On your last day, you will hike back out to your pick-up location. 

Pharaoh Mountain Senior

Rating A-, Must be strong backpacker

On the first day, you will backpack to the spectacular Pharaoh Lake and set up camp at one of the many lean-tos situated along the shore. On your second day, you will hike to the summit of Pharaoh Mountain for lunch, which boasts some of the best views of the surrounding wilderness, and then return to Pharaoh Lake. Optionally, circumnavigate the lake for views of Pharaoh Mt. On your last day, you will hike back out to your pick-up location. 

High Peaks Wilderness

Giant Mountain

Rating A, Must be a strong hiker

From Route 9N, a 5 mile backpack in will position you at your campsite. It is possible to summit Hopkins Mt. as well, but that can make for a long first day. The next day, you will leave your packs behind and climb about 2 miles (2000 feet) to the summit of Giant Mt. From the summit of Giant, you will traverse the Rocky Peak Ridge, canvassed by a spectacular view the entire time. From there, your group will head back to your campsite. The last day will be spent packing your bags and backpacking back down to your pick-up location. 

ADK Wilderness Adventure

Senior Hike, Rating A, Must be a strong hiker

With the help of the excursion leaders, the trip will be planned around the Johns Brook Lodge area of the High Peaks Region. The group can camp at a lean-to or campsite about 6 miles from the Garden trailhead and enjoy climbing some of the popular High Peaks. 

Dix Mountain North and Dix Mountain South

Rating A-, Must be a strong hiker

Dix Mountain is the fifth highest mountain in the Adirondacks. You will backpack about 5 miles into your campsite pausing only for a quick summit up Noonmark or Round Mountains. The next day, you will leave your heavy packs behind and challenge yourself to a 4 mile day hike up Dix Mt. Depending on the time, you might cross over the ridge another mile to Hough Mt. before you head back down to your campsite. The last day of the trip will be hiking back out to the trailhead, possibly hitting another lesser summit along the way. 

Hurricane Mountain

Rating A (Jr.) and B (Sr.), Must be a strong hiker

You will backpack 4 miles up and over Hurricane Mt. Ridge, leaving your packs behind for a short ascent to the summit of Hurricane Mt. from the ridge. At the top of Hurricane, you will be able to see the majority of the High Peaks region and the entire length of Lake Champlain. Picking up your packs, you will hike down the other side of the ridge to your lean-to at the remote Lost Pond. Day two will be spent day hiking around the Nun-Dagao Ridge, summiting Weston Mt, Little Crow Mt, and Big Crow Mt. before you head back to Lost Pond, for a total distance of about 6 miles. On your last day, you will backpack up and over Hurricane Ridge back to the pick-up location. 

Lake George Region

Little Buck Bushwhack

Rating A+ (Jr.) and A (Sr.), Must be a strong hiker

Your group will learn to navigate using a map and compass, and will wayfind and backpack to your first campsite on Little Buck Mt. The next day, your group will bushwhack and navigate up and over Buck Mt. and camp on the side of Pilot Knob Mt. Day three will be spent finding your way back to Camp. 

Shore Trail/Canoe Swap and Canoe/Shore Trail Swap

Rating A, Must have 220 swim check

You will either canoe to Log Bay at Shelving Rock Mt. for lunch and then north to the Narrows, or backpack from camp 6-7 miles along the Shore Trail to Black Mt. Point. On the 2nd day, both groups will decide when to swap the canoes and each group will have the opportunity to day hike to the summit of Black Mt. or canoe over to Montcalm Pt. and hike up to French Pt Lookout in the Tongue Mt. Range. The third day one group returns to camp from the Narrows via canoe and the other will backpack back along the shore trail. 

Tongue Mountain North and Tongue Mountain South

Rating A, Must be able to thru-hike with pack

Tongue Mt is the stretch of land north of Dome Island, reaching into the Lake. Both of these hikes travel the entire 12 mile ridge from either Montcalm Pt. to Silver Bay, or vice versa. The top of Tongue boasts one of the best views of Lake George. On your first day, you will be dropped-off by a powerboat. Then, you will hike up to your first campsite for the night. Since there is little water on the top of Tongue, the second day will be spent hiking down to the lake for a quick swim and lunch. On the last day, you will hike out to your pick-up location, where your group will be boated back to camp. Optional: a side trip to Deer Leap Mt. will offer additional spectacular views. 

War Canoe End to End

Rating A, Must be a strong canoer and have 220 swim check

You will canoe 32.6 miles from Million Dollar Beach at the southernmost end of Lake George to the northernmost end, in three days. You will sleep on island campsites both nights, first in the Narrows and then at Roger’s Rock Campground. Mossy Point Boat Launch is your pick-up location. 

East Shore North and East Shore South

Rating A-, Must be able to thru-hike with pack

Hike 16 miles deep into the mountains along the East Shore of Lake George. You will backpack up and over Buck Mt, Black Mt, and possibly hit other summits like Sleeping Beauty Mt., Shelving Rock Mt., and Erebus Mt. You will camp near Dacy Clearing and at Fishbrook or Mill Brook Pond. There will also be a boat ride to or from Black Mt. Point, depending on your group’s direction of travel. 

Aluminum Canoe

Rating B, Must have strong canoeing skills and 220 swim check

While keeping close to the shore, you will paddle north towards the Narrows islands on Lake George, stopping along the way at an island or the Shore Trail to eat lunch. After setting up camp on your island campsite, you might go swimming, develop your encampment skills, or for another canoe hike. The next day, you will canoe around the lake, or to the shore where you will go for a short day hike up one of the spectacular Lake George Mountains. On the third day, paddle south back to Camp. 

Kayaking

Rating B, Must have 220 swim check

On day one, you kayak from camp to Shelving Rock Bay for lunch, and then continue to the Narrows to your island campsite. On the second day, you kayak to Black Mt. or Montcalm Pt. and day hike to the respective summit. On the final day, you will paddle south, back to camp. Gear will be dropped-off and picked-up for you via powerboat. 

Yakanoe

Rating B, Must have 220 swim check

The group will get a mix of kayaks and canoes, which campers are able to experiment with over the three day trip. On day one, paddle from Camp to Shelving Rock Bay for lunch and then continue to the Narrows to your island campsite. On the second day, paddle to Black Mt. or Montcalm Pt. and day hike to the respective summit. On the third day, paddle south, back to camp. Gear will be dropped-off and picked-up for you via powerboat. 

Trail Maintenance

Rating B+, Reserved for oldest senior campers

Explore the trail systems of the Lake George Wild Forest, while working to clear trails of debris, trees, and bushes. The group will camp in various locations as dictated by where the trails need maintenance. This group will use tools to manicure the forest trails and receive specific instruction from Chingachgook and the Lake George Land Conservancy. 

Sailing

Rating B+ (Jr.) and B- (Sr.), Must have 220 swim check and be interested in learning how to sail

Learn how to skipper one of Chingachgook’s Rainbows. On the first day, sail to Long Island for lunch and set up your campsite. Sail around Long island and Diamond Island areas. On day two, sail to Shelving Rock Bay and hike up to Shelving Rock Falls for lunch. Sail back to Camp on day three. 

Black Beauty

Rating A+ (Jr.) and B- (Sr.), Must be able to backpack

From Pike Brook Road, backpack about 3 miles to Black Mt. Pond lean-to. There are options on this day to summit Black Mt. or to explore Lapland Pond or Black Mt. Pond. On day two, take day packs with lunch and head to Black Mt. Point. If you did not summit Black Mt. you can do that on your way to the Point. Then hike back to the lean-to for an enjoyable dinner. Mileage for this day, not including the summit, will be about 5.5 miles. On the last day, pack-up camp and backpack out about 3 miles to Pike Brook Road.

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» Excursions for Junior Campers

Excursions for Junior Campers

 

NEW!

Where I Learn to Discover—a W.I.L.D. Experience

Rating C, Reserved for newest campers

Designed as an introduction to Wilderness excursions, WILD combines Chingachgook’s Outdoor Education, Summer Camp, and Adventure Departments’ philosophies to create an enriching environment that encourages creativity, comfort, and exploration in the outdoors. Campers who experience WILD still take on the backcountry lifestyle of tent living, outdoor cooking, and purifying their own water, but while still on Chingachgook property and with more structured introductory lessons to interacting with nature. 

Pharaoh Wilderness

Treadway Mountain and Pharaoh Mountain

Rating A-, Must be strong backpacker

Treadway Mt. Jr and Pharaoh Mt. Jr. are great introductions to longer backpacking trips in the Pharaoh Wilderness Area. On the first day, you will backpack about 3.5 miles into either Oxshoe or Lillypad Pond and set up camp. The next day, you will either day hike 5 miles to Pharaoh Mt., or day hike 10 miles to Treadway Mt. Both mountains have incredible views of the surrounding wilderness! On the third day, you will hike 3.5 miles back out to your pick-up location. 

High Peaks Wilderness

Cascade Mountain

Rating A, Must be a strong hiker

From your drop-off point, your group will hike 4 miles over Little Porter Mountain to your campsite at the intersection of the trail and Porter Brook. On the second day, your group will hike out 1.8 miles with day packs up to the summit of Porter Mountain. From there, you will hike 1 mile to an even higher elevation to the Peak of Cascade Mountain, which holds impressive views of the High Peaks. To end the day, hike the 2.8 miles back to your campsite at Porter Brook. On day 3, backtrack to your pick-up area at the Garden Parking Lot. 

Hurricane Mountain

Rating A (Jr.) and B (Sr.), Must be a strong hiker

You will backpack 4 miles up and over Hurricane Mt. Ridge, leaving your packs behind for a short ascent to the summit of Hurricane Mt. from the ridge. At the top of Hurricane, you will be able to see the majority of the High Peaks region and the entire length of Lake Champlain. Picking up your packs, you will hike down the other side of the ridge to your lean-to at the remote Lost Pond. Day two will be spent day hiking around the Nun-Dagao Ridge, summiting Weston Mt, Little Crow Mt, and Big Crow Mt. before you head back to Lost Pond, for a total distance of about 6 miles. On your last day, you will backpack up and over Hurricane Ridge back to the pick-up location. 

Lake George Region

Black Beauty

Rating A+ (Jr.) and B- (Sr.), Must be able to backpack

From Pike Brook Road, backpack about 3 miles to Black Mt. Pond lean-to. There are options on this day to summit Black Mt. or to explore Lapland Pond or Black Mt. Pond. On day two, take day packs with lunch and head to Black Mt. Point. If you did not summit Black Mt. you can do that on your way to the Point. Then hike back to the lean-to for an enjoyable dinner. Mileage for this day, not including the summit, will be about 5.5 miles. On the last day, pack-up camp and backpack out about 3 miles to Pike Brook Road. 

Little Buck Bushwhack

Rating A+ (Jr.) and A (Sr.), Must be a strong hiker

Your group will learn to navigate using a map and compass, and will wayfind and backpack to your first campsite on Little Buck Mt. The next day, your group will bushwhack and navigate up and over Buck Mt. and camp on the side of Pilot Knob Mt. Day three will be spent finding your way back to Camp. 

Sleeping Beauty North and Sleeping Beauty South

Rating A-, Must be able to backpack

Either backpack 3 miles to Millman Pond from Pike Brook Road, or backpack 1.6 miles to Dacy clearing from Hogtown. There, set up camp and then go on a short day hike. On the second day, hike 3.5 miles with full packs up and over Sleeping Beauty Mt. to Dacy Clearing, or hike 3.5 miles to Millman Pond. On the third day, hike 1.6 miles with packs to Hogtown, or hike 3 miles with packs to Pike Brook road. 

Sailing

Rating B+ (Jr.) and B- (Sr.), Must have 220 swim check and be interested in learning how to sail

Learn how to skipper one of Chingachgook’s Rainbows. On the first day, sail to Long Island for lunch and set up your campsite. Sail around Long island and Diamond Island areas. On day two, sail to Shelving Rock Bay and hike up to Shelving Rock Falls for lunch. Sail back to Camp on day three. 

Big Boulder

Rating B+, Must be able to backpack

This hike will leave from camp the first day and take you along the Shore Trail to a location near Phelps Island. At that point, the trip will bushwhack up a ridge to your campsite on the side of Buck and Little Buck Mts. On the second day, your group will either hike to Shelving Rock Falls, or summit Buck Mt. before your return to your campsite. On the final day, you will break camp and head back, stopping for lunch at First Lookout along the way. 

Inman Pond

Rating B+, Must be able to backpack short distance

Your excursion will leave from camp the first day and backpack about 4 miles to Inman Pond. On the second day, you can venture to the top of Pilot Knob Mt. to take in beautiful views of Lake George, and then return to your campsite for the night. On the third day, break camp and head back. 

War Canoe

Rating B, Must have 220 swim check

The group will use two of our 26-foot war canoes. Paddle about 5 miles north of camp to the Narrows to camp on an island or a shore campsite. Spend the second day hiking part of the Tongue Mt. Range, or Black Mt. On the third day, stop at Shelving Rock Falls and explore the surrounding area on your way south back to Camp. 

Outpost Hikes

Owl’s Nest

Rating B, Must be able to hike

On day one, you will backpack to the lean-to and set up camp. You will have the opportunity to day hike Buck Mt., Pilot Knob Mt., or Butternut Brook Trail. Shelving Rock Falls is also available as a longer day hike. The group will decide together where they want to hike. 

Black Bear Hike and Climb

Rating B, Must be enthusiastic about rock climbing

Set up your campsite at Black Bear Ledges, along the Yellow Chinga Trail. You will get to climb at Chapel, Black Bear Ledges, and Stewart’s Ledges. The 3 days will allow you to perfect your climbing and camping skills, while also exploring the surrounding area and hiking up Buck Mt. 

Rooster’s Roost

Rating B

On the first day, set up camp and hike to the summit of Buck Mt. On the second day, venture to the summit of Pilot Knob Mt. and explore the surrounding area. On say three, break down your campsite and return to Camp after lunch. 

Eagle’s Landing

Rating B

On the first day, hike to Eagle’s Landing via the Red Trail and work on encampment skills. Then, hike to Second Lookout and explore the surrounding area. On day two, venture to the summit of Pilot Knob Mt. On the third day, break down your campsite and return to Camp after lunch. 

Hawkeye’s Lookout

Rating B

On the first day, hike up to Hawkeye’s Lookout, set up camp, and explore the area. On day two, venture to the summit of Pilot Knob Mt. On the third day, break down your campsite and return to Camp after lunch. 

Spirit’s Rest

Rating C+

On the first day, set up your campsite at Red Fox Hollow, explore the surrounding areas, and learn encampment skills. On day two, summit Buck Mt. On the third day, break down your campsite and return to Camp after having lunch. 

Iroquois Meadow

Rating C

Hike out from Camp and set up your campsite at Iroquois Meadow. Explore the forest, and work on encampment skills. One the second day, you can summit either Buck Mt. or Pilot Knob Mt. On day three, break down the campsite and return to Camp after lunch. 

Red Fox Hollow

Rating C

On the first day, set up your campsite at Red Fox Hollow, explore the camp area, and work on encampment skills. On the second day, summit Buck Mt. On day three, break down your campsite and return to Camp after having lunch. 

Panther’s Lean-to

Rating C

On the first day, set up your campsite at Panther’s Lean-to, learn about camping and nature, and explore the area. On the second day, hike to the summit of Buck Mt. On day three, break down your campsite and return to camp after having lunch. 

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Meals: Time to Refuel & Reconnect

Chingachgook’s food service department provides three well-balanced, nutritious, hearty meals and an afternoon snack each day. With the busy days at Camp, it is important for campers to sit back, relax and refuel. The Dining Hall also provides a great setting for campers to catch up with their counselors and cabinmates. Each cabin has its own set table for the week and we dine together family style. Sharing laughs and stories over delicious food is a great way for our camp community to connect. Plus, Camp meals are like no other….at any moment you may hears cheers erupt, music playing or a dance party beginning.

 

Breakfast might be pancakes or egg sandwiches, lunch we enjoy tacos, pizza and cookouts, for dinner we offer spaghetti and meatballs, Thanksgiving dinner with all the sides or BBQ chicken. We offer a salad bar option at lunch and dinner daily plus scrambled eggs and a cereal bar at breakfast each day. Our Dining Hall is a nut-free facility and we can accommodate a variety of dietary needs and restrictions. Every meal includes a vegetarian option and we also offer gluten-free substitutes for those who need it. You can view a sample menu here, and for questions or concerns regarding your child’s dietary needs, please contact our Food Service Director.


Camp Magic: Evening Programs, Special Events & Themes

Our staff go above and beyond to make each overnight camp session memorable and unique! Special events and session themes are a huge part of Chingachgook’s history. Chingachgook’s programs blend creativity and tradition to provide a unique experience for every camper. Each of our six overnight camp sessions has a theme, brought to life by our staff and campers that tie all of our events together. Follow the theme’s characters as they hilariously solve problems, go on epic quests and bring Camp together. Our themes range from popular movies like Hercules and Toy Story to time travel, mystery sessions and to our favorite made up camp family, the McCluskey’s, Family Reunion. Every session, the theme includes Chingachgook’s traditional boys vs. girls war canoe race, where campers and staff dress up in costumes to cheer on their unit as they fight to claim the canoe race trophy! Evening programs can range from scavenger hunts, to “Gold Rush” and the all-camp dance. Each evening program gets a creative twist each session to incorporate our theme, and makes each day a once in a lifetime event. Once a summer, all of Camp is divided into two teams for our Green vs. Gold Color War! Color Wars is a camp-wide competition where everything you do can gain points for your team to help your team claim victory for that summer!

 

Some special events are tailored to cater to our different ages of campers while others are camp-wide and all inclusive. Campers spend this time growing closer to their cabinmates, while bonding with the entire camp community. All of our events are designed to provide opportunities that teach our core values, while connecting campers in engaging activities that will provide endless memories.


Become A Chingachgook Kid Today!

Summer will be here before we know it! Our registration opens each year in October and will remain open until sessions are filled. Some of our sessions form waitlists as early as January, so the earlier you sign up the better! You can check out our current dates and rates here to best plan out your child’s session(s). Please feel free to contact Jiné, our Summer Camp Director, at jandreozzi@cdymca.org or 518-656-9462 with any questions you may have.  If you are ready to sign up for the best summer ever, you can click here to reserve your spot today!