Our First Sleepaway Camp Experience: Camp Little Notch

This summer our nine year old is going to have her first sleepaway camp experience at Camp Little Notch in Fort Ann, NY. Part of the reason we chose Camp Little Notch is the girl only environment where girls can find their strengths and their own voices. I love the fact that Little Notch connects girls of diverse backgrounds with each other, positive mentors, and the land and that Levy will spend the summer swimming, canoeing, sailing, team building, doing yoga, hiking, outdoor cooking, arts and crafts, overnight camp-outs, and more. I've teamed up with Camp Little Notch to bring you an inside look at camp and our own camp experience in a summer long series, starting with a little bit of the history of this beautiful girls camp.

About Camp Little Notch

For 70 years—from 1939 to 2008—the Girl Scouts owned and operated Camp Little Notch (CLN) as a summer camp for girls. In 2008, the Girl Scout council decided to close CLN and sell the property. Upon learning of the impending sale, an energetic group of former campers and staff—who believed CLN could and should reopen—came together to save Little Notch. The group formed Friends of Camp Little Notch right away, incorporated a year later as a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization and set off on a mission to purchase Camp Little Notch. Through a relationship with the Open Space Institute (OSI), Friends of CLN signed a lease-to-purchase agreement from OSI.

Friends of CLN rallied and with the help and support of many, we reopened Camp Little Notch to the joy and laughter and songs of young girls once again in 2012. With a huge outpouring of financial support from alumni, family, and friends around the world, and the support and loan from the Community Loan Fund of the Capital Region, Friends of Camp Little Notch purchased 443 acres of the original 2300 acres in the Adirondack wilderness in January 2015.

Generations of campers spent many life-changing summers at CLN. Many of them are still connected to CLN and are members of Friends of Camp Little Notch. The dedicated volunteers, generous supporters, Friends of Camp Little Notch Board of Directors, staff, and members have made this dream a reality.

Our mission of living in harmony with nature, each other, and ourselves

Our mission is to provide opportunities for all people to practice living in harmony with nature, each other, and themselves. We believe that it is essential to the health of our communities to provide outdoor spaces and programs designed specifically for girls and women.

Camp Little Notch’s past successes have been instrumental in helping girls find their strengths and unique voices and supporting young women through the challenging transition to adulthood. Camp Little Notch achieved this success through connecting young women with each other, positive mentors, and the land. Friends of CLN is continuing Little Notch’s successful tradition, building a bright future from its rich past.

Harmony with Nature — Environmental Stewardship

Children are too often plugged into or sitting in front of some kind of electronic medium and similarly many adults spend countless hours on cell phones and the Internet. People who come to Little Notch can challenge the necessity of technological comforts by truly unplugging while they enjoy a breathtaking and protected place.

Operations at Little Notch facilitate an ongoing appreciation and interest in land conservation and promote consciousness about the Earth and our role as stewards. Little Notch campers and staff practice sustainable, low-impact living and bring these practices back to their everyday lives. Our program honors the rich archaeological history of the property through treks to the historic Mount Hope Iron Furnace.

Harmony with Each Other — Community Building and Social Consciousness

Friends of CLN recognizes that our perceived differences create social barriers that can prevent us from truly seeing, learning from, and valuing each other. Camp Little Notch provides a dynamic environment to bring people together through shared physical and creative activities—a practice that has historically been a key to breaking down barriers and creating a society where people recognize each other’s humanity and value themselves and each other. Camp Little Notch provides an environment that celebrates diversity, encourages community building, teaches conflict resolution and communication skills, facilitates sharing of traditions between people, and confronts all forms of discrimination, prejudice, and exclusion in our interactions, operations, and activities.

Harmony with Self — Growth, Wellness, and Exploration

Little Notch is a place where the development of strong bodies, vibrant minds, and indomitable spirits are fostered. Outdoor activity promotes healthy living, reduces stress and depression, and increases strength, skills, and confidence. Camp Little Notch provides a supportive and positive environment with strong and dynamic role models where campers and staff have opportunities to challenge themselves and build confidence in their strengths through a variety of outdoor and adventure activities.

Julie Favreau Schwartz, former Camp Director and Vice-President of the Board of Directors, expressed her thoughts on why our mission resonates today and distinguishes us from other camps: “Our mission of living in harmony with nature, each other, and ourselves is definitely a first step in repairing the world. As children grow in reverence for the natural world, they come to want to protect it, and make sure it will be there for future generations. As for harmony with each other, camp brings people together from different backgrounds - when children learn that they can be friends with people who don't look or sound like they do, they are making the first steps toward creating a community that respects and includes all humans. Finding harmony with ourselves is also a necessary piece of repairing the world. It is both the goal and the result of true self-care, and as we are helping children to express themselves in their own voices, we are teaching them that all voices matter. A human who is at peace with self and in harmony with self is more likely to be a confident leader who is able to balance perspectives and help others see the many sides of an issue, and help all voices to be heard .”

Join us!

Come on your own or with family and friends to our FREE Open House, held most Sundays during our open season from noon to 5:00 p.m. Our Open House includes tours for parents and a fun afternoon activity for parents and kids ages 5 and up. Combine your visit with an overnight stay (see Open Camping dates at camplittlenotch.org/calendar ) and really experience the magic of Little Notch.

2017 Sunday Open Houses 12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. June 11 • June 18 • June 25 • August 20 • August 27 • September 3 • September 10 • September 24 • October 1 • October 8 Directions: camplittlenotch.org/contact

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