Experience Camp Little Notch
Picture yourself in a beautiful forest on the shores of a private lake that is so clean and clear you can see the sunbeams shining on the bottom. This is Camp Little Notch. A summer home where campers can experience fun and friendships, challenges and adventures; the chance to practice living in harmony with nature, each other, and themselves. Within five minutes of arriving, campers have half a dozen new friends who often become friends for life. There are so many things to do at Camp Little Notch—swimming, canoeing, cookouts, stargazing, yoga, singing, drumming, creek-walking…the list goes on. Our rustic setting plays an important part in making the Camp Little Notch experience so unique. Sleeping in a platform tent, watching the sun come up over the mountains, listening to the sounds of the forest at night all combine to make an unforgettable summer experience.
Who are our campers?
We are proud to offer a camp that brings together girls of diverse backgrounds into an inclusive community. Our campers are girls between the ages of seven and seventeen who come from New York’s Greater Capital region and all over the country to experience the magic of Little Notch. We strive to recruit campers from diverse backgrounds and we are excited to welcome all girls. We invite prospective campers and parents to talk to us about what camp will be like and how we can work together to accommodate girls with special needs or situations.
True benefits of the Camp Experience
Summer camp is great fun, but we feel the most important gains are made in these areas:
Independence: Children gain independence through having the opportunity to explore the world away from home.
Confidence: Campers have opportunities to try new things and take risks in a supervised setting (e.g, participating in a rope course activity), which increases confidence and a sense of personal achievement.
Self-reliance: Campers get hands-on experience in navigating a variety of new experiences and taking care of themselves, which helps them better understand their capabilities.
Problem-solving skills: Working together in groups to plan activities provides opportunities to discover creative ways to get things done.
Leadership skills: Learning to lead, to use their voices, and to encourage others to do the same, helps kids become contributing members of the camp community and of their communities at home.
Friend-making skills: In getting to know people with differing backgrounds and abilities, campers learn how to make friends and how to be a good friend.
Exposure to new people, new foods, new ways of doing things, new ideas: These are all things that help children grow and leave them better prepared for learning when they return to school in the fall.
Summer camp provides an opportunity for children to learn and practice these important skills, which they will use throughout their lives as they grow into happy, confident, creative, and inspired adults.
How do we achieve this?
Camp Little Notch brings girls of various backgrounds together through activities that break down barriers between people and create a community where girls value themselves and each other. At Camp Little Notch we consciously and deliberately use a variety of tools to create a camp community in which we celebrate diversity, encourage community building, teach conflict resolution and communication skills, facilitate sharing of traditions between people, and confront all forms of discrimination, prejudice, and exclusion in our interactions, operations, and activities. These elements are a part of everything we do and everyone benefits.
We are committed to working in partnership with low-wealth communities, communities of color, and people with varying abilities. We make sure our campers have the incredible opportunity to experience living in an inclusive community that represents the world we are striving to create. Harmony with others.
Many summer camps offer organized sports and structured activities. Camp Little Notch gives girls the freedom to create a self-determined experience. Campers are organized into groups that develop their own schedule with their counselors’ help. This type of freedom encourages creativity, builds decision-making skills, and helps girls take responsibility for their development.
Campers also have the freedom to choose independent activities. Most days include time for camper-chosen elective activities for campers to pursue personal interests. During elective activities campers get to know kids from other groups in camp; learning from each other and creating bonds within the camp community. Harmony with self. Harmony with others.
Living together at camp helps us develop an ongoing appreciation and interest in the land. We promote consciousness about the Earth and our role as stewards. Campers learn to live in harmony with nature through a variety of daily practices and opportunities for exploration and discovery. Little Notch campers practice sustainable, low-impact living and bring these practices back to their everyday lives. Harmony with nature.
Why do we feel this is important?
Children are plugged into some kind of electronic medium an average of 5.5 hours a day and similarly many adults spend countless hours on cell phones and the Internet. Camp Little Notch offers the chance to become truly unplugged, to enjoy a breathtaking and protected place. Leaving behind the virtual world, campers experience the natural world on its own terms and at its own pace. Things that once seemed scary become familiar, and soon, beautiful and precious. The darkness at night reveals millions of stars that can’t be seen from the city or suburbs. The quiet of the woods, deafening at first, becomes filled with the tiny sounds of the breeze in the trees, the play of water in the stream. The lake with its sandy bottom, frogs, and turtles, becomes a world of its own to explore and enjoy. At Camp Little Notch, campers live IN nature and return home with a special love for wild places.
We recognize that our perceived differences can create social barriers that can prevent us from truly seeing, learning from, and valuing each other. In the dynamic environment of camp, people—children and adults—come 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. Campers who cook a meal together, paddle a canoe together, summit a mountain together, create art together may have come to camp as strangers, but they leave as friends.
Little Notch is a place where the development of strong bodies, vibrant minds, and indomitable spirits is 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.