Camp Little Notch – The History
How did Camp Little Notch come to be?
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—formed Friends of Camp Little Notch (Friends of CLN), the non-profit organization that now operates CLN. Friends of CLN successfully conserved the property through a relationship with the Open Space Institute (OSI) and has now raised enough money to purchase the property from OSI 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. CLN quietly waited since 2008 to welcome campers back to its magical forest and the dedicated volunteers, generous supporters, Friends of Camp Little Notch Board of Directors, staff, and members made this dream a reality! Camp Little Notch reopened to campers in 2012.
(From This Is Camp Little Notch by GSHVC)
A 2,800 acre tract of thickly wooded mountainous country located about 15 miles northeast of Glens Falls became the permanent camp of the Albany Girl Scouts, Inc. on June 1, 1939.
The property was entirely undeveloped and furnished an opportunity for all types of camping. During the first summer only girls thirteen years of age and older were accepted for each two-week session since camping was done on a pioneer basis.
Title to the camp was formerly held by the Mt. Hope Mining and Iron Company and one of the interesting features is the old iron mine and smelting furnace. It is said that some of the metal for the Monitor of Civil War came from the mine.
The site offers opportunity for many Scout activities. Inlets on the mile long pond provide swimming and boating facilities.
Purchase price - $10,000.
1939 – Camp opened July 1
- 5 staff, 37 campers
- Tents, kitchen tarp, 2 rowboats
- Camp centered in the waterfront area
- Director: Miss Eleanor Ault
- 40 campers, 10 staff
- Rafters built
- Camp named Little Notch
- Eight week summer camp
- Forest Practice Act signed
- Telephone installed at gate
- Electricity installed
- New dining hall built (Lachenwald)
- New infirmary, gift of the State Bank of Albany
- Pine Point destroyed by fire, rebuilt in 1966
- Camp song written ("Little Notch Friends and Little Notch Solitude")
- Brookhaven (staff house) – a year round facility dedicated to the memory of Jeannette Rafter, former executive director
- Tall Timbers troop house destroyed by heavy snow. Rebuilt in time for opening of summer camp.
- Second troop house built in Sherwood Forest
- New maintenance building built
- Upper 2-lane section of the CLN camp road built
- 2 wells dug to provide drinking water –official switch from purified Lakes Pond water
- Imagination Station built to replace “Rafters’ which was the original dining hall, then the arts and crafts building
- Pooh bridge replaced
- Floating bridge replaced
- Sleepy Hollow troop shelter and bridge replaced
- Ramps added to dining hall, Pine Point troop house and infirmary
- Storage building for life vests and oars/paddles replaced after previous one was destroyed by a fallen tree
2008 - The final summer CLN operated as a Girl Scout camp : (
. . . and then we started to build a dream!