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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 has successfully conserved the property through a relationship with the Open Space Institute (OSI) and are in the process of purchasing a portion of this extraordinary land from OSI.

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 has been quietly waiting since 2008 to welcome campers back to its magical forest. The dedicated volunteers, generous supporters, Friends of Camp Little Notch Board of Directors, staff, and members have made this dream a reality.


 

(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

1940

  • 40 campers, 10 staff
  • Rafters built

1941

  • Camp named Little Notch

1944

  • Eight week summer camp

1948

  • Forest Practice Act signed

1952

  • Telephone installed at gate

1959

  • Electricity installed

1964

  • New dining hall built (Lachenwald)
  • New infirmary, gift of the State Bank of Albany

1965

  • Pine Point destroyed by fire, rebuilt in 1966

1980

  • Brookhaven (staff house) – a year round facility dedicated to the memory of Jeannette Rafter, former executive director

1982

  • Tall Timbers troop house destroyed by heavy snow. Rebuilt in time for opening of summer camp.

1984

  • Second troop house built in Sherwood Forest
  • New maintenance building built

1987

  • Upper 2-lane section of the CLN camp road built

1994

  • 2 wells dug to provide drinking water –official switch from purified Lakes Pond water

1995

  • Imagination Station built to replace “Rafters’ which was the original dining hall, then the arts and crafts building

1996

  • Pooh bridge replaced
  • Floating bridge replaced

1998

  • Sleepy Hollow troop shelter and bridge replaced
  • Ramps added to dining hall, Pine Point troop house and infirmary

2000

  • 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!

 

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