Camp Little Notch History
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. , 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. CLN had been quietly waiting since 2008 for us to welcome campers back to its magical forest in 2012. 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 2,300 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
- 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
- Two 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!