Camp is set on a 200-acre property surrounded by mountain wilderness in the heart of the six-million-acre Adirondack Park. Camp founders aimed to instill in children an awareness and appreciation of the natural world around them, as well as a duty to protect it.

As a result, our core values include a commitment to simple and sustainable living and to responsible decision-making regarding natural resources.

Sustainable Living

Since the 1930s, the farm and garden program has taught children much about responsibility, real work, and sustainable living. As part of daily work jobs, campers care for barnyard animals and help out in the gardens and greenhouses.

They learn respect for all earth’s creatures, the benefits of recycling and composting, and other aspects of sustainable living.

Compost, Recycle, and Re-use

The daily life of Camp observes decades-long practices of recycling, repurposing, and otherwise using what we have and making what we need. For instance:

  • children save table scraps from every meal to feed to the pigs or use as compost
  • campers make new sheets of decorative stationery from paper collected in recycle bin
  • children knit and crochet hats, scarves, and afghans made from wool from our sheep.

Reducing Our Carbon Footprint

We are committed to reducing our carbon footprint and to utilizing increasing amounts of renewable energy sources. For example, over the last five years, we have:

  • installed three super-efficient biomass heating units that have reduced our consumption of fossil fuels by 73 percent
  • installed three sets of solar panels that produce 17,500 watts of electricity tied to the local grid
  • expanded our practice of sustainable forestry by using lumber milled from trees on our campus in many construction and wood shop projects
  • opened a net-zero energy use staff residence in September 2010 that utilizes state-of-the-art green construction techniques and materials
  • increased our composting program to the point where it now processes 100,000 pounds of food scraps and animal manures annually.

Possible Future Directions

Here is just a sampling of some of the additional exciting possibilities under consideration:

  • replace all oil heating systems on campus
  • install an electric wind plant on campus
  • increase capacity to produce our own food
  • provide incentives for local producers to increase their food production
  • work with a local firm to produce pellet wood for furnaces from trees in our own forest
  • turn manure into methane gas using a methane digester
  • grow our own animal feed
  • eliminate the use of petrochemical lubricants in all of our equipment and vehicles
  • switch to ethanol or biodiesel for our vehicles or convert to electric or hybrid vehicles where possible.

Modeling Responsible Behavior

In short, we teach environmental leadership by modeling responsible behavior. Our natural setting, institutional values and history, and unique program position us well to serve as a resource for others, even as we continue to improve our own practices.