In 1985, Dr. Arthur Kornhaber, a New York City psychiatrist, came to Great Camp Sagamore with an idea. He had recently published a book called "Grandparents/Grandchildren: The Vital Connection" and had developed some theories about the importance of the grandparent-grandchild relationship. He thought this remote location in the Adirondacks might be the perfect place for grandparents to develop and nurture that relationship with their grandchildren.
Since the 1980s, the original idea that Dr. Kornhaber conceived has bloomed and grown. Now some of the week-long Intergenerational Camps are run by Roads Scholar, which has taken the concept of Grandparent Camp and applied it to programs worldwide. Great Camp Sagamore also has their own tried-and-true program, known affectionately as “Saga-Grands Camp.”
Sagamore keeps the programming simple. Two groups participate alternately in a morning activity and an afternoon activity: music, art, nature-based, and environmental education. Together, the grandparents and grandchildren learn how to paddle a canoe, create a weaving project, or learn how to play a table harp or lap dulcimer.
There are evening activities as well: dances, campfires, art gallery time (where the kids' art creations are all proudly displayed), concerts (where campers can show off those newly learned harp abilities) and, of course, Creativity Night, where grandchildren re-tell in their own words a story they learned earlier in the week from their grandparent.
But the emphasis of the whole week truly is to have quality time together with your "grand." Therefore, no activity is mandatory. If you need some quiet time together, you’re free to hang out in your cabin with a game, puzzle, or book. If you want to just go for a walk in the woods together, go for it. If you want to paddle around Sagamore Lake, there are canoes, paddles, and PFDs available for you to grab and go.
The campers, both young and young-at-heart, that I spoke with on my recent visit could not say enough great things about their week at Sagamore. The kids were enthusiastic about the activities, the other kids, and about getting one-on-one attention from grandma or grandpa. The grandparents were all just thrilled to have their grandchildren all to themselves.
One little boy lives outside the U.S. so this time is the only time, every summer, that his grandmother can spend with him. Another grandmother explained that she comes for a couple weeks every summer, each time with another grandchild. Numerous people proudly told me this was their 8th, 12th, or even 18th year coming to Great Camp Sagamore!
(This article originally appeared in the Adirondack Experience It! blog powered by the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism).
Great Camp Sagamore
Executive Director Stepping Down
Garet Livermore announced that he is stepping down as Executive Director of Sagamore Institute of the Adirondacks in Raquette Lake, NY effective April 1st, 2019. Livermore is returning to his home in Cooperstown, NY to work as a consultant to museum and non-profits throughout the Northeast as well as on historical writing projects. “My work at Sagamore is a highlight of my career, the institution enjoys a rare combination of an extraordinary history, a unique state of preservation and mission, combined with a committed group of supporters in a stunning physical setting.”
Prior to becoming the Executive Director in 2013 Livermore had a long association with Sagamore starting in the 1980s when he came to camp to cross country ski during the winter program season. He later served two terms as a board member and as a regular “Mountain Music” participant and hiker in the Historic Great Camps Special Management Area that surrounds Sagamore.
The search for a successor will be led by a search committee of Sagamore’s Board of Trustees and has already begun. “Sagamore is looking for a dedicated, dynamic executive director who loves what Sagamore has become - as an exemplar of remote historic preservation and provider of unique educational programming - and who also wants to further the organization as an essential cultural and educational institution in the United States. The right candidate will need to wear lots of hats, from museum director to lodge manager, from program officer to non-profit administrator.”
Help Sagamore out by Voting for the Best of the Adirondacks
We need your help!
Adirondack Life Magazine is once again developing a list of The Best of the Adirondacks. This list includes Best Burger, Best Donut, Best Outdoor Dining, Best Cocktails….in fact the list includes 29 categories!
Here at Great Camp Sagamore we would like to be part of that list for the Best Museum or Historical Site (Number 20). We know that “Camp” is steeped in Adirondack history, from William West Durant to Alfred Vanderbilt and Margaret Emerson. And we have a passion for sharing that history with the public through our daily tours. People come from near and far to ‘step back in time’ and walk were these socialites treaded before.
So, in 2019 we are asking for your help to get Great Camp Sagamore on the Adirondack Life Magazine list The Best of the Adirondacks. It is quite easy to do. You just need to click on the link and it will take you to the survey form. Of course, we are sure you have ideas of where you can find the Best Ice Cream or the Best Music Venue and we encourage you to join in on the fun and fill out all of the Best of. For number 20 we hope that you will enter Great Camp Sagamore for the Best Museum or Historical Site. We also want to encourage you to share this with others.
Seeing Great Camp Sagamore on The Best of the Adirondacks 2019 is a goal that we have here at “Camp” and we want to thank you beforehand for helping in achieving this goal.
As a Sagamore member you receive discounts on programs and store items ability to register for programs in advance and the knowledge that you are becoming part of this great effort to preserve a National Historic Landmark.