News from Great Camp Sagamore!
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News from Great Camp Sagamore!
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First Snowfall at Sagamore Boat House by Joanne Uris 


PO Box 40
Raquette Lake, NY 

A Year in the Life of the Lake: November

            Sagamore Lake, at 1905 feet, is much more observed, painted, paddled, and played-in than many other high elevation lakes in the central Adirondacks.  Yet as November rolls around each year and Great Camp Sagamore closes for the season, Sagamore Lake becomes much quieter and calmer. By Thanksgiving almost all of the loons will have left to head for the open water of the Atlantic coast to avoid getting frozen into the ice.   During this time of year the water gets thick with cold and an interesting process known as “turn-over” happens secretly beneath the surface.
            Turn-over happens in most northern lakes in both the spring and fall, though it doesn’t always follow that rule.  The changing seasonal temperatures and water density are the variables that control this process.  Water is most dense when it is 39 degrees Fahrenheit (or 4 degrees Celsius).  The water at the bottom of deep lakes, like Sagamore Lake (which reaches depths of 70 feet), tend to be cold all year long.  During the summer, the water at the surface is very warm and less dense, causing it to stay on top even on very choppy, windy days.  In the heat, the water in the lake becomes stratified into different temperature layers. On a hot day in July the surface temperature can be 72 degrees while the bottom remains a chilly 42 degrees.   
            As air temperatures decrease in late fall, the water on the surface of the lake also decreases in temperature.  Eventually, all of the water molecules in the lake are at about the same temperature and density, no-matter where they are in the water column.  Just before ice-in, all it takes is a really windy day for the water in the lake to get mixing, like swirling brownie batter with a big spoon.  It’s hard to tell what’s happening under the surface of the lake, but strong winds and the presence of white caps at this time of year give us a hint that the fall turn-over has begun.  
            Turn-over doesn’t only take the water molecules from the bottom of the lake and move them to the top.  Other important things get mixed into the water as well, such as oxygen from the top and nutrients from the bottom.  Oxygen is especially important because dead zones would develop in the bottom of the lake without an occasional blast of air from above. Those that live in the lake such as eastern salamanders, lake trout, crayfish, and many others benefit from the dispersal of nutrients and oxygen.  Some of these species will continue to be active beneath the ice throughout the deepest freezes of the year.
            Some lakes around the Adirondack Park have already frozen, so Sagamore Lake shouldn’t be far behind.  Soon a whole new set of winter activities will define the next stage in a year in the life of a lake.
By Jen Maguder, Program Director 

Giving Back: Sagamore Song 

We know that this time of year you are getting many requests to help some very worthy causes. Like most non-profits, particularly those in the Adirondacks, Sagamore depends upon the generosity of its friends and supporters at this time of year, when we are closed to the public and there is no regular income stream. 

However, in the spirit of the season the staff and board of Great Camp Sagamore wish to offer you and yours a great holiday season, filled with warmth and time with family and friends. 

To keep Sagamore fresh in your memory we offer this rendition of Dan Berggren's "Sagamore Song" sung by grandparents and grandchildren here at camp a couple of years ago. It is a great rendition of a wonderful piece of our institution's history.  
Sagamore Song, written by Dan Berggren and performed by the voices of camp. 

Give the Gift of Supporting Sagamore this Season!

We hope that you will consider contributing to Sagamore and help preserve our National Historic Landmark complex in the heart of the Adirondacks as well as offer programs that bring camp to life. In 2019 your support helped us to reach the following goals:
  • Complete our renovation of Sagamore’s kitchen and Dining Hall Complex
  • Support programs that bring Grandparents and Grandchildren, women suffering from critical illnesses, young musicians, and others to be together in the beautiful Adirondack wilderness and enjoy this historic place.
  • Create new programs for Sagamore’s family and community audiences in the Historic Great Camps Special Management Area.
  • Begin rebuilding the deck and access to Sagamore’s iconic Main Lodge building.
Please consider supporting our 2019 efforts through a donation today. Simply use the button below to be linked directly to our donation page. We appreciate your support! 
Contribute to Sagamore's Heritage Appeal!
Another way to support Sagamore without any cost to yourself is to do your Amazon shopping through Amazon Smile. Amazon Smile donates a portion of every sale back to charities that you designate (including Sagamore). Just go to and chose Sagamore Institute of the Adirondacks as your designated charity. All of your account information is ported over to the site, nothing else to enter!
Its just the thing for Cyber Monday!


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. 
Join Us!


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Copyright © 2016 Sagamore Institute of the Adirondacks, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:

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