Raquette Lake Boys Camp and Raquette Lake Girls Camp have long, prestigious histories of excellence held up by their philosophical foundations. The 100+ years of traditions that have defined the camps and embodied their philosophy are still around today — a picture of unity and endurance, past and present.
In 1916, on the edge of the Roaring Twenties, Raquette Lake Boys Club was founded by Max Berg. Max’s cousin Ray K. Phillips founded Raquette Lake Girls Camp the same year.
Their love of the outdoors and devotion to discipline laid the foundation for the camps’ high standards of excellence that define them to this day. Since the start, both camps have operated separately with a common philosophy.
Moving into the modern era, Raquette Lake Boys Club was renamed Raquette Lake Boys Camp. Improvements were made at both camps — black-topped basketball courts, clay tennis courts, horseback riding facilities, and upgraded waterfronts changed the faces of the camp properties. The core traditions and values remained the same.
Dramatic changes in American culture made small impression on the staid character of the camps. Facilities were enlarged, fields were expanded, new buildings were added, tents were replaced with bunks, and additional luxuries were added.
Generations of campers come back year after year. Improvements to the infrastructure continue, but the commitment to Camp’s traditions, philosophies, and values remain.
In a world of shifting values and hyper-connectedness that always seems to be moving too fast, RLC provides a haven of calm, giving boys and girls the guidance necessary to “do things the right way,” as we like to say.
There are numerous traditions at Raquette Lake but a select few go all the way back to the camps’ founding — traditions that focus on sportsmanship, friendship, instruction, responsibility, independence, and acceptance. These and other values continue to be the philosophical underpinnings of our enduring traditions.
Since their founding, Raquette Lake Camps have uniquely operated with completely separate programs and facilities, but with the same family ownership, philosophy, and values.
Boys and girls enjoy scheduled socials and special events that bring them together in a comfortable, accepting environment. Brothers and sisters from both camps have lunch together weekly.
Beginning at camp and ending 80 miles to the north at Saranac Lake, senior boys & girls (seperately), canoe the wilderness for 4 days. Campers bond as they prepare meals, carry canoes, build tents, and navigate through the lakes and rivers of the Adirondacks.
Boys and girls who choose to make this two mile swim from one camp to the other train all summer. In the early morning, during the final days of camp, they enter the lake and swim the distance. They share breakfast with the other camp when they arrive on the other side.
Every summer, each camper is paired with an older or younger “camp brother” or “camp sister” in order to help with the transition to camp life. Once a week they have dinner together and participate in a special event such as a scavenger hunt.
Once a week the entire camp congregates at the campfire site overlooking the lake, to hear stories, recognize camper achievements, make S’mores, and sing songs. This is an opportunity for campers to be reminded of camp values, encourage one another, and relax together.
Color War for the boys and Team Week for the girls — cherished traditions as old as the camps themselves. For one week, at the end of each summer, campers compete at their respective camps in all activities and events.
It’s the purest and healthiest form of competition; each boy and girl is challenged to give all they’ve got for their team. Team building and good sportsmanship are the goal of the games.