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CAMP GORHAM: THE CAMP FOR YOU!
At Camp Gorham we focus on ensuring that every camper feels welcomed to camp.
|July 21-August 3
One -Week Sessions:
|July 28-August 3
|2 Week Session
|1 Week Session
Teen Adirondack Guides
|July 21-August 3
Cost: $1,965 per session
Counselor in Training
Cost: $2,000 per session
- Family: Our cabins are home base for campers, both in terms of space but more importantly in terms of people. After each day, campers always come back together in their cabin and participate in Evening Embers, a chance to share their thoughts, feelings and experiences. Cabin life is designed to build new friendships in a caring supportive environment. Campers are active participants in the Camp Community taking responsibility for the cleanliness of their cabins; keeping track of their personal belongings; putting away equipment after activities; and clearing tables after meals in the dining hall. Camp will honor one reciprocal roommate request. Each cabin is staffed with two Cabin Counselors who live in the cabin with their campers. Parents can meet their child’s counselors at check-in and again during pick up at the end of your camper’s session.
- Neighborhood: Cabins also make up different villages at Camp Gorham. Our Villages give campers something to be part of and proud of within the overall Gorham community. Campers are assigned a village based on age and gender. Each has a distinct identity. Throughout the summer, campers have many shared experiences within their village but also aim to be the loudest and proudest within camp! Campers are encouraged to bring clothing in their village color to exhibit their pride. Staff create a dynamic environment focused on five key elements: Safety, Friendship, Adirondack Experiences, Character Development and Fun! Adirondack Village: Girls ages 7-12 (Village Color: Green), Big Moose: Boys ages 7-12 (Village Color: Red), Frontier: Girls ages 13-16 (Village Color: Yellow), Lumberjack: Boys ages 13-16 (Village Color: Blue)
- Meal Time: All meals at Camp are served family style in our dining hall; a cereal bar is available in the morning and a salad bar is available at lunch and dinner. Campers who require special diets for medical reasons can be accommodated with advance notice. Fruit is always available for campers and mealtimes and for snacks throughout the day. Cabins take turns being table setters for each meal to help set up the dining hall. Prior to the meal camper’s gather together in the game zone in front of the dining hall enjoying gaga ball; basketball; carpet ball and the jumping pillow. Just prior to the meal, campers line up in cabin groups and are called up to the dining hall one group at a time. This line up time includes our lost and found game as well as some cheers; songs; and quick role-playing games! The fun continues in the dining hall with spontaneous songs and cheers throughout the meal.
Closing Banquet and Campfire: On the last day of each session, campers gather in the dining hall for a spectacular meal prepared by our professional chef. Staff all dress for the occasion and campers are encouraged to bring a nice outfit to wear to dinner that night. The banquet sets the stage for our closing campfire with wood chip ceremony. Campers receive a bracelet at closing campfire symbolizing their specific year at camp. The Adirondacks have long been a destination for friends and families where historically people would “dress” for dinner and gather in large dining halls for family style meals. Gorham celebrates the past of the Adirondacks with our closing banquet tradition as well as celebrating and giving thanks for the new friendships and experiences enjoyed during your camper’s session.
Golden Horseshoe: Our wonderful team of horses are expertly taken care of by our Equestrian staff but they always welcome extra help. Each morning campers can help to bring the horses in from the pasture and get them fed and ready for the day. The dedicated volunteer campers who join the equestrian staff every day are awarded the Golden Horseshoe in recognition of their efforts.
Polar Bear: Each morning, with the mist in the air and Darts Lake smooth as glass, the bravest campers and cabins head down to the waterfront to participate in what Gorham Campers have been doing since 1963, the polar bear plunge! Campers who plunge into the lake every morning are awarded the polar bear award at closing campfire but even if you only do it once, one thing is for sure, no Gorham experience is complete without the polar bear plunge!
Camp Corral, a 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt, non-profit corporation, is a free, one-of-a-kind summer camp for children of wounded, disabled or fallen military service members. Camp Corral is proudly sponsored by its founding sponsor, Golden Corral Corporation, and other generous donors. YMCA Camp Gorham is one of 17 sites in the nation selected to host Camp Corral. Registration now open. Enrollment space is limited so apply early! Providing positive, recreational experiences in the outdoors helps foster resilience, and Camp Corral has proven to be a ‘week of a lifetime.’ The week also encourages the campers to create friendships and bond with other kids who share similar family situations. Your camper will spend the week outdoors enjoying the many traditional overnight camp activities Camp Gorham has to offer: swimming, kayaking, canoeing, paddle boards, mountain biking, fishing, archery, high ropes, zip line, hiking, wilderness, and more!
- Who can attend? Any child, ages 8-15 of a military family may attend. However, registration priority is given to children of wounded, injured, ill, or fallen military service members.
- How does my camper apply? The camper’s parent or legal guardian must complete their camper’s Camp Corral application online on the Camp Corral website.
- What happens after I apply? YMCA Camp Gorham will review applications to ensure your camper meets the established guidelines. Once accepted you will be sent instructions on parent/medical forms, what to bring to camp, and arrival and departure times.
Teen Leadership Programs: We’re proud to offer programs for our campers age 14-16.
Teen Adirondack Guides (TAG): Our Teen Adirondack Guide program aims at developing campers into leaders both within camp and in their community while providing them with tangible camping skills. The goal of the program is to provide a powerful and meaningful experience for participants. TAG campers are housed in lumberjack and frontier villages. Program highlights include: Two-night camping trip where participants plan and navigate through the experience, Raft building experience, Extensive team building and leadership training, and have a prominent role in all-camp activities. The TAG Village Color is Tie-Dye and campers will be given a white shirt to tie-dye while at camp.
Waterski Programs, age 10 and up: Whether you are looking to try waterskiing for the first time or to enhance your skills further, there is no better location for your child to waterski than on our beautiful 400-acre private lake. Our experienced instructors will tailor their approach to the level of your camper ensuring they get a memorable and meaningful waterski experience. Campers taking waterski lessons must be able to pass our swim test.
Horseback Riding: With 1,500 acres of property, Camp Gorham offers the chance to experience any number of horse trails. Camp Gorham is accredited by the Certified Horsemanship Association. The CHA provides the accepted Standards for Equestrian Programs. CHA requires accredited members meet standards for safety, education and animal welfare through a detailed process which examines the site, program content, staff qualifications and equine management. Campers who register to take horseback riding as one of their three electives will begin with riding lessons, building to a trail ride. Campers are grouped by ability level with lessons being tailored to maximize the experience for each camper. Campers not in this elective may still be able to experience the horses either by assisting with barn care or may take part in a scheduled cabin ring ride in our arena. Helmets are provided; campers registering for this program must bring riding boots/shoes with pronounced heel and long pants that come to the ankle for riding. Lessons are with equestrian staff. After assessments, riders are grouped into beginner, intermediate and advanced classes.
Our specialty tracks are categorized as being Land, Water, and Creative activities.
Campers can learn or improve the skills necessary for shooting a bow and arrow. Throughout the week, campers will learn the different parts of a bow as well as proper firing technique. Campers will be able to use their skills with a few unique challenges that take place on our main archery range as well as our field archery range. New this year! Campers will be able to put their skills to the test and compete in the archery challenge to win the coveted golden arrow!
Sports and Games
If you like being active and having a chance to compete at the same time, then Sports and Games is for you! In the Sports and Games track, campers will have the chance to play a number of different athletic games. Campers will begin each session with a group stretch to warm up then put their athletic skills to use. This year, campers will play games such as kick ball, ultimate frisbee, world cup soccer, and pickleball. While this activity does focus on competitive games, campers are still reminded each day to practice good sportsmanship and focus on the fun.
Hit the trails with us in the Mountain Biking specialty track. Throughout the week, campers will learn the basics of mountain biking by learning the different parts of the bike, practicing bike control, and learning about riding safety. Day One will have campers practicing on a small obstacle course that will help improve riding control and by Day Five, campers will be testing their skills through time trials out on the trails.
Rock Climbing is an exciting activity that provides campers with the opportunity to push themselves to new heights. Goal setting is highly encouraged with our campers in this activity and our trained staff will help campers achieve or even surpass them. The week starts off with learning about the equipment that is used for rock climbing and how it keeps us safe. Each day, campers will have the chance to scale our rock wall, climb the cargo net, soar on the flying squirrel, and coast down our zipline. This is the perfect activity for those looking to step outside of their comfort zone. Remember, closed toe, sturdy shoes are required for this specialty track.
Come test your aim with us in the Target Sports specialty track. In this activity, campers will have the chance to use unique equipment that provides a reasonable and fun challenge. Campers will use sling shots, darts, camper friendly hatchets, and atlatls to test their aim with various targets. What is an atlatl? Atlatls are primitive hunting tools that use momentum to propel a long dart across great distances. These were once used for game hunting but are now used as a fun challenge for target sports enthusiasts.
Here at Camp Gorham, we like to put an emphasis on enjoying the outdoors and the Wilderness specialty track is the perfect activity to do so. In this activity, campers will have the chance to explore different parts of camp while learning some essential skills that can be used in the wilderness. Campers will hike to lunar falls, learn how to build a fire, build their own survival shelter, and play fun wilderness games like camouflage. Be sure to bring your hiking boots if you sign up for wilderness!
At additional charge
Horseback riding has a long tradition at Camp Gorham! Campers who register to take horseback riding as one of their three electives will begin with riding lessons, building to a trail ride. Campers are grouped by ability level with lessons being tailored to maximize the experience for each camper. Campers not in this elective may still be able to experience the horses either by assisting with barn care or may take part in a scheduled cabin ring ride in our arena. Helmets are provided; campers registering for this program must bring riding boots/shoes with a pronounced heel and long pants that come to the ankle for riding. Lessons are with equestrian staff. After assessments, riders are grouped into beginner, intermediate and advanced classes. Camp Gorham is proud to be accredited by the Certified Horsemanship Association. Campers registering for riding lessons must be at least 10 years old.
Canoeing and Kayaking
Darts Lake at Camp Gorham is the perfect place to get out and enjoy the water. In canoeing and kayaking, campers will have the chance to explore parts of our 400-acre private lake. Whether you are an experienced paddler or have never been in a boat before, this activity is a fun way to be on the water. At the beginning of the week, campers will start with the basics by learning the different parts of the boats and learning paddling techniques. Campers will later get to paddle the lake via canoe or kayak and even practice the safety skills of what to do if your boat capsizes. If you want the full Adirondack experience, then canoeing and kayaking should be on your schedule.
Nothing beats relaxing with friends and casting a line into Darts Lake. In the fishing specialty track, campers will learn about our aquatic wildlife, learn how to string a fishing pole, and bait their own hook. Our fishing is on a catch and release basis with an emphasis on the importance of respecting wildlife. This year, campers will have the opportunity to try fishing at different locations on camp to see where the best fishing can be done here at Gorham.
Stand Up Paddleboarding
Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) is a favorite amongst campers here at Gorham. If you have never tried a SUP, then we highly recommend this activity. It’s like surfing but without the waves and you use a paddle to propel yourself. Campers will start the week by learning the basics of paddling and how to gain balance on the SUP. As the week progresses, campers will practice paddling out on the lake while playing some fun games. New this year! Campers will have the chance to try our new Corcls! These are floating disks that work similarly to a SUP and provide a fun challenge.
Swimming in Darts Lake is a great way to cool off and have fun with friends. Campers in the swimming activity will be able to enjoy our new water inflatables! The Aqua Spindle is making a return and we are also introducing the Aquaglide Freefall Extreme. Campers in the swimming activity will also play plenty of games in the swimming area, lounge on water floats, and see how long they can last with log rolling. For safety purposes, campers must pass our swim test to participate in the swimming specialty track. Please feel free to contact us with any questions on the swim test.
At additional charge
Whether you are looking to try waterskiing for the first time or to enhance your skills further, there is no better location for your child to waterski than on our beautiful private lake. Our experienced instructors will tailor their approach to the level of your camper ensuring they get a memorable and meaningful waterski experience. Campers taking waterski lessons must be able to pass our swim test and be at least 10 years old.
Arts and Crafts
Arts and crafts are a great way to put your creativity on display! Campers will participate in several fun and creative craft projects. Campers who participate in this activity can expect to make tie dye clothing, practice wood burning and make their own candle. Tie dye shirts are provided to campers. Campers will be able to bring their crafts home at the end of the week so they can be displayed for all to see!
The Gorham stage is calling all theatre and improv enthusiasts! Improv is a great specialty track option for those who love to perform. In this activity, campers will express their creativity through improv games and short skits. Campers can also create a short skit that will be performed for the camp at the end of the week. Campers will create the storyline and dialog, assign characters, and put together costumes for the performance. The spotlight is ready to shine on our Gorham performers.
Everything tastes better when cooked over a fire! In Outdoor Cooking, campers will learn a series of simple and delicious recipes that can be cooked over a campfire. The week will start with demonstrating how to build a campfire that can be used for cooking. Throughout the week, campers will make dishes such as freshly popped popcorn, cobbler, brown bears, quesadillas, and banana boats. Campers will also learn how cast iron pots and pans can be helpful with campfire meals and practice proper care of the cast iron equipment.
|Reveille: Early Morning Swim and Feed the Horses
|Camper Elective Period 1
|Camper Elective Period 2
|Camper Elective Period 3
|Games at Dining Hall
|All Camp Game
Board of Managers:
|Larry Davis, III
|Jody Collins Skinner
|Walnut Creek, CA
Honorary Camp Gorham Board:
Heather Dickerson - Director of Administration
Heather started working at Camp Gorham in 2023 but has been in the world of camping since 2004. Heather earned a BS in Art Education from SUNY Buffalo State and a Masters in Library and Information Science from the University of Pittsburgh. Heather brings her experience as a librarian to her role as Director of Administration, where she is dedicated to helping families in the enrollment process and sharing information about Camp Gorham. Heather lives at Camp Gorham with her husband Paul, son Arlo, and dog Rooney.
Paul Davidson – Summer Camp Director
Paul joined the Gorham team in 2023 as the Summer Camp Director, bringing twenty years of experience in outdoor recreation and summer camp. Paul got his start at Y camps as a sailing and rock climbing instructor at Camp Chingachgook on Lake George. Most recently, he led YMCA Camp Child in Elliston, Montana. He believes strongly in the transformative power of the overnight camp experience to help campers become confident in who they are. Paul lives at Camp Gorham with his wife Heather, son Arlo, and dog Rooney.
Ryan Lukaszek – Camp Ranger
Ryan Lukaszek joined the Gorham team in May of 2022 bringing 10 years of experience in the maintenance/facilities field. Ryan grew up in the Adirondacks and loves fishing, and outdoor activities. Ryan loves camp and making sure everyone is comfortable at Gorham during their stay.
Pete Meneilly - Buildings and Grounds Supervisor
While new to the role, Pete is no stranger to Camp Gorham, having joined our family here in 1984. After a short retirement, Pete’s been working part-time with us since 2018. We’re thrilled that he’s back full time! He takes great pride in caring for the property and is at his best when he’s fixing, building, and creating. Pete has been instrumental in the preservation and recreation of Camp Gorham facilities, notably Dart’s Cabin, Oak Hall, and the Wilderness Lakes Lodge.