Living the Dream…
a few years ago, alumni from the old camp had a dream…
bring back the old traditional summer camp that we all loved, the Camp that made us who we are today, a safe place for children to stay, interact and have fun.
we think we are on the road to achieving that goal!
Our intentionally small community nurtures and challenges campers through a traditional summer camp experience, free from technology. Through kindness, respect and responsibility, children will gather life skills needed to make them healthy, compassionate and productive adults.
Originally called Camp S-90, our beloved camp started as a Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) camp in 1936. The camp housed 200 men who engaged in traditional CCC tasks such as forest preservation, road construction, and more until a series of fires forced it to close its doors. Fulton, Montgomery, Oneida, Warren and Herkermer County 4-H programs joined together to purchase the camp in 1945 and operated what became 4-H Camp Sacandaga until 2005. The camp was later sold in 2010 to a couple who wanted to preserve an important part of Lake Pleasant’s history. They repaired and restored the historic facility and operated as Camp Tekoa, a religious retreat that also served children with disabilities, for two brief seasons (2014 and 2015) . In 2016 the Director Jim Tavares purchased the camp and opened the doors of the new Camp Sacandaga that same summer.
Jim Tavares has been a summer camp professional for over 30 years. Like so many do, he fell in love with the concept of camp when he was a counselor in his teens and has never looked back. Since then, he has worked as a program coordinator, a naturalist, an outdoor education, and an assistant camp director. However, he felt he found his true calling when he became the Assistant Director at Hidden Valley 4-H Camp. Refining camp programs, improving camp facilities, leading staff training, and most simply put, running summer camp, became Jim’s ultimate passion. He went on to be the director of 4-H Camp Sacandaga from 1994 to 2000, and as the Director a LG Cook 4-H Camp from 2001 to 2015. After over 20 years in the director position, Jim found there was still one place left to go. This was accomplished when he became the director and owner of Camp Sacandaga, where he is able to distill all his passion for youth development into a brand-new camp program, with an old camp heart.
We strongly believe great staff members are the foundation of a great summer camp.
Positive relationships with caring, supportive adults can have a trans-formative impact on a camper’s life, which can lead to increased self-confidence, autonomy, and social skills. Our staff members are hardworking, enthusiastic, positive, and responsible youth development professionals who dedicate two months of their lives to create an amazing summer camp experience for our campers.
Your child’s safety is our number one concern. We carefully vet all staff members through a thorough process interviews, background and reference checks, and training to ensure your child’s experience at Camp Sacandaga is safe and filled with fun opportunities for personal growth.
Our Camp Families
We have the greatest people come to our camp! From our “Firsties” (those campers who came the very first season of camp) to our new camp families, all share a common goal. To have their children come to our camp, have a great time and learn more about themselves. All in a safe and caring environment. Visit this link to hear what campers and parents have to say about their experiences with our program.