Raquette Lake Girls Camp

About Us

 

Lasting Memories

With over a century of experience and expertise, we are one of the oldest traditional overnight camps in America.

Since 1916, something special has been happening along the pristine shores of Raquette Lake. For seven extraordinary weeks each summer, campers ages 6 to 15 have made Raquette Lake Girls Camp a special haven for building lifelong memories. The vast majority of girls return, summer after summer, to rekindle old friendships and make new ones. Many are second, third, and even fourth generation campers.

1920's Canoers 1920's Girls Campers 1920's Girls Victory Sign

HistoryRaquette Lake Girls Camp is the same camp today as it was in 1916.

It has a long, prestigious history of excellence held up by its philosophical foundation. The traditions that have defined the camp and embodied its philosophy are still around today... a picture of unity and endurance, past and present.

1920's Camp Ferry 1920's Girls Salute 1920's Girls Campfire Ring

The Roaring ‘20s

Raquette Lake Girls Camp was founded by Ray K. Phillips in 1916. She had directed Cedar Island Camp for Girls but was looking for something special, something larger, with a pristine lake. That’s when she found the Antlers Resort on Raquette Lake. Ray K purchased the resort and built the girls camp at the same time her cousin founded Raquette Lake Boys Camp across the lake. Since the start, both camps have operated separately but philosophically as one.

The ‘50s

Moving into the Modern Era, improvements such as clay tennis courts, horseback riding, and an upgraded waterfront changed the face of the camp, but not the core; the same traditions and values that started the camp still fueled it.

Girls singing in the social hall 1950's cabin nap 1950's girl waterskiing at Raquette Lake 1950's girls listening to records
1970's girls dining hall 1970's girls

The ‘70s

The decline of the 1900s saw the continued growth of Raquette Lake. The radical changes in American culture made small impression on the staid character of the camp. The landscape changed again as facilities were enlarged, fields were expanded, a ropes course was added, and new buildings were constructed. Generators were brought to camp and additional luxuries were included such as a canteen, staff lounge, and bathrooms in every bunk.

Row of girl friends

Present Day

Camp today is camp as it’s always been. Generations of campers come back whose mothers, grandmothers, and great grandmothers came to Raquette Lake Girls Camp. Modifications to the infrastructure continue, but the commitment to Camp’s unchanging traditions, philosophies, and values remain.

Traditions

There are numerous traditions at Raquette Lake Girls Camp but a select few go all the way back to its 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.

Brother and Sister Brother and Sister having lunch together A Raquette Lake for Boys staff member and his sisters

Sister/Brother Camp

Since their founding, Raquette Lake Camps have operated with completely separate facilities, but with common ownership, philosophy, and values. Both girls and boys enjoy scheduled socials and special events that bring them together in a comfortable, accepting environment. Sisters and brothers from both camps have lunch together weekly.

Two blue baseball players Girls gather in the arena for a singing competition during Team Week Two white baseball players

Team Week

Team Week is as old as the camp. Since the beginning, campers have divided into two teams — the Blue and the White. For one week, at the end of each summer, campers compete in all activities and events. It’s the purest and healthiest form of competition; each camper is challenged to give all she’s got for her team. Team building and good sportsmanship are the goals of the games.

Girls on the Saranac Trip Girls wearing Saranac Trip t-shirts

Saranac Trip

Beginning at Raquette Lake Girls Camp and ending 80 miles to the north at Saranac Lake, senior girls canoe the wilderness for 4 days. These girls bond as they prepare their own meals, carry their canoes, build their tents, and navigate their way through the lakes and rivers of the Adirondacks.

Girls prepare to start the long swim to the boys camp Girls jump into the lake to start the 2 mile swim Girls swimming across the lake At last, the swim is complete and a smiling girl climbs the ladder on to the boys dock

Swim the Lake

The girls who choose to make this 2 mile swim to the boys camp train all summer. In the early morning, during the final days of camp, these girls enter the lake at girls camp and swim the distance. They share breakfast with the boys on the other side.

Camp Sisters My camp sister is awesome Smiling camp sisters

Camp Sisters

Every summer, each camper is paired with an older or younger “camp sister.” Once a week they have dinner together and participate in a special event such as a scavenger hunt.

Girls around the campfire after the Saranac Trip Roasting marshmallows over the campfire

Campfires

Once a week, the entire camp congregates at the campfire site, which overlooks the lake, to hear stories, recognize camper achievements, make S’mores, and sing songs.
Our Alma Mater >

Next PagePhilosophy