Every camper enjoys a full schedule of activities from morning until evening activities each night.
Activities are generally assigned according to age group; group scheduling allows campers to develop social skills, and to have fun with their best friends. We recognize that everyone has strengths. By participating in activities with their peers, campers shed their inhibitions, form strong bonds with each other, and gain confidence and ability in activities that they might not have ever tried before.
Counselors who are specialists in their fields always supervise all activities at camp. Because our instruction, professional approach to teaching and our spirit (!) campers can expect to become better swimmers, ball players, sailors, actors and musicians.
We offer an all-around sports program to encourage healthy competition. Instruction is built into every activity. This enables campers to develop self-confidence and learn leadership skills. Our facilities – sports fields and an indoor gym at Baco which the girls use, too – are filled with activity all day long.
Girls play softball, basketball, lacrosse, soccer and volleyball, and some homegrown sports such as lightning-ball
We encourage healthy competition at camp and arrange for those campers who choose to, to participate in inter-camp swim meets, tennis matches and athletic tournaments. Campers that are in the 5th grade and above are given the opportunity to participate in inter-camp activities.
For many campers, tennis is the focal point of camp. The program is run by a tennis pro who has been working at camp for many summers. We offer tennis instruction daily to campers, where they focus on skill building, drills and practice play. There are six tennis courts at Che-Na-Wah. In addition to intra-camp games and tournaments, campers enjoy participating in inter-camp tennis tournaments and USTA hosted tennis tournaments. Private lessons can be arranged for campers with our pros for an additional fee.
Pioneering, High Ropes & Climbing Tower
Our pioneering program takes full advantage of our beautiful mountain surroundings. Specially trained counselors guide campers on age-appropriate hiking trails throughout the Adirondacks. Campers learn how to hike safely and smartly while enjoying the wilderness. In addition, campers learn camping skills on overnights.
The climbing tower at Camp-Che-Na-Wah is used by campers from both camps and is supervised by certified counselors. Scrambling up the tower and rappelling down are skills that test a camper’s strength, agility and courage, as well as their Spiderman genes.
Older campers enjoy our high ropes and zip line course. Situated at Camp Baco and supervised by certified counselors, campers enjoy acting like tight rope artists while taking in the magnificent view of the mountains from the top of the tightrope. Not surprisingly, high ropes are among one of our favorite activities at camp.
We think that some of the best things about camp are the most unexpected and old-fashioned; and campers of all ages enjoy trying to hit bull’s-eyes at the archery ranges at both camps. Archery helps them feel strong and focused, plus, it’s pretty fun.
Camp Che-Na-Wah girls enjoy a casual gymnastics program in our open-air pavilion, where they can tumble, bounce and balance on our equipment, under the watchful eye of counselors.
Our beautiful lake is the heart of camp. Camp Che-Na-Wah has a fully equipped waterfront on Lake Balfour, where campers cool off and have fun every day.
Every camper receives swim instruction through the Red Cross “Learn to Swim Program.” Our Red Cross-certified instructors teach campers swimming, diving and lifesaving techniques to develop confidence and a life-long love of the water. Older campers can participate in Red Cross certified water safety courses specially designed for lake swimming.
Boating, Canoeing, Sailing
Campers love our boats and they learn boating skills on canoes, kayaks, and funyaks and sunfish sailboats. Bobbing along on the lake, learning boating safety skills and how to handle a lightweight sailboat are all skills campers can carry with them for a lifetime.
Waterskiing is one of the most popular activities at camp and each camp has its team of Water Ski Instructors and its own “Ski Nautique” boat. Leveled according to each camper’s ability, our instructors get campers up on skis and confidently circling the lake in no time! We also offer knee boarding and wakeboarding, which the children say is almost more fun that waterskiing.
What would camp be without free swim in Lake Balfour? Every day, campers can enjoy a free swim period where they bob with friends on floats and noodles, leap off the diving board or practice what they learned in swim instruction that day!
Creativity is a hallmark of camp and campers are given ample opportunities to immerse themselves in performance activities and in Arts & Crafts. We have indoor and outdoor theaters at both camps – they’re entertainment hot spots – great for shows and concerts; our arts and crafts pavilions are among the favorite spots at camp for campers of all ages.
Arts and Crafts
Che-Na-Wah girls enjoy such activities as drawing and sculpting, beading and tie dying in our arts and crafts buildings. We have pottery wheels and a kiln for campers to try their hands at making pots. Campers adore Arts & Crafts, not only because the activities are just plain fun, but because of the buildings themselves: Che-Na-Wah’s Arts and Crafts pavilion has a creation station on a balcony overlooking the lake.
Camp Che-Na-Wah has a recreational dance program where campers learn the latest hip-hop moves and dance routines, which they perform for their camp friends during special dance shows. Dance instruction is taught in a fun and relaxed manner on an outdoor deck overlooking the lake.
Campers of every age participate in our musical theater programs, which are run by musical theater and dramatic professionals with Broadway production credits. For children who choose to perform in plays, there is a junior show, an intermediate show, a co-ed senior show and, for our oldest campers, “The Big Show,” also a co-ed production where boys and girls rehearse and perform together. There are opportunities for campers who wish to work back stage in lighting and set design, making costumes, and being a part of the “stage crew”.
Musical Performance: Rock Band
Campers who play an instrument can bring theirs to camp and participate in the rock bands we form. Our music program, taught by counselors who are musicians, help kids learn to play in rock ensembles, culminating with a performance in front of their camp friends. It seems as if everywhere you go at camps Baco and Che-Na-Wah, you hear music.
Summers wouldn’t be complete without special excursions off camps’ grounds. In our camp-owned buses and vans, we take campers hiking, to performing arts events in nearby Saratoga Springs and to local museums. A favorite excursion is to local amusement park, too.
Senior Mini-Camp Program
“Mini-Camp” is an elective program that includes options such as: intensive workshops in basketball, arts, soccer, tennis, swimming, day hikes, overnight hikes, local sightseeing trips at no extra cost.
The “Mini-Camp” program also includes the option of a co-ed trip at an additional fee.
Campers in our senior age division can choose to travel out of camp on one, two and three-day trips to Boston, Vermont or Montreal to sight see and have fun being tourists. These trips are co-ed and chaperoned by senior staff; boys and girls take separate luxury buses and stay safe on separate floors of the hotels. These trips require an additional fee.
Baco boys and Che-Na-Wah girls enjoy numerous age appropriate activities together throughout the summer to share in camp spirit. These include our Fourth of July celebration and talent show, the Baco/Che-Na-Wah charity bazaar and our end-of-summer dance with a DJ.
Brothers and sisters get together for a visit ever Saturday after lunch at one of the camps. The location rotates on a weekly basis.
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