A rich and treasured history
Adirondack Woodcraft Camps was founded in 1925 by William "Chief' Abbott. Mr. Abbott couldn't help but share his own transformative experience. You can stand today at the very spot of land where he envisioned a haven of learning for kids. Chief went on to lovingly guide Woodcraft for more than 50 years. His imprint is still felt here. His passion for teaching young people respect, leadership, and environmental stewardship endures.
In 1976, Chief transferred ownership of the legendary camp to the Leach family. They were a perfect match. As local educators, the Leach family understood the importance of tradition and trust, of small-town values and timeless commitment. Patriarch Jack Leach bought AWC as he neared retirement after 20 years as Superintendent of Town of Webb Schools in Old Forge. In time, Jack's sons, who had spent summers working for Chief Abbott, joined their father in this community investment. John and Dave Leach continued to oversee the day to day operations for forty years as they lead Woodcraft into a vibrant future.
Family has always been at the heart of Adirondack Woodcraft Camps. In 2017, the Leaches were ready to pass the torch to a new generation and searched for a family as committed to continuing their beloved summer camp as they had been. Once more, it was a perfect match. They found Doug & Christina Bartlett, experienced educators, camp directors, and passionate outdoors people who were looking for their own camp to call home. The Bartletts knew they discovered their dream camp when they first met John Leach and explored every inch of Woodcraft in the then quiet, snow-covered wilderness. Together with their three children, they are proud to continue the legacy that Chief started many years ago.
A Family Legacy Continues
Family imbues the whole atmosphere of the Woodcraft experience. The Bartlett family lives right on camp with the Leach family as their neighbors. Generations of campers and counselors return to camp every summer to meet with new Woodcrafters. Christina & Doug and the Woodcraft staff take time and care to make sure every camper feels right at home. A "family" environment is so important to the success of the Adirondack Woodcraft Camp program. Why? Because a nurturing environment fosters wholesome growth; a safe and secure springboard for the future; a foundation for life's challenges. Our family continues to grow, spinning ever-new stories by the crackling campfire — marshmallows optional.