Founded in 1976
In 1976, Jim Rein & Kristy Baxter founded Camp Northwood. The program was founded based on Jim & Kristy’s professional experiences as special educators from NYC. They both realized that there was a desperate need for summer camp opportunities designed for campers requiring a greater degree of structure and social support.
The question of where to locate such a camp was easily solvable when Jim found that the camp he attended in the Adirondacks in the 50s and 60s was vacant and available.
The challenge of building Northwood’s unique camp culture was a bit more complex. Educational values and principles were interjected into Northwood’s traditional setting to support campers to grow over the summer in their social development.
Staff with a passion for working with unique populations of children were recruited and quality programming developed. The product of these efforts was a spark that ignited Northwood’s culture of inclusivity and creativity necessary to meet the needs and expectations of our camp families.
For 14, years, Jim & Kristy’s leadership and vision helped to shape Northwood into the camp it is today. Many of our current administration were brought into the Northwood family under their tenure.
Changes in Leadership
The summer of 1989 marked a transition for Northwood. Jim & Kristy decided to take on new projects outside of the camp community and former counselors Gordie and Donna Felt took over the program.
Gordie’s background in special education and Donna’s in occupational therapy made for a match to shepherd Northwood to new levels of excellence. Using their previous experience as counselors, Gordie & Donna slowly began to refine Northwood’s programming into a more intentional and socially therapeutic experience for our campers.
Northwood programming grew to include a formalized social skills curriculum, the creation of the Northwood Center Life Skills Training Program, and a more concentrated emphasis on defining our camper population. These changes have helped foster a tight knit community of campers, families, and staff.
The era of private independent family owned camps continues and the Felt family takes pride in providing a level of summer camp excellence that our Northwood families have come to expect.