Dear Northwood Families,
Donna and I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for sending your child to Camp Northwood this past season. We enjoyed a wonderful summer full of sunshine, warmth and plenty of wonderful social experiences. As our Northwood family has grown over the past 43 years (38 of those years for me and 33 for Donna), we have enjoyed watching so many campers develop new levels of independence and establish lifelong friendships. Northwood has been our life’s work and we can not be prouder of what our team has been able to achieve over the years in what is becoming an ever more difficult climate for independent camps in New York State and across the country. Because of this, we have determined that the time is right to begin a new chapter in our lives and seek out new opportunities as they present themselves.
However, we are committed to seeing the legacy of Northwood continue into the future and we are excited to announce that we are becoming a part of the Summit Camp family for the 2020 summer season and beyond. While our campus will be closing up here in Remsen, NY, we are delighted to be bringing many of our great staff, traditions and notably the Northwood Center program to Summit Camp under the direction of our daughter Rebecca Felt. Rebecca and her team are committed to maintaining the “excellence in camping” that has been the hallmark of Camp Northwood all of these years. Rebecca is already hard at work establishing a new Center program for Summit that will continue the work and programming established here at Northwood!
For those of you who are not familiar with Summit Camp, it is a magical place in Honesdale, PA located on nearly 100 acres. Summit was founded in 1969 and has been serving hundreds of campers, similar to ours, each summer since. Under the direction of Shep Baum, the mission and philosophy of Summit mirrors that of Northwood: To provide unique children with the opportunity to feel part of a social community while experiencing traditional camping activities in a safe and socially enriching environment.
The range of activities that Summit Camp provides is extensive and highly appealing to campers that love to keep busy! Some of these programs include: a full adventure course (climbing wall and more!), multiple sports fields, a lake and swimming pool, as well as up to date technology and resources to facilitate many specialty areas including video arts, ceramics, drama and their highly experienced social learning team.
Another exciting aspect of this transition for our Northwood families is that Summit provides a broader selection of options for their camp family. A greater choice of session lengths, a teen-travel program and weekend programming scheduled throughout the school year are just a few of the advantages Summit has to offer! The addition of the new Center at Summit is just one more example of their determination to provide programming designed to meet the needs of their community.
I have gotten to know Summit’s director, Shep, over the past few years and come to appreciate his 100% dedication to his campers. He has endless amounts of energy, ideas and personality! Donna and I are eager to work with Shep and his team, including Rebecca, to help our Northwood families make the transition to this new and exciting blended community of campers and families. I look forward to being on-site at Summit at the start of the summer 2020 season to welcome our Northwood campers into the Summit family. Shep is eager to get to know our Northwood families and provide a heartfelt welcome to the Summit community. He has provided the enclosed letter to introduce himself.
With eternal gratitude,
Gordie & Donna
Dear Northwood families,
Hi, my name is Shepherd Baum. I am honored that the Felts have entrusted me to carry the Northwood legacy into the future as we blend Camp Northwood into the Summit Camp program. Both of our families are grateful for the trust that you extend as we work to provide programming for such a wonderfully unique population of children and young adults.
For me, the reason for taking on the leadership of a special needs summer camp program is personal. I grew up in Manhattan and was diagnosed at a very young age with severe dyslexia. After many years, and tutors, I grew to embrace my learning challenges as well as my strengths! I worked harder and longer than all of my friends and I found that my added efforts paid off. After graduating from the University of Maryland and entering the world of finance, I bought, ran, and sold a number of small businesses. I did well, but something was missing. I never felt fully satisfied.
It wasn’t until my second child was born that my life’s calling became clear. My daughter, Lila, was diagnosed with a P-ten mutation within her first year of life. In addition to severe learning disabilities and growth challenges, Lila has a very high likelihood of developing certain cancers. Receiving this diagnosis was devastating. My wife (who has dedicated her life to children as a special educator for more than a decade) and I quickly realized that with every obstacle comes an opportunity! For this reason, we decided to chart a new path and get involved in the camping industry so that we could enrich the lives of “OUR” children. I will always refer to Summit campers as our children because for the two months they are at camp, that is exactly how I will treat them — as if they were my own.
I am excited to embrace this new opportunity as our two great programs become one. I look forward to meeting with you and explaining how a summer at Summit can provide you with the socially enriching programming that you have come to expect following your experiences with Camp Northwood. Over the next several months, my staff and I will be reaching out to you in order to arrange an in-person visit for your family. We look forward to giving you the chance to get to know us as we get to know you and your campers, answering any and all questions pertaining to this new opportunity. Please, feel free to contact me at any time. My door is always open!
In the meantime, enjoy school and get ready…..camp is just 10 months away!!