Camp Eagle Island
Eagle Island Camp
|Nearest city||Saranac Inn, New York|
|Architect||William L. Coulter|
|MPS||Great Camps of the Adirondacks TR|
|NRHP Reference #||86002941|
|Added to NRHP||April 3, 1987 |
|Designated NHL||August 18, 2004 |
Camp Eagle Island, also known as Eagle Island Camp or simply EIC, is a resident summer camp located on Eagle Island in Upper Saranac Lake in New York’s Adirondack region and operated by the Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey, part of Girl Scouts of the USA. The camp was not opened during summers 2009 and 2010 and ACA accreditation has been dropped. The Council voted to sell the camp at a board meeting on October 11, 2010, and its future status as a Girl Scout camp is now uncertain. The Friends of Eagle Island, Inc. has organized and become a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. The group is working to raise money and hopes to purchase the property so that they can preserve the historic property, keep the beautiful site open to the public, and especially so that Eagle Island might continue fulfilling its mission of serving youth.
The camp occupies buildings originally built in 1899 as a summer retreat for New York Governor and United States Vice-President Levi Morton and designed by noted architect William L. Coulter. The mainland camp now known as Pine Ledge was originally a part of the Morton Great Camp. Camp Eagle Island was included in a multiple property submission for listing on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986, was listed there in 1987, and was named a National Historic Landmark in 2004.
Camp Eagle Island has been owned by Girl Scout organizations since 1938, when the Graves family of Orange, New Jersey, gave the island to the Maplewood-South Orange Girl Scout Council. In time that council became the Girl Scout Council of Greater Essex County, which merged with a Hudson County council in the late 1990s. The new council, Girl Scouts Heart of NJ, merges councils from Hudson, Essex, Union, Somerset, Hunterdon, southern Warren and parts of Middlesex counties. Eagle Island last operated as a resident camp in the summer of 2008; Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey has been engaged in efforts to sell the property since 2011; the property is currently listed for a price in excess of $3 million.
When operating as a residential camp, Eagle Island offers sailing, canoeing, swimming, hiking, campcraft, and various crafts. The camp has many traditions, including the singing of particular songs and a sequence of evening activities during each two-week camp session that includes staff introductions and a final night campfire and ice cream sundae party. Facilities include a large dining hall, a modern shower house, a recently renovated boathouse.
The camp has a capacity of about 140 campers. The camp season, for children ages 8 through 16, ran from early July to mid-August. There were special events such as Work Weekends, Women's Weekend (a camp-like experience for adult women), and Family Camp.
Friends of Eagle Island, a 501(c)3 organization is trying to save Eagle Island from being sold privately, without restriction as to future use. Such a sale for profit would be a direct violation of the purpose of the gift from the Graves family to the Girl Scouts. www.friendsofeagleisland.org for more information. [This is the opinion of the Friends of Eagle Island and has not been determined in a court of law; cited Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey, Inc.]
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2007-01-23.
- "Eagle Island Camp". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. 2007-09-08.
- William E. Krattinger (October 2002). "National Historic Landmark Nomination: Eagle Island Camp" (pdf). National Park Service.
- Gobrecht, Larry E. (July 1986). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Great Camps of the Adirondacks" (pdf). National Park Service.
- Friends of Camp Eagle Island, Inc
- Camp Eagle Island Unofficial Homepage
- Friends of Camp Eagle Island Official Homepage
- Eagle Island Camp, National Historic Landmark summary, at National Park Service
- Photos of Camp Eagle Island