An online story by Business Insider calls Raquette Lake Camp (for 6-16 year olds) “exclusive and expensive.”
According to the website, it’s $11,400 for a few weeks of sleep-away camp and only 10-12 non-legacy kids have a chance at getting in. If this is accurate, that description’s fair.
But is that how Adirondack summer camps want to be known? If the reach of the online article was limited to the 5,000 or so people who saw it on Business Insider, it wouldn’t merit too much attention. But Yahoo News picked it up and put the story in front of lots more eyeballs.
Summer camps – as an industry – are still a good fit in our neck of the woods. They’re long-lasting, family-run businesses. They employ lots of people and are often good environmental stewards. But, perhaps most importantly, these camps bring thousands of people to the Adirondacks – many of them when they’re young and impressionable. Just in terms of marketing, that’s gold.
So what will it mean if parents start to associate kids’ sleep-away camps in the Adirondacks with “exclusive and expensive?”
Maybe it’s a good thing. Maybe this is how our patch of New York builds a little buzz.
But the vast majority of summer camps in this area aren’t that costly and don’t promise elite elbow rubbing. How do these camps appeal to parents’ growing concern about “right tracking” their kids?
Yeah, these other Adirondack sleep-away camps could raise prices and as school-age campers become adults they might come back here as tourists or vacation-home buyers.
But is this the path we want to take to a higher national profile? Maybe this is the path we’ve always been on. Maybe this is just how it goes.
But does it seem right to you? Does this fit with your idea of the Adirondacks? Does it fit with the way you value this place?
I think we better decide, sooner rather than later.