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Hole in the Woods Ranch
Our Camp In The Adirondacks – The Double H Ranch located in beautiful Lake Luzerne, New York is a nonprofit organization that provides a Summer Residential Camp, an Adaptive Winter Sports Program and Spring and Fall Family Programming to children and their families dealing with life-threatening illnesses. As part of the Association of Hole in the Wall Camps, the Double H, co-founded by Charles R. Wood and Paul Newman, has been providing memorable camp experiences in a safe and empowering environment since 1993. All programs are FREE of charge and capture the magic of the Adirondacks.
Our Mission – The mission of the Double H Ranch is to provide specialized programs and year-round support for children and their families dealing with life-threatening illnesses. Our purpose is to enrich their lives and provide camp experiences that are memorable, exciting, fun, empowering, physically safe and medically sound.
Summer Residential Camp – From June until the end of August, the Double H Ranch offers children, age 6-16 during regular sessions and ages 17-21 during the alumni session, dealing with critical or life-threatening illnesses the chance to experience the magic of the Adirondacks. Campers can participate in sports such as kickball, basketball, tennis, soccer and volleyball. Each camper is given the opportunity to expend some energy by participating in these adaptive sports on our fields and courts while learning the importance of team work. Campers also have the opportunity to enjoy water sports such as swimming in our indoor or outdoor pool. They can enjoy free swim time along with different games or practice their skills during swim instruction.
Creative Arts Program – Offers campers a chance to participate in music, drama and creative writing. Campers work with staff to create videos, slideshows, photography projects and record music. They can also practice their singing and acting to prepare for the Talent Show.
Arts & Crafts – Where campers can express themselves by using their creative skills on a variety of projects. Campers learn how to tie-dye, make necklaces and earrings, create wooden critter cages and learn to make pottery.
Happy Barn for Happy Children – Houses our horseback riding program and small animal petting zoo. Children are able to learn proper riding techniques using adaptive equipment and are able to help with the care and feeding of the many animals that live at the Ranch.
Discovery area – Offers campers the opportunity to learn hands-on science and nature projects such as making ice cream, volcanoes, soda pop and the ever so popular SLIME.
Outdoor Extreme- Offers all campers the opportunity to appreciate our natural surroundings in the Adirondacks. Campers learn to build a fire, participate in wildlife scavenger hunts and our older campers are able to experience a traditional overnight camp-out. Each cabin group is scheduled for a half-day visit to the High Ropes Course, where they will challenge themselves and encourage others as they work to complete the course. The high ropes course instills in our campers a sense of accomplishment and self-confidence that stays with them throughout the year.
Each week Double H Ranch campers enjoy an offsite visit to our local amusement park Six Flags (Great Escape) and the older children are able to experience the thrill and excitement of whitewater rafting.
The Double H Ranch campers are also visited by a variety of special guests throughout the summer sessions such as local fire departments, singing/dancing performers, therapy dogs and Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream.
Every night there is a different camp wide event such as a campfire, poolside party, a dance, Water Olympics and Talent Show. After the fun and excitement of the day, campers reflect on their experiences during Cabin Chat. Here they share their thoughts and feelings with their friends and counselors and enjoy downtime before bed.
Each session ends with a very special Wishboat Ceremony, which is held at the waterfront peninsula. Throughout the week cabin groups create a wishboat made from tree bark, leaves, flowers and items from nature. During the Wishboat Ceremony each camper writes a wish on a piece of bark and sends it off on the wishboat onto the waters of Lake Vanare. The entire camp enjoys the glow of the candles reflecting in the water as they sing our three Double H Ranch camp songs and reflect on the week at camp together. It is truly a memorable moment for campers and counselors. It is a perfect way to end an amazing week at the Double H Ranch, where campers are given a "Chance to get away and just be a kid."
Spring and Fall Programs for Campers and Their Families:
In the Spring and Fall the Double H Ranch opens its doors to a variety of specialty programs as part of its holistic approach to programming. All programs offered at the Ranch are FREE of charge to the campers and their families and capture the magic of the Adirondacks. The overall goal of year-round programming is to continue to provide or meet respite needs while spreading the mission of Health & Happiness to children and families dealing with a life-threatening illness.
Family Programs (Fall)
Rosie’s Love Round-Up – This is an annual event bringing families to camp that have had a child diagnosed with cancer. This program promotes family bonding through traditional camping activities.
Rosie’s Love Memorial – This annual event serves families that have lost a child to an illness. The program blends supportive counseling, family-based programming, and culminates in a memorial service on Saturday afternoon hosted by Albany Medical Center doctors and nurses.
Cindy’s Comfort Camp – This program serves children that have lost a parent, sibling, or loved one, allowing the children to talk about their situations, while participating in adventure-based activities.
Bravehearts – This weekend is designed as an oncology weekend for women who have survived or are in treatment for various cancers. The Fall program focuses on relaxation and the celebration of life.
Bleeding Disorders Family Weekend – This program serves families of children diagnosed with different types of bleeding disorders. The goal of this program is to provide education on the newest technologies regarding the various bleeding disorders and enjoy time together as a family and with other families in similar situations.
Spina Bifida Family Weekend – This is an annual family retreat that brings together families in which a child is diagnosed with Spina Bifida. The program promotes family bonding through traditional camping activities.
Family Programs (Spring):
Diabetes Weekend – An educational family program for children and their families living with Type 1 diabetes. It is focused around adult workshops and giving families a chance to experience camp activities together.
Bravehearts Weekend – This weekend designed as an oncology weekend for women who have survived or are in treatment for various cancers. The spring program focuses around adventure-based programming and teambuilding.
Autism Family Weekend – A “traditional camp experience” for families with children on the Autism Spectrum who we host in our Winter sports program, but are not eligible for the Summer program.
Cindy’s Comfort Camp – This program serves children who have a loved one who is seriously ill, allowing the children to talk about their situations, while participating in adventure-based activities.
Adaptive Winter Sports Program – Offers children ages 6-16 dealing with chronic and life-threatening illnesses the opportunity to participate in various winter sports in the beautiful Adirondack Mountains FREE of charge with necessary equipment provided. Activities include Alpine skiing instruction, as well as snowboarding and snowshoeing lessons. Our winter program is aimed at not only teaching children a life-long skill, but also to provide an experience that can be enjoyed by the entire family.
This unique program is coordinated by Ranch staff, and the magic that takes place on the slopes is made possible through the efforts of our 200 volunteer instructors and National Ski Patrol who provide a 1:1 support ratio with students. Each child that participates in the program is encouraged to reach their full potential and strive to be successful, while having fun.
On a typical day, participants arrive at the Double H Ranch at 9:30am and each child is assigned a volunteer ski instructor and fitted for their ski equipment. The Double H Ranch’s mountain has a chairlift and two ski trails in addition to miles of cross country trails. We also make our own snow! Families can sit comfortably in the ski lodge, Charley’s Chalet, as they monitor their child’s progress. After a noontime lunch, children are back out on the slopes for another two hours of instruction, before the day’s end.
Charley’s Chalet enables us to serve at least 30 students per day, 60 family members for Family Sleepover Weekends and provides campers with two private changing rooms, a child quiet room and a National Ski Patrol room dedicated to medical support. The building has a full kitchen, equipment and fitting room, and a lounge room that offers children the chance to sit by the fire to rest or areas to play board games and tell stories from the slopes.
In addition, we host five Family Sleepover Weekends, allowing the entire family to experience the great outdoors, together. Participation is based on approval by our Medical or Nursing Director, and availability, as we operate on a first-come, first-serve basis. There are also designated Alumni days for those students who have aged out of the regular program.
Please visit our website or Contact us for more information:
Development Office: (518) 696-5921 / Fax: (518) 696-7186