Since 1930, Deerfoot has been building godly men in Christ-centered community
through wilderness camping. Our vision is to serve as a catalyst toward the personal, spiritual, relational, and missional growth of men.
Deerfoot is a Christian wilderness camp for boys. Our program provides challenges for growth and the support to meet those challenges. These experiences help campers learn more about themselves, their relationships with others, their responsibility in society, and their walk with God.
What We Believe
Deerfoot calls men to hear and live out the teachings of Scripture. Deerfoot's belief that the Bible is the Word of God guides the content and purposes of our teaching. We believe that a commitment to the message of Good News in Scripture-- that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who came to earth in human flesh to die for sins and bring salvation to everyone who believes—is at the heart of what it means to be a godly man. At Deerfoot, boys are taught the truths of Scripture in a clear and relevant way. They are encouraged to respond in discussion and commitment, but they are never pressured to make a commitment that they are not ready to make. We understand that each boy must decide for himself matters of faith, understanding and growth. Our goal is to meet boys where they are at in their own faith journeys and to help them understand Scriptural truth and its relevance to their lives.
The Deerfoot Lodge Statement of Faith, Heritage and Practice (Click to open)
Deerfoot is located 1 mile off the paved road on beautiful Whitaker Lake, 6 miles north of Speculator, N.Y. on highway 30. (If you are traveling north on Rt. 30, turn right after reaching the "pig rock," a boulder with a pig face painted on it.) Camp is 60 miles from both Amsterdam and Utica exits of the New York Thruway in the heart of the Adirondacks. Click here for Driving Directions
Deerfoot strives to be unlike almost any place you can imagine. The lake's water is pure and clear. There are no motor boats, power lines, radios, stereos, or TVs so the croak of the bull frog may be enjoyed in all its fullness. Deer, black bear, beaver, otter, fox, mink, raccoon, chattering red squirrel, and chipmunks all call Deerfoot home. Deerfoot is in the midst of sights, sounds, smells, and "feels" of the deep forest.
The nature of wilderness activity and the Deerfoot program includes risks. Our programs and trips require living in tents or open cabins/lean-tos, washing in the lake (no showers), physical challenges, wild animals, uneven terrain, wild forests, severe weather, and riding in vans on both highways and dirt roads. Backpack and Canoe trips into the wilderness may involve swimming at sites not inspected by New York State, remote access to emergency medical facilities (24 hours or more). Staff, parents and campers assume these risks together recognizing that valuable growth comes from learning how to identify hazards and adapt behavior, not only at Deerfoot, but also for a lifetime of enjoying the outdoors.
Staff are trained to recognize and manage hazards in wilderness settings. Three weeks of staff training includes certification in Wilderness First Aid, Lifeguarding, CPR, emergency procedures, as well as skills for leading wilderness activities. Deerfoot has a Registered Nurse who lives at camp and manages the camp infirmary. All waterfront activities are supervised by a certified Lifeguard or Water Safety Instructor. A doctor’s physical exam within two years is required before coming to Deerfoot and camper medications must be packed individually by unit dose. Deerfoot is accredited by the American Camp Association and operates under a permit granted by the New York State Department of Health, which inspects the camp annually. Inspection reports are filed at 11 Saint Bernard St., Saranac Lake, NY 12983.
Policies / The Deerfoot Tradition
A place like Deerfoot is hard to find in today’s ever-changing world. The core of the Deerfoot Lodge program has remained the same for over 80 years. It is a world apart from the fast paced technology-driven world that consumes so much of life. Campers are prohibited from bringing any portable electronic devices. The music at Deerfoot comes from our own voices and acoustic instruments. The activities at Deerfoot make the most of our environment—a beautiful lake, forest, wildlife, fellowship, challenges, and excellent staff. The high majority of the camper evaluations we receive indicate that campers love to be ‘away from it all’. To keep Deerfoot the special place it has been for decades, campers and parents should cooperate with the following polices.
Telephones at camp are for office use only. They are not for calls to or from campers or for parents inquiring about the general well-being of their camper.
There are no times when campers may be visited during camper sessions. Call the office in advance to schedule a suitable time to visit the camp for other purposes.
Problem Camper Policy
All campers are expected to participate in camp activities and to live within DL’s expression of faith heritage and practice during their time at camp. When a camper refuses to participate, or is significantly disruptive to other campers and the DL program (tobacco, drugs, behavior, language, picking on others, etc.) the issue will be discussed with the disruptive camper and then his parent. Such behavior is unfair to those who come to camp to be away from these things. If the problem is not resolved quickly, arrangements will be made to have the camper return home.
Campers may not receive “care packages” with food or other items. When forgotten items need to be sent, please call ahead for instructions about sending a package.
Camp for the Rest of the Family
Two excellent Adirondack camps for girls are Tapawingo and Camp Cedarbrook in the Adirondacks. Nearby Camp-of-the-Woods provides a family vacation site for Mom and Dad while the girls and boys enjoy camp.
The Board of Directors
James H. Barnes III, Ed.D-Lone Eagle, President, Bethel University, Arden Hills, MN
James Boland, Partner, Venable LLP, Oakton, VA
Ted Harro, Founder, Noonday Ventures, Palatine, IL
Sanford D. Hull, D.Min.-Pastor, Jenkintown, PA
Brent C. Karner, Lone Eagle, President, Clear Lake Furniture, Ludlow, VT
Garret Larsen, Lone Eagle, President & CEO, Cho-Yeh Camp and Conference Center, Livingston, TX
*James M. Larsen, President, Bridgeport National Bindery Inc., Agawam, MA
Jeffrey F. Littauer, Lone Eagle, Hendersonville, NC
Ronald W. Mackey, Lone Eagle, Deerfoot Lodge Executive Director, Averill Park, NY
*Richard S. Magee, Sc.D.-Engineering Consultant, Florham Park, NJ
Steve T. Min, Corporate Attorney, Wyckoff, NJ
James S. Oehrig, Lone Eagle, VP of Integral Mission, American Leprosy Missions, Taylors, SC
Erich Rupprecht, Team Member, Community Church Planting, Charlotte, NC
Herbert P. Schenkel, Retired Business Owner, Macungie, PA
*James E. Vander Mey, Ph.D.-Lone Eagle, CEO, Aergility LLC. Dunnellon, FL
Emeritus Director: Jim Masterson, James Lane, and Evan Davis
Deerfoot Lodge is owned and operated by Christian Camps, Inc., a non-profit corporation. Rules for camper acceptance and participation in the Deerfoot program are the same for everyone without regard to race, color or national origin.