Since 1955, the Squam Lakes Association's (SLA) summer youth programs have introduced young people to the unique resources in the Squam Lakes region and beyond. Through paddling, hiking, swimming, sailing and environmental education campers develop a strong sense of self, community and place. Our Junior Squam Lakes Association (JSLA) and Community Youth Sailing Program (CYSP) provide healthy outdoor recreational activities designed to stimulate inquisitive minds, develop life-long friendships, and create lasting memories.
August 12, 2019-Maggie, Environmental Camp Leader
Hello Everyone! This postcard from camp is coming to you after camp has wrapped up for the summer. This is always a bittersweet time for me what with summer coming to an end and school starting up again. But even though camp has ended for the summer, this summer
has been awesome and the great memories are still fresh in my mind. I am still riding high off the awesome summer we have had and reminiscing over the happy times. The counselors and campers have been on many adventures and shared a lot of fun times together.
On the last week of camp I was one of the counselors for Expedition which is the oldest group of campers. On Thursday we camped out overnight at Chamberlain Reynolds Memorial Forest—a nice area in Dog Cove of Squam Lake. The campout went great! We did a bunch
of classic camp activities including everything from swimming and canoeing, to eating mac and cheese and hotdogs by the fire, to watching the sunset together, to playing games and telling stories around the campfire while we enjoyed s’mores. In the morning,
we had breakfast sandwiches, which were, in my personal opinion quite wonderful. When we headed out in our canoes to paddle back to camp that morning, we realized that we had a strong head wind. And although the wind meant that we had to exert ourselves a
little more than usual on the paddle back, it also meant that we had a little extra time to enjoy the lake and enjoy each other’s company on a crystal clear beautifully breezy Squam Lake day. I was in a canoe with two campers who have been my campers for several
years, and it was a perfect time to talk with them about fun memories from past years and about what they were going to be up to in the coming year. So although camp has come to an end and the lake is getting ready to cool off and ice over for winter, we all
have these summer memories to hold us over until the next time we are all together in the summer sun on beautiful Squam Lake.
Maggie is from Natick, Massachusetts and is a rising junior at Colby-Sawyer College in New London, NH. Click here to read Maggie's bio.
August 5, 2019-Carter, Assistant Sailing Instructor
HI everyone! This week was amazing just as all the weeks of this summer! Even though the weather did not hold up for the paddle down the Baker, we still had a blast with paddling to Lakeside for ice cream! I grew up coming to both CYSP and JSLA, so it has been a dream come true to be not just a sailing instructor, but to also have the opportunity to spend a week working with the Discovery campers at JSLA and canoe to Bowman Island for a camp out. It became even more of an experience when the lighters got mixed up and we got to paddle to Moon to have dinner and make s’mores with Expedition! I am excited to say that all the kids had a blast and paddled hard!
Carter is currently a senior at Plymouth Regional High School and lives right down the road in Plymouth. He has been a JSLA and CYSP camper since he was 9 years old! Click here to read Carter's bio.
July 29, 2019-Emma, Environmental Camp Leader
Hey everyone! Last week I was lucky enough to be one of the leaders on the expedition, all girls, triple overnight trip. On Tuesday, we packed up the canoes and kayaks, and headed out to Hoag Island for our first night. We stopped a few times to swim and eat before arriving to Hoag around 4:30. The next morning, we paddled over to Bowman for our remaining two nights. We did tons of fun things on the campout like swimming, paddling, playing games, telling stories, and making bracelets. Out of all the fun times we had, my favorite memory was on Thursday. We had just gotten back from our paddle to Lakeside for ice cream and the girls decided they wanted to wash my hair in a bucket and give me a “spa treatment”. At first, I was hesitant but it ended up being fun and really spoke to the humor of our group (although I think I’ll go to a real spa next time). Overall, the triple was a blast. I’m really looking forward to all the fun and excitement this last week of JSLA 2019 brings!
Emma is from Franklin, Massachusetts. She just finished her freshman year at Bates College and plans on majoring in Environmental studies and minoring in education. Click here to read Emma's bio.
July 22, 2019-Raoul, Lead Sailing Instructor
This is my first summer as a sailing instructor at the Squam Lakes Association and I wish the Summer would go on longer! There is nowhere I would rather be than teaching sailing right here at Squam. The beauty of the lake, dedication of the staff and enthusiasm of campers has exceeded my expectations!
Last week I led the first ever CYSP sailboat camping overnight. On the anniversary of the 50th year of the moon landing, our band of sailors landed on Moon Island. During the day, the young CYSP campers demonstrated their newly acquired talent by sailing all the way up to Sandwich Bay and back through the Loon Islands. We then sailed around Long Island tacking between it and Merrill Island. We swiftly cruised through The Hubbles and The Three Sisters before returning to camp at Moon. The weather was perfect and the young sailors worked the tillers and sheets as if they had sailed the lake hundreds of times! Around 10 pm a peculiar orange light in the distance seemed be moving slowly towards the front of our tents. With minor hesitation we walked down to the water to discover the source of this unusual light. We were awestruck by an orange, full moon rising over the shimmering water!
Overall, the summer of 2019 has been fantastic. We have made good use of the Capri, the JYs and the Sunfish in addition to our usual staples of Optis and Flying Juniors (CFJs). I wish I could express just how satisfying it is to see a formerly tentative young camper transform into a confident sailor, beaming with pride, while navigating a tough loop around Squam .
Raoul was born and raised in New York City and has had the good fortune to spend every summer in New Hampshire. Click here to read Raoul's bio.
July 15, 2019-Sawyer, Environmental Camp Leader
Hey Everyone, during the third week of camp nine boys and two counselors left on Tuesday for a three night overnight on Squam. The first in SLA history. We paddled from the SLA to Hoag Island. Then from Hoag to Chamberlain Reynolds where we stayed for two nights before paddling back to the SLA. The most memorable part of the trip was the second night of the trip. We had just spent the whole day paddling across the lake. Even after that, all the kids wanted to swim on the beach. We were having so much fun that we had a late dinner and then s’mores. That day was the most fun I’ve had at camp so far this summer.
Sawyer is from Plymouth, New Hampshire and is majoring in Civil Engineering at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana. Click here to read Sawyer's bio.
July 8, 2019-Leigh Ann Reynolds, Camp Director
Wow, what a FUN-filled July 4th camp week. This is always a unique week at the SLA's summer youth camps because it's a MIXED CAMP WEEK which means that campers get to experience both the Junior Squam Lakes Association (JSLA) as well as the Community Youth Sailing Program (CYSP). Campers met all of our fabulous camp leaders throughout the week as they explored the lake, went swimming, and played camp games. One day they spent half the day sailing and experiencing the excitement of a sail full of wind. Friday of mixed-camp week is always a camper & leader favorite....SQUAM OLYMPICS. Campers are divided into teams and compete throughout the day. Competitions this year included: best team cheer, pool noodle gladiator, island identification, sketch a camp leader, canoe races, and frozen t-shirt challenge. A group of Camp Deerwood campers joined us for the afternoon and brought a wealth of enthusiasm, strength, and excitement. Campers must all work together to complete the challenges so patience is tested and cooperation is imperative to success. This becomes very evident during the frozen t-shirt challenge where they must untie a t-shirt that is tied in a knot and frozen. There are a variety of ways they attempt to untie the shirts from banging them on rocks, pulling with all their might, warming it on their belly to melt it, dipping it in water...eventually one team prevails and one member from that team puts the cold, wet shirt on and all cheer!!! Medals are handed out and then everyone celebrates with ice cream!
July 1, 2019-Jack, JSLA Environmental Camp Leader
We had a great first week of camp. We did loads of outdoorsy things like canoeing, kayaking, hiking, and camping, but I thought the coolest was electro-fishing with New Hampshire Fish and Game. The term “electro-fishing” can be misleading to those who don’t know what it is. At first, it sounds like a barbaric form of fishing that includes shocking fish with electricity in order to catch them. In reality, it is a way of stunning fish in order to identify them. By placing the machinery in the water, it semi-paralyzes the nearby aquatic life so that we can identify the various species of life including: landlocked salmon, yellow pike, and small mouth bass, it was so cool! The campers measured what we caught and learned why pH, temperature, and water clarity are so vital for a fish’s survival. It was super cool and a very unique way to learn about the local watershed. I was stoked to see everyone so involved and, as an avid fisherman, can’t wait for more adventures in the future.
Jack is from Purcellville, VA and is currently studying Business Management at James Madison University. Click here to read Jack's bio.
June 24, 2019-Tyler, JSLA Environmental Camp Leader
Hello! The second week of camp training was just as good as the first!! All of us counselors are still getting to know each other and we got to spend a lot of time this week doing fun things. We paddled, camped, sailed, and played a bunch of games while we were busy getting camp all set up for next week!
The best part of the week was paddling out to Hoag Island and camping out with Camp Hale. All of us canoed out to the island then went to jumping rock for a quick swim to cool down. It was my first time there and jumping off of the rock into the cool water after a long day of paddling was my favorite part of the whole trip!
After we were done swimming we went back to camp and had tasty chili for dinner with s'mores. Then we spent the rest of the night telling stories and playing games with the counselors from Camp Hale.
It was a really fun week but we are all really excited for campers to arrive and to finally start next week!
Tyler is from Cincinnati Ohio and currently a Junior at Xavier University majoring in education. Click here to read Tyler's bio.
June 17, 2019- Sophie, JSLA Environmental Camp Leader
We had an amazing first week of training for camp!!! With three returning counselors and three new ones, we all got to connect via games and getting to know you ice breakers. We also went on a very windy campout with the members of SLA’s AmeriCorps team so we have lots of familiar faces for this summer! We have learned a lot about the lake and it’s watershed, from Rebecca’s water quality tour of the lake to fish identification. We also learned about the land when we played nature games on a hike with Camp Hale’s counselors. The funniest thing that happened this week was on Friday, when we kayaked in kayaks that were too small for us and very tippy. We jumped into the cold lake to do a mock swim test, and just as we were about to start doing capsize tests and T rescues, I accidentally fell out of my kayak! It was ironically funny and we used it as a scenario to un-capsize my boat. As soon as I’d climbed back in-not a small feat- I was reaching for my paddle when splash! I fell in again. I felt very clumsy and slightly embarrassed but everyone got a good laugh out of it and lots of practice. I can already tell we have a great team this year and we cannot wait for the inevitable upcoming adventures we are going to have with the campers!
Sophie is stoked to be working at JSLA for a second summer and is from Virginia, but grew up coming to the lake every summer. Click here to read Sophie's bio.
May 24, 2019
As the air and water begin to warm, the black flies buzz, and the robin works tirelessly catching worms, I am putting the final touches on the youth program leader training. I am excited to introduce this summer's leaders. Below you will find a bio and picture of the 2019 SLA summer youth program leaders!
2019 Summer Youth Program Staff Bios
Hi, I'm Carter! I am currently a senior at Plymouth Regional High School and live right down the road in Plymouth. I have been a JSLA and CYSP camper since I was 9 years old! Not only have I had the chance to sail on the lakes with all the wind shifting, but I have sailed on the ocean in Maine with my brother Sawyer. The outdoors is one of my most favorite places to be, whether I am hiking, sailing, or camping. And when I am not doing any of those, I am usually mountain biking, alpine skiing, playing lacrosse, or pursuing my biggest passion which is Nordic skiing. A fun fact about me is that I have had my head glued and stapled more times than you can count on one hand!
Hi! I'm Emma and I'm from Franklin, Massachusetts. I just finished my freshman year at Bates College where I plan on majoring in Environmental studies and minoring in education. I have spent every summer since I was a baby at my family’s house on nearby Lake Winnipesaukee and am so excited to spend another summer in New Hampshire! I like to spend as much time outdoors as possible, which is one of the reasons I'm on my schools rowing team. I've been rowing for 5 years and it is easily one of my favorite hobbies. Aside from just rowing, I also love to hike, read, and just spend time with friends.
My name is Jack Tyler. I am 19 years old and am from Purcellville, VA. I grew up in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and attended a K-8 private school where my passion for the outdoors began. I spent my first two
years of high school at Middleburg Academy and finished my last two years at Loudoun Valley High School. I currently attend James Madison University and am studying Business Management. I love listening to any genre of music, I'm
a big DC sports fan (go Caps!), and I like almost any type of food and am always down to try something new. Some of my interests include kayaking, skateboarding, going hiking with friends, swimming, and playing lacrosse.
Hello! My name is Maggie Grant, and I'm from Natick, Massachusetts (near Boston). I spend summers at my family’s house in Tamworth, New Hampshire. I
am a rising junior at Colby-Sawyer College in New London, NH where I can often be found in the ceramics studio, the science lab, the sugar shack, or the nursery school on campus. I am certified in life guarding, first aid, and CPR. Some of my favorite things to do are canoeing, skiing, reading, going for walks, and just spending time outside and on the water. I also love pizza, lemonade, baking cookies, watching movies, and hanging out with animals (especially my dog Tim). This will be my tenth year at JSLA, and I'm really excited to spend another summer (my fourth) as an Environmental Leader. Nothing compares to spending a summer adventuring and learning on Squam Lake!
Hi, my name is Sawyer. This will be my second summer as an Environmental Leader at JSLA. I am from Plymouth, New Hampshire. I am a sophomore at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana. I am majoring in Civil Engineering. When I'm not in class I like to spend my time skiing, hiking,
sailing, and rock climbing. During the summer I sail in the Lightning Regatta on Squam. I have spent many years on Squam and hiking in the White Mountains with JSLA as a camper and on my own. I am very excited to spend another
summer at the SLA as an Environmental Leader.
My name is Raoul, and I am happy to be part of the SLA community! I was born and raised in New York City, where the subways transported me to the Bronx High School of Science every day. I have been lucky enough to spend every summer of my life living here in New Hampshire. As a child, my family and I enjoyed the natural beauty of New Hampshire's mountains, rivers and lakes. I do not remember a time when I did not love sailing. My first memorable experience of sailing was when I was about six years old, stuck in a storm on the Long Island Sound. I enjoy day sailing, cruising, and racing-- single-handed or as part of a crew. The serenity of sailing is matched only by teaching the skills for others to enjoy that visceral experience, too. After attending Dartmouth College, where I studied physics and psychology, I found myself back in the city on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange trading derivatives. Following the events of September 11, 2001, I returned to NH with the desire for a simpler life. When I am not splitting wood, I freelance as an IT consultant and as a teacher of computer skills to small business and individuals. I live here in the lovely lakes region.
Hi all! My name's Sophie, and I am so stoked to be working at JSLA for a second summer! I am from Virginia, but grew up coming to the lake every summer. The degree to which I treasure this area is indescribable. I'm a rising sophomore at Davidson College in North Carolina, hoping to major in Environmental Science and possibly minor in French. For fun, I like baking, doing crossword puzzles, playing tennis, reading, playing the ukulele (not well...) and anything related to the great outdoors! My favorite book is Lab Girl, and I am a fan of classic rock music. I'm looking forward to a fantastic summer ahead!
Hi I'm Tyler. I'm from Cincinnati Ohio and currently a Junior at Xavier University. I'm majoring in education with a minor in English and plan to teach after graduation. I have just recently finished 6 years of service in the Air Force before enrolling back into school full time. In my free time I like training for triathlons, playing with my dog Luna, camping, and reading.