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A New North Country Partnership

In the spring of 2019, Matt Storey started a conversation with Clifton Harcum, Director, Center of Diversity at SUNY Potsdam. Matt had read a story in the Adirondack Explorer about Clifton’s enthusiasm for exploring the ADKs and had reached out to connect. Clifton developed a passion for hiking and has looked for ways to encourage other people of color to discover the rich outdoor experiences that are so abundant in the North Country. During that initial meeting Clifton and Matt spoke about ways to get more diverse campers to Camp (including North Country kids and Cliff junior!) and encourage more urban kids to experience the Adirondacks. Clifton also shared his desire to create an Alternative Spring Break Program where SUNY Potsdam students had a chance to immerse themselves in rich Adirondack experiences. Matt offered to host the endeavor at Dudley when Clifton was ready.

Despite COVID delays, the SUNY Potsdam/Camp Dudley Alternative Spring Break program became a reality in March 2022. Twenty-three SUNY Potsdam students arrived on March 7, 2022 and spent a week enjoying Camp and the surrounding area. The students used MacLean lodge as their base of operation, spent a day on the Challenge Course, prepared and shared meals, explored the Camp property, and discovered some of the recent beaver action around Camp. A few students even decided to spend the night in Peavy Lean-to at North Point. A side trip to a nearby Amish sugarbush allowed the students to provide some local community service while they learned about tapping maple trees. Says Matt, “It was such a pleasure to have this terrific group of young people with us on campus. Being able to share the changeable nature of springtime in the Adirondacks with a new group of friends was exciting. We look forward to continuing this relationship!” 

The Adirondack Diverstity Initiative (ADI) is a major sponsor of the Alternative Spring Break Program.

Learn more about the ADI.

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