Good students get free summer camp experience in Paradox pic 1


Camp Southwoods Director Steven Bluth poses with Essex County campers during a special two-week session for Essex County school students who excelled during the past school year. The camp donated 64 scholarships at its facility on Paradox Lake.

PARADOX — A summer camp for youths donated 64 overnight scholarships to Essex County school students who excelled this past school year.

Camp Southwoods, located in the Town of Schroon hamlet of Paradox, created the special two-week session for students 10 years old and older “who went above and beyond” for the 2021-22 school year, either academically or in an extracurricular capacity, according to the camp’s director.


The sleepaway camp is under new ownership, and Steven Bluth, one of the new owners and director of the facility, said students were nominated by teachers, with final decision resting with school superintendents.

“We are very excited about our inaugural season as owners, and we wanted to do something special to honor extraordinary young people who reside throughout Essex County,” Bluth said by email. “We hope to continue a similar tradition honoring the young people from our surrounding communities, many of whom have never experienced overnight camp before.”

Belle Burroughs from Ticonderoga High Schoo said going to the camp meant a lot to her.

“It meant a lot to come here,” she said by email. “I got a scholarship. I wouldn’t have had the opportunity if I (hadn’t.) I met a lot of great people and a lot of new friends and trying tons of new things that I definitely wouldn’t have tried if I didn’t come to Camp Southwoods.”


Camp Southwoods is celebrating its 25th season this year, the first with the new owners.

“It is so important for children to return to the great outdoors, build new friendships, sportsmanship, activities, nature — to really indulge in everything summer has to offer,” Bluth said.

Participating schools were Boquet Valley Central School District of Elizabethtown and Westport, Crown Point Central School, Moriah Central School, Petrova Elementary School of Saranac Lake, Saranac Lake Central School District, Schroon Lake Central School, and Ticonderoga Central School District.


Trenton Lyon from Boquet Valley Central School said it was a great experience.

“I enjoyed every minute of every day,” he said. “It was an adventure to come to Camp Southwoods. I met new friends from New York City and France. I would come again. It would be an honor to come again.”

The camp is located on Paradox Lake, and provides a blend of sports, arts, outdoor adventures, and waterfront activities, Bluth said.

“I loved meeting new people and trying new things,” student Mia Muroff from Crown Point Central School said. “I made great new friends.”

Ollie Porter from Ticonderoga Elementary School said he was proud of himself for being selected for Camp Southwoods.

“It’s been a great experience and I’m really grateful for coming here,” he said. “I’ve met nice people, all the games have been fun. The waterfront is awesome.”


Twitter: @LohrMcKinstry

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