Hospital eyes ways to keep Camp SuperStarrs shining

GLOVERSVILLE – For more than 30 years, Camp SuperStarrs has provided summer activities for children with health problems.

But now, Nathan Littauer Hospital – which runs the program – may have to find a new location for it; the camp where the program is held is being targeted for residential development.

“We are just looking at all of our options,” Susan McNeil, the camp organizer, said. “…we are putting everything on the table to see what we can do and what’s available.”

In recent years the camp has been held in July at the former Boy Scout camp at Woodworth Lake in Bleecker.

Last year, officials with the Boy Scouts said the 1,200-acre camp – which the Scouts used for decades – had been sold to a private individual. The Scouts officials said Woodworth Lake was no longer viable as a Scout camp due to maintenance costs.

Now, a Delaware County-based development firm is seeking to purchase and then subdivide the land into more than 20 lots for homes at the former campground.

McNeil said the hospital is looking for ways to continue holding Camp SuperStarrs.

The program, available to children ages 5 to 14, was created by Wayne McNeil and Dr. David V. Clough.

Campers, whose health problems include asthma, diabetes, eating disorders and other conditions, participate in typical summer-camp activities such as fishing, arts and crafts, swimming and field sports.

Founded in 1979, Camp SuperStarrs provides medical support and education to children in an Adirondack camp setting. In addition to typical camp activities, children are educated about their health conditions, helping them gain awareness about the causes of their situation and how to control it.

McNeil said over the last 30 years, the camp typically helps about 40 kids in the summer.

The camp, which typically lasts one week, is staffed with trained medical staff, including a nurse and respiratory therapist from the hospital.

In addition to the staff who volunteer their time, the hospital provides the food for the campers’ lunch and overnight stay.

“We are exploring our options and that’s the phase we are in during this process,” Cheryl McGrattan, a spokeswoman for Nathan Littauer said.

Both McGrattan and McNeil said they expect a decision regarding the camp’s future in the coming weeks.

“As soon as we make that decision, which I’m thinking will be within the next couple of weeks, we will be letting everybody know,” McNeil said.