Camp Philosophy

//Camp Philosophy

John Latimer grew up ‘through the ranks’ at Kilcoo and became its Director and owner in 1956. John was director until 1981 when he passed the leadership of Kilcoo to Hal Hannaford. John remained a big part of Kilcoo and the camping community at large, he was known as “Chief”. Sadly, John passed away in 2003. His wife Peggy shared his deep understanding of young people, and continues to own the camp. Their son David, was Director from 1985 through July 2022. 

Aldrin Primaylon, a teacher in the “off-season” and longtime Camp Gay Venture Staff member, was Director for August 2023, and will return as Assistant Director in 2023. Former Staff member (1995-2021) Patrick Tingley returned to Kilcoo in September 2023 and is excited to be the sixth Director in Kilcoo’s long history. Patrick & Aldrin, along with the Kilcoo Staff and Leaders-in-Training, continue to demonstrate the passion and leadership for Kilcoo and its campers, implemented in the years before them.

The key to the success of a summer camp is the staff. Each staff member at Kilcoo is chosen with the utmost care. In addition to the essentials of ability, character and skill, all Kilcoo staff must possess the magic qualities of good leadership. They must also have a highly developed sense of responsibility and feeling for the welfare of the boys entrusted to their care. The majority of the 70 counselors and instructors have themselves been campers at Kilcoo. They follow Chief’s tradition of “up through the ranks”. A summer at Kilcoo is more than a summer job, it is passing down the values, memories, and experiences that you enjoyed, to the current campers. As part of our commitment to leadership, our eldest campers are invited to apply to participate in extensive and practical two-year in-camp courses as Leaders-in-Training.

The continuity of campership into Staff is what makes Kilcoo special. It is more than a place on a lake, it is the spirit of Gull Lake and comradery of the people, that come together to create a special Kilcoo experience. In song and laughter, in competition and sportsmanship, in tribulation and triumph, Kilcoo is a special place to grow and to become part of a greater community.