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Philosophy

“Do the thing that counts,
then don’t count it…”

This simple statement has been at the forefront of Pinecliffe summers since the very beginning. Our campers spend their days in an encouraging environment of play, learning, companionship and nature. We truly believe that a key element of our campers’ success is that every girl feels counted and knows everyone at camp, both campers and counselors alike. This family atmosphere is at the heart of Pinecliffe and has been helping girls develop skills, create experiences and build friendships to last a lifetime.

My summers at Pinecliffe were the greatest, and I am still friendly with many camp friends!

Barbara “Goody”, Alumna (1951)

The basis for our success is rooted in a strong tradition and philosophy that has guided us through the years. Our goal is to teach campers to live happily and successfully with others.  Our focus is on the individual camper. We encourage each camper to excel at what she already knows, as well as to try new activities, and to challenge herself, so that she can look back on her Pinecliffe experience and be extremely proud of her accomplishments. 

We hope that our campers’ summer experiences will help to build life-long lessons. Pinecliffe is focused on personal growth and we encourage each girl to understand that success is best measured by her friendships and accomplishments, rather than material possessions. This approach is one of the primary drivers for why Pinecliffe is a uniform camp, removing the competitive environment that girls can feel regarding their wardrobe.

While camp is a wonderful way for each girl to experience independence, it also teaches the ability to live and work with others.  Our junior campers live in bunks of eight to ten campers with two counselors. As they reach their final three summers, the girls come together in much larger “homes,” and use the cooperative living skills they’ve learned at camp to live as whole age groups.

Senior campers impact the lives of younger campers as they run the show at our Campfire Speakers. Learning leadership qualities is an important aspect of our campers’ personal growth.Senior campers impact the lives of younger campers as they run the show at our Campfire Speakers. Learning leadership qualities is an important aspect of our campers’ personal growth.

Throughout their Pinecliffe experience, our campers have the experience of living with all of the girls within their age group. This experience encourages flexibility and cooperation and allows our campers to leave Pinecliffe feeling that each and every girl in her age group is a friend. 

An important part of Pinecliffe’s philosophy is to provide our campers with opportunities for leadership.  Many of our traditions, such as color war, Cabinet, and campfire speakers are managed and led by our senior campers. Our younger campers are also able to learn the building blocks of leadership through smaller roles including song leaders and activity captains. 

All these years later, I can look back and see the leadership skills that I gained at camp that have been a value to me in my personal and professional life. It is such a joy to now see my two daughters experience Pinecliffe for themselves.

I love to see their faces light up on visiting day as they introduce me to their friends and show me all they’ve learned; and I also cry every year when the campers sing my honey bear cheer. It is so rare (and comforting) that Pinecliffe is able to maintain its traditions and stay true to its core values over time. I love that my girls have a chance to disconnect from all of their devices and feel so comfortable in their "home away from home.

Karen, Alumna & Parent

A key aspect of Pinecliffe’s philosophy is based in the strong belief in the importance of camping in an “All-Girls” environment. We believe this creates an atmosphere in which our campers can be themselves and truly flourish. Our campers feel secure and welcomed in trying new things and never holding back. Living among other girls also fosters important relationships and teaches our campers about community living and the importance of sisterhood.