Programs & Activities
Camp MAH-KEE-NAC has programs to meet the individual needs of all our boys. We have programs in a wide variety of areas, both sporting and traditional camp activities. We offer programs that promote both team play and individual skill development. Some of our programs are more competitive with inter-camp competitions, while others offer a lower key opportunity to try new activities.
The leaders of all our programs are experienced coaches, and they are assisted by more than 100 counselors, many of them teachers or students majoring in education.
Campers can also participate in traditional camp activities such as art, wood shop, rocketry, camp radio and newspaper. Hiking, overnight camping and nature are other important parts of a Mah-Kee-Nac summer.
Our large modern indoor Sports Complex houses a 2-court gymnasium, weight training room and game room. A great gathering place for all-camp activities, the action never stops, no matter what the weather.
With our waterfront on Stockbridge Bowl, and our Olympic pool facility, we have developed an extensive aquatics program that combines enjoyment and skill improvement.
Trips are a highlight of any camp season, and we are lucky to be in such a rich cultural area of the country. Day and overnight trips are different for each age group. A sampling of such trips would include visits to to Six-Flags New England; the Baseball and Basketball Halls of Fame; Lake George; Boston; Pittsfield Dukes Baseball; White-water rafting in Maine; Coed trip to California (with our sister camp) and of course excursions to Tanglewood and the Norman Rockwell Museum. Overnight camping trips into the woods are also great adventures.
Our team sports facilities include a professional size roller hockey rink (with lights), two baseball diamonds, football field with full-sized goal posts, three soccer fields and four outdoor basketball courts, as well as our Indoor Sports Complex.
We have both a Little League field and regulation high school sized diamond. Both fields have a batting cage with a pitching machine as well as practice pitching areas. Available to boys aged 7 to 15, baseball is taught 5 periods a day.When the boys aren't playing at camp, they have the opportunity to play against other camps including a game hosted in a minor league ball park for our 13-15 year olds.
Soccer is one of the more popular activities at camp. 3 soccer fields are used throughout the day. Our 8 soccer counselors teach under FA certified coaches. During an hour long period, campers are taught skills for half the period and play a game. Campers of all ages also have the opportunity to play games against other camps in inter-camp competition.
Our program is comprised of 4 outdoor courts (lit) and in our Fieldhouse, 2 indoor courts. The periods are an hour long and divided into half instruction and half game play. We teach the boys skills as well as the game concepts. In addition, campers are given opportunities throughout the summer to play in camp tournaments and games against other camps.
On our regulation sized, fully lit outdoor roller hockey rink, our boys learn the skills needed for the fast paced game of roller hockey. Directed by our college hockey coach, campers have the opportunity to learn basic skills including skating, shooting, passing, etc. We also teach roller blading for first time skaters. Mah-Kee-Nac has all the gear you son will need to learn this great activity.
Spurred by camper demand, Lacrosse has quickly grown into a large program at MKN. We develop our younger campers' skills by playing soft lacrosse and as they grow and learn the game move to contact lacrosse. The program is run by a college coach and assisted by college players who assist in teaching the skills involved in the game as well as techniques and game strategy.
Flag football on our dedicated field complete with regulation goal posts is a favorite among campers. Campers learn rules of the game for both flag and 11-man football as well as all of the needed skills. Campers can test their skills in Punt, Pass and Kick contests as well as intercamp games and wildly popular Friday Night Lights tournaments.
With 14 courts (12 Clay Hard-Tru, 2 Hard courts), tennis is among our largest programs. Run by our USTA certified pro, campers have the opportunity to learn the skills. Campers play against each other and in tournaments with other camps. For campers looking for even more tennis, we offer an Intensive Tennis Program, which gives private one-on-one lessons.
Under the direction of our PGA Pro, golf has quickly grown into an exciting program at camp. For the accomplished player we offer video analysis and advanced lessons. Our in-camp facilities include a putting/chipping green with sand bunker, 2 driving bays, a driving range and a 6-hole par 3 course. As campers show competency in their game, they are brought to some local courses.
Currently run by the longest active member of the MKN staff, (Alan Rudolph has 35 years and counting as a camper, counselor and Head of Archery), archery is offered to all campers aged 7 to 15. Campers also get a chance to compete in our annual MKN Archery Tournament which includes many camps in our area. Mah-Kee-Nac is an official Junior Olympic Archery Development site.
Fitness • Weight Training:
Our certified trainer oversees our fitness program. The weight training program is limited to our 13-15 year olds, but our younger boys are given the opportunity to train with basic exercises. The program helps boys to coordinate their daily schedule to take into account cross-training, so that they enjoy activities that also complement the areas in which they are most looking to advance.
Water Sports & Pool
The action is hot but campers stay cool at the waterfront on Mah-Kee-Nac Lake in the beautiful Stockbridge Bowl, the perfect setting for many great waterfront activities. With experienced waterfront and pool directors leading our certified Red Cross Instructors you can count on a safe and fun summer in the water at Mah-Kee-Nac.
WaterSki • Wakeboarding • Knee Boarding:
With our 3 Malibu ski boats, campers have a chance to try beginner and advanced waterskiing (slalom, 2-ski, trick ski), wakeboarding, knee-boarding and even bare-footing. All of our boats have booms to assist with teaching new skiers the necessary skills. All boys at camp have the opportunity to try and learn how to ski from our 7 year olds up to our 15 year olds.
Sailing • Windsurfing:
With the wind on Stockbridge Bowl (aka Lake Mahkeenac), campers have a great opportunity to learn how to sail on our fleet of boats that includes Sunfish and Lasers. As boys develop seamanship, they can sail with fellow campers or on their own. The program also includes a chance to compete in the Berkshire Regatta, a sailing race that comprises over 10 camps in the area.
Canoe • Kayak:
Learn how to paddle, barrel roll, and even traverse light rapids. These are all parts of our popular canoe/kayak program. With an array of boats including regular canoes, war canoes that fit 15 campers, kayaks, playaks and more, the boys have a great opportunity to learn how to paddle around the lake or even down one of the local rivers while having fun.
Our Red Cross WSI and Certified Lifeguards follow the Red Cross Learn-to-Swim Program. Campers age 7-11 have swim lessons three times a week. Classes are divided up based on swim levels and boys are taught in groups of 3 to 4 per instructor. The boys are brought down to the lake once a week to learn how to dive as well as to play games that assist in developing their swimming skills.
Geared towards all boys, fishing is a fun and exciting way to spend some time down at the lake. We have all the tackle and equipment needed for our full-time fishing counselors to help your son develop the skills for this lifetime activity. The lake is stocked with a variety of fish including blue gills, bass, and trout providing excellent opportunities to catch (and release) fish.
Camp Mah-Kee-Nac offers any number of ways for campers to explore their individual creative talents in a wide variety of activities. The choices include arts and crafts, photography, wood working, radio production, rocketry, and our own camper newspaper.
Fine Arts & Crafts (Art Studio • Woodshop • Rocketry):
The art studio encompasses many different activities for the boys to try, including pottery, painting, drawing, cartooning, lanyard and more. We offer a fully operational woodshop where boys can learn how to make a variety of projects that they can bring home. Our Rocketry program allows boys to design, build and launch rockets. This program is fun!
Media Center (Radio Station • Campus Newspaper • Photography):
Our media center offers a wide range of activities for campers to try. They can be a Sports Radio host on our own radio station, or a reporter, photographer and editor for our weekly camp newspaper and yearbook. Also available is our photography program, with both digital and black & white processing. We post 150-200 pictures daily on our website for parents to see.
Many of our campers climb to new heights on our challenging ropes course. A state of the art climbing tower and zip line highlight the facilities. Nature and pioneering programs give campers the opportunity to discover the world around them.
Ropes • Challenge Course:
With an array of activities including low and high ropes, 11 elements, 3-sided 25 foot climbing wall and a zip line, boys of all ages have a chance to learn and challenge themselves on the course. The program is run by our certified ropes coordinator. . For those interested, in-camp and inter-camp contests are held to add a competitive edge to an already fun and exciting program.
Pioneering • Hiking • Nature:
This program includes a multitude of activities ranging from daily hikes, nature walks, and overnight camping trips. Campers aged 7-10 are introduced to hiking and use our in-camp over night site to learn how to pitch a tent and make a campfire. Boys aged 11-15 have the opportunity to go out on overnight camping trips to local mountains and areas.
Special Events & Trips
Every week we have something special with our sensational events. Our campers look forward to The Olympics, Carnival, Mah-Kee-Nac Games, and a wide variety of other camp events.
Every evening we line up fun and excitement with many individual campus and all camp activities. With our great facilities lighted for night play the action goes on all evening.
Camp Mah-Kee-Nac is located in the beautiful Berkshire Mountains of Western Massachusetts on three mile long Stockbridge Bowl (aka Lake Mahkeenac). Camp Mah-Kee-Nac for boys enjoys an unparalleled reputation as the most complete camp experience around. Founded in 1929, it is among the finest traditional boys summer camps in the United States.
History & Tradition
Camp Mah-Kee-Nac was founded in 1929 by camping great, Joe Kruger on the shores of Lake Mahkeenac, now called Stockbridge Bowl in Lenox, Massachusetts. The camp has been in continuous operation for over 75 years. Joe is considered a pioneer in camping. He was among the first directors to implement a systematic, education-based approach to the summer camp experience. Joe's contributions to camping have been acknowledged by induction into the American Camp Association's Legends of Camping.
In 1983, alumnus Danny Metzger and wife Nancy took over Mah-Kee-Nac. The Metzgers directed camp for almost 20 years, raising their three children there. The Metzgers were also partners in Camp Danbee, Mah-Kee-Nac's sister camp. Under Danny and Nancy, Mah-Kee-Nac continued to be a leader in boys camping, modernizing facilities and program to meet the evolving needs of boys. Danny is also a founding director of America's Camp, a camp for children of 9-11 victims. Camp Mah-Kee-Nac is proud to be the original host site for this truly special camp.
The standard of excellence for Mah-Kee-Nac's leadership continues with director Walter Synalovski. Walter brings 25 years of experience working with children, including 18 years as a camp director.
Mah-Kee-Nac, Native American for "Moon over water", is in the historic Berkshire Mountains. Writer Nathanial Hawthorne and the Tanglewood Music Center have been among our famous neighbors.
The original program, located on Yokum Pond, featured tent camping, outdoor community living and an Indian lore theme. Campers were encouraged to try new activities and develop a sense of self. Today's 45-acre site features the facilities of a premier modern camp, including a heated swimming pool, roller hockey rink and 14 tennis courts. Modern campers follow the traditions of a well-balanced program with an emphasis on excellent sports instruction.