Our Mission: The Sagamore Institute of the Adirondacks
Sagamore Institute of the Adirondacks is the steward of Great Camp Sagamore and is dedicated to its use for education and interpretation. Our mission is to foster understanding, care, and respect for nature, people and their critical interdependence. Great Camp Sagamore strives to be a place where broad and diverse audiences gather to use these unique buildings and natural setting to explore and understand our Adirondack culture, environment, and relationship to both.
Garet D. Livermore, Executive Director: Garet joined Sagamore as the Executive Director in 2013. For 25 years prior to that he led museum education efforts at The Farmers' Museum and New York State Historical Association in Cooperstown and the Shelburne Museum in Vermont. His Sagamore position combines his lifelong passion for history, the Adirondack back country and museums. He first came to Sagamore in 1988 with his wife, Mary for cross country skiing and has returned in a number of roles including board member and volunteer. When not at his desk in the Conference Building Garet can be found walking the Sagamore trails with a camera in-hand.
Frances Parent, Associate Director: Frances joined Sagamore in 1990 as Director of Finance, and in 2016 assumed the role of Associate Director, with a focus on highlighting the characteristics that make Sagamore a unique residential experience. During the off-season Frances resides in Glens Falls, NY with her husband Bill and two children. In season they enjoy spending their summers in Inlet, NY operating their family business, Blue Line Coffee House and Finders Keepers Gift Shop.
Aaron Sanborn, Executive Chef: Graduating from Vermont Culinary Institute in 2000, Aaron went on to become Chef De Parti at Le Meridian Hotel in New Orleans at the young age of 20. Following this endeavor and returning to his New England roots, he became Executive Chef at Nikki's, an Okemo, Vermont favorite for over twenty years. Aaron also held the position of Executive Chef at The Restaurant Downstairs at the acclaimed Weston Playhouse located in Weston, Vermont. Aaron crafts his menus based on his classic French training, using his love of eclectic fusion flavors and local fresh ingredients to create unique and flavorful meals. Aaron also spent time at Crowley, the oldest continuously run cheese company in America and a National Historic Site, where he learned the art of cheese making. Aaron will be returning for his first full season at Sagamore as a well-rounded chef with a hunger for freshness and bold flavors.
Robert Engel, Sous Chef: Robert grew up in Syracuse and, with his eight brothers and sisters, spent as much time as possible at his mother’s parent’s home in Blue Mt. Lake. His vast network of cousins, descendants of Richard and Margaret Collins, Camp Sagamore’s original caretakers, usually expect that Robert will do the cooking. A mid-life crisis has led Robert to Camp Sagamore’s kitchen, where the food is becoming simpler, fresher, better – more like when his great-grandparents were in charge. He and his wife Judy split their time between the Upper East Side and their 1870s farmhouse on the backside of Gore Mt.
Heidi Woodward, Kitchen Assistant: Heidi has been working at Sagamore for over 20 seasons. She has assisted many chefs throughout her time in the kitchen, making sure the historic dinning hall stays clean. She washes endless amounts of dishes, pots and pans to insure a quality eating experience for all our guests and staff. In her free time Heidi enjoys Trout, Bass and Bull Head fishing as well as snowshoeing in the winter.
Elizabeth Bortle, Housekeeper: Liz Bortel is the granddaughter of Elizabeth and Maurice Waldron and has spent the majority of her life in Raquette Lake . As the housekeeper at Sagamore, she cleans the entire two complex's, waxes floors and preps and stocks areas for guests. Liz is proud to be working at Great Camp Sagamore, a slice in the middle of paradise. She believes that one of the many benefits of Sagamore is that being a historical landmark, it's a tourist attraction and can help local businesses profit.
Bob Heinsler, Superintendent: Besides the responsibility, commitment and fun of being part of the preservation and capital improvements to this fine old camp, Bob has been lucky enough to meet and work with more people than he could have ever imagined. Their support and friendships combined with the surrounding natural beauty is just the recipe that fills him up and keeps him hungry for more.
Marie Congalosi, Registrar/Officer Manager: A native to the Adirondack Mountains and graduate of North Country Community College, Marie has worked for Sagamore since 2008 on various internet marketing projects and rejoined Sagamore working year-round as Registrar to educate potential guests to the Sagamore experience and mission. She is the first point of contact for guests interested in visiting and is responsible for overnight lodging reservations, hospitality and guest services.
Deb Faylo Kennedy, Program Director: Deb is new to the Sagamore team this season, but is well-versed in Great Camp and Raquette Lake history. She graduated from SUNY Cortland in 1987 in Recreation Education, and has been teaching and working with our Great Camp neighbor – Pine Knot/Camp Huntington – with Cortland’s Outdoor Education Practicum course since she first went through the program as a student. She also received her Outdoor Leadership Certification from the Wilderness Education Association in 1991. She has worked in the recreation field for almost 30 years, with service given to the Fort Drum Military Installation’s Outdoor Recreation and Youth programs, Beaver Lake Nature Center, an Instructor for both SUNY Cortland and SUNY Oneonta in a few of their outdoor pursuits classes, and as a Special Education teacher for Watertown BOCES. Also in those years, Deb has raised two children, remodeled and built additions on her home, earned a degree in Psychology, is working at starting a craft business, and enjoyed paddling and hiking all through the Adirondack region. You will most likely find her at the ice rink or by a warm fire in the winter, and now in the summer at Sagmore paddling, sitting with nature, hanging with guests, or learning to play the guitar and the violin (it’s electric with headphones…so no worries for the guests!).
Nancy Sue Foltz, Art Instructor: Nancy Sue is an artist and certified art teacher who has been directing the crafts program at Great Camp Sagamore for almost a decade. A former high school teacher, she focuses on offering a wide variety of age-appropriate crafts. From pots to plant pressing, from pine cone art to painting tee shirts, from paper mache to paper hats and so many things in between, her ideas are always fresh. Grandkids will end up with some great, outdoorsy craft projects to bring home.
Joanne Uris, Store Manager: This is Joanne’s third season at Sagamore, where she is managing the Gift Shop and upper complex as well as helping in the Registrar's Office. She spent two seasons working at the Adirondack Museum in Blue Mt. Lake, as Assistant Manager of the cafe. A native of Saratoga Springs, where she resided until four years ago, she relocated to Raquette Lake where Joanne and her boyfriend live year round at Great Camp Uncas, as caretakers. Many wildlife photos on Sagamore's Facebook page are courtesy of Joanne!