What Sets Us Apart

For decades when someone would ask “What Sets Deer Lake Apart” or ask why Deer Lake is so special, my husband, Ranger Mark Clifton, would smile and reply with confidence.

“The best thing about Deer Lake,” he would say, “is nothing."

The inquirer was always taken aback by his reply, followed by several moments of silence before the jovial ranger (with a twinkle in his eye), followed with what exactly nothing means. "Nothing," he would say, "means that the beauty of Deer Lake lies in the feeling one gets when sauntering in the pristine woodlands."

Deer Lake doesn't look like a "camp.” It’s more what one would think of a farm (albeit without the animals). There's an 1820's federal colonial, three barns (all listed in the record books of CT historical barns) and a couple of rustic lodges. With the addition 13 years ago of a stunning post-and-beam dining hall, two bathhouses and some lean-to cabins, Deer Lake was brought into the 21st century.

But that's it.

The beauty of Deer Lake can be found in the peaceful feeling one has taking in the richness of the Deer Lake woods, lake, valleys and surrounding rock ledges. "Nothing" resembles the grounding one experiences walking a labyrinth. But in the sacred woods of Deer Lake,  nothing" is the result of decluttering one's mind, something magical, and then focusing on what is real.

Former Camp Director
Current Member, Pathfinders board