Welcome to the Aspen Conservancy Summer Academy

Welcome to the Summer Academy at the Aspen Conservancy, founded in 1923 in the majestic Catskills Mountains of New York State.


For over 100 years, The Academy has infused outstanding character into the children of the world’s most prestigious families. Our campers go on to become leaders in business, world affairs, politics, and even the occasional president. We ensure the distillation of our core values through our credo:


“We came as one and left as many. We came with nothing and left with everything.”


A camper’s potential at Summer Academy is limited only by their willingness to connect with the Aspen family, and share in the accumulated wealth of our many traditions. 

The Program

Since 1923, the Summer Academy has used a combination of physical and social rigor to ensure every camper develops into a high quality leader. For each camper, our seven-week session includes programmatic learning via majors and minors, team building sessions with cabin groups, village and camp wide competitions, and even outbound trips deep into the surrounding wilderness.


NOTE: Due to the behavior of just one ex-camper in the past years, we would like to make our approach to conflict management clear: The Academy operates on an honor code when it comes to policing the behavior of our campers. We expect campers to resolve their conflicts as best they can before escalating them to leadership. Campers who cannot get along with the community will forfeit their place at Aspen, and be asked to leave.

Our History

In a year unknown, the grove of aspen trees for which this land is named was discovered and declared sacred. For years it remained hidden from the developing world, with only a single family occupying the Big Lodge on the eastern side of the lake.


In 1923 the Aspen Conservancy was formed to preserve and protect the historical campgrounds and the surrounding natural splendor. Little is known about the land prior to the Conservancy, just that the original log cabins were one of the Great Camps of the region, owned and operated by a single family. That family is still involved in the camp’s operations today!

Rules & Expectations

  1. Nothing from the outside gets in. No outside food or electronics, and we have a zero tolerance policy for drugs and alcohol.
  2. Nothing inside gets out. Aspen is a sacred place, and the traditions here are sacred and must not be shared outside the Aspen family.
  3. Boy and girl campers may mingle during the day, but at dusk all campers must return to their assigned villages.
  4. Sneaking out is strictly prohibited, but not monitored.
  5. Under no circumstances are any campers allowed through the covered bridge leading to the meadows, except the girls in Cabin H, known as The Honeys.
  6. Stay on the trails. Camp is safe, but the wilderness remains wild.
  7. Making fires is part of camping, but any campers caught setting other campers on fire will be asked to leave.
  8. Have fun!

Explore Our Campus

The Aspen Conservancy extends across vast swaths of the historic Catskills mountain range in New York State, but the Summer Academy is centralized around the site of the original “campers.” Brother and Sister campgrounds ensure the proper division of genders after the age of 14. Many of the cabins at Aspen have history, such as Bear Hut and Eagle House in Hunter Village, Big Lodge where the original family lived, and Cabin H all the way out in the meadows. 

Book Details Image

The Honeys

Author: Ryan La Sala; 


14  & Up

From Ryan La Sala, the wildly popular author of Reverie, comes a twisted and tantalizing horror novel set amidst the bucolic splendor of a secluded summer retreat. Mars has always been the lesser twin, the shadow to his sister Caroline's radiance. But when Caroline dies under horrific circumstances, Mars is propelled to learn all he can about his once-inseparable sister who'd grown tragically distant. Mars's genderfluidity means he's often excluded from the traditions -- and expectations -- of his politically-connected family. This includes attendance at the prestigious Aspen Conservancy Summer Academy where his sister poured so much of her time. But with his grief still fresh, he insists on attending in her place. What Mars finds is a bucolic fairytale not meant for him. Folksy charm and sun-drenched festivities camouflage old-fashioned gender roles and a toxic preparatory rigor. Mars seeks out his sister's old friends: a group of girls dubbed the Honeys, named for the beehives they maintain behind their cabin. They are beautiful and terrifying -- and Mars is certain they're connected to Caroline's death. But the longer he stays at Aspen, the more the sweet mountain breezes give way to hints of decay. Mars’s memories begin to falter, bleached beneath the relentless summer sun. Something is hunting him in broad daylight, toying with his mind. If Mars can't find it soon, it will eat him alive.

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