The summer of 1998 was the last year the White Plains YMCA was able to operate the White Plains Summer Day Camp in Greenwich using a field on King St. The Brunswick School purchased the property and the YMCA camp was without a home. Seeking a new campsite, the YMCA of Central and Northern Westchester purchased an abandoned camp in Putnam Valley. Formerly known as Madison-Felicia, it was owned by the Hudson Guild. At Christmas 1999, Combe Inc. announced a gift of $300,000 to ensure the opening of the camp in the year 2000.
On October 9, 2000, the YMCA of the USA recognized the new Putnam Valley/Camp Combe Branch. Since then the camp has been allowed to grow and prosper. Combe Inc. continues to have an annual workday at the site as well as supporting capital improvements. Companies such as MasterCard, IBM, & Pepsico have assisted in the development and expansion of the facilities at camp.
The camp now serves the needs of over 200 children a day for a 9-week period, resulting in over 1,800 camper weeks of service on-site.
Did you know in the 80s PBS filmed a series called High Feather on what is now the Putnam Valley YMCA Camp Combe property?
High Feather is a 10-episode educational television show which ran on PBS in the 1980s; each episode was 30 minutes long. The program’s name came from the Old English expression “High Fettle”, meaning enjoying life and cheerfully doing the tasks of living. The heartfelt spirit of the show was captured in the lyrics to its theme song: “I’m in High Feather. Feel like the sun is shining on me. High Feather. I’m as free as I can be…”
The series, produced by the New York State Education Department in 1980, followed eight teenagers (four boys and four girls) at the High Feather Summer Camp, where they learn values of honesty, sportsmanship, nutrition, physical fitness, and getting along with others. The series was filmed at The Putnam Valley YMCA (formerly Camp Madison-Felicia) and Camp Minisink.