By Mary Tucker
Camp Nubar on Fall Clove Road opened in 1968 to serve Armenian youth under the auspices of the AGBU (Armenian General Benevolent Union), a nonpolitical organization. Its purpose is to preserve Armenian identity and heritage through educational, cultural and humanitarian programs. Camp Nubar is a sleep-away camp in the Catskill Mountains on approximately 400 acres of fields, forest and a private lake, Nubar Lake, previously named Bryden Lake. The camp offers a wide range of activities, arts, crafts, water sports, and many other outdoor sports. Campers share cabins equipped with all the modern conveniences. The original cabins with outdoor facilities have been rebuilt along with the construction of new cabins. The old barn which housed the activity center/dining hall was demolished several years ago to be replaced by a large two story building where indoor activities take place. On the upper floor are a stage, basketball court, volleyball court and computers. Meals are prepared and served on the ground floor which can also be used for meetings. The grounds around the activity center, cabins and paths are mowed, but the rest of the acreage is left in its natural state. After the camp closes in August, Fall Clove residents are allowed to use the place for the annual Fall Clove picnic. A caretaker is in residence during the off season.
Years ago Camp Nubar acreage was farm land, two farms separated by Bryden Lake. The farmers couldn’t agree on lake rights so one of them had a trench dug from the center of the lake leading to a brook draining the lake. A court case followed and he was ordered to refill the trench allowing the spring-fed lake to refill. Bryden Lake was named after the Bryden family; an old foundation in the area of the Fall Clove “Christmas Tree” was the home of John Bryden. In 1950 these two farms became Camp Bryden for those of the Jewish Faith. From 1963 to 1968 another camp was located there, but none of the Fall Clove neighbors remembers its name. If a Gazette reader can recall the camp from those years, please send any information to:
Bob Stevens, who told me this story, is distantly related to the Brydens.
I have a special connection with Camp Nubar as my granddaughter, Ellen, married Rob, a former camper/counselor. How did this happen? They met in Albany, N.Y. while in college and started dating. Discussing what they did during summer break, Rob says “I was a counselor at a summer camp”. Ellen asks “where” and Rob answers, “In the Catskills”. “Where in the Catskills?” she inquires. “Oh, not far from a little village you never heard of.” Ellen persists “What’s the name of the village?” Rob says, “Andes,” and Ellen guesses “Is it Camp Nubar?” “How do you know about Camp Nubar?” from Rob. Ellen tells him, “My grandma lives across the way and my uncles have been fishing in the lake.” They continued dating and after finishing their education, married and now have a beautiful baby boy. ~