All roads lead to Minerva

MINERVA - This summer, hundreds of campers will return to the shores of Lake Balfour in a tradition founded over 85 years ago.

Some of the visitors to Camp Che-Na-Wah and Camp Baco in Minerva will recognize the name, Alice Sternin, and some may not. But either way, they will spend their summer amidst the towering pines and lapping waves of a place that will forever bear her memory.

Described as a "true Che-Na-Wah daughter," Sternin first visited the camp in the summer of 1930. It was a place that moved her greatly and eventually she, and her husband Lester, purchased the property in 1961.

After welcoming thousands of campers to the region, the Sternin's retired from full-time camp life in 1986. Not one to sit quietly, Alice continued to pursue an active life of volunteering, local activism, and lending a helping hand wherever she could.

Her passing in December of 2008 marked a point in time where those who knew her, and the countless campers that had been touched by her guiding hand, could reflect on her legacy. Among other things she was a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a teacher, a counselor, a writer, a volunteer, and to many - a friend.

Sternin's care for her community was often expressed on the pages of the News Enterprise. As the paper's former owner, Susan Goodspeed, reflects - she was an individual that was uniquely devoted to her community and especially the people in it.

"You could always count on Alice to cover anything of interest in Minerva," Goodspeed said. "She had a real love for the town."

Her commitment is remembered as an inspiration to those who had the privilege of knowing her. She was well known for writing detailed and caring stories that captured the soul of this small Adirondack town.

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