Growing Up at Canaras | St. Lawrence University

Growing Up at Canaras

Charlotte Edson

For as long as I can remember, St. Lawrence has always been my community. It was meant to be that I ended up here for my college years. My parents, who met at St. Lawrence, graduated back in the 80s and as a child of SLU alumni, I am what the University calls a “chip,” as in, a “chip off the old block.” 

Prior to being a student, I grew up attending several St. Lawrence events, including reunions and hockey games. But some of my most cherished childhood memories are from the times I spent with my family and friends at Camp Canaras, a St. Lawrence property in the Adirondacks. Although one’s college years technically come to a close after graduation, what I find especially unique about St. Lawrence are the extended communities that exist post-commencement - communities such as Canaras.

Canaras (Saranac spelled backwards) sits on the waterfront of Upper Saranac Lake welcoming St. Lawrence alumni and their families for most of the summer season. It is an Adirondack camp comprised of several cabins, a dining hall, boathouse and library that offers many lakefront activities including (my personal favorites) water skiing and canoeing. Canaras is a wonderful way to spend a vacation becoming familiar with the Adirondack region, but more importantly, it is an excellent opportunity to congregate with fellow SLU alums and their families.

Having spent seven consecutive summers vacationing at Canaras, I can confidently say that it is a place that enhances the renowned St. Lawrence bond. This special bond is formed because of the outgoing, engaging and well-balanced nature of all students and alums. The steady consistency in finding these characteristics throughout the community on and off campus is what makes St. Lawrence unique. Because of the time we spent at Canaras, my family has formed several lifelong friendships with three other families that I consider to be an extension of my own. We credit St. Lawrence and those summer days on Upper Saranac Lake for bringing us close together. Whether we were hiking, swimming, waterskiing or participating in the annual “talent show,” there was always a mutual understanding that the St. Lawrence community is a strong one - and like no other.