The great camps of the Adirondack Mountains refers to the grandiose family compounds of cabins that were built in the latter half of the nineteenth century on lakes in the Adirondacks such as Spitfire Lake and Rainbow Lake. The camps were summer homes for the wealthy, where they could relax, host or attend parties, and enjoy the wilderness. In time, however, this was accomplished without leaving the comforts of civilization behind; some great camps even contained a bowling alley or movie theatre.
The style of the Great Camps was influenced by the British Arts and Crafts Movement and the related American Craftsman style as well as by Swiss chalet design. William West Durant, an early developer of the camps, was familiar with all three styles and adapted them to local materials and the skills of craftsmen.