Camp Poyntelle to Consolidate Space, Secure Future Boost in Affordability, Infrastructure Also Among Changes
Camp Poyntelle proudly announced that as of next summer, its teens will join the full camp community in a newly constructed, purpose built teen village on main camp. This allows for stronger, more vibrant connections between the oldest and youngest campers, and more robust program options for all. It also enables Camp Poyntelle to offer reduced rates for summer 2019, providing a more affordable option to families making – often expensive – Jewish choices for their families.
“We continue to move from strength to strength,” said Larry Gottlieb, chairman of the board of Commonpoint Queens, which operates the pluralistic Jewish camp situated on land owned by UJA-Federation of New York. “We have worked closely for the past year with both Federation and the Foundation for Jewish Camp to reimagine aspects of the camp, while preserving longtime traditions.”
The co-educational camp will also now be known as Camp Poyntelle, rather than Camp Poyntelle Lewis Village, to reflect the consolidation of the “two-sided” 71-acre lakefront property in Pennsylvania. The campus for older youths, previously known as “Lewis Village,” will now be rented out to vetted organizations, providing revenue in support of Camp Poyntelle’s facilities, program and tuition assistance for needy families. A new teen area, to be named “Lewis Village” in keeping with camp tradition, is among the capital improvements planned for Camp Poyntelle, which serves youths ages 6 to 16.
Other planned infrastructure changes include a large, multi-sport, field expansion, an exciting aquapark playground for the waterfront and new climbing elements for the “Outdoor Adventure” area.
In connection with these measured changes, Camp Poyntelle leaders expect camp enrollment to grow progressively to 500 campers, said Danielle Ellman, President and CEO of Commonpoint Queens. “We approached all decision-making holistically and were conscious that Jewish camp results in transformative experiences, lifelong relationships, and stronger ties to Judaism and Israel.”
Camp Poyntelle, established in 1947 and situated on land owned by UJA-Federation of New York, will continue to expand its enrollment by reaching additional unaffiliated Jewish families and by instituting a price “rollback.” It also will increase the number of campers by leveraging its specialty programming in athletics, waterfront activities, theater and the visual arts, and science and technology (“imagineering”).
The camp promotes a creative environment with an emphasis on both play and mindfulness, as evidenced in offerings such as dog walking and small-group yoga and book clubs. Camp Poyntelle also prides itself on its sense of community, as well as the Jewish concepts of loving kindness, joy and leadership.
“By ensuring best camp practices for generations to come, we will improve our facilities, programming, enrollment and financial health,” said Ryan Peters, director of Camp Poyntelle.
“For instance, instead of having two separate infirmaries and kitchen areas, we will now have one, freeing up funds for other services and program offerings,” Peters said.
Gottlieb said, “We remain deeply committed to making Jewish summer camp more affordable.” To that end, Camp Poyntelle will become more financially accessible to a larger pool of families, who may have previously considered sleepaway camp “out of reach,” he added.
Poyntelle is already part of the Foundation for Jewish Camp’s funded One Happy Camper program, which makes up to a $1,000 gift to eligible new campers, regardless of need.
Plans for the camp also include additional marketing and fund-raising efforts and a reinvigorated camp alumni committee.
“These changes to camp are much anticipated,” said Mark Newfield, a Commonpoint Queens board member, and alumnus and former director of Camp Poyntelle. “I spent many unforgettable summers at Poyntelle, which still feels like my second home.”
The latest news about Camp Poyntelle is routinely updated at https://poyntelle.com.
More About Camp Poyntelle and Commonpoint Queens
Camp Poyntelle, established in 1947, is a pluralistic Jewish overnight camp situated on a 71-acre lakefront property in Poyntelle, Pa. It offers youths ages 6 to 16 a life-changing summer experience as well as outstanding programming in both traditional and specialty areas. For more information, see www.poyntelle.com.
The camp has been operated since 1997 by Commonpoint Queens, a social services organization for the diverse borough of Queens.