New Executive Director at Camp Speers



It is with great pleasure and excitement that we announce Chris Helmlinger as the incoming Executive Director of Camp Speers YMCA in the Poconos, part of the Philadelphia Freedom Valley Y, beginning May 5, 2017. Chris comes to us from the Delaware Valley School District where he served as a Science teacher.

Chris’ knowledge and experience with camp will help us build upon the wonderful opportunities for growth at Camp Speers. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Education for middle level and special education from East Stroudsburg University. His training will serve us well as Camp Speers is also home to Dragonfly Forest, an overnight camp for children with medical needs.

Chris’ commitment and enthusiasm for camp and the Y come from years of experience both as a camper and camp leader. For the past 10 years, Chris worked in a variety of areas at Speers including maintenance, equestrian center and marketing while maintaining his job as a science teacher. Chris was most recently in charge of the Summer Day Camp program at Speers and under his leadership, the camp was ranked for quality as one of the top Traditional Day Camps in the United States.

As a lifetime resident in the Poconos, Chris sees the importance and opportunity for Camp Speers to play a role in the community. He also views his new position as a way to continue giving back to the community he cherishes.  He credits camp with helping him to become a confident and adventurous person with a love for the outdoors.  “Camp made me who I am today,” he said. “I believe everyone deserves to go to camp, to challenge themselves and find out something about who they are as a person.  Now, it’s exciting to have the opportunity to directly affect the experience kids have at overnight camp.”

“We have a wonderful opportunity to provide experiences and memories that will last a life time for youth attending camp. Chris is very focused on the camper experience and will no doubt continue to deliver an experience that will make meaningful differences in the lives of youth,” said Shaun Elliott, President and CEO, Philadelphia Freedom Valley YMCA.

Camp Speers Y is one of 17 branches of the Philadelphia Freedom Valley YMCA.

Native Plants Walk

Native Plants Walk with Ann Rhoads
and the  Delaware Highlands Conservancy

Join us this summer for our annual native plants walk with renowned botanist Dr. Ann Rhoads. Dr. Rhoads will lead an interpretive walk through Camp Speers YMCA’s extensive bog to reveal the native plant life in a wetland community.
Click here for more information or contact the Delaware Highlands Conservancy 570-226-3164.

2015 Summer Camp Videos


Open House Events



We invite families who are considering camp to an open house. At Camp Speers, we help kids build confidence and independence. This can begin even before camp starts–with an open house tour.

Camp Speers hosts open houses  April, May, and June, from 2:00 to 4:00. The most exciting open house is the Spring Fling May 7 when we offer tours, Camp activities for the entire family, and a chance to meet some of our amazing summer staff. Bring the whole family and close friends to enjoy this completely free day of camp fun. Please R.S.V.P.  by clicking the links below.

open house buttonSpring FLing Button

For a private tour, call the  office to schedule: 570-828-2329.

Camp Speers Facilities Update

Our forests, fields, lake, and buildings combine to provide an inspiring setting for kids and families to grow in spirit, mind & body through our programs.  While the natural beauty of our surroundings needs no improvement – our buildings and program areas need continue care and improvement.  The past several months have been a whirlwind of activity at Camp Speers as numerous facility improvement projects have been and continue to be conducted.


Please click on the following link to see some of the work we’ve accomplished so far! Camp Speers Facility Update – June 2015 

Stay tuned for more exciting news about our facilities and programs! Or better yet, come to Camp and see for yourself just how GREAT we are!

Summer 2015 Newsletter

2015 Summer Newsletter Part II




2015 Summer Newsletter Part I

Spring 2015 Newsletter

2015 Spring Newsletter Spring 2015 Newsletter 2

February 2015 Update

UPDATE from Camp Speers in the Poconos

February 2015 George Painter, Executive Director

Happy New Year from all your friends at Camp Speers!

There has been astonishing progress at Camp and we can’t wait to show you. Our Summer Registration for 2015 is Open with hundreds of camper weeks already enrolled. We have a new website and new online registration system. The Program Schedule for 2015 is Set and part of this Update. Come see why everyone is so excited about Camp Speers. Join us at a program or event this year!


George’s February Update

A New Beginning!

We are excited to announce that effective October 1, 2014 Camp Speers YMCA joined together with the Philadelphia Freedom Valley YMCA to serve as the residential camp and outdoor center branch!  This partnership will allow us to extend our impact and reach providing more youth and families a resident camp experience throughout New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and beyond. How will this impact us…


November 2014 Update

UPDATE from Camp Speers in the Poconos

Philadelphia Freedom Valley YMCA

November 2014

George Painter, Executive Director

On one of our hikes near Camp this month, my wife Cathy and I sat on

the edge of the Pocono Plateau over looking the Delaware Water Gap

National Recreation Area. We were absolutely inspired and filled with

Thanksgiving for our new beginning here at Camp Speers.

George’s November 2014 Update