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.