FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Camp Pontiac is a traditional seven-week coed sleepaway camp with campers ranging in age from 7 – 16 years old. We are non-sectarian and will provide transportation for Sunday religious observance.
Camp is located in the New York Berkshires, a beautiful region that provides a perfect backdrop for staff days off (near to New York City, Boston, Lake George and other picturesque locations for unique day trips). Our address is 2044 County Road 7, Copake NY 12516. Our summer phone number is (518) 329-6555 and winter number is (516) 626-7668 with an email address of [email protected].
All international, Outdoor Adventure and Waterfront staff are to arrive at camp by the evening of Thursday June 13, 2024. All new and out-of-town staff are to arrive on Tuesday June 18, 2024 by 6PM. All other staff arrive Friday, June 21, 2024. A detailed and thorough Staff Orientation runs from your arrival date through the morning of June 27, 2024 when campers arrive that afternoon. During Orientation, you will work in various workshops, meet with your department heads and camper Division Leaders, get to know your co-counselors and gain an understanding of Pontiac’s culture. Orientation also includes fun, interactive activities located both on camp and off.
August 14, 2024. If you are flying home, your flight should depart no earlier than 6PM that day and we will provide transportation (if you need it) that day from camp to JFK Airport.
Counselors can drive, take a train to Wassaic station (utilizing the Metro North Railroad’s Harlem line from Grand Central Station in NYC) or be taken up to camp from JFK Airport at 6PM (the latter applies to those flying into JFK on Sunday, June 11th, 2023 or Thursday, June 15th, 2023). On your days and evenings off, we will provide off-site transportation when possible.
Generally, wake up is at 8:00AM and each day consists of three meals, six activity periods, one rest hour, one free play period and an evening activity.
A general counselor is a staff member who is with her or his particular group of campers throughout the course of the day, evening, and for all meals. General counselors are responsible for ensuring that their campers get to and from an activity period on time. We encourage general counselor activity and participation. A specialist is a staff member who is also responsible for her or his campers throughout the course of the day, evening, and meals, but whose primary responsibility is to teach, instruct and/or referee during her or his specialty periods.
Yes, from time to time at the discretion of the department head.
We hire approximately 230 counselors to live in the cabins with our campers. That creates a 2:1 ratio for the younger campers and 3:1 for older campers. In addition, we employ 80 out-of-bunk senior adult staff to oversee camp. The average in-bunk counselor age is twenty years old and 65% of our staff are American (over 50 of these are former campers!) while the remaining 35% hail from England, Ireland, Scotland, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Ghana, Canada, and many other countries around the world! Over half of our counselor staff returns each summer as do almost all of our adult staff.
Counselors entering their sophomore year of college earn $2,100 for the summer. The pay scale increases by $100 for each year thereafter (e.g., a counselor entering senior year earns $2,300). Staff are eligible for a travel stipend of up to $300 (you must submit receipts to the summer business office for reimbursement) if such staff member is flying in from out of town. Additionally, staff are eligible for a bonus ranging from $300 – $500 depending upon the group to which that staff member is assigned and performance throughout the summer. (Salary parameters for first-year international counselors are determined solely by that counselor’s J-1 sponsoring agency; Camp Pontiac has no say in this matter.) Salary is administered mid-summer and again on the last day of camp (we will make salary advances on a per-need, case-by-case basis). Bonuses, where applicable, are sent a few weeks after camp ends.
From time to time, on a typical day you will get one period off (out of six). During your off periods, you will have use of all courts and fields (when available), waterfront (but only if lifeguards are available and on-duty), Canteen, counselor lounge, ice cream parlor (when open) and on-camp movie theater (when available). Staff are on duty and are responsible for campers four nights per week; the other three nights, staff are free to enjoy their evening on or off camp. There is a camp curfew each evening, at which time counselors must be back in their cabin.
While we take your preferences into consideration, ultimately we will decide during Orientation what we think is the best fit for you. Your personality, experience, and interests play a big role in which camper group you are selected for.
Counselors live in cabins with the campers and other counselors. Cabins are air-conditioned and have private showers and bathroom stalls. Counselors and campers also eat each meal together. We have a diverse menu including a full salad bar during every lunch and dinner.
We will provide you with two Camp Pontiac staff shirts, which are to be worn during the day on Saturdays and Sundays. T-shirts that are predominantly red, white or black are to be worn during the other days of the week. Each day, shorts that are predominantly red, white, gray or black are to be worn during the day. During the evenings, you may wear any color t-shirts and shorts.
American staff are responsible for bringing their own towels and bedding. We provide towels and bedding for international staff.
You have three options:
(1) the camp can take care of this for you on our weekly laundry day or
(2) you can do your own laundry on camp (coin-operated) during periods/evenings off or
(3) you can do your own laundry off camp during your evenings/days off.
Alcohol and drugs are strictly prohibited. Some body piercings and most tattoos are permitted. Smoking is permitted only in limited, designated areas. Cell phone use is limited to certain areas of camp and is not permitted for use while on the campus.
Yes, a physical is required prior to your arrival at camp. ALL STAFF FORMS MUST BE SUBMITTED ELECTRONICALLY VIA YOUR CAMP-IN-TOUCH ACCOUNT.
There are multiple full-time physicians and nurses who live on camp. We have a full-service health center on both the Boys Side and Girls Side of camp. Additionally, there are nearby hospitals, urgi-care centers and EMS facilities (the latter two of which are located within five minutes of camp).
Yes. You may bring (at your own risk) your computer or you may access one of our on-camp computers in the counselor lounge. Additionally, you may use your phone or tablet only during your periods off and in designated areas.
We will provide small, individual secured lockers with a charging station in the counselor lounge. Counselors will not be permitted to use cell phones on the campus or in the bunks. Use is permitted off-campus (on days and evenings off) and in the counselor lounge area during periods and days off. Each bunk will have an alarm clock for early wake-up on days off and for early tournament departures.
Yes, depending on need and availability. Please approach us if you’re interested.