Camp Pokamoke Closing

By: Gary Smollen Email
By: Gary Smollen Email

It has been an important part of many childhood memories but the days of Camp Pokamoke are coming to a close. The YMCA recently announced they will no longer use Pokamoke as an overnight camp and they are selling the land.

But the end of an era isn't sitting well with camp kids and their families.

Camp Pokamoke is closed, for good. The YMCA made the announcement to camp families and staff that it was shutting down Pokamoke and selling the land. The cost of maintaining the facility and keeping campers safe is simply too high. For the Pokamoke family the camp is about more than money.

Miranda Danigole grew up at Camp Pokamoke. Originally a camper Miranda spent ten summers riding horses and making friends and recently became a camp counselor.

Miranda Danigole says, "It has made such a huge impact on my life and I'm really going to miss it."

Miranda and hundreds of others kids spend part of each summer at Camp Pokamoke and that exposes a big liability.

Len Romano says, "Finding out that we didn't have a certified storm shelter was really a red flag for me and then when we took a look at the cost of building a shelter for 200 kids and staff it exceeds $400,000 to $500,000."

Miranda understands the financial side of the equation but says there are ways around money issues.

Miranda Danigole says, "I know a lot of people who would have donated to the camp, I know a lot of companies that would have helped out but they just kind of quit it cold turkey."

While Pokamoke is officially closed the Y will still be able to rent it out on a daily basis to other groups but the days of the camp are numbered and that clock starts when someone purchases the land.

Len Romano tells Channel 6 News that the YMCA is looking to partner with other not for profit organizations and see if they can come up with a solution.

Romano also points out that the "Y" has ten other day camps and is examining a shorter three day-two night camps.

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