• Thu. Dec 8th, 2022

Public access to county-owned camp limited by agreement with camp operator

ByDebra J. Aguilar

Aug 24, 2022

PLEASANT VALLEY — Dutchess County purchased Camp Nooteeming from Boy Scouts earlier this year at a cost of $4.8 million. Unlike county parks like Bowdoin and Wilcox, the 272-acre Camp Nooteeming will not operate as an open public access park.

The purchase of Nooteeming Camp in Pleasant Valley included ownership, existing upkeep and camp equipment including canoes, rowboats, archery equipment, bunk beds, tents, tables , chairs, mowers, tractors and other camp-related items.

According to county officials, Camp Nooteeming will continue to operate as camp property with limited public access. Community organizations will be able to use the facilities for camps, events or summer programs. The camp, when purchased by the county, included administrative buildings, a clubhouse, professional sports fields with lighting, rustic cabins, tent sites, shooting ranges, a commercial kitchen, trails for hiking, outdoor pools and a lake.

The county has partnered with Pathfinder FC (Football Club) for the management and operation of the camp, including the coordination of youth camp programs and rental of facilities. County officials say there will be no annual operating costs to ratepayers. Pathfinder FC had an existing lease from the Boy Scouts when the county purchased the camp and they were selected by the county to operate the camp.

The deal between Dutchess County and Pathfinder FC is in place for 15 years with an option for a five-year extension. Net profits made by Pathfinder FC from the camp are to be used for future operating expenses, capital maintenance and scholarships for youth programs.

County data shows around 1,000 children have attended summer camp programs at Camp Nooteeming this year. Programs are offered by various community and municipal agencies such as the Town of Pleasant Valley Recreation Department and the Town of Poughkeepsie School District.

During a recent forum to discuss the camp, Deputy County Executive Bill O’Neil reiterated that the camp will not be a public-access county park. He said the public will have a limited number of opportunities to enjoy the installation. The agreement with Pathfinder will give taxpayers the following:

  • Community days organized by Pathfinder FC. The organization is required to organize a minimum of 10 such days each year. On the dates selected, the camp will be open to the public free of charge, for passive recreation and associated events. Dutchess County is entitled to host at least three of the required 10 days.
  • The county has exclusive camp rights for up to 10 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day in addition to the three community days outside of the period between the two listed holidays.