Owners & Directors
Jeff Gould, Director & Owner
An accomplished athlete and successful entrepreneur, Jeff brings valuable experience and infectious energy to the ILC team. Whether as a broker at a commercial real estate firm or founder of a tech startup, Jeff throws his heart into and excels at all of his endeavors. When the rare opportunity to return to his family camp was presented, it was a no-brainer to give back to the place that had the most profound impact on his own personal growth and character development.
Jeff’s first summer at Independent Lake Camp was as a camper. There were only 45 kids enrolled, eight of which were his siblings! Now, almost a quarter century later, he counts himself lucky to be a part of the thriving community his family has cultivated.
Jeff has witnessed first hand the immeasurable impact ILC has had on the lives of thousands of children and families. He strongly believes that ILC is the ultimate place for a child to gain social currency, express him or herself creatively, and learn conflict resolution and problem solving. By providing children with access to amazing activities and spectacular Counselors and Specialists, children come out of their shells and blossom. Moreover, they provide the support to try new things in a forgiving environment free of judgment and ridicule.
What has probably prepared Jeff more than anything for his position as Director at ILC is his own experience parenting his children, JJ and Gloria. He has a compassionate and loving parenting philosophy.
Jeff brings a soft touch and remarkable sense of humor. Whether it’s helping bring a smile to a camper’s face, or conveying to new parents what a magical experience ILC will be for their children, Jeff’s warm presence cannot be missed. Simply put, Jeff’s main focus is that every camper at Independent Lake Camp feels safe and happy, in that order.
Dan Gould, Director & Founder
The vision, programming and conceptual block-busting which it took to create Independent Lake Camp are Dan’s original and ongoing gifts to the industry. He came to this work via every possible avenue: personality, job experience, volunteer work, education (M.B.A. in Business Administration and M.Ed. in Counseling Psychology with emphasis on children), and even DNA- his parents owned or operated several of the most notable camps of the last three decades. (Ironically, he will tell you that it was observing a few aspects he didn’t like about his parents’ camps that taught him the most about how to give a child the gift of an immortal summer.)
Appropriately, it was during his stint as camp counselor that he met his wife Anne. Dan has coached young athletes in various sports for over 40 years. The camp directing experience he loves most occurs at the beginning and end of each session: Welcoming and calming the nervous first-time campers, then watching them leave two weeks later, begging parents for extra sessions and having to be dragged to their cars. “My biggest joy,” says Dan, completely failing to contain a satisfied laugh, “is the transition.”
Gia Codispoti, Assistant Director
Gia has been with ILC since its beginning years and wears a few different hats at camp. Ultimately, she helps camp evolve and operate at its best — supporting and encouraging wherever she is needed. Gia co-managed the ILC Circus for over 15 years and is still amazed each and every Performance Day at what kids can accomplish in just a couple of weeks.
As a volunteer for the American Camp Association in the role of ACA Associate Visitor, Gia keeps up camp standards and demonstrates professionalism in the camp industry. While at Binghamton University (BS in Biology and Environmental Studies) she volunteered as an EMT. She currently manages the camp infirmary and is well versed in camp safety after getting a certificate in Directing Camp Safety through AMSkier Insurance, Ezersky Camp Safety College. Her years working for Cornell Cooperative Extension as an animal science educator contributed greatly to recognizing the importance of getting kids outdoors as part of their learning and growth.