About Dan

Dan Weir is the Director of Camping Services at Frost Valley YMCA, a host on the CampHacker Podcast, sports a beard, online way too much. He writes about summer camp and youth development.  He tweets (look below!) at @danlovescamp.

Dan Weir also writes at Unplug at Camp!


Dan Weir's Linkedin profile.




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Staff Retention - 2015 Tri-State


Throwing in the towel - saying "come get your kid" - 2015 Tri-State

Asking a child to leave camp has never been an easy task. Every year it seems like a family's expectations of what a summer camp can provide grows. Families need more support than ever. At the same time, parents trust of educators and care providers has shifted dramatically in the past decade. Parents are skeptical of any criticism about their child. Now it seems like when it comes to kicking someone out of camp, we're doing it all wrong. Come learn how to talk to families about this sensitive topic, navigate conversation traps, and provide the best care for all campers. 

Learning objectives: 
- Learn how to identify when a child should go home 
- Learn how to take the steps to send child home 
- Learn how to talk with families about their child home


  • Scott Arizala, The Camp Counselor
  • Dan Weir, Frost Valley YMCA




Let's go on an overnight! - 2015 Tri-State

Whether you are a day or resident camp, an overnight can build a child's self esteem, create a sense of adventure, and provide an amazing once in a life time experience. Overnights are also the time when you trust your staff to go out in the woods with your kids, hoping that they know what they are doing, all while having no idea what's going on. Come learn how to turn this activity into something that will positively impact them for years to come. We'll cover activities you can do at the overnight, teaching outdoor living skills, and making the whole experience a journey they will never forget. This fun interactive session is not to be missed! 

Learning objectives 
- Learn about why an overnight camp experience can be great for all camp programs - day and resident 
- Through experiential learning, practice how to teach outdoor living skills and activities that make or break the experience 
- Discover how to create a sense of going on journey when you are simply sleeping outside


  • Jeff Daly, 3Adventures
  • Dan Weir, Frost Valley YMCA


  • Andy Szymczak, Frost Valley YMCA
  • Katy Bowen, 3Adventures
  • Zach Eigenbrodt, Frost Valley YMCA
  • Anna Bilton, Camp Mason YMCA
  • Jackson Patterson, Camp Mason YMCA

Apple is doing it. Shouldn't you? - 2014 Tri-State

Burberry’s CEO will soon lead Apple’s sales team in changing their culture from ‘transactional’ to one of ‘relationship building’. Follow the lead of this Fortune 500 tech giant to build relationships that will positively impact all facets of your business. Develop a strategic, pragmatic and manageable plan that will nurture connections and leverage relationships to increase camp enrollments, retention, fund raising and community collaborations. 

Dan Weir, Director of Camping Services, Frost Valley 
Joanna Warren Smith, President, Camp Consulting Services 




Evening Programs & Camp Fire Ideas for 8 to 800 - 2014 Tri-State

Our camp fire

  • Greeters - Jackson & Anna from Camp Mason
  • Welcoming - Dan from Frost Valley YMCA & Jeff from 3Adventures
  • The Motorcycle Skit - Jeff
  • Zombie Song by Lincoln McLain
  • Silly Skit by Jackson & Anna
  • Three Blind Jelly Fish - Dan, Jeff & Jackson
  • Quiet Down "Rain Activity" / Spirt Fingers- Dan & Jeff
  • Taking us home with the Camp Song
  • Wrap up - Jeff

The basics of a camp fire

  • Welcoming in
  • It’s all about the setting (circle vs amphitheater)
  • The essentials camp skit
  • How to sing if you if you can’t sing
  • How to quiet them down from mid camp fire
  • Find the resources (guitar playing person)
  • Wrap up ceremony - we give out patches (why we gave out dixie cups chips)

Evening program essentials

  • The mood of the evening program (active vs inactive)
  • Know your audience
  • Know the size of your group
  • Try not go longer than 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Be close to bathrooms
  • Don’t over do it
  • Have your staff rotate creating new evening programs

Brainstorming Ideas! 
Coming soon!