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.




Powered by Squarespace

How Summer Camps Build Character

I had the honor of meeting Mawi Asgedom at the 2013 ACA National Camp Conference.  Mawi's keynote on character education was completely on point with what I've been working on with Frost Valley YMCA's Summer Camps.  

Recently I had the privilege of being interviewed by Mawi for his blog on "How Summer Camps Build Character".  

It was a blast! Check out the interview and follow Mawi on twitter



Evening Programs & Camp Fire Ideas for 8 to 800 - 2013 Tri-State

Our camp fire

  • Greeters - Jack & Laura from Camping Coast to Coast
  • Welcoming - Dan from Frost Valley YMCA & Jeff from 3Adventures
  • "Silly Skit" - Jack & Laura
  • The Motorcycle Skit - Jeff
  • Three Blind Jelly Fish - Dan, Jeff & Lincoln
  • Quiet Down "Rain Activity" / Spirt Fingers- Dan & Jeff
  • The Forest Song - Rebecca from Camp Cairn
  • Zombie Song - Lincoln
  • Taking us home - Dan from Campminder
  • 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!

The slideshow!

The Forest Song!

3 Blind Jellyfish!


Build a culture that will fill your resident camp

I led a great session today with Joanna Warren Smith titled "Build a Culture that Will Fill your Resident Camp."

Please click here for the handout.


Whenever I get nervous I pretend that I'm just singing to trees.

A recent alum of my camp gave an interview on budding music career and where her inspiration came from.  For me, the highlight of the article was when she talked about how camp gave her the confidence she has today.

“That's actually the first place I sang when I was a really little kid. I was terrified and I really didn't want to go up on stage and sing but mom was good she said, 'Oh you have a really great voice. Go sing.' And so I did but I practiced by singing to the trees because it's like in the middle of nowhere in Upstate New York, so it's really quite beautiful there. So it's kinda become my motto because of that one performance because of singing to the trees. Whenever I get nervous I pretend that I'm just singing to trees.”


The most intense moment of dodgeball

This is the most intense moment in any dodgeball game. 

It's the moment when someone decides are they going to go for it? hang back and hide? hang back and taunt?  There are fewer decisions in a camper's day that are so telling.