Camper To Campaigner

Don’t put up barriers to their engagement and don’t forget to share the work you are doing with them. Many times we keep people at arm’s distance because we are afraid they will be “too involved,” but when we do this we miss many more opportunities for support.

We in the summer camp world need the involvement of key supporters, volunteers and donors. Without this support, we would not be able to effectively fulfill our mission and deliver the transformative work of summer camp.

Don’t be a barrier to the individuals that can help further your cause.

Dave Bell has directed day and resident camp programs for more than 15 years. Currently, he is the Executive Director of Camping Services for the YMCA of Greater Seattle. He is a former American Camp Association Southeast Section board member, a certified Y-USA Day Camp Director Trainer and a Y-USA partner YMCA camp consultant. Reach him via e-mail at

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2 comments on “Camper To Campaigner

  1. Gary Forster on said:

    Hi Dave – So many camp execs go into “reactive” mode when summer camp nears… putting out fires, running errands, “delegating” what used to be their job to the “camp director.” You paint a great picture of being an aggressive, pro-active executive that’s working both in the moment and with an eye on the future. Don’t forget to spend time with those parents’ KIDS, too, execs! (There will still be plenty of fires, no need waiting for them!) — Gary

  2. dave bell on said:


    Thanks for the feedback! I agree that we can become reactive instead of proactive. Also, the best way to build a connection with the parents is to already have built a relationship with their camper. There is nothing better than a camper introducing you to their parent and saying, “This is the Camp Director!” – Dave

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