About Us

The founders of CampLeadership.org, Dave Bell and Mike D’Avria, had a very simple goal when starting this Web site: to share videos of camp games and songs. This simple idea turned into the sharing of more resources through written blog posts, videos from camp experts, and podcasts that discuss popular trends in the camping industry.

The sharing of these resources quickly made an impact in the camping community. Dave and Mike began to take speaking engagements with camp leaders and traveled to camps across the eastern coast to train staffs, opening up a whole new side of services CampLeadership.org offered.

Dave Bell: Chief Visionary Officer

Dave Bell is a sought after conference speaker who challenges (and entertains) business leaders to broaden their vision to impact those around them. By having a clear vision of their business, Dave maintains that leaders can more actively empower the team to provide a top-notch customer experience. Dave uses his experience in youth camp as backdrop to connect with people from all walks of life, encouraging them to pursue their ideas with energy and enthusiasm.

Dave has directed day and resident camp programs for over 15 years, specializing in turnaround projects by improving camper retention, redesigning failed programs, and focusing on profitability. Currently, he is the Executive Director at the Downtown YMCA of Greater Louisville after spending years running residential camps in North Carolina and the state of Washington. He is a former American Camp Association Southeast Section board member and continues to serve as an ACA standards visitor. He is a certified Y-USA Day Camp Director Trainer and a Y-USA partner YMCA camp consultant. Contact Dave at Dave@CampLeadership.org.

Mike D’Avria: Executive Editor

Mike D’Avria spent most of his life in and around camps. When Mike was born, his father was a residential Camp Director in Michigan and lived his first two years of life at camp being passed around from counselor to counselor. At 15-years-old, he got his first paying job as a camp counselor. He spent many summers working at both day and resident camps in West Virginia, Michigan, Georgia and North Carolina, and was a Camp Director for the YMCA of Greater Charlotte for several years before leaving camp to start his own business — the multimedia marketing and information strategist agency CharlotteIS.

Mike has a degree from Indiana University in Broadcast Journalism, which comes in very handy in his role as Executive Editor — which basically means that all content (video, articles, web design and podcasts) go through him before ever appearing live on CampLeadership.org. Mike is known as a “techie,” but is incredibly passionate about sharing his camp knowledge through staff trainings and speaking engagements. Contact Mike at Mike@CampLeadership.org.