Staff

These are the professionals who work year round to make the magic of camp happen! Click on the names below for the opportunity to meet our staff. Feel free to contact anyone of them with any questions you may have!

(513)932-3756

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Extension:
1512

Favorite Food:
Mexican

Favorite Color:
Black & White Stripes

Favorite Vacation Spot:
The Homeland (England!)

Favorite Movie:
Shawshank Redemption

About Me:

My Kern Story begins back in 2005 when, as a fresh faced 20 year old, I crossed the pond from England to be a summer camp counselor here at Camp Kern. After a little bit of a culture shock (singing Da Moose around a campfire wasn’t something I had experienced before!), I quickly fell in love with the kids, the camp and the staff and began to realize the impact a week at camp can have on a child. After graduating college the next summer I returned for, what I thought, was my last summer at Kern, but having realized that camp was a year round operation, I decided to come back for an 18 month internship. That was in 2007, and I’ve basically never left! I’ve been lucky enough to work my way through numerous positions: Outdoor Educator, Assistant Summer Director, L&C Facilitator, Ozone Zipline Director and Senior Program Director.

I feel very fortunate to be in my current position and my goal is to bring camp, in all its forms, to as many kids, families and groups as possible in the coming years.

I look forward to seeing you soon and please don’t hesitate to contact me for any reason.

When I'm not at Camp Kern, I'm doing:

Playing football (soccer) and trying to find things I’ve never done before

My Words to Live By:

Never lower your expectations – aim for the moon and if you miss you will still land among the stars.

(513)932-3756

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Extension:
1531

Favorite Food:
Burritos

Favorite Color:
Green

Favorite Place at Camp:
The Barn!

Favorite Vacation Spot:
Spain

Favorite Movie:
Princess Bride

About Me:

I have been with Camp Kern since 2015. I grew up near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and spent my summers at girl scout camp. It was there that I fell in love with both summer camp and horsemanship. I spent six summers working at girl scout camp, teaching horseback riding, singing songs, and learning to lead. Through the school year I moved to Ohio to attend the University of Findlay, where I studied Equine Business Management and Spanish. After finishing my degree, I found the position at Kern and decided that the Equestrian Director position would be a great way to combine my love of working with kids and horses all year long. My favorite part of working at Kern has been providing a safe and fun opportunity to teach others about horsemanship.

When I'm not at Camp Kern, I'm doing:

Horseback riding, kayaking or baking.

My Words to Live By:

‘Gentle in what you do, firm in how you do it.’ – Buck Brannaman

(513)932-3756

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Extension:
1516

Favorite Food:
Chicken Stir-fry

Favorite Color:
Blue

Favorite Vacation Spot:
Florida

Favorite Movie:
Gunsmoke

About Me:

I have worked at Camp Kern for 19 years and am currently Director of Kern's Kitchen and Housekeeping Departments. Kern is like my second home, I love the scenery here and the lovely work environment. Some of my interests outside of camp include boating, vacations, fishing and spending time with loved ones.

When I'm not at Camp Kern, I'm doing:

Hanging out with the grandkids.

My Words to Live By:

Always smile and have fun!

(513)932-3756

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Extension:
1528

Favorite Food:
Mexican

Favorite Vacation Spot:
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Favorite Movie:
I actually have a couple. The Goonies and The Breakfast Club.

About Me:

I’ve been at Camp Kern for 5 years.  I found out about Ozone Zipline Adventures while at another zipline course.  From there the rest is history. I grew up in Harwich, Massachusetts, a nice little town on Cape Cod (basically a sandbar in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean). I grew up surfing, sailing, fishing and exploring the ocean, I love the outdoors.  When I’m not doing something with ziplines, I enjoy racing bicycles. I have a beautiful, loving wife who supports my interesting choice of work!

When I'm not at Camp Kern, I'm doing:

Spending time with my wife. Racing bicycles or doing something adventurous!

My Words to Live By:

“Fall seven times, stand up eight” -Japanese Proverb-

(513)932-3756

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Extension:
1513

Favorite Food:
Salmon

Favorite Color:
Pink!

Favorite Vacation Spot:
The Beach

Favorite Movie:
Grease

About Me:

I have been at Camp Kern since April 2000. I met my husband thru a co-worker and combined we have 4 amazing boys, 4 beautiful daughters in law and 2 adorable granddaughters. My husband and I were married at Camp Kern in October 2014. Camp Kern holds a special place in my heart for so many reasons.  In the years I’ve been here I have met the most amazing people. When I talk about this place I just bubble with excitement. We have the best staff, campers and parents.  

 I feel very blessed to be part of the Camp Kern Family.

When I'm not at Camp Kern, I'm doing:

Playing with our fur babies

My Words to Live By:

"Be the reason someone smiles today."

(513)932-3756

E-mail Me

Extension:
1530

Favorite Food:
Pasta

Favorite Color:
Purple

Favorite Place at Camp:
The 'Tree Tunnel' on the driveway into Kern

Favorite Vacation Spot:
Europe

Favorite Movie:
Up

About Me:

We are thrilled to announce that Melissa Huist Kneer has joined us this year as our new Summer Camp Director. Melissa brings a wealth of camp experience from within the Y and beyond, has a broad knowledge base of all things youth development and is incredibly passionate about delivering meaningful programs to our campers. We can't wait for all our campers and staff to meet Melissa and giver her a big Camp Kern welcome!

You can reach her via e-mail at mkneer@daytonymca.org or by phone at (513)93203756 ext. 1530.

 

When I'm not at Camp Kern, I'm doing:

Spending time with my wonderful husband and dog!

My Words to Live By:

“We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already. We have the power to imagine better.” – J.K. Rowling

 

(513)932-3756

E-mail Me

Extension:
1527

Favorite Food:
Pistachios

Favorite Color:
Plaid

Favorite Place at Camp:
Snake Island

Favorite Vacation Spot:
Lapland

Favorite Movie:
The Big Sleep

About Me:

Dave Moran has been overstaying his welcome at YMCA Kern since the early 90’s. Drifting from seasonal into fulltime work he has been a lifeguard, naturalist, river monitoring coordinator, pool manager, sailing instructor, and is now the Outdoor Education Director. Dave and his family live in nearby Lebanon. In addition to camp and family life, Dave enjoys fishing and paddling on the Little Miami River whenever he gets the chance.

When I'm not at Camp Kern, I'm doing:

bird watching, sailing, canoeing, hiking

My Words to Live By:

“Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog is too dark to read.” – Groucho Marx

(513)932-3756

E-mail Me

Extension:
1529

Favorite Food:
Chipotle

Favorite Color:
Blue

Favorite Vacation Spot:
Mississippi Gulf Coast

Favorite Movie:
Boyhood

About Me:

I began my journey with the Y in 2008 at Countryside YMCA in Teen Programs, and started at Camp Kern in March 2010 as an Ozone Zipline tour guide. Since then I have worked in our Outdoor Education Department and Leadership and Conferencing  Department before becaming the Leadership and Conferencing Director in 2015.  I enjoy providing opportunities for groups regardless of organization or beliefs, an opportunity to experience camp whether for a few hours or a whole week.  Please let me know if you would like to bring your group or organization out to experience everything Camp Kern has to offer.

When I'm not at Camp Kern, I'm doing:

Biking, Hiking, or Watching a Movie with Family and Friends

My Words to Live By:

“Before others can look to you, you must look at yourself”