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Directors and Staff

O Brians 2 2018

Jon O'Brian, Camp Director

Jon O'Brian grew up in Jamestown, New York, and attended the YMCA as a child. At age seven, he attended Camp Onyahsa for the first time. Jon returned to Onyahsa each summer, and the Camp became more important to him as his family experienced significant challenges. Eventually, Jon attended Onyahsa on scholarships, as did his younger sister and brother.

Jon joined the staff at age sixteen by washing dishes and eventually moving into additional roles. When the Camp season ended, he became a lifeguard at the YMCA. Jon also worked in the Youth Department and eventually worked in most YMCA departments. His tenure at Onyahsa also continued, and he served as a Senior Counselor, Assistant Waterfront Director, and Assistant Camp Director.

By 1987, Jon became Camp Director and worked on rebuilding the staff, the program, and the facility. As a result, the Camp's facility, reputation, and curriculum improved with the tremendous help of a committed staff, loyal camp parents, incredible volunteers, generous donors, and foundation funding.

Today Jon continues his role as Camp Director. He and his wife Rachel were married at Camp in 2014, with many of the Camp staff and board in attendance. They look forward to your attendance.

Camp Staff

Our Camp Onyahsa staff consists of experienced teachers, college students, high school students, and many former Onyahsa campers. These highly committed and competent adults are carefully screened, chosen, and trained by the YMCA.

In addition to hosting international campers, staff members from China, Canada, South Africa, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Turkmenistan, France, Ireland, Italy, Australia, South Korea, Japan, and the Czech Republic have brought greater cultural diversity and international understanding to Onyahsa over the past few seasons.

To Apply or Volunteer

Get in touch with the Camp Administration Office by calling 716-664-2802 ×238 or emailing

Camp Advisory Committee

The Camp Advisory Committee is a dedicated group of volunteers who set policy, raise funds, and oversee operations and development. The additional roles of the Camp Committee include assisting with Camp Onyahsa site projects, special planning, and other endeavors.

Contact the camp office at 716-664-2802 ×238 to join this committee or the building and grounds subcommittee.