Dara Garcia

Director, Camp, Family & Youth Programs

Dara joined the Riverdale Y as Director of Camp, Family and Youth services in August 2016, from a 20-year career devoted to youth as a camp director, teacher and Girl Scout leader. She sees summer camp as a joyful collaboration, and that’s a big part of what makes the Y’s programs so special.

Dara was the director of Spring Lake Day Camp, and previously taught elementary school and Social Studies at the high school and middle school levels. She also taught Jewish Studies at Temple Avodat Shalom in River Edge, NJ, where she integrated technology in the classroom, and introduced programs that connected American and Israeli students. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and a Master’s degree in Social Studies Education, both from Queens College.

Dara and her family enjoy traveling the country, and plan to visit every one of the 59 U.S. national parks. All vacation recommendations welcome!


I was a day camper in Southern California and New York growing up. That fostered my love of the outdoors – and Judaism – and the fun-loving spirit of sports and creativity in the summertime!