Our archery range is on land close to the main Camp. Campers learn proper archery safety and terminology, then develop accuracy when shooting at targets attached to a haywall. Archery is often a favorite class. Campers who strike a bull’s-eye or accomplish other noteworthy achievements become members of the famed VBYC Archery Club, one of our esteemed Camp traditions.
Instructor certification: National Archery Association, Basic Instructor
Arts & Crafts
The Arts and Crafts program allows campers to use their imaginations with simple,, easy-to-find materials as well as materials found in nature. The classes are held atop a hill that is one of the highest points of VBYC allowing a great breeze from the lake to flow through the building. It provides a relaxing, pleasant atmosphere for campers to enjoy chatting with friends as creativity flows helping to create simple fun projects. Campers are given project guidelines but are also allowed to make their own creative project during the class period.
Canoeing & Kayaking
The Canoeing & Kayaking classes begin with a 15 - 20 minute instruction period, Campers learn basic canoeing/kayaking strokes: steering their vessel, working with their partner, keeping the boat level and stable, all with an emphasis on safety. Then, if ready, campers take to the lake boating as a group, floating near cattails, onto the sandbar, all the way to the creek, or out into the middle of the lake. Canoeing and kayaking are always Camp favorites.
Campers must be at least a "B" (moderate-level) swimmer to participate. If a camper doesn’t qualify they may choose another class for that period. Canoes & Kayaks are always in visual contact of the waterfront director, who is on shore, available, and can be signaled through whistles. VBYC uses one rescue motorboat and a rescue rowboat for emergencies.
Instructor certification: Lifeguard and Boater Safety Certified
a.k.a. Initiatives or Team Building
This class is an opportunity for cabins to use group problem solving through cooperation, and can really bring campers together. As with all VBYC classes, safety is the first priority. This course can be both physically challenging and a test of will. The challenges are not intended to be solved by individuals. Instead it is necessary for campers to rely on one another to successfully complete each challenge. Campers often surprise themselves when they complete this course.
At the beginning of the class, campers learn a series of "calls" and procedures. During the class campers learn about obstacles including blocks of wood, imaginary rivers to cross, a 10' climbing wall, a grid of climbing rope, suspended cable walk (4' high), and many other obstacles
Instructor training: Trained by certified instructor
Our Nature class finds fun ways to learn about nature's role in our lives and in the world around us. Campers study nature found in the Camp’s environment and often take part in hands-on experiences. For example, the Nature instructor might have frogs for campers to observe and touch if they choose to take part. Campers might have class anywhere on Camp’s property, allowing them to take a closer look at their natural world and explore their relationship with it.
Riflery focuses primarily on gun safety. Our rifle range is located on acreage just up the road but separate from main Camp. Many camps no longer teach this course. VBYC chooses to keep riflery because it provides campers the opportunity to promote the seriousness of the safe use of guns.
Campers shoot from a covered pavilion with a wooden floor, and use .22-caliber rifles to shoot at bull’s-eye targets that hang from a sand mound. The campers are approximately 25 ft. from the target and are not allowed to step off of the covered pavilion.
Some campers are not comfortable shooting a rifle, which is fine, as they still learn much about gun safety. That said we find that most campers think riflery is an awesome class.
Instructor training: Trained by certified instructor
Song & Dance
Campers & Staff sing a lot at Camp. Many songs have been sung at summer camps for generations and some songs are special to VBYC. It’s a great time to learn new songs out of our song book and revisit other songs.
Folk dancing is an important tradition at VBYC, the campers can learn older dances & also create new dances that may become a new VBYC tradition.
Campers play both competitive and noncompetitive sports and games during the camp week. The class emphasis is on cooperation and fair play. Although campers enjoy the traditional sport offerings; campers love games that they help to create at VBYC such as roofball or frisbee golf. The sports class takes place on all parts of the VBYC campus
On registration day, all campers take a swim test, and campers are assigned to a swimming area with appropriate depth for their ability. These are called A, B and C water
During class time everyone learns basic strokes and swim techniques from the lifeguards and waterfront director. Campers who improve during the week may be promoted to more advanced swim levels. Class is filled with instructions but there is time for free swim daily during choice period.
Instructor certifications: WSI (Water Safety Instructor) Certification
Classes are the heart of our program. Campers and counselors attend two classes each day, morning and afternoon, taught by VBYC staff. All campers have the chance to try all classes by week's end.