Dottie Myers-Hill, Camp Director
Dottie Myers-Hill, Camp Director — Hello there goobers and grownups! My name is Dottie and I am your Camp Director at VBYC. This is my 20th summer working at Camp and I love my job so much...I used to tell people that being on staff was so fun, it felt sacrilegious to accept a paycheck. I have worked with a bunch of different camp generations and consider myself lucky enough to have met many founding family members in my days here. I credit them with giving me the camp spirit and the inspiration to come back and keep their original vision for the program alive so many years later. I feel very lucky to work with the young people in these photos...they teach me things every day and I am extremely grateful that they allow me to lead them and VBYC into the future. I have two kids in college now and a husband and a cat at home. In addition to my family, camp fills my soul and keeps me grounded. Thank you for trusting me, and our staff, to look after your children...happy camping! :)
Lisa Palanca — My name is Lisa Palanca. I am part time Assistant Director. I have many decades with VBYC as a camper, counselor, staff member, teacher, and non profit! It’s the gift that keeps on giving! When not at Camp, I am working for Palanca Leadership, a 501 C3, dedicated to those not lucky enough to have attended VBYC Leadership Camp. I have 2 daughters who also work with kids in this capacity. We love Camp!
Nayt Hiemstra — Hello, I'm Nayt Hiemstra. This is my third year as Assistant Director and ninth on staff. What I love about working with kids is their creativity, excitement for life and play. And I love seeing how camp helps them grow and gives them things they will use for the rest of their lives! When I'm not at camp, I'm living in Chicago making websites and art.
Savannah Cook — Hi everyone! My name is Savannah and I am a Psychology major Hailing from the University of Michigan. When I am not missing camp, I enjoy kayak adventures, being curled up with a good book, Dungeons and Dragons, and long naps on the beach/soaking up the sun. I love camp for the magic it brings to the world. This is my second year at camp and I can't wait to meet you all. Catch me directing the waterfront of Great Bear Lake this summer ready to go for a paddle!
Aaron Smith — Sports / Co-Head Counselor
Abbey Jensen — Hello Humans! I’m Abbey and I’m super excited to be back for my 5th summer at VBYC! I’m currently studying criminal justice in college and for the past year and a half I’ve been interning on and off at Walt Disney World, most recently working at the Monsters inc Laugh Floor! As much as I love Disney Magic, Nothing beats camp magic! I’m looking forward to another summer of laughs, campfires, crazy meals and lots and lots of memories!
Hannah Powless — Hello, my name is Hannah, and I’m so excited to return to VBYC this summer! Spending the summer at camp is the highlight of my year! During the off-season I am a student at Western Michigan University where I am pursuing degrees in Gender and Women’s Studies and Communications.
Luke Cook — Hello! My name is Luke. I'm a student at the University of Michigan studying computer science and theater. During the off season I sing with a philanthropic acapella in Ann Arbor as a bassist and a beat-boxer. I can often be found in one of AA's various theaters, whether on stage or off stage working tech. I am passionate about video games, super hero movies, and many other factions of nerdiness. I've been looking forward to coming back this summer, literally since last summer was over and I'm very excited to come home to VBYC. Dolphins aren't real!
Ruby Hensley — Archery
Micheal Price — Low Ropes
Toby Haynor — Hey guys! My name is Toby Haynor, this’ll be my second summer on staff and something like my 13th total. I am the rifelry instructor this summer. I currently attend Michigan State University where I study Finance and German. I enjoy working at camp because it’s in my blood. My older brother was on staff with me last year, my parents both worked here in the 80s and even my grandparents had roles on staff in the early days. It’s a bunch of fun and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else during the summer!
Arianna Christian — Hello! My name is Ariana and I am very excited to be on the VBYC summer staff of 2018. I am a student at Grand Valley State University where I am pursuing a psychology degree. I have been attending camp since I was six years old, so I am very excited to spend my whole summer here. In my free time I enjoy being outside and reading a good book, I also recreationally swim! Can’t wait to meet you all the summer!
Kiernan Dean-Hall — Hello, salutations, and other greetings! My name is Kiernan! I’m thrilled to be back this summer working on the waterfront. I love swimming, kayaking, sailing, hiking, and many other things that end with -ing. I grew up nearby camp in a town called Kalamazoo where I graduated from Loy Norrix and KAMSC. I am currently studying Chemistry, Philosophy, Physics, and Film at Kalamazoo College where I am also a part of the circus club, filmmaker’s society, and a radio DJ. Working with people, especially young people, has always been one of my favorite things to do, and I’m excited to continue working with the many campers who come our way.
Connor Wilson — Hello, my name is Connor Wilson. Well my first name is Geoffrey but for some reason I am called by my middle name Connor. I am a -- this year at camp and I could not be more excited! This is my first year as a staff member but around my eleventh year attending camp. In the fall I will be attending Western Michigan University and studying business. Some of my interests are tubing, tennis and hanging out with friends and family.
Izak Ables — Hello!! I’m Izak and I’m the canoeing instructor here at VBYC. I’ve been coming to camp most of my life, so working here is such a privilege. I’m a student at Michigan State University, and I love being outdoors hiking and camping!
James Phelps — Kitchen
Nathaniel Prince — Kitchen
Bryn Van Vleck
Bryn Van Vleck — Hi there! My name is Bryn and I’ll be your Kitchen Girl come this summer! I’m a full time student and I’m studying at Michigan State University (go green!). In my free time I love to read and go on hikes. The outdoors is definitely my happy place. VBYC has been a part of my family ever sense my dad was a little camper and I can’t wait to continue the tradition! I have two beautiful sisters, a stinky brother and two dogs that are truly my best friends. I’m a frequent traveler who loves new adventures and I can’t wait to tackle this new and exciting adventure at camp this summer! I hope to see you all there!
Brian Lapham — Kitchen
Czechky — Hallo, mine name ist Czechky und I am a Fox. I am from Prague, but I learned to speak in Berlin so I have a German accent. This is my first summer on staff and I will be teaching German and joy. I love dancing, reading, and meeting the campers... especially when they work my strings to make me dance.