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! :)
Nayt Hiemstra, Assistant Director
Nayt Hiemstra, Assistant Director — Hello, I'm Nayt Hiemstra. This is my third year as Assistant Director and ninth on staff. I've been coming to camp since 1989, helping in one way or another, including creating this website. 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.
Hannah Powless, Head Counselor
Hannah Powless, Head Counselor — 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.
Mikaela Kenney, Riflery, Co-Head Counselor
Mikaela Kenney, Riflery, Co-Head Counselor — Riflery Instructor and Co-Head Counselor
Kiernan Dean-Hall, Outdoor Living
Kiernan Dean-Hall, Outdoor Living — Hello, salutations, and other greetings! My name is Kiernan! I’m thrilled to be back this summer. 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.
Wendy Tarantino, Office Manager
Wendy Tarantino, Office Manager — Hi! My name is Wendy and this is my 8th summer as your Office Manager at Van Buren Youth Camp. I love all the campers, the singing, the games and fun that we have out here. This has been my favorite place since I was 8 and it has barely changed at all. I LOVE IT HERE! Besides camp, I work at an elementary school and am a mom to 5 girls ages 1 - 18. My favorite things to do include taking photos, watching my girls play at the beach, attending (or being in!) musicals and travelling.
Betsy Antisdale, Head Cook
Betsy Antisdale, Head Cook — Head Cook
Karolina Włodarczyk, Arts & Crafts
Karolina Włodarczyk, Arts & Crafts — Hello, my name is Karolina. I live in Gdańsk, Poland and I'm a 3rd year law student at University of Gdańsk. I've been a counselor for almost four years now and being on a camp is my favourite part of every summer. I love playing board and team games and I'd love to show you some traditional polish games and activities! I'm really excited to start my adventure with Van Buren Youth Camp. Can't wait to meet you!
Kenzie Hill, Assistant Office Manager
Kenzie Hill, Assistant Office Manager — Assistant Office Manager
Mary Massopust, Kitchen
Mary Massopust, Kitchen — Hello, My name is Mary Massopust and I am working in the kitchen this summer! This is my first time at camp but I am not a stranger to the camp environment seeing as I attended a camp where I am from, in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for six years. I just completed my first year studying Comparative Cultures and Politics as well as Social Relations and Public Policy at Michigan State University. I am looking forward to our summer together and I can’t wait to meet all of you!
James Kienbaum, Kayaking
James Kienbaum, Kayaking — Hey! It’s James Kienbaum, your kayak instructor for the duration of the summer. I’m more than excited to start my first year on staff after coming to camp as a counselor and camper. This year I want to focus on the importance of how intentional I can be, teaching and showing the kids how to act can only affect them in a positive way for their bright futures. I look forward to an amazing summer!
Emilio Garcia, Kitchen
Emilio Garcia, Kitchen — Kitchen
Daniela Ceglarska, Song Dance & Drama
Daniela Ceglarska, Song Dance & Drama — Hi there! My name is Danielka, I’m from Katowice, Poland. I will be spending my summer for the first time with the VYBC family. You will usually find me on the theatre scene running a music & dance class. Back home I am working in assurance, but I also enjoy volunteering on music events and festivals, which take place in my hometown. I am very excited to meet all the campers this summer!
Ethan Lasseigne, Archery
Ethan Lasseigne, Archery — Archery
Rex Siskaninetz, Riflery
Rex Siskaninetz, Riflery — Riflery
Riley Cole, Social Media
Riley Cole, Social Media — Social Media
Madelin Lapp, Song Dance & Dram
Madelin Lapp, Song Dance & Dram — Hello! My name is Madelin “Redd” Lapp! I have been going to camp since 2013 and I was a counselor for two years. I attend Butler University studying arts administration with a concentration on music.
Laura Hynes, Nature
Laura Hynes, Nature — Nature
Will Jennett, Canoeing
Will Jennett, Canoeing — Hello everyone! My name is Will and I’m from the UK. This summer will be my first as a member of the Van Buren Youth Camp family! During the off-season, I am a student at the University of Kent, Canterbury, studying for a degree in Accounting & Finance!
Andrew Knight, Kitchen
Andrew Knight, Kitchen —
Anna Szczesniak, Lifeguard
Anna Szczesniak, Lifeguard — Lifeguard