Greetings Camper Families!!!
I am so happy to be back as Camp Director at Van Buren Youth Camp in 2023. In our 73rd season, we hope to continue our focus on building relationships, making new friends, listening to, and learning from one another, as we create the Camp magic that is the signature ingredient of a successful Camp program. As we work to keep campers, staff, and counselors safe, we hope to make meaningful connections with your children in the great outdoors. No computers, no video games, no virtual anything…just kids being kids with adults who love to supervise them.
My history with this Camp started as a high school student at Leadership. I was hooked after my first Leadership Talent Show! Since that first summer, I have been a counselor, Crafts Instructor, Buddy Board Supervisor, Head Counselor, Morning Cook, Assistant Director and Director. I left Camp in 1993 to pursue a degree in Education. However, a promotion into management in Millennium Restaurant Group took my life in another direction. That promotion led to another and I spent 20 years in Restaurant Management where my love for learning was encouraged every day. I also have served on the VBYC Board of Directors for many of the 20 years I was away. I live in Kalamazoo with my husband Brian, our cats Rory (aka Freaky), Bandit, and Chase. We also have a bunny named Juno who spends his summer at VBYC! My son, Zak, now lives in Chicago where he is completing high school. (So much respect for teachers in these unusual times!) My daughter, Mackenzie, a recent graduate of U of M, in the STAMPS School of Art & Design, is just beginning to explore opportunities inspired by her minor in Museum Studies. They have both been campers here since they were little and have gone through the counselor training program as well. Both have also worked as Camp staff in some capacity – mostly at my request and, a little bit, against their will. 🙂 But they love me and this place, so all is well that ends well.
Every year at Camp brings new challenges to rise to and all kinds of learning. This job has provided this life long learners soul some very valuable life lessons over the years and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else doing any other job. I will be the grown up kid doing the responsible stuff at check in on the first day. The rest of the week, I will be a kid again laughing, singing, and playing with the campers, counselors, and staff throughout the day. It is my favorite part of the year.
See you this summer!