Greetings Camper Families!!!
I am so happy to be back as Camp Director at Van Buren Youth Camp in 2021. We had an interesting 2020 and thought that much beyond that would be next to impossible. Thanks to a small but mighty and dedicated staff, we are looking forward to life beyond Day Camp. We feel more than ready to take on the challenges that 2021 will bring. In our 71st 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 his Certification year to teach K-12 and looking for work in his field. (So much respect for teachers in these unusual times!) My daughter, Mackenzie, is at U of M, in the STAMPS School of Art & Design. 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.
I look forward to working and learning together with a truly talented group of young people who let me lead and support them in every way. Your kids are lucky that they are so committed to VBYC and all it stands for. The road should be a little less rocky this year, as we have a Covid-19 summer under our belts already. We eagerly look to the challenges that residential Camp will bring and can’t wait to see you all again…so many faces were missed last summer.
I would normally sign off with “see you this summer”, but I’m truly hoping to see many of you at Camp over the spring. We will be sharing news of fun things to enjoy at Camp over the coming months. (and if all goes well…into the fall). Stay tuned!
Hope to see you soon!