Rise and shine! Campers awake to music they've helped to pick out and a counselor’s cheerful smile (and maybe even a song!). They then have until breakfast to shower, visit the health officer for morning medications, and get ready for the day.
A refreshing early morning dip in the lake! This adventure builds group unity and wakes us up fast. The waterfront staff turns on the heaters under the docks at 4 am, so the water is always just warm enough.
Kitchen Patrol: In groups of two, campers take turns setting their cabin's table for each meal. At the beginning of the week, campers create a KP rotation schedule with their counselor.
The whole camp gathers to raise the flag. Each day a different cabin, their counselor, and a staff member have a chance to perform this traditional patriotic ceremony.
Campers, counselors, and staff sit together as one big camp family. Keep your wits about you, because if you’re caught with your elbows on the table you may get to kiss Cleo the Moose! After eating, the singing begins. Individuals and whole cabin groups are called upon through a traditional song, "Have You Ever Seen...", and sing a song, perform a silly task, or show off a talent.
At the end of the meal, a few campers are chosen as volunteers to help the kitchen staff with the dishes. This is a dearly sought-after position, because the person who volunteers the most that week goes home with the prestigious Broken Plate Award.
Camp & Cabin Clean Up
Every morning, cabin groups are in charge of cleaning their cabins and a different part of camp with help from their counselor and/or VBYC staff.
"Inspectors" (VBYC staff) dress up as inspectors in crazy costumes to check every cabin for tidiness while being serenaded or entertained by each cabin group along their route, awarding honor tokens along the way. Camp clean up develops citizenship, leadership, pride, and community.
Program Activities are the heart of our program. Campers and counselors attend activities each day taught by VBYC summer staff. All campers rotate through all program areas by week's end.
More eating and singing and singing and eating. Staff Advisors join their advising cabin to each and chat with them.
After-Meal Activity & Store
While KPs and kitchen staff clean up lunch, the store is open and the staff offer activities. (Don't worry KPs, you'll get there before the fun’s over). The store sells juice, pop, candy, snacks, t-shirts, sweatshirts, bug spray, film, batteries, stamps, envelopes, stationery, etc. Store helpers are chosen to help take orders and distribute snacks and merchandise.
Campers relax in their bunk, read, write a letter, or take a nap, etc. Recommended bunk supplies like books, decks of cards, travel games, are good things to send with your child.
Free time! Each staff member offers an activity, whatever they can imagine. Campers love the variety and having the chance to move from activity to activity, from games and sports, to letter writing, scavenger hunts, mud wars, and so much more.
Cabin groups plan the evening ceremonies and traditions: flag raising or lower ceremony, Thought ceremony, skits and songs for campfire. Staff and counselors are there for guidance and to gather camper feedback, and the campers usually have plenty of great ideas!
More good food and great singing and the last chance of the day to "call-up" your rival cabin.
After Meal Activity & Store
Campers report this to be a favorite part of the day.
The cabin group in charge lowers the flag for the whole camp.
The entire camp gathers to sit quietly in nature while fellow campers review their day's journey, reflect with a poem or a skit, or offer a thought provoking story. When it is over campers are free to stay and reflect as long as they like or until the next activity.
A big-time all-camp activity to put an exclamation mark on the day, such as capture the flag, carnival, water wars, casino night, or whatever wacky surprise the staff devises.
Snack is incorporated into the end of Evening Rec.
The day winds down with everyone joining hands and snaking their way to campfire bowl. Here the entire camp gathers to enjoy skits, stories, and songs, all prepared and performed by campers. Traditions are an important part of camp, and especially of campfire. For over 60 years we have ended this ceremony with campers standing in a friendship circle to sing Kum-By-Ya, Angels Watching Over Me and Taps.
Personal Clean Up
Campers take showers, brush teeth, get ready for bed, and say goodnight to friends.
Staff closes out the day by walking cabin row and singing Taps. The cabin’s counselor may tell a story or the group might chat for a bit as they settle in, but very quickly everyone is asleep so they can be ready to do it all (and even more) again tomorrow!