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Van Buren Youth Camp

is a non-profit, co-ed, residential summer camp. Since 1950 we have provided a unique summer experiences for children ages 6-18 at a reasonable cost. Located on Great Bear Lake in Bloomingdale, MI.
  • Shop on Amazon.com and donate to VBYC

    Amazon will donate .05% on each of your eligible purchases on Amazon to VBYC when you sign in to your Amazon account with this link. It is an easy way to give more to Van Buren Youth Camp. Thank you!!
  • VBYC Volunteer Day

    All are welcome - children under 18 should be accompanied by an adult
    An opportunity to have fun, volunteer and get VBYC ready for our summer campers
    Saturday, May 30 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. * see schedule below
    Van Buren Youth Camp 12370 45th Street, Bloomingdale, MI 49026
    To help beautify & have Camp ready for our summer guests. Also a fantastic opportunity for high school students to earn their volunteer credits for graduation

    How can I be part?:
    Call or email VBYC: 269-521-3855, mail@vbyc.org; Dottie Myers-Hill 269-267-9586, director@vbyc.org; Sue Shirkey Knudstrup 269-569-1030, susanknudstrup@me.com.


    8:45 - 9:00 +
    Coffee & Sign in
    9:00 -10:30
    Work Teams I
    10:30 - 11:00
    11:00 - 12:30
    Work Teams II
    12:30 -1:30
    Potluck Lunch (consider bringing a food item to share)
    1:30 - 3:00
    Work Teams III
    3:00 - 4:00
    Tour of Camp Additions & Improvements
    Download flyer
  • 2015 Schedule

    session dates grades cost
    Leadership and Counselor Workshop Jun 14-20 9-12* $325
    Great Bear Jun 21-27 3-6 $325
    Little Bear Jun 28 - Jun 30 1-3 $110
    Extended Little Bear Jun 30 - July 1 1-3 $150
    Wolverine Jul 5-11 5-8 $325
    Discovery Jul 12-18 4-9 $325
    Sleep Over Saturday** (limited space) Jul 18-19 4-9 $40
    Frontier Jul 19-25 4-9 $325
    White Pine - Early Leadership Jul 26 - Aug 1 6-9 $325
    Arrowhead Aug 2-6 3-6 $295
    Women's Wellness Weekend Sept 25-27 Adults  

    *Students entering 9th grade must submit two letters of reference before attending Leadership Workshop.

    **“Sleep Over Saturday” is ONLY for campers registered for BOTH Discovery and Frontier

  • VBYC's 65th Anniversary Celebration and Alumni Reunion

    Save the date: Fourth of July weekend, 2015! More details coming this spring.
  • Discovery Photos

  • Wolverine Photos

  • Leadership, Great Bear, Little Bear Photos!

  • Meet the 2014 Staff!

  • Director's Corner

    During this holiday season, I'd like to take a moment to thank the donors who support our camp program and our campership fund. Seventy-six children were assisted this past summer with registration fees to help make camp a summer reality for them. That is approximately 10% of our total camper population. The thank you notes from these children touch my heart; they are not necessarily flowery or expressive, but straight to the point of what being outside during the summer playing with other kids means. Read more.

    One boy, age 9, said that “coming to camp would allow him to play with other boys his age because all he ever does is play with his cousins who are ALL girls.” One girl, age 12, said that camp gave her the “chance to do new things, meet new people, and make lifelong friends like my mom and grandma did when they went to camp.” A note from a mom said, “You have no idea how much this financial assistance means to my family. Our children love VBYC so much, and the fact that our financial situation has changed so that camp fees are just not in the budget...well, we just really appreciate that there are folks out there making this possible for our family.” What a difference you make for these people and their children!

    VBYC has survived and thrived for most of its 60 plus years by the support of businesses, service groups and individuals. That support has been both financial as well as significant investments of time and talent and tools. Our counselors and our staff spend most of their waking hours making the program fun, interesting and worthwhile...all with thoughts of camper safety first and enjoyment second. It was a joy to be a part of this summer. While it seemed like most of my summer was spent training a new Office Manager (and re-learning with her,) a new Program Director, and a new Volunteer Coordinator; I found time to relax with campers, staff and counselors and participate in activities whenever I could. Now that most of the learning has happened, I look forward to spending more time with the children next summer and taking the VBYC story to the community in new ways.

    In early 2014 I will have the honor of participating in the Nonprofit Leadership Academy offered by ONEplace@kpl, a regional nonprofit management support organization. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to learn more about managing and leading VBYC as well as developing meaningful relationships with other nonprofit leaders in SW Michigan. Thank you to the VBYC board, staff, volunteers, and campers for your support as I continue to grow in this position. Happy Holidays to you and your family!

    In the Spirit of Camp
    Dottie Myers-Hill, Director
  • VBYC Camper Receives STAR Award

    It’s easy to see how Erika Ackerman was named the “STAR Teen Volunteer of the Year” this year. Volunteerism seems to find Erika rather than the other way around. Read more.

    Erika began her volunteer work in the 6th grade after finding out that she was too old to participate in Vacation Bible School at her church. So, Erika chose to be a volunteer helper/leader at VBS in order to stay involved with the group. Around this same time, Van Buren Youth Camp came into Erika’s life. A friend suggested to Erika that she attend VBYC. Erika immediately fell in love with Camp. When asked what made her love VBYC, her response is one we hear a lot ? the immediate feeling of family that grows into a lifetime relationship with VBYC.

    Once Erika attended VBYC’s Leadership Camp, she was able to volunteer as a cabin counselor. This past summer Erika counseled and then had the opportunity to also to be a Staff In Training during Double Discovery Camp. What’s next on Erika’s agenda? More volunteering with VBYC and her church while completing her senior year at Mattawan High School. She’ll also be spending time applying for college scholarships. She plans to attend a smaller college using scholarships so she is able to graduate debt-free, thus allowing Erika more time to volunteer. Congratulations Erika!
  • VBYC Video

    Made by our very own Erika Haynor. Great job!

  • Parents, please fill out all your forms

    1) Login
    2) Look for the link seen below.

    3) Fill out any remaining forms. For example:
    • Camper_Parent Consent
    • Health History
    • Camper Packing List
  • New alumni registration!

trans Sign Up NOW!
Registration (Drop-Off Process):
Sunday 3-5pm

Deregistrtion (Pick-Up Process):
Saturday 10am
- Explorer: Fri 5pm
Quick Links:
Parent forms
Meet the director
Typical day
How to get here
What to bring
Staff & counselors
Financial aid
What's the best consequence for Elbows On The Table?
Kiss the Moose
One Dark Night
Water Test
Crab Walk Water Test
Back of the Bread

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12370 45th St. Bloomingdale, MI 49026 269-521-3855 Fax 269-521-6668 mail@vbyc.org