65th Anniversary Celebration and Alumni Reunion: July 2-5
Dear VBYC & VBFD Alumni & Friends,
65 Years! What an accomplishment. VBYC is celebrating! It's also a great opportunity to have a Van Buren Folk Dancer Reunion. Let's take this summer to return to VBYC to celebrate, renew acquaintances and meet new friends of Van Buren Youth Camp.
The place to be is VBYC, July 2nd - 5th
Come for the entire weekend or come for a day. It's your time.
We'd love to have people from every decade of VBYC placing this event on your calendar.
What a Great Way to celebrate July 4th!!
Let's see which decade can have the greatest representation at our celebration weekend.
Bring your family & friends and indulge yourself in a "VBYC Fix!"
Visit with old & new friends - enjoy Camp food - walk the nature trails - folk dancing with friends, of course!* - make crafts - eat a lip smackin' S'mores & of course Horizontal Hour and so much more. * Bring comfortable shoes
Prepare your taste buds for an old fashioned VBYC Chicken Dinner with all the fixings. I'm certain we'll need some volunteers to help grill the chicken to help educate our younger "chefs."
Every night following "Evening Rec" we'll end the day with a traditional campfire. A call to all musicians, who added so much to our Camp time; Bring your guitars!! We really need you.
Bring Camp photos to share or use with a craft. The Museum Committee has been busily assembling photo boards for our Celebration/Reunion.
Folk Dancers will Reunite - All VBFD plus a special 40th Reunion for the folk dancers who made the Poland Tour. Tom Riley is heading up this part of the reunion.
**Please call or email your reservation to firstname.lastname@example.org or (269)-521-3855.**
- Meals available from midday, Thursday, July 2nd-breakfast, Sunday, July 5th.
- Cabins & the Campgrounds are available for those wanting to stay at VBYC.
- A list of a number of local hotels/campgrounds are on the website.
Alums, Friends of Camp, the Board, Director Dottie Myers-Hill, the 2015 Summer Staff, the Van Buren Folk Dancers and other special volunteers are helping to make this 65th Celebration a very special July Weekend.
Come Join Us!
Let's reconnect at least one more time before our 75th . . . So, Please Register Now.
Call or Email VBYC @ (269)-521-3855 or email@example.com today!
Most of us are retired and have more time to travel and enjoy our own personal interests. So maybe one pleasure could be to travel to Van Buren Youth Camp & create some new memories with great people.
Many of us are making time for travel; the visiting special people while we still can. Camp has lost several fabulous alums, folk dancers & friends in the past several years and we can have an opportunity to celebrate their lives during the weekend.
One alumnus wrote to say, the four summers at VBYC, were the most formative in my life. They went on to say they are in Michigan every summer for at least a week or two and "one of these times I am going to make it a priority to visit the Camp." Their words would be true for many of us.
If live close by we hope you'll be around to come visit - it's still a fantastic place to be during the summer!
Please come back and be a part of VBYC for just a little while again.
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.
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
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.
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.