Building Community and Friendships this Summer at Van Buren Youth Camp

Van Buren Youth Camp

A Summer to Remember

What did you do this summer?

In classrooms everywhere, this question is repeated as kids settle into the first day of the new school year. What if your child’s answer was “I had an amazing time at summer camp,” or “I made a new best friend”?

Along the shores of Great Bear Lake, a 30-minute drive northwest of Kalamazoo, lies Van Buren Youth Camp, where memories are easily made and back to school questions about summer are happily answered. Nestled among the rolling hills and rustic cabins, you will hear the rustling of a kite soaring, the crackle of a campfire, and the giggling of campers as they are free to be themselves while they grow and learn at camp.

A fixture since 1950, Van Buren Youth Camp helps campers build self-confidence, positive relationships, personal integrity, and individual and group responsibility. Campers leave with lifelong memories and friendships.

Boredom isn’t an Option

There is no shortage of activities at Van Buren Youth Camp. Each camper takes two classes per day: archery, riflery, song and dance, and sports are just a few of their options. They can also explore Great Bear Lake while swimming, canoeing, or kayaking.

Sound too structured? Don’t worry- there is plenty of free time for campers to choose activities in between their classes and have even more fun. During free time, campers can shop at the store, tackle arts and crafts, or go on a scavenger hunt. Relaxing with friends is also a free time option, allowing campers to recharge before their next adventure.

According to Camp Director, Dottie Myers-Hill, “so much learning happens at camp every single day. But we package it up in fantasy, games, and the magic of free play- the campers have no idea they’re learning some really valuable stuff!”

Van Buren Youth Camp

Unique Traditions at Van Buren Youth Camp

What sets Van Buren Youth Camp apart from others? Traditions.

Campers return every summer, eager to kiss a moose, sing camp songs or earn tokens for their cabin. Campers also get to jump into the lake if they receive at least five pieces of mail (send as many letters or care packages as you wish).

Let’s return to the moose…

Cleo the moose is a long-honored tradition at Van Buren Youth Camp. If you’re caught with your elbows on the table, you have to (or get to) kiss Cleo. We’ve been told she’s very friendly.

Registration for 2019 Summer Camp is Open


Ages & Stay: Camps are designed for grades 1-12. Grades 1-3 are 3 days/2 nights. Most others are a week long. Check their schedule for details.

Counselors: Counselors are assigned eight campers for the week, focusing on safety and fun. They stay in the same cabin with their campers, sharing meals and attending activities together. 

Other Staff: There is a team of dedicated and enthusiastic staff at VBYC, including the director, certified instructors, head counselors, and health officers.

Cost: Varies by camp (see schedule). Financial Aid is available.

Register today and join VBYC for what promises to be a wonderful, fun-filled experience your child won’t soon forget.

12370 45th Street, Bloomingdale, MI 49026

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