Archive for November, 2015

Enjoying Camp at Home All Year Long

Monday, November 23rd, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 3.20.36 PMFor most campers, a summer at camp just isn’t enough. Even though camp counselors are pros at squeezing as much fun into every minute of every day at camp, eventually it is time to go home, and teary eyed campers are sad to say goodbye. Parents can easily help their kids feel connected to camp all year round by incorporating little things into their life that remind them of camp.

At Camp Starlight, there is a chant, rhyme or song for almost everything campers do. This not only helps them remember important information, but also brings all of the campers together. Parents can ask their kids what songs meant the most to them and why, and find a way to incorporate the song, chant or rhyme into their daily lives. Campfire songs are a classic camp memory, and having children teach their parents these catchy tunes is a great way to connect parents and kids, and also brings back fond memories of camp all year round.

It won’t take long for parents to figure out what activity their children really connected with at camp. If possible, parents can plan a weekend at the lake for their new sailor or wake board enthusiast and see for themselves why the sport meant so much for their children. If kids discovered their love for acting, music, art or dance, parents can look in their community to see if enrolling their children in these programs/classes is realistic for their family. It is very important for parents to encourage their children to follow their dreams and passions, many of which are discovered after a fun filled summer at camp.

There is no doubt that kids will come home with more than one new best friend. Parents can help their child stay in touch with their camp friends by helping them write letters, emails and arranging “Skype-dates.” If possible, planning a get-together with friends from camp may ease the common “camp sickness” (the camp version of homesickness) and allow kids to foster and build upon the relationships they made at camp.

The Internet is full of fun ideas to bring summer camp to your home, such as DIY fire pits, delicious ‘smore recipes and exciting team games that will get the whole neighborhood involved. Parents can get creative in bringing the camp experience home, and by asking their kids a few questions about what they loved about camp, it is easy to bring some camp favorites right to their own living room.

5 wakeboard tips and tricks to stay in practice all year round

Monday, November 16th, 2015


Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 3.17.56 PMSummer camp means getting out on the lake, and getting out on the lake means: wakeboarding!

Wakeboarding is a favorite for many campers, providing tons of adrenaline and fun in a super safe environment. (After all, the worst that can happen is you fall in the lake… and campers are constantly doing that on purpose anyway!)

The only tricky part about wakeboarding is remembering everything you learned the year before. Like any seasonal activity, staying in practice year-round is pretty difficult. (Unless you live somewhere with warm winters and happen to have a boat and lake at your disposal, that is!)

So how can you practice at home so you’re in top form when it’s your turn to hit the lake?

We’ve gathered some of the best ways to stay on top of your wakeboarding game. Get ready to impress your camp friends when they see how many tricks you can do!

Note: as with any sport or fitness activity, always wear safety equipment, stay within your limits, and only practice with a qualified instructor to keep everything safe and fun.

1. Practice your board skills with snowboarding or skateboarding

The hardest part of wakeboarding can be simply balancing on the board. Luckily, snowboarding and skateboarding both build similar skills, so if you can get out on the slopes or make it down to the local skate park, you can practice your balance all year round!

The best part is that both sports are super fun in their own right — and they’ll make sure you have killer board handling skills by the time summer camp rolls around.

You can also consider using a balance board, which gives some of the same advantages as a skateboard without requiring you to leave your room or the gym. You could even watch Netflix while you practice!

2. Improve your balance by adding exercises to your routine

If you already have a stretching or workout routine that you follow at least once a week, consider adding some balance-focussed exercises to the mix! Exercises that improve your balance are surprisingly simple: practice balancing on one leg for 30+ seconds, then build up to hopping on one foot, and doing one-legged squats and lunges.

Pro tip: closing your eyes makes these exercises twice as hard, but will have huge rewards when you get on the board.

3. Study up on YouTube

When it comes to learning specific tricks, YouTube is your best friend. Instructors all over the world have videos you can watch for free that break down each trick into step-by-step challenges, and you can play them over and over until you’ve got a handle on the mechanics of the trick.

4. Trampoline time!

Yup, wakeboarding is your excuse to play around on the school trampoline!

A trampoline is surprisingly effective at simulating the wakeboarding experience, and gives you a chance to practice a tricky move over… and over… and over again, until you’re absolutely sure you’re ready to give it a shot on the lake.

Plus, jumping on a trampoline is just plain fun!

5. Daydream

Success comes to those who expect it, and summer camp activities are no different. If you’re excited about another fun season of wakeboarding, go ahead and let yourself get stoked about it!

Visualize yourself doing the tricks you enjoy, and practice them mentally while doing less exciting activities (like sorting your clothes, for example). How did it feel to grind that steep wake? How did it feel to land that spin?

Summer is always right around the corner, and it’ll be time to get out on the lake again before you know it. Can’t wait to see you there — be ready for some serious watersport fun!

More Than Just A Lake

Monday, November 9th, 2015


There are many things notice when they arrive at camp the first day. They notice the cabins, all of the new faces, the baseball fields, ropes course, tennis courts and acres and acres of open space to run in, play in and explore in. But one of the most breathtaking and exciting parts of camp is the lake. With “so-clear-you-can see-right-to-the-bottom” waters, the lake and sandy shoreline is a popular place for campers to spend the majority of their summers.

When it comes to watersports, campers can try a variety of different options while at Camp Starlight. Campers can relax and learn the art of fishing, or work their muscles on a standup paddle board, or they can get their heart rate up as they experience the speed and thrill of wakeboarding and water skiing. The lake doesn’t just offer a location to try new sports; it serves as the backdrop for11412068_10152924523001960_5082905044883132426_o the time in their lives when kids will remember they tried something new. It will be the place they fondly remember as the spot where they faced their fears, tried something new, and had the time of their lives.

The lake also serves as a great place for reflection and peace. A quiet stroll along the shoreline can be a great place for a confidential conversation between friends, a quiet place for journaling or writing letters back home, or simply a place to connect with nature. Warm, sunny days heat the water to a comfortable 80 degrees during the day, making it easy to run, splash and play in the crystal clear waters all day long. (Don’t worry, sunscreen is readily available and lifeguards and other professionals are always around!)

The lake is a central part of camp, and it brings campers together in a variety of waves. Camp Starlight would feel incomplete without all of the activities, events and life lessons that are centered on the lake. Self-confidence, friendships and trust are all built on the lake. Campers who come from a part of the country where they don’t have access to such a beautiful part of nature really connect and enjoy everything the lake has to offer.

The lake is so much more than just a body of water in the middle of camp. The lake is a place that campers really connect with, and where lifelong memories are made.

Baseball fever at summer camp

Monday, November 2nd, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 2.39.07 PMBaseball. The crowd going wild while a player steals home. The smell of popcorn and hot dogs in the bleachers. Afternoons playing catch with the family at the park. Generations of American tradition, all wrapped up in one game.

Much like summer camp, baseball is something that many of us take for granted as a part of our childhood. Few activities come close to being so… well, American. Baseball and summer camp are as close to our hearts as flag, family, and country.

…So it should come as no surprise that baseball is one of camp’s most intensely anticipated activities, with campers going wild year after year, debating over particularly clever plays well past the last activity and into the evening.

So what is it that makes baseball so special?

“The thinking person’s sport”

Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 2.38.57 PMEveryone has their theories around here at camp, but here’s one that seems particularly insightful: baseball, like camp, is a thinking sport. The strategy is different from games like football or basketball — where the adrenaline comes from chaos, and each player is constantly making split-second decisions.

Baseball, on the other hand, requires more planning for the future. Half the game is spent between plays, with players huddled in circles determining their best bets. Like many things in life, the game is all about anticipation. Baseball teaches campers to think ahead, and to enjoy waiting for the fun parts of life. As it turns out, anticipation is often just as fun as the event itself.

Taking time to reflect

Interestingly, many of the campers most excited about baseball at camp aren’t actually players at school. Baseball is their top pick at camp, and meanwhile they play soccer or lacrosse for their teams back at home.

It’s hard to say why this is, but it may be that the leisurely pace of the game is better suited to camp, where campers have a chance to think ahead and reflect in ways that the hectic school year schedule often doesn’t allow. Baseball requires concentration and focus, both of which come easier in a supportive environment like camp where everyone has plenty of time to look inwards — and of course, no homework to keep them distracted!

Room to breath

Everyone needs a little room to breath when they think towards the future. Room to breath is something that camp and baseball have in common. They show us that you don’t have to be doing something every single second of the day in order to have a great time. Sometimes, it’s someone else’s turn — and that’s a good thing. After all, you’ll be using that time to get ready.

…When your turn comes, we know that you’ll shine!