Archive for August, 2016

4 Ways Camp Creates Happy Campers

Monday, August 29th, 2016

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Did you know that there are certain things, certain scientifically proven things, that are shown to create and increase the hormones in our brain that make us happy? This isn’t just some fluffy stuff we made up, it’s proven by really smart scientists who know their stuff!

The amazing thing is, that most of the things doctors and scientists recommend people to do to be happy can all be done at camp! No wonder kids who spend their summers at Camp Starlight are some of the happiest kids around!

Stop and Smell The Roses

Well, any flower will do, really. A study done from the Human Emotions Laboratory at Rutgers University found that “flowers in general are a powerful positive emotions inducer.” In the study, people exposed to floral scents were three times more likely to have immediate associations with happy and positive memories. Lavender can decrease anxiety and depression and jasmine can have a calming effect. Lucky for campers, the grounds are a hot spot for beautiful fauna, and sweet smelling flowers can be found just about anywhere. There are many distinct smells at camp, including sunscreen, bug spray and s’mores. But the soft scent of flowers will definitely boost your mood anytime.

Exercise in the Morning

Exercise plays a huge part in your mood. When we are feeling slow and lazy, our mood tends to reflect that. When we are active and moving about, we tend to be happier. Exercise releases endorphins and proteins that make us feel happier. Getting active first thing in the morning is an excellent way to prepare your brain for a great day. At camp, kids have plenty of opportunities to start their day with a run, a swim, yoga class or a game of football. Getting an early start is a great mood changer, and can be the first step in a happier day!

Spend Time With Happy People

Everyone has had that one friend or acquaintance who is negative all of the time and who complains a lot. It can be mentally exhausting to be surrounded by all of that negativity, and it’ll eventually take a toll on your personal happiness. Scientists say surrounding yourself with happy, positive people will make you a more positive and happy person. It’s hard to be down and depressed when you’re around people who are hungry for life, laughter and adventure. And, what do you know, camp is chock full of happy people. Both the campers and the staff are having the time of their lives, and their mood, vibes and happiness are totally contagious.

Go Outside

Being outside and connecting with nature can do wonders on your mood. Getting out and about has been proven to increase concentration, reduces stress, and (surprise!) can boost your mood and overall happiness. The fresh air is good for you, the Vitamin D you get from the sun is beneficial, and the ever-changing scenery of the outdoors is an excellent way to get your brain working and help you to focus better. A large portion of a camper’s day is spent outside, enjoying the sunshine and exploring nature, and this helps them to feel energized and excited.

Teachers and parents have said time and time again that they can just tell the difference between kids who go to camp and kids who stay home. “There’s just something different about kids who go to camp. It’s their confidence, their mood, their overall happiness” is something heard quite often about campers. And it makes sense! Spending the summer at Camp Starlight is the perfect formula for happiness, and gives a whole new meaning to the term “happy campers”

Why Outdoor Adventure is Important

Monday, August 22nd, 2016


As a camp counselor, I’ve always been surprised by the wide range of lessons that campers take away from the outdoor adventure activities at camp.


Some campers benefit most from building a sense of self-reliance and resourcefulness. Others particularly enjoy the non-competitive aspects of the activities, which combine the adrenaline of sports with the positivity of teamwork. And of course, some campers just like having fun in the sun.


Regardless of interests, everybody at Camp Starlight gets to benefit from outdoor education. Nature, like adventure, is universally meaningful — and universally fun.

Personal development

A camper must learn to trust themselves before they learn to trust others, and outdoor skill-building is one of the greatest ways to build self-confidence.


The world is a scary place, and survival skills like fire-starting and shelter-building teach campers that strength comes from within; all it takes to survive and thrive in the world is a little know-how and ingenuity.


…Not to mention that knowing a thing or two about how to pitch a tent and read a map opens up a whole new world of outdoor recreation activities for life outside camp!

Teamwork vs. competition

Teamwork is one of the core values at camp, and nothing builds trust and communication between teammates quite like working together to solve the fundamental human needs that outdoor exploration puts us in touch with. That being said, outdoor adventure still requires a high level of teamwork, even though the objective isn’t “beating” another team.


There are no winners and losers when the goal is to make a campfire or build a cool shelter; it’s campers against the wilderness, rather than campers against campers. Students learn to work together to conquer a challenge, without worrying about accomplishing anything more or less than their absolute best.

Finding our place in the world

When it comes to outdoor adventure at camp, the “outdoor” side is at least as important as the “adventure” side.


Adventure is all well and good, but the raw experience of being in nature is what makes seemingly simple activities like hiking and camping so memorable. Particularly for campers coming from the city, a reminder of how small we all are in the grand scheme of things can be immeasurably valuable. The great outdoors are important for everyone. After all, it’s wild woods, crisp air and clean water that makes Camp Starlight such a special place to “get away from it all!”

Can-do attitude

Whatever particular aspect of outdoor adventure captures a camper’s imagination, they are guaranteed to walk away with a new sense of empowerment. We live in a fast-paced and quickly changing world, and the outdoor experiences at camp leave campers ready to tackle the world with creativity, determination, and humility. Just get outside and try it!

Photo of the Day

Wednesday, August 10th, 2016


Greetings from Camp Starlight

Tuesday, August 9th, 2016


Photo of the Day

Tuesday, August 9th, 2016


Humans of Camp Starlight

Tuesday, August 9th, 2016


Kaylene, lifeguard. “It’s [the lake] so beautiful, calming and relaxing. It’s really picture perfect.”

Photo of the Day

Monday, August 8th, 2016


5th Grade Boys Tennis Scores

Sunday, August 7th, 2016


Sport: Boys Tennis
Age: 5th Grade
Date: 7/30/16

Wayne County Update

Tennis vs. Equinunk

Starlight faced Equinunk in a Wayne County Match on Saturday. Jake K. played 1st singles, Zach P. played 2nd singles, Ben M. played 3rd singles, Reece S. and Jared B. played first doubles, and Shai A. and Sawyer W. played 2nd doubles. Jake K. had a fantastic match! He came back from match point and 3 games down to win 7-5 on a tiebreak and the overall match 9-8. Zach P. played well and showed great signs of improvement but unfortunately came up against a stronger opponent and lost 8-1. Ben M. produced a solid performance throughout and managed to win 8-4. Reece and Jared put on a battling performance with many exciting moments, but sadly fell to an 8-4 defeat. The team of Shai and Sawyer produced the second fight back of the afternoon, coming back from 3 games to capture the match 9-8 after winning the tiebreak 7-5. Overall, the entire team showed great maturity and demonstrated their improved skills and techniques when called upon during their matches.The team as a whole showed great sportsmanship during and after the matches were complete. Final Score 3-2!

Humans of Camp Starlight

Saturday, August 6th, 2016


“Music makes everything better. There’s nothing quite like a guitar at a campfire, or even just playing your ukulele as you walk around the fields.”

-Stuart, Music Specialist

Day 1 Olympic Scores

Saturday, August 6th, 2016

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