Posts Tagged ‘activities at camp’

How Campers and Staff Become Leaders at Camp Starlight

Monday, January 2nd, 2017

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“Leaders become great, not because of their power, but because of their ability to empower others” – John Quincy Adams

 

From the moment you wake up at camp until the moment you fall asleep, you have countless opportunities to inspire, encourage, support, love and empower those around you. There will be many times throughout the day when you see someone struggling, whether it is with homesickness, trying over and over again to get up on their skis, or finding the courage to try the ropes course. At any given moment, you have the chance to be a leader by serving others. They may need some advice, an extra hand or just someone to listen. When you go out of your way to help others, that is a characteristic of a leader.

 

You don’t have to be a camp counselor to be a leader. You can lead by following directions, being honest, showing good sportsmanship, acting with dignity and being kind to others. You never know who is watching and there is usually a good chance that a younger or newer camper is watching you to see how you deal with certain situations. Whether you make the right choices are not, people are watching and will do what you do. It is important to do the right thing, even if nobody is watching. This is another true characteristic of a leader.

 

Although everyone has the opportunity to become a leader every day, some will be trusted with a valuable role to lead others. As a big brother or a big sister, you can help younger and less experienced campers get a feel for what camp is like. It is a very big responsibility to be a mentor to someone else, and campers take it very seriously.   Campers have the responsibility of being a big sister or big brother and lead by serving. They take the younger campers needs and wants into consideration and help make their adjustment to camp easy.  They know that being a leader is not about them, it’s about how they can build up and encourage those that are following them.

 

Camp counselors get a unique opportunity to learn how to lead at camp.  Not only are they responsible for day to day activities, organizing events, and making sure everyone is safe, they are also role models. The way they talk and think and act is being watched by hundreds of little eyes every day. They lead by example, showing kindness and patience to everyone around them.  They empower others by encouraging them to do things they are afraid to do, standing by them when they fall down and offering a hand to help them back up.  Many camper say they look up to their camp counselors, and strive to be a counselor themselves one day.

 

When campers return to their normal life, they put the leadership skills they learned at camp to use.  They have an easier time standing up to peer pressure, they speak up to bullies, and they follow directions in class and show good sportsmanship on the field.  They are leaders in every aspect of their lives, because of what they learned at camp.

 

You don’t have to have a title to be a leader. A leader is someone who simply empowers others, serves others, and works as a team player.  At camp, campers will learn the true traits of a leader, and will carry with them for the rest of their lives.

How to Make Cool Shadow Animals with Your Flashlight

Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

As night falls over Camp Starlight, the loud and crazy activities of the day give way to the whispered and wonderful activities of the evening.

 

Bedtime stories, chilled-out card games, and friendly chatter fill the hour between returning inside and falling asleep.

 

As a camp counselor, you will always need plenty of fun, surprising activities to keep the fun flowing. Learning a few shadow-animals is a sure-fire way to spark campers’ creativity and interest. The best part is, all you need is a flashlight and a wall! (Check and check!)

Level 1: Bear & Alligator

The simplest shadow animals use your thumbs for ears mouths, and can be easily modified to match dozens of recognizable animal faces! Try curling in your fingers to make a snub-nosed pug out of the alligator, or move the bear’s ear over its nose to make a triceratops dinosaur!

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Level 2: Dog and Eagle

Woof woof! Wrap your right hand around the left to add two ears and a defined head-shape to your friendly Fido!

 

Then try using your hands for a flapping bird — one of the oldest tricks in the book. You can spread and curve your fingers to make a creepy spider for some easy heeby-jeebies!

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Level 3: Deer and Mountain Goat

Once you’ve mastered the dog, adding curved horns and and a peep-hole for the eyes can turn it into both a deer and a mountain goat. Getting the shape just right for less recognizable critters than dogs and birds can be tricky, but it’s worth the effort once you’ve nailed it!

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Level 4: Rabbit and Bear Cub

The final step in shadow animal mastery is the jump from faces to full-bodied creatures! The trick here is using one hand for the legs and body while the other takes care of ears and mouth. Getting the angle “just so” is more important here than with easier animals. Once you’ve got it, they can crawl, wave, and give high-fives!

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Bedtime is fun time!

Hand shadows can also add some interactive fun to traditional camp stories, or even make an appearance in your group’s skit or talent show performance!

 

Once you’ve mastered the basics, what other unexpected animals and shapes can you and your campers dream up?

 

Practice at home and be sure to share your creations with us, whether on Facebook or in person!

In the meantime, keep dreaming that camp dream. 😊

 

Try Something New This Summer!

Saturday, March 10th, 2012

It’s afternoon at Camp Starlight.  Some campers are busy with the usual summer camp fare-arts and crafts, soccer, roller hockey, theater, etc–others are learning how give back through the new Community Service program.

Everyone knows about the traditional fun stuff that summer camp offers—but more and more, non traditional activities are gaining popularity with campers. No doubt, summer camp is a world steeped in tradition, but it’s also a world of innovation, offering children a chance to think outside the box and reach beyond the everyday through their imaginations.  At summer camp, children can be magicians, ga-ga pros, robot enthusiasts, rocket makers and aspiring chefs.  The summer camp environment no doubt contributes to the ability of campers to try new activities.  After all, part of the “spirit” of summer camp, as reported by the American Camp Association, is “play”.  Camp is the perfect place for children to place themselves in new situations without feeling threatened or judged.  Maybe this is why so many campers have reported first trying an activity that eventually became a passion at summer camp.

The fact that summer camps have the resources to offer new, exciting activities to children is another benefit.  Constructing a ga-ga pit in the backyard or a lab for building robots can be costly.  But at summer camp, such programs allow many children the benefit of being able to explore new areas.  So this summer, be sure to encourage your children to try something new.