Posts Tagged ‘benefits of sleepaway camp’

8 Reasons We Are Looking Forward to Opening Day

Monday, May 8th, 2017


With just under 60 DAYS to the start of summer 2017, there is SO much excitement and anticipation in the air! We cannot wait to show you all that we have in store for another incredible summer.. So pack up your duffels and get ready for your best summer YET! Here’s a list of 8 reasons of why the Starlight family is looking forward to Opening Day:

Running off the buses to hug your camp friends

After a long ten months away from our summer home, getting to be reunited with your camp friends is the highlight of Opening Day. As the buses drive down the winding camp road and make their way to the clinic field, the feeling of knowing you’re finally home is exhilarating. It is truly an indescribable moment when you are able to take those first few steps off the bus, breathe in the camp air, and leap into your camp friends’ arms!

Meeting your Division Leader, ADL, and Counselors

Now for one of the most exciting parts of camp- getting to meet the staff that is going to be taking care of you for the rest of the summer! Whether it be a counselor who has a unique accent or a counselor that sings to keep the bunk in high spirits, your counselor, ADL, and Division Leader are a crucial part of what makes Starlight so amazing.

The first meal at the dining hall

Walking into the dining hall for the first time after 10 months is a feeling that is hard to describe. Each summer, it is so exciting to find out which table your bunk gets to sit at and which song will call you up to get your meal for the rest of the summer. From divisional chants to dining hall songs, the spirit that consumes the dining hall is what defines the Starlight family. Whether it be everyone’s favorite stuffed shells with mozzarella sticks or delicious pasta with chicken and broccoli, I can’t wait to find out what our first dinner at the dining hall will be!

Learning your division’s cheer and saying it in front of the whole camp

From JUNIORS, HOT-TO-GO to S-E-N-I-O-R-S, our divisional cheers are the best! The battle of the divisions begins on Opening Day to see who can chant it the loudest and the proudest to rep their group!

The first lineup

“Welcome to the summer of 2017!,” David yells on Opening Day.

The bugle blows and all of camp gathers at the flagpole for the first time of the summer. Juniors and Inters listen to the announcements with excitement and the Debs, Plebes, and Seniors smile as they think back to their first opening day so many years ago. When you stand around the flagpole and overlook the lake for the first time with your Starlight family, it is clear that you are officially back for another magical summer.

The Curtains Opening in the Rec Hall

Ladies and Gentlemen… and children of ALL ages:

The moment we have long awaited for has finally arrived.. The Opening Night show! As the camp watches the many performances on the stage, laughter and cheers fill the air. From dancing to Singing in the Rain to singing along to Starlight’s favorite song, “Can’t Smile Without You,” this night is the perfect way to kick off and celebrate the summer.

Hearing the bugles after 10 long months

No, you aren’t imagining the sound of Lineup in the middle of Math…this is REAL! The bugles are such an important part of Camp, and while we are usually sad to hear Taps and put the close on another incredible Starlight day, this was the day we waited all year for. Which brings us to the most important of all, number 8…

Realizing the summer has officially begun!

We cannot WAIT for another exciting and memorable Starlight summer with all of you. SEE YOU SOON!

The Importance of “Rest Hour”

Monday, December 19th, 2016

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Fact: At camp, you are “go, go go.” From the moment you wake up, your schedule is packed with things to do. Some days you’re out at the lake all day, other days you are singing, dancing, acting, crafting and creating from the moment you open your eyes until you fall asleep. Your days are filled with fun and adventure, hanging out with new friends, eating delicious foods, trying new things and making life long memories. With days like these, it’s easy to understand why sometimes campers just need to rest. And as seriously as we take fun at camp, we are just as serious about rest. We know the importance of slowing down, taking a break and recharging, and all of our campers take part in “rest hour” each and every day.

 

When campers are constantly on the move, when they fly from activity to activity, they sometimes don’t have time to reflect on things they are seeing, doing and learning. A rest hour gives campers a chance to relax, read, listen to music, and sleep before getting back into the busyness of camp life. During this time, campers may want to write letters home, organize their cabin space, or have a conversation with a counselor that they didn’t have time for during the day. This intentional resting time is beneficial for a number of reasons.

 

Resting during the day is good for your body.  It gives you more energy and lets your body rest from all the activity during the day. Resting has also been shown to improve productivity and focus, which can really help campers who are involved in a wide variety of new tasks and skills.

 

Resting gives your mind time to let go of stress. It helps you with your patience and to reduce feelings of frustration. Campers need some time to just be alone with their thoughts and relax in their own space.

 

Camp counselors know the importance of rest hour, and although campers aren’t required to sleep during this time, counselors encourage campers to use this time to relax and unwind and help them become comfortable with alone time and silence. Campers learn that they don’t need to be entertained every second of every day, and learn to appreciate quiet time.

 

At camp, you’ll spend a lot of your day on the go. But give it two or three days, and you will be looking forward to rest hour as much as you are looking forward to sailing, soccer games, and s’mores around the campfire.

Icebreakers Are Uncomfortable, But…They Also Work Really Well

Monday, December 5th, 2016

 

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We all know that feeling you get when you hear someone say “Now we’re all going to stand up and say something about ourselves…” or “find a partner and….” Or “we are all going to stand in a circle and….” We look around, wondering if we are the only ones who feel uncomfortable or want to sink into our chair and pretend to be invisible. These icebreakers are common on the first day of school, a training class, or anywhere where there is a big group of people that need to get comfortable quickly.  Icebreakers can be uncomfortable at first, but they really do work. They help get people talking, which quickly build comfort and trust within the group.

 

Normally, shy people hate icebreakers the most. The thought of walking up to a stranger and asking about their favorite color, or standing up in front of a group and talking about their favorite sport, I won’t give them a heart attack.  But icebreakers are the best for shy people, because it allows other people to approach them and gives them a chance to talk about themselves and connect with others.

 

There are many opportunities to “break the ice “the first few days of camp.  There are a lot of new people, and everyone is a little nervous or a little shy.  Camp counselors know that “get to know you games quote can be a little uncomfortable, but they tried through and get everybody involved. By the end of the game, people who are shy and hesitant are now laughing smiling and making new friends.

 

Icebreakers are good for:

  • Sharing an experience, during, or skill that you’re good at with the rest of the group.
  • Finding other people who have the same things in common as you.
  • Lightening the mood in a typically awkward situation.

 

More often than not, campers credit icebreakers to introducing them to people who become their best friends for the entire summer.  At camp, some common icebreakers include: two truths and a lie, the toilet paper game, hula hoop and volleyball games, and celebrity bingo.

 

It’s very normal to be nervous when you arrive at camp, especially for the first time. It’s also very nervous to be uncomfortable when the counselors set up a game or activity that make you step out of your comfort zone.  However, if you can just trust in the process, you may come out of it with a new best friend, or 10.

Ask Me More about Camp

Saturday, December 22nd, 2012

Raise your hand if this sounds familiar…
Your child comes to you and says, for what seems like the billionth time, “Ask me more about camp.” It’s now December and you’ve heard some of the stories so many times that you can actually recite them along with her.  You wonder what odd but amusing little story your little one has managed to scour from the back of her mind that somehow involves the solitary five minutes of summer camp about which you haven’t yet heard.  While you’re doing this, your child only grows more impatient, “Go ahead.  Ask me,” this time becoming so excited that she hops up and down a couple of times and appears to be choreographing her own little “ask me more about camp” dance, which somewhat tops the bemusement of the time she sang for you to ask.

You can’t resist her enthusiasm because you think it’s great to see her this excited about anything other than the latest episode of iCarly, so you cave and wait for her mile-a-minute relay of some cute story about that time she held hands with six friends and they all jumped off the water trampoline and made a really big splash, which was really funny because it made so many waves that it almost tipped over a paddleboarder nearby…No, really it was SO funny!  Or the time they went on the nature walk, and it started raining, and they were trying to hurry back to camp, but they slipped in the mud…THAT was the funniest! You’re still trying to get the stains out of the shirt she was wearing that day, but you get an image in your head, having seen the photographs of your child and her friends covered in mud the camp posted on its website, and knew from the ear-to-ear grin that she was obviously having the time of her life, and you have to chuckle because, yes, it’s funny.

Your child starts a new story about a soccer game and how her friend had really wanted to score a goal all summer at camp but really wasn’t that good at soccer, so she blocked another player so the friend could try to score. And you realize that even though you might get asked to quiz her about camp a few hundred more times before the line turns into “I can’t wait to go back!” you don’t mind because you realize that hearing about little moments like this is nice. Not only did your child just have the time of her life, her enthusiasm in sharing her experiences with you adds great value to your decision to send her to camp because not only is she having fun but she’s learning valuable life lessons.