Posts Tagged ‘camp fun’

Camp Starlight Rope Burn

Thursday, August 13th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 2.02.22 PMIt’s a night that defines a summer. From Juniors to Seniors, all enjoy the most intense night of Camp Starlight Olympics: Rope Burn. Here, the oldest division in the camp throw themselves into a fire, working vigorously to take down the three ropes that bring the glory of a victory. The pristine Perch Pond will feel the best it’s ever felt when that third and thickest rope is burnt down. For either the victor or loser, Rope Burn will forever be engrained in the memories of all the campers’ summers.

The night begins with a single blow of a whistle signifying the start of the gathering. In this moment, the Lower Seniors as well as some willing Upper Seniors sprint into the woods looking for the driest sticks that will help raise the picturesque fires to take down the brutally difficult ropes. As the “gatherers” run back down the hill with piles of sticks and hay twice as high as their own height, their respective teams ignite with cheer, encouraging them to gather even more from their next run.

Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 2.03.04 PMWhen time comes for those who will be building the fire, the true unification of each team begins. Chants and screams toward specific Upper Seniors “in the pit” rapidly increase their perseverance and motivation to burn down the ropes. Whether one is an introverted lower Junior or a timid Plebe counselor, they understand the intensity and seriousness of the night, screaming their heads off, as well as maintaining a positive attitude even if their team falls behind.

Rope Burn is one of the most pivotal events of the summer, and its impact prevails for the cold brutal winters, only to remind the “campsick” children and counselors the true beauty of Camp Starlight.

 

Star Camps

Thursday, August 6th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-08-06 at 8.43.13 AMCamp Starlight was full of excitement as our campers participated in their favorite Starcamps. This special part of our program gives campers the chance to focus on one area of interest for two days. Campers get to work closely with our guest coaches and instructors, as well as our entire Starlight staff, who bring all sorts of skills to the table, from basketball to painting.

This year Camp Starlight had some incredible individuals leading Star Camps. Campers had the opportunity to learn hip-hop from the impressive Larry Albright.. At our sporting sessions, campers were able to learn hockey from hockey pro Bob Markowick, and tennis from Tennis star Mel Purcell. And there were tons of other sports workshops, too! From lacrosse, to golf, to water skiing and Krav Maga, campers had the chance to enjoy all sorts of sports activities. Campers were also able to rock climb, golf, and hike. But it’s not just sports that campers were excited about, campers were also able to enjoy Starcamps in: acting, photographing, arts and crafts, and other creative preforming arts. And for the first time ever students were able to make and mix their own music at our music workshop, which was held in our brand new music recording studio! It was another great year at Starcamps thanks to our amazing kids and great staff.

Epic Anniversary

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

Tonight, Camp Starlight is celebrating its 68th anniversary during the annual Anniversary Party. Because time flies at camp, it’s easy to forget just how long 68 years of family, tradition, spirit, adventure, and fun is–and how much it adds up. When Camp Starlight opened, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was president. Since Roosevelt, there have been 12 additional United States Presidents. Man walked on the moon. An entire space shuttle program began…and ended. Computers have gone from being the size of an entire room to being the size of notebooks. Practically every household has a television. Microwaves were invented. The VCR came…and went. There have been literally dozens of movies and television programs made about camp. Through it all, Camp Starlight has thrived. In 68 years, there have been literally hundreds of campfires and thousands of campers. The flag has risen over the camp no less than 3,000 times.  From 10 original bunks to 50 plus a Lodge and a Lakehouse, from less than 100 campers to nearly 600, the Camp Starlight 68th Anniversary Party is a reason to celebrate a camp that has not merely stood the test of 68 years but is alive with the pride of campers, staff, and alumni. And celebrating we are! Campers and staff alike are dancing and singing along with live bands from Camplified. Earlier today, everyone enjoyed the carnival. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “epic” as ‘telling a story about exciting events or adventures.’ Given the history of Camp Starlight’s 68th Anniversary Party is E-P-I-C!

Miss Starlight 2014

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

One of the best parts of working at summer camp is that one frequently has the opportunity to participate in activities and events in which one wouldn’t necessarily engage at home. One such “opportunity” for male counselors at Camp Starlight is the Miss Starlight Pageant. Yes…You read that correctly: MISS Starlight Pageant. For anyone who has ever wondered what would happen if roughly a dozen girls were unleashed onto a male staff member–makeup, wigs, costumes, and props in hand to transform into the best looking semblance (kind of) of a female beauty contestant that they can, the Miss Starlight Pageant would definitely be a “can’t miss” activity at camp.

The remainder of this blog should probably be prefaced with a disclosure that nomale staff members were–or are ever–harmed in the making of the Miss Starlight Pageant. In fact, they volunteer…happily. Being crowned Miss Starlight is a BIG deal for both the girls bunks and their adopted “contestants.”

Once the contestants are beautified (term used loosely…very loosely), they take the stage to compete in a series of rounds to convince a panel of judges, as in traditional beauty pageants, why they should be crowned Miss Starlight. Following the initial Evening Wear round, the contestants are whittled first to ten and then finally to five before the winner is crowned. The first runner-up, of course, has big shoes to fill in the event that Miss Starlight cannot fulfill her–er–his role.

Unlike traditional beauty pageants, however, the Miss Starlight pageant is not reserved for the young. All ages, nationalities, and races are represented and competitive. In fact, one of this year’s semi-finalists was a granny who required a walking stick. Celebrities and pseudo-celebrities are also drawn to the Miss Starlight pageant. “Ellen Degeneres” danced her way across the Miss Starlight stage and into the semi-finals in this year’s competition…and she didn’t even have to wear a dress to do it.

Bamela Anderson–not to be confused with Pamela Anderson, though as similar in appearance to Pamela Anderson as a 20 something male lifeguard wearing a long blonde wig and a red Baywatch style swimsuit can be–was a pseudo-celeb who clearly showed up to win. Though her CPR talent demonstration was easily one of the most CPR demonstrations ever presented and elevated her to the status as the one to beat, she faced some tough competition from “Berica,” a purple loving weight lifter.  In the end, however, Bamela’s fun loving attitude and passion for her life as a lifeguard secured her the crown and the title of Miss Starlight. As for the Lakehouse, her sponsoring bunk, well…they get the bragging rights of having “created” Miss Starlight 2014.

Thumb Wrestling Federation

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

There is a very special showdown that takes place at Camp Starlight for which you must be a Junior boy in order to be eligible to compete. Athletic prowess is not necessary nor are any special skills required in order to have a chance at emerging victorious. Flexible thumbs help, however.  We’re speaking, of course, of the annual Junior Boys Thumb Wrestling competition.  That’s right…TWF.

The rules are quite simple—two thumbs duel until one manages to hold another down for several seconds—but referees keep the contest fair. The competition is light and good spirited, but there are bragging rights at stake. Not just any boy can call himself the Camp Starlight TWF Champion. Many thumbs enter the thumb wrestling ring, but only one may be the champion in the end. Flexible thumbs must defeat others in several elimination rounds before the final two thumbs face off for the title.

This year’s competition was fierce but in the end the thumb of Ryan S. emerged victorious.

Starlight Staff: Learning All about Starlight Family, Traditions, Adventure, Family, and Fun

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

The adventure has begun here at Camps Starlight for the staff of 2014. They’re here preparing to meet all of our campers on Sunday, and they’re an OUTSTANDING group of people. Their enthusiasm is amazing. We definitely have a lot of great new additions to the Starlight family. Already they’re making the Camp Starlight dining room one of the funnest place to eat in camping and can’t wait for our campers to get here to show them what Starlight spirit is really about. We’ve also engaged the staff in some of the awesome activities that we have here at Camp Starlight every summer. They’ve even had a chance to experience our program! Although they’ve already learned a lot about Camp Starlight and we’re all eagerly anticipating the arrival of the campers, there is still a lot to teach them about some of our traditions, so we’re glad we still have a few more days before the buses pull up the camp road and the real fun begins!

Camp Trips

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014
Campers love their camp campuses. They’re green, picturesque, and often feature facilities for just about any activity a kid can dream up. One thing campers also love, however, are camp trips. Camp trips are a lot like school field trips. They’re a special time away from the daily routine. Campers get to board buses with their friends and go off on an adventure outside of the camp environment. Yes, playing by the camp Waterfront with friends is a great way to spend a summer. But taking in a baseball game, visiting a local amusement park, or going bowling with them adds an extra element to the camp experience because it allows campers to do normal “friend things” with some very close friends who they often only get to see during the summer.
Rites of passage are a big part of camp and trips are among those rites. While all campers enjoy some of the same trip destinations throughout the summer, other places are reserved for campers of certain ages. In this respect, trips become a way for campers to mark time in their camp experience. An exclusive trip makes that specific summer unique because it’s the only summer of their camp experiences that campers go to that place.
Camp trips also help campers put their summer camp experience into perspective. Sure, they could do just about anything they do on a camp trip without having gone to camp, but doing them at camp makes them part of camp. The memory of having done those things at camp makes them more special, which is likely why there is always a tinge more excitement in the air on a trip day.

Campers love their camp campuses. They’re green, picturesque, and often feature facilities for just about any activity a kid can dream up. One thing campers also love, however, are camp trips. Camp trips are a lot like school field trips. They’re a special time away from the daily routine. Campers get to board buses with their friends and go off on an adventure outside of the camp environment. Yes, playing by the camp Waterfront with friends is a great way to spend a summer. But taking in a baseball game, visiting a local amusement park, or going bowling with them adds an extra element to the camp experience because it allows campers to do normal “friend things” with some very close friends who they often only get to see during the summer. Rites of passage are a big part of camp and trips are among those rites. While all campers enjoy some of the same trip destinations throughout the summer, other places are reserved for campers of certain ages. In this respect, trips become a way for campers to mark time in their camp experience. An exclusive trip makes that specific summer unique because it’s the only summer of their camp experiences that campers go to that place.  Camp trips also help campers put their summer camp experience into perspective. Sure, they could do just about anything they do on a camp trip without having gone to camp, but doing them at camp makes them part of camp. The memory of having done those things at camp makes them more special, which is likely why there is always a tinge more excitement in the air on a trip day.

Yes, You Can

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

“No” is a word that children hear a lot. No talking in the classroom. No running in the hallways. No playing ball in the house. No to anything that gets clothes dirty. No. No. No. With this in mind, it’s no wonder that “yes” is one of the many reasons that children so eagerly anticipate camp each summer. Of course safety is always a factor, and children also have parameters at camp for that reason. However, those parameters extend much further at summer camp than they do at home and school. At summer camp, campers are encouraged to climb walls, zip down ropes, run, get dirty and play ball. Even when they express doubt in themselves, they are encouraged with, “Yes, you can.” There is no pressure to be the best at something or to even be good at it, simply to try it. With such encouragement, many campers venture into previously unexplored territory and discover that they can, in fact, do things they previously thought they couldn’t.

The benefits of such encouragement extend beyond the development of courage to try new things. Children become more open to possibilities. They develop the skills to venture out of their comfort zone and examine situations from different angles. A refined sense of creativity helps them attack tasks that previously seemed difficult or even impossible. They learn to comprehend the importance of trying, particularly when the time and place is right. With such perspective, “no” and “yes” become words less associated with ability and more associated with restraint. If they’re talking in the classroom, they can’t understand what the teacher is saying. School is not an environment that makes running in the hallways safe. Things tend to break when they play ball in the house. The clothes they wear when they’re not at camp are just a little nicer than the ones they tend to wear at camp. In contrast, camp is a safe environment for them to talk, laugh, run, play, climb and get messy in ways that are productive. In short, it’s an environment with less restraint in mind. Once children are able to understand the symbiotic relationship between “yes” and “no,” they are better able to accept “no” for what it actually means: It’s not in your best interest.

There Is No Such Thing as Too Much (or Too Many)…

Saturday, February 22nd, 2014

Camp is definitely an “all-in” environment. There is very little that is considered too extreme when it comes to demonstrating enthusiasm, wackiness, even fun. No one ever wants to “kind of” do something at camp. Camp is all about going big before you go home. In that vein, it’s time for a list of things of which there is no such thing as too much (or too many) at camp:

There No Such Thing as Too Much (or Too Many)…

Laughing. Seriously, you can’t laugh too much at camp. It’s impossible. Whether it’s over an inside joke with your bunkmates or at one of your favorite counselors doing something goofy on stage in front of the whole camp, laughter is a camp constant.

Cheering. At camp, you do it at sporting events, while watching a fellow camper dive into a whipped cream pie, while watching staff members wrestling each other in Jello, while showing team spirit, as a show of divisional or camp unity, to making meals more fun, even when your favorite dessert is rolled out. Cheering is just something you do at camp…pretty much all of the time.

Singing. Like cheering, singing is okay pretty much everywhere at camp. At some camps, it’s how you say good morning and goodnight. It’s what you do when the whole camp is together. It spices up meals and campfires. Most camps even have their own songs. And there is always that one song every summer that practically every camper and staff member finds themselves humming or singing at least once every day.

Moustaches. No, seriously. Moustaches are totally a camp thing. But they’re a BIG camp thing. Fact: staff and campers alike love moustaches. They demonstrate their love of moustaches via body art, jewelry, face paint…pretty much anything.

Tutus. If you thought tutus were just dance garb, you thought wrong. Tutus are versatile camp wear that comes in handy for pretty much everything. Showing team spirit, cheerleading, costumes, just because…Hey, it’s a tutu. What isn’t it good for at camp?

Spirit. Speaking of spirit, it goes way beyond showing support for a team at summer camp. Camp spirit is all about demonstrating why your camp is the best camp—all day, every day. Every camper and staff member comes to camp prepared with sufficient clothing in camp colors. It is perfectly acceptable to paint your entire body camp colors in a show of spirit, and temporary tattoos with the camp logo or colors are pretty much standard at every camp activity.

Sun. Sure, rain happens sometimes and, when it does, campers and staff alike deal with it. But sun is the ideal setting for fun at camp, and you can never get too much of it. Sure, indulging involves lots of sunscreen, but anyone who has ever spent a lazy afternoon lying in the grass while chatting with camp friends knows that life doesn’t get much better.

Camp. That’s right. It’s pretty much a unanimous consensus at camp that there is no such thing as too much camp. That’s why most campers and staff members drive those around them nuts with camp stories during the 10 months when we can’t be there. Most campers and staff agree that life would be so much cooler if “10 for 2” was actually “2 for 10.”

While We Wait for the Campers to Arrive…

Sunday, June 23rd, 2013

Summer is finally here and the campers are on their way…literally.  In the meantime, last night was Staff MTV Night, and it very entertaining to say the least.  Animal themes were the trend this year.  We were treated to acts featuring elephants, squirrels, and dogs (lots of dogs).  Boy bands also held their own.  The Backstreet Boys, in particular, are practically mandatory (in a good way) at every Camp Starlight MTV Night event.  Dances contained a fair amount of Harlem Shake and even a touch of Gangnam Style.  The Camp Starlight Support Staff got in on the action this year with an extremely entertaining number that wowed everyone.  We’re not going to tell you which division won because, as everyone knows, that’s a surprise we save for the MTV Night Finals here at Camp Starlight when the entire camp gets to see the act for themselves.  Let’s just say that it was truly a group effort; very creative, original, and had the entire audience rolling with laughter during the performance and on its feet at the end.  The lip syncing wasn’t too shabby either.  In short, it touched on everything the judges will be looking for when the camper MTV Night divisional competitions begin in just a couple of weeks!  We’ll see you soon!