Posts Tagged ‘camp news’

A Summer Full of Adventure

Friday, February 25th, 2011

Few people think of finding a summer job while bundled in scarves, coats, and gloves as they attempt to maneuver roadways and college campuses after the latest snowfall.  However, whether 2011 is the first time you’re considering a summer camp position or you’re a seasoned veteran, February is exactly the time to start the process of securing summer employment, if you haven’t already done so.  Many camps attend campus recruiting fairs in order to assemble the perfect staff.  So why should you attend one of these fairs or complete an online application now?  To begin with, a camp job is definitely fun, but also a lot of work…so be prepared! Where else can you get paid to play all day while building valuable job skills? Whether you work in a specific area and focus on a sport, activity or hobby you love or you work as a counselor who travels from activity to activity with campers, your day is full of exciting challenges and a probably even a few surprises, both of which will develop your problem-solving, critical thinking, and negotiation skills.

If you like working with children and aspire to a career in a field such as education, sports training, psychology or sociology, then you already have another reason to work at a camp.  Camp is an excellent place to gain valuable experience and is impressive on a resume.  Although camp seems lighthearted–and it is in many ways–working at camp requires a lot of responsibility, flexibility, and adaptability, all of which are very valuable characteristics sought by employers.   Each day guarantees new challenges, many of them unexpected.  Summer camp is often organized chaos.  Yes, there is always a plan in place, but the unexpected is also inevitable.  While this may seem scary the first couple days, it also brings an excitement and satisfaction that delivering pizzas or serving food (or even working at an investment bank)  never could.  Working at camp also requires a lot of communication and interpersonal interaction, two more transferrable skills that are highly valued by employers.  At camp, you must effectively co-exist with your campers, co-counselors, and other staff members to be successful.   You will also be able to tell future employers that you worked with people from all over the world and from many different socio-economic backgrounds.  That you’ve overcome cultural, language, and social obstacles with others tells recruiters that diversity is not something you fear, but rather embrace.

Working at summer camp can also be very healthy for your bank account.  You won’t become Donald Trump spending your summers at camp. However; camps provide housing and food in addition to a salary. It’s possible to live virtually expense-free for a couple of months.  Many summer camp counselors take home all or most of their salaries at the end of the summer.

Finally, you will form lifelong friendships at camp.  You may arrive alone and nervous in June, but you will leave in August with literally hundreds of friends from all over the world.  Two months may not seem like a long time, but when one lives and works in close proximity with co-workers, it’s more than sufficient to form bonds that ordinarily would take years.  There are always  tears on the last day of camp, not only when saying goodbye to your campers, who will have secured a special place in your heart forever, but to co-workers—the ones you know you will see again as well as the ones you know you will not.  Regardless, the world will seem like a much smaller place to you.

Though it may seem early to begin planning such a special adventure with so many possibilities, building a successful camp staff not only requires individuals who possess all of the qualities previously mentioned, it requires finding the right mix of personalities and talents.  Such an endeavor, of course, takes time.  Camp recruiters review literally thousands of applications each year and speak with hundreds of candidates to find those who are the best fit for their camp’s atmosphere, philosophy and program.  Starting your job search while the ground is still white and the tree branches still bare provides you with the advantage of a larger pool of positions from which to choose.  By April, most camps have nearly completed their hiring and only difficult to fill or highly specialized roles remain.

So, after a winter of wading through piles of snow, are you ready for a summer full of adventure?

Building Character at Summer Camp

Monday, December 20th, 2010

As parents, we are always on the lookout for experiences that help our children learn new skills. We enroll them in music lessons, martial arts, sports, theatre, choir and, of course, summer camps. But we all know that the best programs (and the best educational experiences) are ones that go beyond the basics of teaching skills to help develop our children’s character. The basics of character — trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship — are all essential ingredients in summer camp experiences.

“Camp teaches values such as self-esteem, teamwork, and caring — areas where traditional schools sometimes cause more detriment than good. And camp allows everyone, not just the top student and the best athlete, to thrive and enjoy the process of learning,” says Peg Smith, CEO of the American Camp Association (ACA).

Everything we’ve written about on this blog so far — being ready for camp, unplugging from the digital world, traveling to camp, developinginterpersonalcommunication skills, interacting with camp counselors, participating in camp traditions, and learning new sports and skills all contribute to building character.

When mom Martha realized that her son Jaden had come home with crucial life skills — taking care of himself and making good choices — she knew that camp had served a crucial role in his life.

“I felt like they were living a free life,” she says. The rules were there, just not stressful. This kind of independence creates the necessary space for the foundations of character to blossom. “I could not believe the person he had become – just a new person – totally confident in himself,” she says.

It’s no surprise, really. Camp activities, to be successful, require all the participants to have self-discipline and an unselfish sense of camaraderie. “There is just something about living with a group of boys,” mom Wendy says after sending her only son Justin to camp for the first time. Living communally in cabins and bunks requires teamwork, creativity and a willingness to work together.

The camp directors, staff and counselors deserve much of the credit for the character development Martha and Wendy saw in their sons after just a few weeks at camp. They work hard to develop programs that bring a diverse community together around common values and goals, and everyone benefits – campers, parents and staff, and the world they come back to each fall, bringing their good character with them. Camp is about educating the whole child and allowing them to flourish, so that we all as a society may do so.


What’s happening at camp right now?

Friday, December 17th, 2010

How would you describe the essential elements of a summer camp? Do the adventures of spending days with peers, learning new skills, trying new activities, bonfires and skits, great counselors— all the fun of the whole experience— first come to mind? These are definitely important elements of summer camp from a camper’s perspective, but there are a lot of other elements that have to be in place for a camp to be successful year after year. Have you ever wondered what it takes to set the scene and develop communities where good times can take place? I have.

The camp experience is part of the heritage and culture of the United States, and for generations, American families have sent their children to camp—about 10 million children last year alone! As you can guess, each camp has it’s own story and distinct cultural and physical environment, so each camp experience is unique.

The American Camp Association (ACA) is the professional organization that educates camp owners and directors in the administration of key aspects of camp operation, program quality, and the health and safety of campers and staff. The ACA also establishes guidelines for policies, procedures, and practices when running a camp. Of course, Camp Starlight is a fully accredited member of the ACA. Each year, camp professionals gather for a national conference to discuss their work. Last year’s conference title alone, 20/20 Toolbox: Tomorrow’s Camps, Today’s Realities illustrates how camps are focused on creating the very best experiences for today and also into the future.

The staff at Camp Starlight works all year to make sure that facilities are maintained and prepared for when camp is in session. There are so many details to take care of— from making sure that buildings are cared for, to improving camp facilities, adding or updating equipment and ensuring that health and safety codes are met. Camp owners and managers also have to keep up with changing demographics and expectations from their clientele. So long before campers arrive, camp staff are learning about new practices, meeting up to date regulations, putting current ideas into practice and working towards providing the best of the best. There are activities and events to plan, qualified counselors to recruit, ideas for even more fun than last year to implement and new campers to meet around the country. As camper’s needs and tastes change over the years, camp staff are dedicated to making each year as special as the last–and while traditions are an important part of camp life there is lots of room for fresh programs too.

Camp Starlight’s newest addition is The Carriage House. This 12,000 square foot indoor/outdoor facility features a Gymnastics Center with a full-sized springboard floor, and 30′ Tumble Trak; Dance and Aerobics Center with two Dance Studios, an Aerobics and Spin Bike Studio, a fully equipped Fitness Center and Arts and Crafts Center with Craft Studios, Ceramics Studio, Woodworking Shop, and outdoor deck. For the summer of 2011, Starlight’s private lake will feature new swimming and boating docks where our campers will enjoy swimming, playing on the water toys, boating and water skiing. These are just a few of the many new improvements to our facility and program!


Thank you for the images Horia Varlan.

2010 Camp Starlight Olympics!

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

White Wonder and Blue Crunch took over Camp Starlight for five days of intense but friendly competition during the 2010 Camp Starlight Olympics. White Generals Nikki Jones and Zach Malis, along with Blue Generals Lois O’Neil and Patrick Zisko led their teams in one of the closest Olympics ever to take place at Camp Starlight. The teams virtually split day-to-day athletic competitions while the White dominated the Upper Senior Rope Burn and Apache Relay with both the girls and boys teams coming up with the win. An exciting sing resulted in a win for Blue and, going into the final day of competition, less than 300 points separated the two girls teams while the boys were virtually tied with only two (YES that’s 2!) points benefitting one team over the other.

Such evenly matched teams not only set the stage for some great competition, but highlighted what Olympics at Camp Starlight are all about; working together as a unit to encourage each other in exhibiting the very best of what has been learned during the summer and making every point count through sportsmanship, spirit, and camaraderie. Olympic contests are not merely about athleticism, but approaching challenges with dignity and diligence. That the scores were so close in the 2010 Olympics is a testament to the fact that both teams were winners in understanding that every person and every action counts and that a contest isn’t won or lost until the final whistle blows!

Eco Science at Starlight

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

Eco Science has been a huge hit this summer, and a popular option choice for the entire camp. Ryan, the Eco Science Specialist, has been really happy with the enthusiasm of all divisions. Ryan isn’t the only resident member of Eco Science, though. He shares his space with two leopard geckos, a bearded dragon, and a very popular ball python. The snake in the eco science goes by various names. Lower Camp sometimes calls him Hungry,

and Upper Camp has named him Hercules. Some of the popular experiments that campers find themselves trying at Eco Science include making slime, instant snow, and water gel, as well as the ever popular Mentos and Coke geysers. Whatever activity campers prefer, there is something for everyone at Eco Science!

Focus on Golf at Starlight!

Friday, July 30th, 2010

Golf at Starlight offers every camper a great level of coaching from counselors who play golf at a high level all around the world. This year, the golf staff hail from Ireland, Australia and the U.S.A. During the recent Starcamp, golfers made a trip to Lake Lorain Golf Club, where the kids played 9 holes. The golf coaches have already observed much improvement amongst the players this summer. Chris, the Irish golf coach has mentioned that the returning campers’ games have improved from the year before, as well. He credits much of the success of the current program to the solid instructions the campers received in 2009.


Sarah, the Cooking Specialist recipe of the week!

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

One recipe that has been really working well with all kids is butterfly cakes.

3 cups all-purpose flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

2 stick butter, must be soft for easy mixing

2 cup sugar

6 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

1.5 cup milk

cupcake liners

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line two 12 muffins tins.
  2. Sift the flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add the butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and milk.
  4. Using electric beaters, beat the ingredients together slowly at first, then increase the speed when the mixture begins to come together. Continue beating for 2-3 minutes the mixture becomes light and airy. Scrape down the sides from time to time to ensure even mixing. The mixture should be soft enough to drop easily from a spoon. If it seems too stiff, add 1 or 2 more teaspoons of milk and beat again.
  5. Using a tablespoon, transfer the mixture equally into the paper liners.
  6. Bake in a hot oven for 15-20 minutes, or until golden and well risen.
  7. Leave to cool completely on a wire rack.
  8. Take a sharp knife and cut the top each cupcake at a circular angle about a half an inch from the edge of the cake, so that you remove a cone shaped round, leaving a cavity in the center. cut each cone in half and set aside these will form the wings of the butterfly.
  9. Fill each cupcake with a teaspoon of whipped cream. Place the two cone shaped pieces of cake on top like butterfly wings.
  10. Dust, using a sieve, each cupcake lightly with powdered sugar or cocoa.

Starlighters Shine and Score at Starcamps

Monday, July 26th, 2010

July 13th and 14th, Camp Starlight welcomed several professional coaches and renowned artists who gave campers the opportunity to gain experience in a program area of choice. Tennis Star Camp helped campers improve their tennis game with extensive instruction, as well as gain feedback from the formerly internationally ranked Mel Purcell. Starlight baseball/softball players enjoyed an educational and enlightening trip to The Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. Golf players enjoyed a round of golf at French Woods Country Club. Basketball players dribbled, passed, and shot with renowned Five Star Basketball Camp. Triathlon specialist Stephanie put several of Starlight’s more ambitious athletes to the test of swimming, biking, and running around camp. A new Starcamp featured this summer was Magic, which involved a trip to the Harry Houdini Museum where campers enjoyed a magic show. Regardless of specialty, all campers gained a lot of new knowledge and experience in just two short days, and enjoyed themselves immensely.

Independence Day at Camp Starlight!

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

The Fourth of July was packed full of sunshine, excitement, and entertainment! Stars and stripes were worn all around camp, and the mood was energetic. The evening main event was SWF (Starlight Wrestling Federation), one the most anticipated evening events of the summer. The junior boys opened the show with the Annual Starlight Thumb Wrestling Competition final match against Head of Basketball, Matt Marinchick. The preliminary matches were held earlier in the day between all junior boys. The winner, Zach from Bunk 4, proved he was a real thumb wrestling pro by beating Matt in the final! The main event featured a showdown of nations between Australia, England, Peru, Canada, and the USA. In the spirit of the holiday, the U.S.A. eventually emerged victorious. Also featured were matches between SpongeBob Square Pants and Fanboy, Dr. Seuss and Sesame Street, The Past and The Future, Vampires and Werewolves, and Bridezilla versus her Bridesmaids. The Main Event was an epic battle of Upper and Lower Camps as represented by Jeff Malis and Jason Glick. Jason emerged victorious to take the belt for Lower Camp after a hard fought and entertaining battle. After the wrestling, the entire camp was treated to a magnificent fireworks display on the waterfront, really topping off a fun filled evening and a great celebration of July 4th!

Letter from Camp

Friday, July 9th, 2010

Dear Lord Pickles,

Here I am at camp, lying on my magic carpet during beauty sleep hour. I am sharing our castle with Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty!! They are so pretty and really nice! Today, guess who I met? The Beast from Beauty and the Beast! He tried to eat me but don’t worry I got away. It was a close one. They didn’t mention he ate people in the movie. I also met the genie from Aladdin! He kind of messed up my wish… I wished for a hamburger but he turned me into a hamburger instead! I looked pretty good if I do say so myself. My counselors are Princess Fiona and Ursala. Ursala is so mean! Guess you can’t get the best one every time. Well I have to go. I miss you and I can’t wait for fairytale camp’s visiting day!


Flutters (a.k.a. Jessica)