Posts Tagged ‘camp sports’

Play-Based Learning at Camp Starlight

Monday, November 28th, 2016

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With hundreds of different activities, sports, events and things to do at camp, it is no surprise that campers spend a large portion of their day at play. Whether you’re playing on the soccer field, on the lake, on the stage or in the pool, there is never a shortage of playtime at camp. But there is more to play than just having a good time. When kids play, they learn, and when they learn, they grow. For campers, it may feel like a summer free from learning or education, but they are learning a lot while they play.

 

Studies show that when young children play, whether it is with blocks, cars, on the playground or in a sport, they are doing a lot more than having fun. Play sparks their imaginations, which helps to improve their problem solving skills and encourages creativity. Being able to play alone helps kids feel independent, while playing in a group helps kids with important values such as sharing, compromise, taking turns, patience and flexibility. More physical play, like running, jumping or dancing helps kids with their balance and coordination, and boosts their confidence. Play is the main way that kids explore the world, and is essential in their social and emotional development.

 

At camp, kids spend all summer playing, and therefore spend all summer learning. They may not realize that participating in crafts is teaching patience, hand-eye coordination and appreciation for the arts, and they may not realize that team sports is teaching them cooperation and communication. It may not be until they get home and others begin to see a change in their personality or character that they realized they learned a lot at camp. They may search their brains trying to pinpoint a moment when they learned a certain thing, and most won’t be able to. Learning through play can be a subtle process, which is also why is it so effective.

 

Play based learning is just as important as academic learning. Kids spend all year behind a desk, looking up at a teacher who is spitting out information. If they are lucky, they will get one or two teachers to use a more hands on approach to learning, but as the students get older, play and exploratory learning becomes less and less common. After spending all year filling their brains with facts and figures, a summer of play is something most kids look forward to. Some will spend their summers in front of a mind numbing computer screen or watching endless hours of TV, which does nothing for their developing minds. Kids who spend their summers running, jumping, trying, failing, laughing, communicating, climbing, making, singing and exploring learn so much more than those in front of a screen. They learn about the world around them, about their peers, and most importantly, about themselves.

 

The importance of play cannot be stressed enough when it comes to the growing minds of kids. Young kids are like sponges, and soak in information from all areas of their lives. Spending the summer at camp gives them a chance to learn differently than they do all year, and studies show that what kids learn during play may stick with them longer than listening to the same information through a lecture. When they do it themselves, when they touch and see and feel and experience something, they will remember it.

Campers play all day, which is why they love being at camp. While they are playing, they are also learning, which is why parents love summer camp. Academic learning is a vital part of childhood development, but play works on a child’s brain like nothing else can, and the best part: they don’t even know it’s happening.

Camp Starlight: My Summer Home

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

UntitledWritten by Madison Dratch

“Time has a wonderful way of showing us what really matters.” -Margaret Peters

In June 2006, I arrived at Camp Starlight for the first time with teddy bear in hand and a nervous smile on my face. As other campers ran off the buses and embraced one another with love and the utmost excitement, I stood anxiously, unaware of the impact that these three hundred eighty five acres of land would have on my life.

Through my six summers as a camper, I discovered more about myself than I thought possible. I slowly grew out of my shell as I tried playing new sports, auditioned for plays at the rec hall, and established new friendships. I learned how to work with teams and handle conflict as my bunk strategically choreographed what we believed to be the best MTV night dance in Starlight history. Although my love for camp continued to grow with each summer that passed, so did the dread of thinking about the day that marked my last moments as a camper. In August 2011, I cried for the last twenty-four hours that made up my Upper Senior Summer. As my bunk said our final goodbyes, we knew that we no longer would all be able to sleep in the same cabin again, spend every meal together, or coordinate our sugar lips and soffe shorts to all match perfectly. Gone were the days of relying on our counselors to get us to wake up at reveille, clean our bunks in time for inspection, and make sure we follow our schedules perfectly. The book of being a camper officially closed and it was time for me to start a new adventure as a staff member.

Wearing a staff shirt for the first time provided me with the same nervous feeling I had getting off the bus on the first day of camp so many years ago. As a camper, I idolized the many counselors that had mentored me through the years. Now, I was on the other side of the fence and had to be the role model that my campers needed me to be. All feelings of anxiousness diminished the moment I stepped into my new bunk and saw eleven young hopeful faces staring back at me. I don’t know how it is possible, but working as a staff member provided me with an even more rewarding experience than all of my summers as a camper combined. The immense pride I felt and continue to feel when my campers achieve milestones in their lives speaks volumes of the impact being a counselor has on my life. I remember the joy I felt when my campers won their first Wayne County Softball game. I remember the intense process of memorizing lines when my camper starred as Peter Pan followed by the overwhelming feeling of fulfillment when she perfected every line and song on Opening Night. Fast forward four summers filled with four unique bunks and irreplaceable memories, the once young and hopeful bunk of eleven ten year old girls are now entering their Lower Senior Summer. The girls that once needed me to tie their shoes and brush their hair have now grown into young ladies capable of extraordinary things. Being able to witness this growth is one of the greatest privileges of all.

A decade has passed since that nerve-wracking day and although the teddy bear still remains, my perspective of camp has changed tenfold. Free from the world of small digital screens and ongoing pressures, Starlight allowed me to be the person that was fighting to break free. At Starlight, I am an athlete, a performer, a leader, and a friend. No feat is too small or too challenging to overcome when you know that you have a support network of hundreds of people behind you. Through the vast changes and turns that have happened in my life, Starlight has remained a powerful constant.

As I sit in my accounting class and recognize how fast summer number eleven approaches, I am filled with an anxious feeling again. Except, this time, it is not a nervous anxiety at all. It’s that overwhelming feeling of excitement where you know that this summer will be even better then the last. That familiar feeling that Starlight has given me since the first time I saw the place that I am privileged to call my home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

8/9th Grade Girls Soccer

Monday, August 3rd, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-08-03 at 10.29.51 AMStarlight Vs Chenawanda

Teamwork was a huge factor in this win against Chenawanda. Sammy B had a phenomenal game, finding the back of the net five separate times. Lilly K was a close second with 3 goals whilst Jessie V and Jamie F both added 2 goals into the mix. Isabel A, Olivia R and Jamie C played an amazing solid defense. Emily S and Sydney P were great assets to midfield. Abby S had eight saves in goal for a final score of 12-9.

Starlight Junior Girls League Update

Thursday, July 30th, 2015

11539072_10152902437221960_8957652597744731094_oThe Starlight Junior girls are having an awesome time competing in leagues this year. We have seen some excellent talent demonstrated by our campers in some thrilling league games. In our latest basketball game the score was 14-2 with all goals being scored by Brooke G what a power house she was. In our soccer game on July 11th Tulane vs SMU there was a tie score with both teams playing very strong. Ava R dominated with Maddi S presenting her amazing defense skills. In our latest softball game we saw amazing talent from Temple and USF, USF took home the winning title in a very close game. Sydney showed excellent fielding whilst Lilly A had an amazing hit. We have some awesome Newcombe games scheduled for today and we are very excited here at Camp Starlight.

Girls 10th / 11th Grade Basketball

Monday, July 6th, 2015

Girls 10th / 11th Grade Basketball

43-35

We got off to a slow start ending the first quarter trailing at 11-4. The rest of the game was another story. After shaking off the rust, the team became a dominant force. Led by Samantha B (14points) and Molly B (12 points), the Starlight team took the lead. The team was in top form and were up by 15 points during the middle of the game. After foul trouble, the game ended with the team winning 43-35. Leading the win was Jessica R and Brooke H with Dani S also contributing an amazing 7 points with her talented rebound skills.

-Coach Davis

Lacrosse at Camp

Tuesday, May 26th, 2015

Calling all athletes. If sports where you walk off the field sweaty, sore and completely exhausted are your thing, lacrosse should be at the top of your “Sports To Try” list. Lacrosse is a very physical, fast paced game that involves a lot of running, hand eye coordination and agility. It is a team sport, in which players equipped with long sticks with mesh nets at the end compete to throw, catch and pass a little rubber ball to their teammates, with the ultimate goal being to launch it into the opposing teams goal.

Screen Shot 2015-05-26 at 9.10.06 AMCamp Starlight offers campers the opportunity to suit up and give lacrosse a try. This sport, just like all of the sports at camp, are organized, taught and supervised by trained coaches and professionals of the sport. Safety is always the number one concern, and campers are required to wear all necessary safety equipment including a helmet, mouthpiece and gloves. Players are educated on the rules and techniques associated with the game, and are watched carefully to ensure everyone has fun and injuries are avoided.

Lacrosse games are played on one of many athletic fields across camp, and provide beautiful scenery for players and spectators alike. One of the cool things about playing lacrosse at camp is that you will be able to compete with other teams from other camps. This is exciting for those athletes who are naturally competitive and get excited about some friendly competition. Lacrosse is not just for campers who consider themselves all around athletes. It is a great sport for beginners too, and there is no safer place to try something new than America’s Finest Summer Camps. Lacrosse involves a lot of running and cardio work, which is great for weight loss and keeping your heart and lungs healthy. It also builds muscle and stamina.

Sports at Camp Starlight are designed for every camper, whether a trained athlete or a rookie. Camp Starlight keeps sports fun, and encourages friendly competition while keeping the old saying in mind, “it’s all about having fun.”

For campers going back to a middle or high school with a lacrosse team, they can use this summer to perfect their skills, learn the game, and fall in love with the sport before school tryouts.

Lacrosse is an action packed game and is a great way to meet new friends, stay healthy and add to your quickly growing list of “new things I want to try at camp.”

Catching Up with Tennis Head Craig Cooper

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

The Camp Starlight tennis program is always one of the largest and most popular programs on camp each summer. This year,Craig Cooper, a 25 plus years veteran coach, is at the helm. We recently caught up with Coach Cooper to learn more about him, his background, an coaching philosophy.

Although he hails from Ohio and attended Ohio State University, Coach Cooper has traveled the world coaching tennis. It was during his college years as an elite athlete, however, that he first decided that he wanted to become a coach. “It’s a profound profession,” he says.

He was drawn to camp because he finds the experience of working as a coach at camp  “enlightening, challenging, and fun.” He also appreciates the relationships he has formed as a result of working at camp. Coach Cooper said he chose Camp Starlight because of it’s amazing reputation and because he had a really good feeling about the opportunity after speaking with camp Owner and Director David Miller.

During the winter, Coach Cooper trains athletes throughout the Midwest–including his home state of Ohio–and Florida, though his coaching efforts aren’t confined to tennis. He is also a professional lacrosse coach. He says his favorite things, so far, about his debut summer at Camp Starlight are the new relationships he has formed with both staff and campers. Relationships are very important to Coach Cooper. He believes that a good coach is an overall life coach. In fact,  being a mentor and forming lasting relationships with his athletes as their tennis skills develop are what he loves most about coaching.

When he’s not coaching tennis or lacrosse, Coach Cooper enjoys golfing, fishing, cycling, and watching movies. Those who are familiar with Coach Cooper’s intensity when it comes to sports might be surprised to learn that he’s also a thespian who loves theatre and acting and has “dabbled” (as he says) in the industry.

Here’s to a successful first summer at Camp Starlight for Coach Cooper!

Wayne County Update

Sunday, July 27th, 2014

Girls Tennis vs. Chen-A-Wanda, July 26

The 9th grade lower seniors are moving forward towards a finals match-up with a solid 5-0 victory against Chen-A-Wanda. All the singles matches were won handedly by Ella S., Juia K. and Dani S. (8-1)(8-2)(8-1) respectively. Smart decisions led to solid shot making by all three players, with some unnecessary unforced errors mixed in. All in all, three were solid performance from Starlight. At the #1 doubles position the team of Allison M. and Madison L. were tested, but cam through with a 8-6 victory. Communication was key in the victory. Madison L. served great and Allison M. had solid net play. Abby R. and Jesse F. played well together for the first time coming away with an 8-0 victory. Good overall teamwork and solid performances by everyone. Congrats to the 9th grade girls moving toward the finals.

Coach Craig Cooper, Rachel Mills, Gabby Samkova

6th Grade Boys Soccer vs. Chen-A-Wanda

The 6th graders hosted Chen-A-Wanda, a team they last met as 4th graders in 2012.  That game ended with Starlight winning 2-0, and this game was also a close affair.  Chen-A-Wanda nicked a goal against the run of play to take a one-nil lead.  Starlight responded in kind to level the contest before a Chen-A-Wanda goal a minute before half-time saw Starlight head to the break with it all to do in the second half.

A good start saw Starlight level within five minutes, and then with 8 minutes remaining Starlight took the lead for the first time in the game, something they would not relinquish running out winners 3-2.  Aidan C.  made a number of fine saves, especially in the dying minutes with Chen-A-Wanda, trying to send the game into overtime.  Ethan B. and Harrison S. put in fine performances at the back, as did Jack T. in midfield.

Starlight is now headed to the championship game where they will likely face Wayne.

Wayne County Update

Friday, July 25th, 2014

Baseball vs. Camp Chen-A-Wanda, July 20

7th grade Starlight lost a tough game at Chen-A-Wanda at home. Fielding proved to be the most important factor in this game. Camp Starlight committed 7 errors while Chen-A-Wanda only committed 1 error. Starlight had 4 hits while Chen-A-Wanda only had 2 hits, but 8 walks in a 7-1 victory over Starlight. Great efforts by Eric M, Ben G., Cooper G. and Gabriel F. must be noted. Additionally in the 7th grade game, Starlight was not selective at the plate swinging at anything close early in the count. Not waiting for the right pitch definitely proved to be important and detrimental for the Starlight hitter. Also, many players lost focus after being down early and never gained it back. Final score of 14-1. Jacob P. was strong for 5 innings of no hit pitching!

Baseball vs. Camp Lavi, July 21

The 4th grade team pitchers threw 4 innings of no hit ball! Pitcher Jared S. and Charlie G. only walked 2 while the offense scored 6 runs in a 6-1 victory over Camp Lavi! Key batters were Jackson F. and Ryan G., both with 2 hits each.

Boys Tennis vs. Camp Tioga,  July 21

The 5th grade and under boys are moving on to the finals in Wayne County Competition with a convincing win over Camp Tioga 4-1 in the semis. At 1st singles Sloan S. fell 8-6 to a strong player from Italy.  At 2nd singles Jaden Y. maintained his concentration and focus played the big points smart and won 8-5. Jake P. at 3rrd singles had to fight back and then took control of the match winning 8-6. In fine fashion the 1st doubles team of Max G. and Ben M. played solidly and communicated will in a dominating 8-2. At two doubles the new team of Dylan K. and Jonah M. played together in winning their first match 8-3. Congrats to the entire 5th grade team, moving on to the finals. We are excited for great things to come!

Final Score 4-1, W

Coaches Craig Cooper and David Wilford

Girls Tennis vs. Camp Wayne, July 21

The 5th grade and under girls came through gloriously with a sweep 5-0 over Camp Wayne in their second Wayne County match. Emerson P. and Hannah S. were tested in their matches and came through 6-4, 6-3 respectively. Heather G. won going away 6-0. Both doubles teams oh Hannah J. /Hannah W.  and Sklyer C. /Juliette S. dominated by winning (6-0)-(6-0). Everyone is having fun competing and learning more about the game of tennis every day. Congrats moving on Starlight 5th grade girls!

Final Score 5-0, W

Coaches: Craig Cooper, Dani Rubenstein and Amanda Gilberg