Posts Tagged ‘sleepaway camp’

You Know You’re From Camp Starlight When

Monday, July 24th, 2017

When you leave Camp Starlight at the end of the summer you start the countdown for when you can return, hoping that within those ten months of waiting you will run into friends from camp. When you are back home, their are so many signs that point to the fact you or your friend is from Camp Starlight. You know you’re from Camp Starlight when…

  1. All the clothes in your closet are blue and white. Whether they are saved from Olympics day or just from athletics, blue and white dominates your wardrobe.
  2. Your favorite time of the year is summer. When you’re asked which time of the year you enjoy most, you blurt out summer before the question is even finished.
  3. You sing along to all the words in “Sweet Caroline.” You will belt out the chorus without thinking twice because it takes you back to all those times you sung them together with your friends in the dining hall.
  4. Your alarm ringtone is Reveille. You can’t start the day without those trumpets because you know that if you wake up to anything else it’s a betrayal to your summer camp self.
  5. You have prominent tee shirt tan lines. Spending every day outside in the sun, the rays tan your skin but miss your shoulders because you’re always sporting a Camp Starlight tee every day of the summer.
  6. Your desk is full of letters from summer camp pen pals. The mailmen even starts the recognise the names on the letters because the correspondence between camp friends is something that can never be stopped.
  7. Your wrists are covered in friendship bracelets. Collecting them all summer long from your camp friends, friendships bracelets practically become a part of you and never leave your wrist.
  8. Your favorite place in the whole world is located in the middle of Pennsylvania. People will wonder why you won’t believe the tropical beaches of Mexico or the Eiffel Tower in Paris hold the title of most best place to travel, but you know that Camp Starlight in Pennsylvania is the most special and magical place in the whole world to go live.

Spreading the Love of Music

Sunday, July 23rd, 2017

Written by Theresa M. Piano Specialist.

My world is that of music and piano is my language. As the Piano Specialist at Camp Starlight, I have the opportunity to spread the music vibes and help kids nurture their love for music and that is why I believe I have the best job at Camp Starlight. Every day campers from all divisions come into the studio with an extensive knowledge of music or none at all, and I am able to have fun with all of them. I am always surprised with their talent and to see their skills develop is so grand, especially when kids from lower camp accomplish a simple skill because the joy in their faces when say “I did it!” is brilliant. Even though all these campers have different levels of skill, they all are so supportive of each other’s accomplishments, whether it is learning the C scale or mastering a complex song on the piano. There is a great sense of comradery and I am so happy to be a part of it. As the piano specialist, I am proud to be passionate about the piano but my favorite part of my job is when the campers tell me they really enjoy learning the music or that this part of the day is the one they most look forward to–those are the moments I look forward to in a way that is hard to explain other than pure joy. When the campers tell me they enjoy letting go and just allowing the music to take over, it is the most rewarding feeling to know they share those same feelings as I do about the music. Sharing the music vibes is why I know I have the best job at Camp Starlight.

Jesse H. Speech

Friday, July 21st, 2017

My name is Jesse H. and I am here today to speak to you about courage. Courage is a word with many meanings. Whether it is facing your fears, trying a new thing, or simply stepping out of your comfort zone, courage is a quality we should all apply to our personalities. Sometimes our courage is diminished when there are obstacles in the way. The most intimidating and dangerous obstacle, however, oftentimes is ourselves. Our personal fear is a limiting factor that every single one of us lives with. However, I can offer a piece of advice to all of you that may help your struggle against fear. As Franklin D Roosevelt said, ‘The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.’ Let me elaborate by telling a story…

During my Upper Inter summer, we were having a blast at Dorney Park. Back then I was terrified of any ride that wasn’t a merry-go-round. Throughout the day, I avoided all of the big coasters. After a few hours, my group approached the last ride. For those of you who have been to Dorney, you may have heard the name “Steel Force.” For those of you have not yet been, you will get to know the name very soon, because it is a mighty sight to behold. Our counselor urged me to go on. In my head I was panicking, and then a thought came to me. “Why am I scared of these? I know these coasters have been tested thousands of times, and also that G-d will protect me no matter what.” At that moment, I realized that if I looked at my fears more objectively, then there is, in fact, nothing scary about these rides. Willingly, I hopped on board Steel Force. I screamed a lot, but I had an absolute blast; it made my day and the entire trip a wonderful time. I learned how to turn fear and anxiety into courage and excitement. Now every time I am on a coaster, I think about that moment when I successfully translated my fear into courage.

Parallel to this little allegory, courage continues to be a necessary device when making important life decisions. Should I have a Bar Mitzvah? Will I get married? Will I have children? Should I go back on line for seconds? Questions such as these have life-altering consequences, and require a certain degree of courage to move forward and to make the correct decision. Doing the right thing isn’t always easy, but with a little love, judgement, a strong will, and a healthy dose of courage, making the right choices should come a bit easier. Demonstrating courage can improve anyone’s life ten-fold. Just remember the words that the only thing to fear is fear itself (FDR). I remember when my father first told me these words. I couldn’t fully comprehend what it meant back then, like some of you may be experiencing right now. Eventually, if you can start to understand, I promise you your life will be prosperous and exciting.


Help Campers Express Creativity Through Dance

Thursday, July 20th, 2017

Written by Hana M.

Everyday when I walk into the dance studio I look at the wall of mirrors and wonder what talent I will see today, marvelling at what new dance moves will be performed and what new techniques will be mastered. The dance studio brings in new campers everyday of all different skill levels and being able to watch the creativity and passion flow from these campers is why I believe I have the best job on campus as the Dance Specialist. Coming into the studio with a crazy amount of energy and smiles, the campers always come ready to learn a new move or dance routine. I feed off their energy and it drives me to have the most fun possible with them, it makes me eager to teach and help them master new skills of dance. When the campers pick up on something they have never worked on before and master it with ease it is so exciting to watch. On the other hand, when campers with lower confidence in their dancing abilities pick up on the dance I become overjoyed to see their progress and see how they realize they can dance. One of my favorite parts of my job is to see campers build their confidence as camp goes on, increasing the difficulty of the dance moves or pace of the routine. When I see campers overcome these struggles and present a final dance it gives me the most rewarding feeling as a counselor. The final dance, whether it’s presented to the camp, at competition or just in the studio, always looks so effortlessly done, but I know all the hard work that is put in to make it look effortless and that is an honor to me. Helping these campers express themselves through dance and song and see them accomplish so many goals is why I know I have the best job at Camp Starlight.

Krispy Kreme Makes for a Sweet Morning

Tuesday, July 18th, 2017

Instead of Reveille ringing throughout camp in the early morning, a famous jingle is played and awakens campers faster than ever before: it’s a Krispy Kreme morning. To excite campers for another fun day at Camp Starlight, the Krispy Kreme theme song is played all throughout camp and wakes up campers from their own dreams to enter a real dream of sugary glazed donuts. The jingle immediately has campers leaping out of their bunks and flying down to the Dining Hall in just their pajamas to get their hands on two perfectly glazed donuts. The giant green Krispy Kreme sign stationed at the front of the Dining Hall is like a beacon of light and hope to the campers and quickens their pace even more. No counselor needs to hurry their campers out of bed because the campers are already two steps ahead of them because they know how delicious and delightful the first bite of a Krispy Kreme will be. Waiting in line will deter no one as camp director David passes out the treats to every single camper while clad in a Krispy Kreme shirt and hat. Campers always look forward to Krispy Kreme breakfasts because of how fun it is to eat sugary donuts but they also love it so much because they get to eat these treats with all of their closest friends. The campers joke around with each other by pretending that the donuts are their own eyes or place them on their fingers to imagine a new diamond ring. The donuts bring out the most playful side of the campers in the morning and bring them together, bonded by sugar and laughter. Sitting down in the Dining Hall wearing pajamas and and spreading a smile full of Krispy Kreme, campers happily enjoy the special breakfast knowing that the rest of the day at Camp Starlight will be just as sweet.

S-Days Change Up The Pace and Fun

Monday, July 17th, 2017

While most people tend to look forward to the weekends and dread Mondays, at Camp Starlight campers look forward to Mondays the most because they are S-Days. On these special days, a theme is designated for all the activities that take place that day and varies between division. Whether it’s a banana theme or a winter wonderland, these themes excite the campers for a day full of special events. S-Days change up the pace significantly at camp because the activities are longer and therefore fewer of them, allowing the campers to thoroughly enjoy an entire afternoon making volcanoes in a mad science activity or spending quality time at the waterfront while groups going tubing on the lake. S-Days keep campers on their toes because they really will never know what to expect. Additionally, the element of surprise with S-Day themes excites the campers even more and really brings them together when they finally get to dress up or participate with the theme. These special Mondays are what campers look forward to every week, but they look forward to spending them together with their friends even more. The chance to be silly in themed costumes or fool around in these themed activities is how campers form deeper bonds and connections with one another.

Campers Teach Counselors Valuable Lessons

Sunday, July 16th, 2017

Throughout a normal day at Camp Starlight, campers will be often asked what they learned that day. Did they master a new serving technique in tennis? Did they learn how to overcome stage fright for the play on Saturday night? There are many lessons a camper can learn from their counselors, but there are also many lessons campers can teach to counselors. The most valuable lesson counselors are taught by their campers is that of patience. It is not a fast lesson or something learned in one period of the day, patience is taught over a long time. Patience teaches counselors how to reword or rephrase directions so that campers can better understand them, patience bridges a language barrier. Patience shows counselors to be straight to the point with directions and to be kind at all times, even if the day is not going as smoothly as desired, learning not to sweat the small stuff and that there is a way around every obstacle. Patience is how hard work is completed and positive results are made, slacking in energy will only hinder the progress and yourself. It is amazing to see that even though counselors are doing most of the teaching in terms of technique, skill and instruction, campers are the one that do most of the life changing in the counselor. Campers are full of surprises in terms of what they have learned and what they can create, but they consistently teach counselors the same lesson of patience every summer and the lesson isn’t fully taught until the last day of summer. When the counselor sees their campers accomplished in their sport or activity on the last day, this is when the lesson of patience is learned and mastered by the counselor.

Camp Starlight Studios

Sunday, July 16th, 2017

Walking into Starlight Studios, you just enter a place where creativity explodes. A space where campers are encouraged to think outside the box, campers are provided the opportunity to make short films, talk shows, interviews, news reports or music videos with their own personal twist. On some days campers will be filming outer space themed talk shows or on other days they will be traversing campus to interview candidates for a “would you rather” special. A medium that is not popularly worked with among kids, exploring the boundaries of videography is a special chance for campers to develop a passion for film and the fine arts. The exposure of photography and the world of film to younger campers allows them to explore this art early on in life. Campers come up with many creative elements to add to a film or a news report but they are also taught the techniques of filming properly. Learning how to shoot and make cues, campers learn how to film very professionally, producing high quality material. When campers run around campus filming with their friends and create a final product they realize how much they can transform their world with just a video camera and a few ideas. They feel like they are actually on a live television show or starring in a Hollywood film, becoming the stars in their own reality. The opportunities at Starlight Studios are endless and the only limit is the width of a camera lens for a camper.

Boating and Waterskiing at Camp Starlight

Saturday, July 15th, 2017

Written by Adam A.

When I walk down to the boating dock every morning, sand is squished in between my toes and the smell of the lake water fills my nose. The morning chill makes everything so quiet before campers will come rushing down to the lake to go waterskiing, boating and tubing once the sun fully comes up. Seeing the excitement on their faces when they run to the boating dock to anticipate another fun day under the sun is why I believe I have the best job on campus as the Head of Boating and Waterskiing. With the sun shining on the waves of the lake as my permanent view, I look forward to working every single morning. The atmosphere is relaxing but at the same time so full of energy when the campers come down to play in the water. They are always happy to be here and eager to learn how to finally stand up in the water skis or properly sail out on the water and I have the opportunity to see that growth. It is so rewarding to see campers from my very first summer become advanced water-skiers and wakeboarders because they have mastered so much skill during my time with them. Their smile is so genuine when they truly master a skill on the water and it feels so rewarding to know I am the reason they are able to smile like that. There are so many possibilities in having fun on the water and so there are just that many possibilities for me to teach a camper something new and something they will remember for the rest of their life. Just as the water never gets old, neither does my passion for teaching campers new skills which is why I believe I have the best job at Camp Starlight.

Inspiration On and Off the Stage

Friday, July 14th, 2017

Written by Helena

One of the most exciting elements of Camp Starlight are the weekly stage productions among the different divisions, with the giant spotlights, intricate stage designs and lively singing and dancing, the theater produces a lot of entertainment. As the Theatre Specialist, I know my job is the best on campus because I get to go behind the scenes of all of this fun. I truly get to see what makes the show and how it gets better from start to finish. I see the best of the best. The director Jess Moss is a legend in itself and working besides him day in and day out makes my job the best. The ability to work with every single camper is so much fun too because often enough the campers that have never been a part of a stage production or in a theatre are the ones that get the lead role in the show. The looks on their faces when they find out the cast list is so great, whether it is shock or excitement. Each week I see so much growth in the campers becoming more confident with their roles or abilities on the stage. One of my favorite parts of the theatre is after the show ends and the campers will say “Yes! We did it!” They give me a hug of pride, joy and relief all at once and in that moment those campers feel like they are my own kids and I am so proud of them. Those moments, combined with all the amazing elements that go into producing a show every week, is what makes my job on campus truly the best.