Posts Tagged ‘sleepaway camp’

The Joy of Unplugging for the Summer

Monday, October 30th, 2017

 

Today’s world has become inundated with technology. Whether it be checking the amount of likes you received on your latest Instagram, scrolling through Facebook, or trying to take the perfect selfie, our focus on technology has overpowered our daily lives. Without the ability to live in the moment and appreciate our surroundings, technology continues to have the upperhand on blocking face to face communication between individuals. This is why getting the chance to unplug for seven weeks at camp is the perfect opportunity to take a step back from the outside pressures of life and enjoy the people that surround you.

 

For seven of the fifty-two weeks of the year, you can explore everything the world around you has to offer. Once reveille blows in the morning, your day starts by enjoying the view of the morning mist coming off the lake and the sounds of birds chirping. Meals are filled with lively conversations with your bunkmates, spirited cheers, and songs. As the day progresses, opportunities to grow your creativity and skills continue. From learning how to dive at the lake to conquering your fear of climbing the rock wall to then fly down the zipline, unplugging allows us to experience new adventures each day of the summer.

 

It may sound far-fetched, but the friendships I have established at camp have surpassed all other relationships I have ever made. Camp friends see the real you, not the version of yourself that you post for the world to see on social media. Without the barrier of a screen between individuals, concrete bonds can form and lifelong memories are made. Interactions at camp are both real and authentic. I still talk to my bunkmates from my first summer in 2006, and when I see them, it is as if we have never been apart.

 

The unplugged atmosphere at camp allows you to be yourself at all hours of the day. Whether it be coming up with a dance for MTV night, going to different activities with your bunk, or dressing up for a wacky event, your spirit and confidence shines. Everywhere you look, people are smiling, cheering, singing, and dancing. At camp, you can be yourself and achieve all your expectations, with the acceptance and support of everyone around you.

 

The act of unplugging is so much more than being without technology for seven weeks. It’s a chance to explore, create, and experience new adventures. Unplugging has allowed friendships to be established and lifelong memories to be made. Most importantly, unplugging at camp allows us all to embrace our individuality and learn to be our true selves.

Why I Cant Wait to Come Back to Camp Starlight

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017

For those who have never worked at a summer camp before, there are many questions to ask and ideas to consider about life at a summer camp, but at Camp Starlight, returning staff can put all worries to rest about what it is like to work at the most special summer camp this world has to offer.

For starters, working at a summer camp is all about helping kids grow and become better individuals and one of the most rewarding aspects of working at Camp Starlight is the ability to watch all sorts of talented kids grow and master what they love. More often than not, the staff returns to see the campers they have helped, anticipating all the potential within them for another summer at Starlight. Along with the campers, all the staff members look forward to spending another summer with friends they have met from all over the world. Camp Starlight nurtures friendships not just for campers, but for staff as well, and Camp Starlight is a place that allows people to strengthen friendships with people from Australia, South Africa, England and any place imaginable.

Because of all the people staff members at Camp Starlight are able to work with, Camp Starlight is the most positive working environment, everyone is happy to see and spend another day of the summer with their co-counselors and campers. It never really feels like work because you always have that much fun wherever and whatever you’re doing at Camp Starlight. With all these positive elements of working at Camp Starlight, it’s no wonder so many staff members return each summer to once again feel the magic of Camp Starlight, a place that is truly worth the ten for two.

What I Never Dreamt I Would Get Out of Summer Camp

Monday, September 25th, 2017

When working at a summer camp for the first time, there are many typical things that you would expect to happen like making friendship bracelets, sitting around a campfire or chanting traditional camp cheers. While all of these things do happen at Camp Starlight, there are many experiences that occur that take first time staff members for a surprise. The one thing that really surprises staff members working at Camp Starlight for the first time are all the positive life lessons they get out of their summer.

Working with kids of all different ages and coworkers from all different cultures truly provides first time staff members with a life perspective they’ve never experienced before. They learn so much about campers and other cultures and in turn learn so much about themselves. Camp Starlight is a place that helps first time staff members discover new skills, talents and passions about themselves just like the campers do. Before Camp Starlight, you might not have ever known that you have the best time working with younger kids or have a knack for coaching campers to the championship. You learn what skills you really have when working with kids and in what ways you can improve their lives for the better.

Not only do you learn new things about yourself, but you gain so many new memories and friendships unlike any other. Camp Starlight is a camp that gives you the opportunity to make a new best friend from Ireland and experience special events with your campers that create unique memories. You will never forget the thrill of Olympics, all the laughs from Friday Night Show or how sad you were to say goodbye to all your campers and friends on the last day of camp.

There are many things you will never dream you would get out of summer camp, but once you experience a summer at Camp Starlight you realize anything is really possible.

My Last Summer as an Upper Senior

Monday, September 18th, 2017

When I ran off the bus on the first day of camp, I immediately started crying because I was so happy to be back at Camp Starlight. As an Upper Senior, this was my last summer at Camp Starlight and when I arrived I knew I was ready to embrace that role at camp.

The last summer is bittersweet in how special it is. This is the summer where I finally got to do everything I ever wanted to do at camp and it was a blast, but this was the last time I would get to spend an entire summer with my best friends playing games, hanging in the Lake House and having all the fun I could want. Sometimes it is overwhelming having this much responsibility at camp and knowing that you’re a huge role model for the younger girls, but once I embraced that responsibility, I became a better leader for my division. There are so many life lessons you learn in your last summer at camp, for instance, I learned how important it is to be calm and collected in stressful situations and that it is better to always have a positive outlook in any situation. Learning this helped me be the best leader and find my voice in the division. All the responsibility of being an Upper Senior is hard work, but at the end of the summer when I realized how many amazing things happened because of my hard work, I realized how in the end it was all really worth it and that my summer wouldn’t had been as fun if I didn’t put in my all. It is incredibly hard to say goodbye to my summer home but I with all the amazing memories and friendships I’ve created over the years, I know Camp Starlight will never really leave me.

– Bailey R., Camper

 

Polar Bear Challenge Motivates Campers

Monday, September 11th, 2017

Jumping into a teeth chattering cold lake every morning isn’t the most pleasant sounding idea at Camp Starlight, but you would be surprised by how many people willingly do it and there’s actually a great reason why they do.

At Camp Starlight there is a special club you can be a part of if you jump into the lake every single morning of the summer. Jump in, splash around and embrace the cold and you’ll be a member of the prestigious Polar Bear Club. Each morning campers from all the divisions jump into the lake to complete the daily task of being in the Polar Bear Club. No skips are allowed, even if it’s extra chilly in the morning, and if you successfully complete this challenge there is a special party at the end of the summer just for you.

It’s a silly challenge but there are so many benefits to being a part of the Polar Bear Club because of everything it teaches campers. For a camper to participate in this means they start their day completing a challenge a lot of people won’t even attempt to do. When a camper starts every morning overcoming a challenge and feeling accomplished, it sets them up to have a positive day where they can accomplish many more things. This ripple effect will translate into campers realizing how much potential is inside them, motivating them to tackle larger and more difficult challenges. The Polar Bear Challenge also shows campers the importance of determination and to never give up, especially on mornings when it’s a bit nippier than usual.

Their hard work pays off when at the end of the summer they realize they are one of few campers that were actually motivated enough to become a member of the Polar Bear Club, the rewarding feeling is something that makes all those cold mornings well worth it.

Bunk Plaques Add to Growing Starlight History

Monday, August 28th, 2017

The history of Camp Starlight is as deep and diverse as an ocean, full of life and a variety of characters, this summer camp contains an endless amount of history. There are so many stories that can be told within the gates of Starlight.

One way to leave your bit of history and to make your camp story last a lifetime is through the tradition of decorating a bunk plaque at the end of the summer. With the help of everyone inside your bunk, a plaque is given to every bunk on boys and girls side to decorate however they like to tell a story about their summer. Inside jokes and funny incidents are often inscribed on these wooden plaques, the paint depicts all the fun these campers have experienced this summer. No matter what is painted or dusted with glitter, the plaque symbolizes all the fun Camp Starlight was able to provide for these campers.

The plaque allows for a bunk to bond over all the good and sometimes the rough times of the summer, reminiscing over everything they have gone through together and will remember for the rest of their lives. This tradition is so special in the way it brings all the campers and counselors together, reminding everybody of how they were able to overcome challenges and accomplish goals as a bunk, the summer wouldn’t have been the same without everyone in the bunk taking part in helping each other.

These plaques are forever hung in the Dining Hall of camp, the one place everyone is gathered for important times of the day. When you look up at your plaque from this summer or summers ago, you are able to remember all the amazing memories you have made at Camp Starlight and the unique experiences you wouldn’t be able to participate in anywhere else. With your plaque, your history is forever a part of Camp Starlight’s.

The Summer Closes but Starlight Will Never Fade

Friday, August 18th, 2017

As last sunset of the summer touches the lake and the Starlight shirts are packed away, another summer at Camp Starlight has come to a close. The summer flew by as the wind does through the trees, easily and without notice. It’s not until the activities slow down and trunks lift out of the attic that you realize another summer of fun, laughter, excitement and challenge has come and gone. You won’t be able to see the growth within yourself if you stare up close in the mirror, but it is visible in the list of achievements you’ve accomplished throughout the summer, whether big or small. Smiling at your new friends and hugging your old ones, Camp Starlight has brought you together with people you never knew you would meet in life from all over the world. Remembering all the times you spent laughing at the evening activity, singing and cheering during Olympics and how excited you were to start the summer when you hopped off the bus, the memories from the summer of 2017 flood you entirely. It’s really at the end of the summer that you realize how special this place is and how it’s magic transforms an ordinary summer of work and play into a season of outrageous amounts of fun and unique opportunities. Preparing for goodbyes have never been as difficult as when you have to separate from those you have grown closest to and admire. You may wonder how does time move this fast exactly when you don’t want it to and why will these next ten months until camp feel like ten years. The wait is long, the goodbyes are hard and the heartache is heavy, but all of this is worth it when you hop on the bus to go home because you know soon enough you will hop right back off to your summer home, Camp Starlight.

Camp Starlight Olympics: Blue Girls Day 2

Wednesday, August 9th, 2017

For the second day of Olympics, the girls of Happy Blue Day proved even stronger than on the first day, amping up all the energy and spirit for the games. The Juniors served up some tough competition for the Grand Stand Whites on the tennis courts and battled in the sand during a tough game of Newcombe on the volleyball courts. The sand of beach volleyball and the nets of the tennis courts were also well defended by the Lower Inters, bringing just as much intensity as the Juniors. Running bases with ease, the Upper Inters glided through pitches on the softball diamond and took their coordination skills to the test for the soccer shootouts. The Lower Debs also put their soccer skills to the test for an exciting game of soccer against the white team. Upper Debs dribbled effortlessly around the Grand Stand Whites in basketball and slammed some pitches for a game of softball. Defending Happy Blue Day with ferocity, the Seniors raced around the field in soccer and competed in the boating meet with power and spirit. All the girls proved their dedication to their team and made their coaches and counselors proud when sporting the color blue with pride.

Camp Starlight Olympics: White Girls Day Two

Wednesday, August 9th, 2017

The Grand Stand Whites packed a powerful punch for the second day of Olympics, raising the bar in spirit and sportsmanship for the day’s activities. Inspired by the previous day’s events, the Juniors put all their passion into exciting games of tennis and beach volleyball against Happy Blue Day. Battling in the sand, the Lower Inters dominated in a game of Newcombe and then later put all their energy onto the tennis courts just like the Juniors. Running the bases, the Upper Inters took pride in a great game of softball and kicked with power for the soccer shootout. Bringing the heat to the black top and the pitch, the Lower Debs played exciting games of basketball and soccer while the Upper Debs pushed hard for the win in basketball and softball. The Seniors showed off many summers worth of practice for an intense game of soccer against Happy Blue Day, fighting to prove that white is better than blue. With Lower Camp competing in a swim meet and Upper Camp in a boating meet, the Grand Stand Whites faced off in the water for a fun afternoon of healthy competition. The girls worked really hard the second day and had fun cheering on their friends through wins and losses, happy to be experiencing Olympics at the end of a perfect summer.

Camp Starlight Olympics: White Girls Day 1

Wednesday, August 9th, 2017

The first morning of the 2017 Olympics started with the Lower Camp boating meet, the Juniors and Inters swam with confidence and pride for their team. The Grand Stand White came out on top in other divisions as well. As the morning continued, the Lower Debs served up some strength in tennis, ran through the bases for a great game of softball and made a great impact in the sand for beach volleyball. Following suit, the Upper Debs also defended the nets in tennis and played their white hearts out in a game of soccer. Taking note from Upper Camp, the Inters of Lower Camp played hard in games of Gaga, tennis and knockout. Not to forget to mention that the Juniors rocked it out at soccer in the afternoon. The Seniors really showed camp what it means to be a part of the Grand Stand Whites with nailbiting games of softball, volleyball, soccer shots and flag football, these girls brought an intense amount of energy and inspired all of Grand Stand White to work hard and push it to the limits for Olympics. The girls started Olympics with a bang and there is more to come from this team of white spirit.