Posts Tagged ‘summer camp values’

Get Out of Your Comfort Zone and Break Your Usual Routine

Monday, December 26th, 2016


It is pretty hard to step out of your comfort zone when you are literally in your comfort zone. Being in the comfort of your own home makes breaking your normal routine a little difficult.  When you are at home, you find that you are always waking up in your same room, eating breakfast at the same place, going to the same places and hanging out with the same people who are doing the same things.  Many people like routine; they enjoy the security of knowing what’s going to happen and when it’s going to happen and not having any surprises. Unfortunately, things can get very boring very quickly this way.


So when you make the decision to physically get out of your comfort zone, and head to Camp Starlight for the summer, you have no choice but to do different things, with different people, in a totally different place. Breaking your usual routine is a little bit easier when you’re somewhere else.


Breaking up your routine is good for you for many reasons.  First, it helps you to see things differently. It also help you to become more creative, more perceptive, and be OK with not being in control all the time.  When you get out of your comfort zone, you are bound to make mistakes. The good thing about mistakes is that they are a learning opportunity. The more mistakes you make the more you learn.  Doing things that make you nervous, afraid, or uncomfortable can be a great teaching tool.  If you are normally an indoor sort of person, bike riding, rock climbing, or learning to sail may make you kind of nervous. However, trying these things exposes you to experiences that are new and exciting, and can teach you a lot about yourself.


When you expose yourself to things that are unfamiliar, it makes your brain work. When your brain is working, you’re constantly learning and growing. It is great brain exercise to step out of your comfort zone and do things that are a little different.


Another great benefit of breaking up your every day routine is that it also allows you to break bad habits. If you find that you are constantly biting your nails while you watch TV, you may be able to break that habit at camp since you will be too busy having fun to care about TV.  If you have a bad habit of interrupting people, you will quickly learn to communicate more effectively by being surrounded by new people at camp. Breaking up your routine also causes you to break bad habits.


The great thing about stepping out of your comfort zone at camp is that you hardly have to do any work at all. Just by merely being at camp you are already taking the first step in changing your routine.  Every morning when you wake up at camp, there is a new day ahead of you with new experiences to try, new people to meet, and new things to learn.  Unless you sail, dance, create, climb, swim, bike ride, hike, and explore on a daily basis at home, being at camp is definitely going to be a change in your normal every day routine.  It is going to require you to do things that make you a little nervous, but in the end will give you a boost of confidence.


Habit and routine can be comforting, and can be a great way to stay organized and on track. However, switching it up a little bit is good for your brain, good for your soul, and good for yourself confidence.



So the Kids are Coming Home Tomorrow…

Saturday, August 11th, 2012

It’s hard to believe that it’s already that time, but in less than 24 hours, parents, seeing your children’s faces and finding out what they’ve been up to will no longer involve hitting the refresh button.  They’ll be with you, in the flesh.  If you’ve been meaning to squeeze in one more date night before they get home, it’s tonight or bust.  If you still have some programs backed up on your DVR, put on some comfy clothes, order takeout, and set your phone to vibrate.  Tomorrow you will likely lose custody of the television remote to your overly enthusiastic daughters who know they have almost an entire season of Pretty Little Liars to catch up on.

But if this blog, so far, has you thinking of Googling “fall camps,” in less than 24 hours, you will also  be hugging your children, gushing over arts & crafts projects, and hearing lots of very entertaining stories.  For at least the next week, it’s almost a given that your children will begin almost every sentence with, “At camp…”  Something at the supermarket will remind them of something that happened at camp.  A commercial will remind them of something that happened at camp.  A song will remind them of something that happened at camp.  The list goes on.  And that’s a good thing!  It means that by sending your children to camp, you give them an experience in which they find great value.  In spite of that occasional spat with friends that is over within a few blinks, the rare teary phone call home, and that letter complaining that they have too much of an activity they don’t love, campers LOVE camp.  Every sing along, every special event, every meal, every athletic competition, and, yes, even those activities that are not their favorites (as well as those that are) supply moments and memories that they wouldn’t trade for any other summer experience because they’re moments spent with special friends at a special place.  This, incidentally, is why your children might be a little bit red eyed when you meet the bus or pick them up at the airport tomorrow.

Every year, we exchange teary goodbyes just before the buses leave camp.  Although everyone is excited to see their families, after two months of being together virtually 24/7, it’s difficult for campers to part from camp friends who they might not see again until next summer, or even beloved counselors who they might never see again.  The people of Camp Starlight are a big reason that it is such a special place for so many people, which is why many of our campers and staff begin the countdown to next summer before the last bus has even left camp.  As our theme for this summer goes: “We Take Care of Our Own.”  So if this time next week you’re fairly convinced that your child has broken some sort of record for the amount of times it’s humanly possible to use the word “camp,” relax.  There are only ten more months until next summer.  Your children are likely already counting down.  Make it a family thing and enjoy the fact that camp is a gift of which your children can’t get enough.

Respecting Tradition

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

Throughout the summer, key staff members give address the camp during Friday Night Services.  The following is a recent address given by CA Division Leader Nora.  Because it’s timely not just to the Olympics in London but to our current Olympics, we want to share it.

“The Olympics started today…in London!  Tonight, the opening ceremonies for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games were held.  How fitting is it that, on a night where we honor the theme of “RESPECT” here at Starlight, an event revolved around respect and tradition begins worldwide.  The Olympics calls for various types of respect.  We show respect for the athletes representing our various countries, the athletes show respect for each other, and of course, the athletes show respect for themselves.  These are all topics that different Key Staff members have addressed in the previous weeks’ Key Staff Address.  Tonight, I want to talk about respecting traditions.

Much like our own Olympics, the Summer Games is a long standing tradition with various components that still exist today because of the respect it has garnered from year to year.  Respecting traditions is something we do every day here at Starlight, whether it be chanting a song or cheer, raising and lowering the flag, or even wearing a Starlight shirt to Friday night services, the respect that each of us holds for these traditions is what cultivates and nurtures these customs so that not only we, but those Starlighters deep into the future, can enjoy and appreciate as well.

The beginning of the 6th week at Starlight is always a time of anticipation and excitement.  As we all know, “the good stuff” happens at the end of the summer!  Most of these events are long standing traditions that still thrive today because of the respect that past and current Starlighters hold for these customs.  One specific event is the Senior Show.  And again, how fitting is it that tomorrow night’s Senior Show is Fiddler On The Roof, a show centered around respect and respect for tradition.  And not only that, but how fitting is it that tomorrow night is Jeff and Denes’ 100th show together at Starlight.  Two people who truly help us all respect the many traditions and customs that make Starlight so unique.  What a special weekend to begin a special part of the summer.

So, as we begin this 6th week of Summer 2012, I encourage each and every one of you to think about all the respect for tradition that has helped shaped the summer that we have been enjoying, and will enjoy for the next couple of weeks.  Think about how you can respect these traditions, so that not only we, but our fellow Starlighters in the future can love and appreciate for years to come.  Shabbat Shalom.”