September 20th, 2018
Sixteen is not an age you would associate with a summer camp. When you think of a sixteen year old, words like “rock n roll,” “rebellion,” and “sleep in extremely late” flash like snapshots of your own teen years into your head. Teenagers typically want to get away from it all and live in the moment, but at Camp Starlight, sixteen year olds break these stereotypes as Counselor Assistants. Pushing the limits of responsibilities and taking the initiative to embrace upcoming adulthood, Counselor Assistants spend another summer at Camp Starlight in the in between stage of camper and counselor. Not yet counselor, not entirely camper, these kids enter a role entirely their own on campus and even though it is a unique role, these kids enter this sphere for a reason.
“What inspired me to return for this summer was that for the past 8 summers all my counselors were so kind, supportive and motivating in everything I did and helped me with everything I needed. I want to be that person these campers look up to and I want to be the same role model for my kids one day,” said Marni, a Counselor Assistant.
Even though starting the transition from camper to counselor is challenging, these kids believe and do make a difference in the life of the campers. Each and every one of these counselor assistants have grown up with the values of Camp Starlight rooted into them, accepting that friendship, tradition and family is a part of their identity. The determination to sacrifice a summer of possible shenanigans back home as teenagers highlights how seriously these soon to be counselors want to continue to plant the traditions, fun and love of Camp Starlight into future campers, hoping new roots will grow alike to their own.
“I’m returning this summer as a Counselor Assistant because I can’t imagine a summer without all these people in my life,” said Lauren, a Counselor Assistant.
September 11th, 2018
For many campers, Camp Starlight becomes a second home, a special place that welcomes you back every summer like family and supports you to be the best person you can be. Camp Starlight becomes a staple in many campers lives’ and for a few of them it becomes a home they never leave when they decide to return as counselors. When they left Camp Starlight they realized they didn’t want their last summer as a camper to be the last time they get to watch a sunset over the lake or sing a song around the campfire, they wanted to continue to live through those traditions. After spending eight summers as a camper that gets to experience all the playful fun of camp, campers will transition to the role of counselors to experience summer camp in a whole different way. Former Camper Counselors return to Camp Starlight so they can help campers live the same amazing summers that they once did. These counselors recognize that when they were campers, their own counselors were the ones to push them out of their comfort zone and pick them up every time they were down, helping them become the individuals they are today. This is why so many campers return to become counselors, they want to change lives the way their own lives were changed. They want to help a camper find their passion and make them realize that Camp Starlight is their home when they feel homesick. They want to help campers understand how special of a place Camp Starlight is and that the happiness they find here will guide them for the rest of their lives, but most of all, campers return as counselors because they want to spread the love they have received from every summer spent at Camp Starlight.
September 4th, 2018
An iconic element of summer camp is the experience of sleeping in a bunk every night of the summer. Cozy wooden cabins house the campers for the entire summer and these bunks often times host the best memories a camper makes. What makes sleeping in a bunk one of the most fun aspects at Camp Starlight is that every night is a giant sleepover with your best friends. After all the evening activities are over, campers still have enough energy to get excited to return to their bunks. They know they get to slip into pajamas, climb into their beds and still have fun with their friends, whether they are just talking about the day or laughing and joking around with each other. It’s like every night is a pajama party and the fun doesn’t stop until you have to leave camp. In the bunk, no moment is ever dull. The campers get to share their thoughts from the day with each other and take the time to decompress as an entire bunk. The bunk helps these campers transform into a family, spending quality time with each other at the very start and the end of each day. As a family, they learn how to take care of each other, clean the bunk and work as a single unit to enjoy every single night of summer. Sleeping in a bunk every night is how the friendships these campers form throughout the summer are so strong because living together all summer encourages them to care for one another, support one another and love one another as a family.
August 21st, 2018
The staff at Camp Starlight is comprised of a wide range of people that hail from countries scattered all over the globe. Camp Starlight becomes a placed infused with so many cultures and new traditions in the summer when staff come from places such as New Zealand, England, Mexico and South Africa. When all these people come to Camp Starlight it can provide campers and other staff members with valuable insight into different lifestyles and help them learn about cultures that differ from their own. It is so valuable to have these international staff members because it helps Camp Starlight become a summer camp enriched with new ideas and cultures. Internationals can help bring new songs to sing around the campfire and new types of friendships bracelets to make for your friends, mixing up the regular everyday American camp customs. They also inspire people to travel and experience new things, broadening minds on different opportunities to take advantage of across the world. It is so important to have international staff so that the campers can still keep learning even in the summer. Even though summer camp is supposed to be a break from school, campers are learning so many important lessons and things about all these different cultures when they come to Camp Starlight. International staff helps campers remain curious and ask questions about things from all over the world, making Camp Starlight a better place for campers every summer.
August 10th, 2018
When you think about why Camp Starlight is the best place to spend a summer, usually exciting memories from Olympics flash in your head or a relaxing moment watching an iconic summer sunset over the lake floods your thoughts. The moments that make the biggest impression are typically the most anticipated special events, the ones that make you bubble with energy and want to jump up and down with excitement. There is no denying that these big moments affect a camper’s summer experience, but what is different about Camp Starlight is that it’s actually the little things that impact a camper the most. There are many rules at Camp Starlight and one of the smallest ones is the ten feet rule which indicates that wherever you go, if there is someone within ten feet of you, you say hello. It is a very simple concept, just saying hi to someone if they are in ten feet of you and the rule is small, but the effect is massive in the best of ways. The ten feet rule encourages everyone at camp, regardless of what your job entails or who you work with, to be friendly and kind. When everyone at camp practices this rule it creates the most welcoming atmosphere to be in because everyone is so kind to one another. This rule helps friendships form between people who usually never cross paths due to their specialty or division and helps bridge the gap of unfamiliarity, giving everyone the chance to branch out and share positivity. This rule is what can make a camper’s summer so memorable because Camp Starlight is a place where everyone is friendly and eager to make a new friend. The ten feet rule is a small rule in retrospect, but when the results create the welcoming and warm atmosphere that makes a camper feel at home at Camp Starlight, it proves that it’s truly the little things that matter most.
August 9th, 2018
When you spend eight summers of your life at the same summer camp, you get to reflect on all the magic you’ve experienced and memories you have made at a place that is so special and unlike anywhere else. At Camp Starlight, Upper Senior campers truly get to experience every single aspect of summer camp, transitioning from summer to summer with more responsibility and more fun. Upper Seniors get to see every angle of Camp Starlight and experience every special activity, they really do it all. However, when the last night of the last summer comes, it always arrives too quickly for these Upper Seniors. Reflecting back on every summer spent at Camp Starlight, here are the things that Upper Seniors will miss most about Camp Starlight when they have to say their final goodbye.
- The Traditions: They will miss all the iconic traditions that define Camp Starlight because that is what makes a summer camp experience. The relay races, Olympic games, powder puff football, color wars and campfires all make for a picture perfect summer and these traditions is what transforms a normal summer into a magical one to remember.
- The Staff: Coaches and counselors really help define a camper’s summer because they are the mentors in their life guiding them to achieve their goals and overcome their obstacles for that summer. The constant support and belief is what helps a camper become the better athlete, the better artist and the better individual.
- The Adventure: Campers are able to explore and feel an adrenaline rush practically every day on or off campus, travelling to different places and cities for special trips when they aren’t whizzing on the zipline or jumping great heights at outdoor adventure. The sense of adventure and opportunity to discover the unknown is an element of Camp Starlight that campers will yearn for the most.
- The Memories: Camp Starlight is unique in the fact that practically every moment can be transformed into a memory. Every evening activity, special event or moment that made a camper smile creates a summer for campers to always look back fondly on, the memories these campers make with each other are unique and often the ones they never forget for the rest of their lives.
- The Friendships: Since most campers don’t all come from the same place, summers spent at Camp Starlight are so special since this is the only time campers are able to connect and bond with their camp friends. Camp Starlight helps form friendships that are so strong and unlike any friendship back home. The friendships are a vital element of what campers look forward to seeing every summer and will regret saying goodbye to the most.
August 6th, 2018
Every day at Camp Starlight is completely different for me, I see a multitude of faces from every division and interact with campers I’ve known for five years or for five minutes. The only consistent aspect of my job is my ability to meet new people every day and that is why I know my job as the Athletic Director is the best job on campus. Whether I am overseeing Wayne County match or providing a helping hand for any athletics based evening activity, I am always on the move meeting and getting to know different campers. When campers express interest in a sport and I get to help them improve their skills, I also get to know who they are and why they are passionate about the sport. I love the relationships I get to form with the campers and when they get older and look back at these summers they won’t remember whether they won or lost a lacrosse or basketball game, they will remember the people they made relationships with, which I believe to be so cool. When I get to see these campers come back summer after summer and see how they grow in terms of skill and independence, it’s a very rewarding feeling for me. When campers that become too old for Camp Starlight but reach out before they go to college to tell me I’ve impacted their life positively, it is the most rewarding feeling. Those moments are why I know I have the best job at Camp Starlight.