Camp Starlight Memories

May 7th, 2019

Camp Memories 2018

  1. Making brand new friends in the bunk
  2. Having cool counselors from all over the world
  3. Tubing around the lake
  4. Having two awesome camp sisters
  5. Funny times in the bunk
  6. Being a music kitten in the play Aristocats
  7. Trying the star jump for the first time ever
  8. Going to the best camp ever!
  • Sydney G1

Some of my favorite camp memories were…

  1. Winning MTV Night divisionals
  2. Getting pizza for dinner on Junior day
  3. Having the best time ever with my amazing counselors and my awesome CA.
  4. Having a water fight after our parent left on visiting day. Even though I was crying the water fight cheered my right up.
  5. The best Olympic breakout!
  6. We saw the movie Coco after Olympics and we got popcorn

This year was a great year.

  • Andie G6

Camp Memories

It was raining so hard outside so our counselor Sydney started singing “Singing in the Rain”. So we all went outside and started singing with her. We all got soaked. It was so much fun.

  • Claudia G10

Appreciation at Camp Starlight

March 29th, 2019

Written by Tessa (Lakehouse B)

The word “appreciate” is simply one of the many that would come to my mind when thinking of this beautiful place. If someone were to ask me, “what did you appreciate overall during your upper junior summer?”, the answer would probably be the 10 Dena gave us on inspection that day, or maybe the canteen we would get 3 times a week. Coming upon my following summers here, my division leaders have been the ones who impacted me the most. Tracie teaching us to always walk around with our heads high. Janelle’s infectious attitude always relating back to being kind. Megan teaching me how to be a good person or better triceratops, upon entering my first year in upper camp. Then came my upper deb summer in 2016. Let me just say one word. Eagles. I could never appreciate something more than that summer blessing me with the relationships formed with the 35 girls in my division who I proudly call my sisters. When I say sisters, I truly mean family. Lower Senior summer with Shelby taught me that I cannot sweat the small things, and that it is beyond important to cherish every second in this place. Shelby has never failed to teach me that when we’re in this place, there is no other option to be anything but yourself. It is now my seventh summer, and being an Upper Senior who has now carried each tradition to every division below has really shown me how to appreciate every little thing and moment. Looking back, I wouldn’t change one moment, I wouldn’t even trade it for an extra canteen! Reflecting on my past summer I realize that my favorite place has given me my best friends, memories, opportunities and everything in between. Appreciation doesn’t necessarily have to be a “where”. The “how” is something that touches me the most. They say that home is where your heart is. Camp Starlight has my heart.

Rainy Day at Camp Starlight

March 4th, 2019

A rainy day at camp is better than a sunny day stuck at home!

Summer weather in the northeast can be unpredictable. Sometimes you have weeks of high temps and sunshine, other weeks you’ve got off-and-on rainstorms. Thankfully, Camp Starlight is here to provide an exceptional camp experience, rain or shine.

When it rains, the entire camp is prepared. There are countless indoor activities to keep campers entertained and occupied until the sun comes back out.

Performing Arts

There is no better way to spend a rainy day than enjoying a good show. Camp Starlight gives creative campers an outlet to work on their performance and musical interests. From theatre improve to dance and instrument practice, campers can express themselves through the creative arts. Regardless of skill level, every camper is welcome to participate in some of the many performing arts options at camp.

Creative Arts

While music, theatre, and dance may be the rainy day option for some, other creative campers prefer the visual arts. Camp Starlight introduces campers to woodworking, ceramics, drawing, jewelry and candle making. Aspiring artists can channel their inner creativity in many different ways at camp.

Other Rainy Day Options

The Camp Starlight experience is designed to give every camper a unique and personalized sleepaway camp experience. This is why some programs offer additional options for campers who have specific interests, such as radio broadcasting, science, cooking, and digital photography. These options keep kids in their zone as the rain comes pouring down.

Indoor Athletics

While many of camp’s sports programs are designed to be played outside in the beautiful summer weather, some indoor options allow campers to stay active without getting soaked. Gymnastics, fitness and aerobics, figure skating, and basketball are a few examples of sports that can be moved indoors. These options give campers plenty of possibilities for rainy day fun.

Camp Starlight always has a plan. Camp staff and counselors are prepared for rainy days and have tricks up their sleeves to ensure a rainy day is still just as much fun as a sunny days. The best part about rainy days at camp is that you are still surrounded by friends.

We never let a little rain ruin our fun at camp. No matter what the weather forecast says, campers fill every day with new activities, great food, new friends and adventure!

 

 

My Favorite Memories at Camp

February 25th, 2019

My favorite memory at camp is the first day. We all sat down at picnic table. We all said hi and played some games to get to know each other better. Camp is a place to make strangers into BFFs! I will never forget my first day at camp. My first summer ever!

Emma G4

My favorite camp memory is getting up on waterskies for the first time. I didn’t expect it to happen, but suddenly I was up, the boat made a circle and I passed the place I had started! I was so excited that I stopped concentrating super hard and I was just happy! It was the best feeling!

Zivi G5

My favorite camp memory is being lead part in the junior show. The Junior show was Aristocats and I was Duchess, I had a lot of lines and songs to sing. I even got to sing a solo! I can’t wait for next summer so I can be in another play.

Abby G4

My favorite memory at camp is when I went tubing with all my friends! I fell of because it was going really fast and laughed so hard! Another great memory was when we found a rubber chicken in our attic, and now it’s on our bunk plaque.

Lily W G7

 

Interpersonal Skills at Camp Starlight

January 28th, 2019

In a world where third graders have cell phones and middle school students are striving to be “Insta-famous,” it’s no wonder teachers, and parents are noticing that students lack basic interpersonal skills needed to be successful in the real world. This is why more and more adults are actively looking for ways for young people in their lives to connect with others and improve their communication skills. Camp Starlight is a great option for students not only to spend the summer having fun and trying new things but also provides a safe space for them to work on their interpersonal skills, meet new people and build relationships organically.

Listening

Being successful at camp means being able to listen to rules and expectations, follow directions and adhere to a schedule. Campers have a lot of freedom to make their own choices, but there are times when their safety, health, and wellbeing are dependent on listening to counselors and staff. Counselors make it a point to ensure all campers feel heard and demonstrate active listening strategies when campers are talking. Eye contact, body language, and asking questions are all way counselors show campers they are listening, and campers follow their example.

Campers are expected to listen to each other and avoid interruptions or distracting behaviors while fellow campers are talking. Learning to be a good listener will help campers be successful students during the school year and prepare them to be successful leaders as they enter the workforce.

Decision Making

Good leaders can make important decisions in a short amount of time. They understand how to use all the information that they have, consider their past experiences, common sense, and intuition, and decide with confidence. Campers are given hundreds of chances over their sleep away camp experience to work in their decision-making skills. From which activities they want to try each day to what they want for lunch, campers are trusted to make healthy, safe and smart decisions to customize their camp experience.

Problem Solving

While camp will easily be the most fun campers will have all year, not every moment is rainbows and butterflies. Campers will face challenges during their time away from home, and it may be the first time they are charged with solving big problems without their parents by their side. Counselors are always on hand to guide campers through obstacles and challenges, but encourage campers to find solutions on their own. After a summer at camp, campers are equipped with problem-solving strategies to help them become more effective leaders.

Verbal and Non-verbal Communication

In a world where children and teens do most of their communication from their phones or computers, it’s no surprise that many are lacking opportunities to practice good ol’ fashion face-to-face communication. Since screen time is minimal at camp, campers spend most of their time talking and listening to others, developing things like self-awareness, empathy, patience, conflict management and listening. They learn to read cues given off by other campers, and how to be aware of the way they interact with others, both one-on-one and in a group setting.

Camp helps campers bridge the gap when it comes to the critical interpersonal skills they need to be successful in life. And, as is most of the life skills that campers learn while they swim, fish, act, dance, hike, play, sing and explore, they usually have no idea they’re actually learning something. Every day, campers work on character building disguised as fun and leave camp more well-rounded than they came.

 

 

Snail Mail – Sending and receiving handwritten letters is much more personal

January 17th, 2019

When was the last time you wrote a handwritten letter? When was the last time you went out to the mailbox to find a handwritten letter addressed to you? If you are like most people, receiving a letter in the mailbox instead of an inbox is a special treat to be treasured. The idea that someone took the time to sit down and put their thoughts to you on paper, find an envelope, a stamp and get it out into the mailbox is something to be admired in this fast-paced world, which is what makes receiving mail so special.

At Camp Starlight, campers look forward to filling their friends and family back home in on the details of their camp experience through a series of handwritten notes. But participating in the ancient art of “snail mail” is about more than just touching base with friends and family back home. Writing and receiving letters benefits campers in many ways.

During their break away from school, students typically have fewer chances to practice their basic reading and writing skills. Writing letters helps campers fine-tune this skill in a way that is fun and personal. There is no pressure to get all of the spelling right or indent properly, just an opportunity for campers to practice their penmanship and creative writing skills. Receiving letters from home also gives them a chance to brush up on their reading skills.

For campers who are growing up in a technology-driven world, a letter from home while at camp may be their first experience in getting something personal in the mail. There is an anticipation that comes with waiting for the recipient to receive their letter, and then excitement in receiving the response. This experience could foster a love and appreciation for handwritten notes in campers, and encourage them to continue the tradition throughout their lives.

A letter from home can be just the thing a homesick camper needs to feel better. A letter is a tangible treasure campers can hold onto and look back on whenever they want. It is a tangible reminder of their life back home and a connection to their loved ones.

Campers can write as many handwritten letters home as they wish. They are encouraged to use their quiet times to reflect on their day and write about their experiences and adventure to share with people back home.

A summer at sleepaway camp introduces campers to some of life’s most simple pleasures, such as songs around a campfire, enjoying a sunset and appreciating the art of snail mail. Just another way Camp Starlight gives campers experiences that they may not have had anywhere else!

 

 

Camp Starlight Appreciation

January 10th, 2019

Written by Hayden (Lakehouse B)

Appreciation is often missed in our daily lives. We always are onto the next, never really stopping to appreciate what we’re doing. To me, appreciation can take many, many forms. It can be returning a favor, doing something kind for someone, or simply saying “thank you”.

I came to camp starlight as an upper junior. At the time, I did not know how much I would come to appreciate this place, my second home. However, my appreciation for camp runs deeper than just being here. I find things to appreciate at camp every day, like my amazing division and my opportunity to live in the Lakehouse with them. The beautiful sunsets I watch on Friday Nights with my best friends in the world.

This summer, when I went to outdoor adventure, I had one of those small but special moments that happen when you’re at Camp Starlight. Normally when I have outdoor adventure, I head right for the fire – building, but that day I decided to try the high ropes. I got all geared up and headed for the zipline. It was very hot, and let me say, I am not the best climber. That didn’t matter to me. I climbed all the way to the top, listening to the encouragement of my friends below. When I finally reached the top, I was nervous and couldn’t stop shaking. Suddenly, right before I leaped off of the edge, I looked around, and the world seemed still. I looked over camp and just appreciated the view and how hard I had worked to get there. I almost succumbed to the day-to-day lack of appreciation.

So, that zipline taught me a valuable lesson. It taught me that sometimes we all need to take a minute in all of our fast-paced lives to just appreciate. Appreciate this beautiful camp, the wonderful people in it. The views we get to take in, and so much more.

Saying Goodbye is harder than Saying Hello

January 4th, 2019

The campers who arrive at camp are not the same campers who go home at the end of the summer. After weeks playing, exploring, dancing, connecting, singing, running and trying new things, they leave camp better than they arrive. There is so much change and growth that happens between the first day and the last day. The first day of camp often looks very similar to the last day of camp, but for very different reasons.

The first day of camp is a mixture of excitement and anticipation. For many, it is the first time they spend an extended period of time away from home, and they are nervous about the change. Saying goodbye to their parents can be tough for campers, and there are often tears (from both the campers and the parents!) Everything is new and unfamiliar on the first day of camp, and although campers know they will have fun, they’re also unsure about how they will adjust and how they will fit in.

Throughout the summer, relationships are built, memories are made, and campers fall into a routine that feels comfortable and familiar. They try new things, meet new people, and discover new things about themselves. This slow but steady personal growth can be an emotional rollercoaster for campers but results in critical character building that will impact them throughout the school year.

As the last week of summer rolls around, there is a definite change in the vibe at camp. While campers are adamant about soaking in every last second of summer, they’re also keenly aware of the upcoming transition. On the final day, you can feel a familiar excitement and anticipation in the air. Campers are excited to go home but anxious and emotional about saying goodbye to the place and the people who have been so important to them for the entire summer.

Tears are definitely shed on the last day of camp. Campers cry as they hug their new best friends and promise to keep in touch over the school year, and parents cry tears of joy as they welcome their children home. It’s an emotional day all around, and many campers start their countdown to summer before they even drive off the grounds.

While it’s hard to watch campers say their emotional goodbyes, staff and counselors at Camp Starlight see it as a sign of a job well done: emotional goodbyes mean fun was had, friendships were born, and memories were made.

A summer at camp is a growing experience; an experience that starts and ends with big emotions. Both hellos and goodbyes can be difficult, but the growth that happens in between is what makes the sleepaway camp such a significant childhood milestone.

 

 

10 Ways to Connect with Campers: Camp Starlight Counselors

December 27th, 2018

To have a summer of fun and happiness as a counselor, you need to ensure that your campers are having just as much fun and are just as happy. The best way to make sure both you and your campers are having an amazing summer is to connect with them. Here are ten ways to connect with campers that will help everyone have a summer to remember.

  1. Get To Know Them: Find out what your camper is passionate about or what makes them excited to be at Camp Starlight. Figuring out who they are and what they want out of their summer experience will help you ensure they have a great summer.
  2. Attend Their Activities: When you see them participate in sports and activities you see them achieve goals or you see how you can help them overcome a challenge. Watching your campers have fun shows that you’re interested in their happiness.
  3. Laugh With Them: Laughing with your campers at a joke or funny event helps you connect with them and make memories. Always finding a time in your day to laugh with your campers shows them you want to be with them.
  4. Use Your Imagination: Don’t be afraid to be silly with your campers or use your imagination to make a day more fun with them. Using your imagination allows your campers to see how much fun you can have together.
  5. Eat Meals Together: Meal time is an important time of the day that allows for campers to talk about their day, what made them happy or what made them not so happy. Spending that quality time together ensures a deeper connection as the summer goes on.
  6. Smile: When you smile more it is proven to improve your mood and therefore you are more approachable to your camper. Smiling helps you show to your campers that you are happy to be at camp with them.
  7. Ask Questions: Sometimes campers aren’t so vocal about their feelings or experiences so make sure you always ask them lots of questions and get to know how they are doing. Asking questions shows you’re interested in their wellbeing and your happiness at camp.
  8. Participate in Activities: Show your enthusiasm by participating in an evening activity with them or getting involved in their daily activities. Your participation shows you care and allows you to bond together.
  9. Show Support: Always cheer them on during games, celebrate their success and help them when they’ve fallen down. Showing support is how you connect with your camper and help them have an amazing summer.
  10. Take a Challenge Together: Whether it’s helping them overcome their fear of the water or helping them choreograph an amazing dance for an evening activity, taking a challenge with your camper allows you to bond with them whether you succeed or not.

Things I Wish I Knew Before My First Summer

December 7th, 2018

Everyone remembers his or her first summer at camp. They remember the countdown until the big day, the careful packing and the butterflies as they arrive at camp. When you arrive at camp for the first time, you have many questions and uncertainties. You’re curious about the games you’ll play, the food you’ll eat, and how you’ll like sleeping in a cabin. But before the first day of camp is over, most campers are settling in and finding their groove. If you ask most campers about the things they wish they would have known before their first summer at Camp Starlight, this is what they would tell you:

Camp friends become best friends

There is something about spending every day with the same group of people, experiencing so many “firsts” together and connecting over shared experiences that often combine to create lasting friendships. Camp friends become best friends because the entire summer is spent in such tight community, that it is almost impossible not to form long-term relationships with many of the people you meet at camp. You enter your cabin as strangers, and by the end of the summer you’ve shared stories and secrets and inside jokes, you build trust and encourage each other and listen to each other. Camp friendships aren’t tainted by social media, they’re organic relationships built on shared interests and experiences, and they often last a lifetime.

Being outside all the time is amazing

Some first-time campers worry about spending so much time away from home and away from their beloved smartphones. But if many campers knew all of the benefits of spending time outside and away from their screens, they’d be excited about all of the outdoor adventures waiting for them at camp. Camp Starlight is set on beautiful acres of land, surrounded by beautiful natural landmarks. Spending extended time outside allows you to soak in Vitamin D, breathe in the fresh air, and is great for your mental health. Any campers nervous about the amount of time spent outside at camp will quickly learn that camp is the best place to connect with nature.

There’s no need to be nervous

We know spending a summer away from home can be a little nerve-wracking, but veteran campers would tell you that there is nothing to worry about. Campers who let their nerves get the best of them miss out on some great camp experiences. Counselors work hard to make each camper feel comfortable and at home as soon as possible. While it is normal to feel nervous when trying something new, it’s important to remember that camp is specifically designed to be the safest, coolest, most exciting place for kids and teens to spend their summer. There is a 0% chance that you’ll have a horrible time at camp, so there is nothing to worry about.

Teamwork makes the dream work

The sooner you learn to lean on your fellow campers and counselors and work together, the more fun your camp experience will be. The people you share a cabin with quickly become like family, and counselors become trusted role models who work to ensure you have the best summer possible. The summer camp experience is meant to be shared, and you will have much more fun when you work together with other campers and counselors. New campers may be hesitant to ask questions, but if they know how ready and willing seasoned campers and camp staff are to help, they’d feel a lot better about seeking out help. Everyone at camp is there to help each other!

It would be the time of my life!

You will have many assumptions and expectations about your first summer at camp, but there is one thing you can know for sure: you will have the time of your life! Most campers get a general idea that summer camp is designed to be a fun place to spend a few weeks, but if you knew what was truly in store for you, you’d be jumping up and down to get here! Seasoned campers can tell you until they’re blue in the face about how life-changing summer camp can be, but there’s only way to really experience it, and that is to sign up for your first summer camp experience!

There are many things you don’t know about camp until you get here. You won’t know many of the camp traditions, how to sing the songs, the fastest way to get to your cabin, or what activities to try. There will be many questions and a lot of things you will have to learn along the way, but if you can come to camp knowing these five things, you’ll be ready to jump into the camp experience!