Archive for June, 2010

Opening Day 2010

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

After a full week of fun, bonding, and learning at orientation, the Starlight counselors and staff couldn’t wait to welcome campers from across the U.S.A. There was a high level of excitement and anticipation to see new and returning campers. Two o’clock rushed in and the first buses came. The music was playing and the kids quickly made their way off each bus, running toward the bunk number signs held by cheering counselors. As a new staff member, witnessing the campers’ excitement upon seeing the familiar faces of their old counselors and camp friends really generated an amazing atmosphere. New campers seemed to quickly settle in to their beloved summer home.

Before long, it was difficult to tell which campers had stepped off the buses for the first time that afternoon, and which had done it before. Ice breakers and team building games filled the remainder of the afternoon. After evening lineup, dinner rules were explained, songs were sung, and the kids were pumped for evening activity–The Camp Starlight Summer of 2010 Opening Night Show. The show was filled with traditional Starlight camp songs and key staff introductions through dancing and singing, as well as performances from new staff. A sense of unity pervaded as the show culminated with Friends. The ecstatic energy I experienced today was a fantastic start to Starlight’s 64th summer. Bring on the next seven weeks!


New Camper Day

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

Nearly 100 excited new campers and their families got New Camper Day 2010 off to a fun start with a “mini apache” followed by a game of Lumberjacks and Farmers. The girls took the first round while the boys won the second. The third and final round was a draw, tying the game. After David wished everyone a great day at lineup, as he does every day of camp, it was time for the Starlight Search and Challenge, which both Junior Boys and Girls unanimously agreed was their favorite activity of the day. Following an optional period during which campers got to sample a several popular Starlight programs such as Arts & Crafts, Basketball, Musical Theater, and Gymnastics, everyone enjoyed an indoor cookout before the final results of the Search and Challenge were announced: 3rd Place went to “Team Awesome”, “Team Michelle” took 2nd place, and “Team Lindsay” claimed victory. The day was a winner for everyone, though, as excited children and parents left saying they can’t wait to come back in a couple of weeks. We can’t wait to see everyone—new campers and returners—soon!

10 Things for First Time Campers to be Excited About

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010
  1. New Camper Day!
    Will this be your first summer at Camp Starlight? If so, you already share something in common with almost 100 other campers. We invite you to come to New Camper Day on June 13th to meet other first timers and find out what other things you might have in common. You’ll also be introduced to several of our staff members and get to try some of the fun activities you’ll be enjoying all summer long at camp.
  2. Meeting your new bunk mates and counselors for the first time
    Do you have butterflies in your belly about that? Betcha they do, too! Don’t worry. As soon as you meet them, the butterflies go away and you’ll forget you ever even had them.
  3. The Opening Night Show and Sing-Alongs
    Every year, we open camp with an awesome show. We sing, we act silly, and we laugh a lot.
  4. More of 50 of the funnest activities in camping!
    Sports, crafts, dance, science, nature, outdoor adventure, swimming, water-skiing, tubing, cooking, and a WHOLE LOT MORE! Everyday is different and even more exciting than the one before it.
  5. Your camp sibling
    Every new camper gets two camp “siblings”, an older and a middle camper who have been coming to Camp Starlight for several summers and who were once first time campers like you. Your camp siblings are special friends. The three of you can talk to each other, attend special camp sibling events together, and cheer each other on during camp activities like Olympics.
  6. Awesome evening activities and special events
    Singing, dancing, games, cooking, sleepovers, Wrestling (in jello!), square dancing, concerts, carnival, slip ‘n’ slide…you name it. If it’s fun, we do it at Camp Starlight!
  7. Jason Glick and Barrie Dratch
    Our two Lower Camp Head Counselors also happen to be two of the coolest, funnest, most adored people in camp. Along with the Lower Camp Division Leaders, ADLs, and counselor staff, they go out of their way during the summer to make sure that our Juniors and Inters have the most spectacular time of their lives.
  8. Trips
    Bowling, the movies, baseball games, and more!
  9. Junior and Inter Day
    A special day at camp dedicated to just your division. Need we say more!
  10. New friends
    Friends, friends, and more friends. Camp Starlight is full of friends. In fact, there are so many friends at Camp Starlight that we made it our camp song.

The Full Season Camp Experience

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

Making the choice about which length of camp is right for your child is downright easy, especially when it comes to the to the full season camps. For those children who wish to be at camp for the seven weeks, a full-season camp experience can be an extraordinary time in their lives

So, how do you know if a full season camp experience right for your child?

Remember our discussion of “Is Your Child Ready for Camp?” If you can answer a confident “yes” to all of the questions about readiness, then a full season camp may be perfect for your child.

As a 7 week camp Camp Starlight provides ideal opportunities for children to:

1) develop relationships and bonds with other campers and counselors with whom they are living,
2) explore new activities which they have never done, and
3) refine and develop skills and focus so that by the end of camp they are, as an example, not just getting up on water skis…but skiing barefoot; not just hitting a baseball… but mastering the sport; not just participating in a one-act play for 20 minutes….but being part of the cast of a full length musical.

Children who go to Camp Starlight return to school refreshed and ready to tackle the new year ahead. They have achieved great success at camp – not only in making great friends – but also in developing and refining skills during the summer that can last a lifetime. Many children who wish to make their middle, JV or high school teams can practice and refine those skills all summer long. They also create beautiful and meaningful pieces of art and have greater outdoor educational experiences during their time at camp. All because they have time and opportunity.

PBS’s camp expert, Bob Ditter, M.Ed., puts it this way:

Camp is about making some of the best friends of your life. It’s an exercise in self-reliance and social learning. Kids not only make some of their best friends at camp, they learn what real friendship is. Since campers live in groups, it is also about learning the give-and-take of making decisions and getting along with all those “brothers” or “sisters” you suddenly inherit when you arrive. In a time when resilience–the ability to stick with something and recover from a setback–is a great quality to cultivate in our children, camp is an increasingly attractive option.

Camp Starlight for example, offers a full-season schedule and is located in Starlight, Pennsylvania, about two-and-a-half hours northwest of New York City. Camp Starlight runs on a “brother/sister” model, in which boys and girls are scheduled separately for sports and activities but come together as a camp family for meals and evening programs. It’s a unique opportunity for children to experience the benefits of a same-sex camp while enjoying co-ed activities as well.


(Photos: Thanks to eyeliam and zappowbang for the great shots.)