Archive for June, 2011


Thursday, June 30th, 2011

Campfire night at Camp Starlight is a very special night, with both boys and girls having their own campfires at their respective lakefronts.  Everyone has met their camp big brothers and sisters and a real sense of family and friendship can be felt.  For the seniors it is also a time to share what camp means to them.

Allison and David met everyone at their respective campfires and tiki torches were lit for each of the Camp Starlight values.  The seniors who had been at camp the longest were then invited to light the campfire. This summer is about making memories that will last a lifetime, having a giant sleepover every night with such special people and knowing that there are so many old friends you can always count on.  For every child there’s the knowledge that each summer there is a second home waiting for them and they can treasure every moment of camp life. 

The evening progressed with lots of singing and sharing of thoughts and feelings, including messages from counselors who used to be campers.  There were also smores for everyone – a campfire wouldn’t be a campfire without them!  Campfire brings us all closer together and for many is one of the highlights of the summer.  At the end of the evening we all looked up and through the broken cloud a single star could be seen.  We all made a wish for the summer on that same star, knowing that the Starlight magic would make it come true.

Photo of the day – 06.30.11

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

Our digital photography classes produce some pretty amazing pictures and we would love to share them with you.  Today’s photo of the day comes from Luke and Noah in B10.  Their challenge was to take a photo of 26 things, each starting with a different letter of the alphabet.  This is letter “U” – under armour!

Meet Our New Head of Basketball

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

Camp Starlight is very proud to introduce our new Head of Basketball, Diego.

A college player at West Virginia University who then spent six years playing overseas in Argentina, Africa and Australia, coaching the sport was simply a natural progression when he called time on his professional career. He has worked in numerous schools and colleges, from Middle School through to Morehead State University, KY where he was a Division One Coach.  He currently spends the winter season providing individual instruction for kindergarten through 10th Grade in the D.C. Metro area.  Diego comes to camp excited to be able to put some fresh ideas into the program and he is supported by a talented team of college and former college players.

This summer, basketball is going to be based on the FUNdamentals of the sport – passing, ball handling, shooting, defense, footwork and rebounding.  Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, his coaching sessions will be adjusted to ensure you receive the instruction that meets your goals.  For those who want to take things further there are travel and home teams to compete in the Wayne County league, plus numerous intra camp games.  You’ll also have the opportunity to take part in skill based competitions and fun team games, all designed to improve your skills to the maximum but ensuring you have a good time whilst you do so.

Get ready to, “Play Hard, Play Together, Play to Get Better!”

Diary of a New Camper #2

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

Our first time campers have now spent their first twenty four hours at Camp Starlight and are already feeling right at home.  One of our new campers is Amanda from Girls Bunk 1 who was happy to share what happened after the opening night show.

The counselors bought “nite bites” of pretzels for everyone before bed and then the bedtime routine of brushing teeth, washing faces and getting ready for bed began.  Tricia, her counselor, then took out her guitar and sang before everyone was tucked up in bed and lights turned out.  There was flashlight time for those who wanted to read or write and then everyone had to go to sleep.

Alexi in Girls Bunk 5 woke up super early, partly through being in a new place, partly because she was excited about the day ahead.  At reveille she joined two others campers and a counselor for the Polar Bear Club – if you can get up, put your bathing suit on, jump in the lake and then out again EVERY DAY of camp then you get a special prize.  Her schedule for the day was posted on the door of her bunk and she spent the day moving round camp doing activities with her bunk specialists.

Free play saw the boys of Bunk 2 writing prolifically – Cooper managed to write four letters to friends and family!  Everyone wanted to share what camp life is like.  They were all looking forward to meeting their camp big brothers and sisters at campfire that evening, and as the sun set over the lake, new friendships were being formed.

Diary of a New Camper #1

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

Riley in girls Bunk 3 is finally old enough to join her sister, Jessie, at camp this summer.  Having spent the last few summers at day camp, she has been looking forward to coming to Camp Starlight after hearing about all the great things that happen here.  In fact, looking forward to coming is probably a bit of an understatement – she is REALLY excited to be here.

Riley attended the New Camper Day earlier this month and while there she met her new friend, Ellie.  She was also lucky enough to experience a Camp Starlight tradition that day as anyone who celebrates a birthday at camp gets to raise the flag.  Riley feels that New Camper Day has really helped her settle into camp quickly, and yes, made her even more excited to get here.

Jack in boys Bunk 1 tells a similar story.  It’s his first time at sleepaway camp too but he has bought loads of things from home to help him settle in, including movie posters to put on the wall above his bed.  All junior campers have their bags unpacked prior to arrival and this meant that Jack could focus on the important things like making new friends and playing gaga as soon as he arrived.  Jack is most excited about learning how to waterski this summer so watch out waterfront staff!

Senior Spotlight #1

Monday, June 27th, 2011

The 65th summer at Camp Starlight is going to be extra special for one group of campers in particular.  For the Upper Seniors this will be their last year as campers and it’s invariably going to be a rollercoaster of emotions.  The blog this summer will therefore dedicate a whole section to what it is like to be a Senior at Camp Starlight – thoughts and feelings, reminiscing about summers past and looking to the future.  Please join us on this very special journey.

Opening Night Show here reminds us of the core values of Camp Starlight – Spirit, Tradition, Adventure, Family and Fun.  From the very first day our Seniors joined us they have learned how camp enriches their lives and they were keen to lead by example in the show.  The boys presented the banners representing the values of Camp Starlight in an opening ceremony and the girls took part in the very moving tradition of the passing of a candle from a CA to one of the Upper Senior girls that have been at camp the longest.  The girls all then sang the “Alma Mater” by candlelight and it must be said that there were a few teary eyes.  The annual opening night camp sing-a-long is where the Seniors came into their element with “Singing in the rain” on stage with David and Allison being a real highlight. 

Being a Senior at Camp Starlight really is something special.  They are already young leaders, eager and ready to pass on the gift of camp to younger children.  Let’s make this summer the best one yet!

Camp Starlight Summer Blogs

Sunday, June 26th, 2011

Camp Starlight celebrates 65 years of fun this year, and we want to share some of the special moments, thoughts and feelings the summer will bring.  To ensure this all takes place, Zoë Ryder has been appointed Head of Media and will be responsible for posting daily blogs throughout the summer – sports results, special events, staff bios and camper experiences will all be bought together on the Camp Starlight blog so more of you can share the magic.

Zoë comes to camp from a small country town 35 miles north of London, England.  When not at camp she has many jobs, including working for an agency responsible for bringing international staff to work as counselors in the USA, chartered accountancy and project management, but this all comes second place to being a mom to 22 month old Meredith.  Meredith has joined Zoë at camp this summer and she is very much looking forward to running around, swimming and giving lots of “high fives”.

Arrival Day

Sunday, June 26th, 2011

Arrival day is a pretty special day for everyone at Camp Starlight.  For the counselors it’s the day we’ve all been waiting for – without the campers it feels like something is missing.  Right after lunch everyone met on the soccer field to prepare for arrivals.  Greeting posters ready, the music playing, and cheers and chants ringing out across camp, it seemed like ages before the first bus arrived from Baltimore.

Evan from Boys Bunk 9 was one of the first off the bus and set the tone for the afternoon by sprinting the full length of the soccer field to meet his new counselors.  Arrival celebrations then ranged from hugs and high fives to kissing the floor and cartwheels.  No matter how a camper chose to mark the occasion, they were all greeted with the infectious enthusiasm of our counselor staff and made to feel welcome whether new or a returner.  David and Allison personally greet each bus and were there with hugs and handholding for our youngest campers.

The buses from other locations followed in quick succession and before we knew it camp was buzzing with the sound of summer.  Some campers chose to play soccer and lacrosse while others simply sat, played games and chatted.  It was just like being at a family reunion and that’s what Camp Starlight is all about – we are one big family for the summer.

Later in the day all campers headed off to see their bunks with their counselors, excited about the prospect of what the summer will bring and looking forward to the opening night show.  Thank you campers – you’ve brought that something special with you which makes camp great and we are so excited about spending the summer with you all.

Got Communication?

Saturday, June 25th, 2011

Parents: Camp is here.  You’re packing bags, making last minute preparations, and listening to endless stories with increasing enthusiasm about what happened during the summer of 2010 in eager anticipation for summer of 2011 to begin.  You’re checking and re-checking to make sure all of the paperwork has been submitted and the bag pickups have been scheduled.  So we figure now is the perfect time to talk about the importance of maintaining good communication with your Camp Directors—now and throughout the summer.

Camp is a big deal for your children and for you.  Whether you’ve planned a quiet summer at home or have an awesome vacation planned, we know that your top priority is to know that your children are having an amazing summer.  You can help, simply by being informative.

We’re first and foremost concerned for your child’s safety and well being.  Some of you probably wonder why we ask for photos of your children prior to camp.  It’s so that we can show them to your children’s counselors when we discuss your children’s activity preferences with them so that they can greet campers by name from the moment they step off the bus and have full knowledge of how to make their summer successful.

We can’t emphasize enough the importance of communicating medical issues.  Whether it’s an allergy to certain foods or insects, perhaps a dietary restriction, asthma, a vitamin deficiency, or wetting the bed, your camp directors need to know so that these matters can be handled appropriately as situations relating to them may occur throughout the summer.

We also want to know what your children’s interests are.  If we know your child can’t get enough soccer, for instance, we can make sure that he/she gets maximum exposure to soccer during the summer.  Knowing what your children like only helps us guarantee they have the summer of a lifetime.

Personal family matters are never easy, but if there is something happening at home—a divorce, illness in the family, academic issues, etc. it helps us to know.  Perhaps it’s a positive development.  Your child has landed a new role in a film, has made a particularly competitive athletic team, has earned a special honor at school.  Whatever IS your children’s lives at the moment they come to camp, we want to be able to channel it into an amazing summer for them.  And we’re confident we can.  Otherwise, we wouldn’t ask.  As your child’s “summer family”, we want to know how we can help them be at their best.

If anything comes up between the time you put your child on the bus or plane to come to camp and the time we put them back on the bus or plane to come home that might affect his or her summer, please call us.  We want to know what’s happening.  We want to understand how we can make your child’s stay at our camp effortless and memorable.  Even if it’s minor, if you have any reason for pause, please call us.  We want to be proactive in making your child’s experience memorable.

Words From The Past

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

Whilst clearing out The Cottage today, getting ready for our 65th summer to begin, we came across a handwritten note from Emily.  There is no date, but these words are timeless. Thank you Emily!

Dear Parents, Family and Friends,

Although the summer is coming to a close, the memories campers have made will always stay with us.  Each year camp gets better and better and eventually Camp Starlight will become second home and the people that surround you will become your family.  From the first day of camp, friendships will be made that will never be broken or forgotten.  From the minute you get up you know that the day that is starting will be the best day.  You can go to sleep knowing that you have tried new things.  Throughout the ten months of the winter, Camp Starlight is what campers think about every day.  No matter how far apart people are, they will almost always come back for Camp Starlight for the two best months of the year.  “Living ten for two” is our motto.