Archive for April, 2012

It’s a Small World after All

Saturday, April 28th, 2012

As we go about our everyday, it is easy to think that the world is made up of just our friends, family and the people we see on a regular basis. We associate and spend time with people from similar places, cultures and backgrounds and can sometimes even forget there is a big world outside our own.  Whether you are a camper or a staff member, going to camp makes you see the world differently! Camp gives you the benefit of coming into contact with people from different schools, communities, countries and cultures from around the world. We make it a point of hiring counselors from across the globe for this reason.

After traveling around the world to meet our counselors, we know that everyone loves to see that some of our soccer coaches are from England and it’s great to be out of the lake with our mates from Australia! They bring so much to the camp experience. Not only are they fun, and we love hearing their lovely accents (we love trying to repeat them too!) They share stories about growing up in places we may have never been. They also teach us new activities, create new interests and help us see the world differently. And what happens is that even though many of our international staff live far away, and talk funny, we realize we are not all that different. These relationships help us to grow and force us all to learn about getting along with others and not just the people we see as like ourselves. Camp teaches you that there is so much more out there, and campers and staff walk away with a greater understanding of themselves and others.


Re-Asserting the “Team” in Team Sports

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

Whether your family lives in a large city or a small town, there is likely not a shortage of organized sports  for children. Increasingly, the emphasis of team sports is less about what it means to be a member of a team and more about being the MVP of a winning team.   As a result, child athletes are often caught between sparring parents on one sideline and anxious, screaming coaches on the other.  Overly zealous parents and coaches seldom stop to consider that children often absorb their parents’ feelings and may project the resulting tension through their play.  The immense pressure to be a star who constantly wins is often why many children become burnt-out in the competitive sports environment and choose to take a break or even quit altogether.  Says Fred Engh, author of Why Johnny Hates Sports, “If all the focus is on winning, kids may be scared to fail and make mistakes. Mistakes are part of the learning process and it’s how one improves.”  One of the most undervalued benefits of team sports at traditional American summer camps is the environment that allows children to make mistakes without fear of backlash from the sidelines and to process those mistakes in a way that they can turn them into learning experiences.

Setting up children for success requires a welcoming environment in which they can feel comfortable being themselves.    Those who tend to be self-conscious are particularly challenged by situations in which tension runs high.  The spirit of Camp Starlight athletics is one of instruction, fun, and safety more than competition.  It’s about making children feel like a valuable part of a unit that utilizes everyone’s talents in a way that is beneficial.  In short, the traditional summer camp environment is a team environment.   At camp, children have the encouragement of their counselors and fellow campers when playing sports.  A child making a layup shot on the basketball court for the first time is cheered just as much as someone scoring a winning three pointer.

Perhaps the relaxed positive reinforcement they receive while learning to play sports at camp is why so many children (as many as 60%) feel compelled to continue being active in an activity they tried for the first time at camp.

Bugle Calls

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

Did I set my alarm last night? What time is it? No need to worry; the bugle call didn’t sound yet!  Camp runs on a set schedule, we wake up, we eat, we each do daily activities, but everyone’s schedule is the same when it comes to time and where we are supposed to be.  The bugle call explains everything with a sound for when to wake up, when to eat, or just where to be. It was originally used on the battlefield many years ago, but has turned into the sounds of daily routines of camps around the country.

There are many different kinds of bugle calls from Reveille in the morning to Tattoo and Taps for the end of the day. They all have a different sound and beat to them. It’s amazing how one simple song can tell you where to be on camp. As the days dwindle down to the summer of 2012, we can’t wait to sound off that first bugle and gather camp together for the first time.

If you can’t live 10 months without them, don’t forget you can always download all the bugle calls to your iPod!

How Do You Spell Camp Starlight?

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

Over the years, a summer at Camp Starlight has come to mean so much to so many people around the world. To pump up those of us returning to camp this summer and to give our first-time Starlighters a little lesson in what excitement and memories are in store for them, we decided to spell out just a glimpse of what is to come when the Starlight family reunites for the 66th season in the place that we love!

C-Campfires kick off the summer’s excitement when we get our camp siblings. And of course, they mean we are in for a tasty treat, S’MORES!

A-Amazing evening activities make sure the fun does not end after Super 6th, and every year they get more and more outrageously fun!

M-Matzo ball soup is a perfect companion to our Friday night dinners! Not to mention, when we see it we know what’s coming next…L-O-P-E, that’s how we spell deeeeelicious!

P-Pizza parties at the end of summer keep us working hard for all 10’s on inspection. How many Honor Bunk plaques will you earn this summer?

S-Sunsets on the lake remind us daily to take a second and admire the beauty that surrounds us.

T-The Week in Review is a guaranteed laugh and a great way to remember all the fun we had in the last week.

A-Allison Miller is looking forward to a special night with our new Junior Girls. She can’t wait to get to know more about each of you and to enjoy doing Build-a-Bear to help remind you of your first summer at Starlight for years to come!

R-Ropes Course is a favorite program area for Starlighters. Who’s excited for their first chance at the Star Jump in 2012?

L- Listening to the Key Note Speaker on Friday nights is always so special, because we get to hear the effects of Starlight on the leaders of our community.

I- “I Can’t Smile Without You” is a sure way to get Starlighters smiling when they think about Jeff Moss leading us all in Sing Alongs during the summer! Make sure you’re warming up your voice! We suggest trying it in the rain!

G-Girls side never ceases to impress with the outstanding performances at Spirit of Starlight! Who will take home the win this year?!

H-Hockey games with David are a favorite tradition on Boy’s side. Is it just me, or are you hearing the echoes of whistles and cheers from the Arena just thinking about it too?

T-Today’s countdown is at 84 days until we are all reunited in the 18461!!! Come on June 24!


Diego “The Explorer” Returns!

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

We are excited to announce that Diego McCoy will again be calling Camp Starlight home this summer. Diego is looking forward to spending his 2nd summer at camp and bringing his high energy, up-tempo approach to the basketball courts.

Diego continues to work during the winter with 1 on 1 Basketball in and around the District of Columbia teaching and developing young athletes.

For those of you who have not been to camp, Diego came to Starlight last summer with an extensive coaching and playing background. He played college basketball at West Virginia University and scored 30 points during an NIT Tournament semi-final game at Madison Square Garden.  Diego also played professional basketball overseas before returning to the United States and getting involved in teaching and coaching. He spent years as a college assistant before dedicating his life to working with middle and high school children in and around Washington DC.

Diego hopes that all of the Starlight basketball all-stars had a great youth, middle, or high school season.  He can’t wait to get back out on the courts and “run through” the Wayne County Competition.