Archive for March, 2013

Key Staff Feature: Blayne Murphy

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

We are excited to start back up with our features on our Key Staff. During this segment, we will catch up with one of our popular key staff members and see what is keeping them busy in these winter months away from camp. We also see if we can get a “tip” to get our Starlighters ready for their activity during the long winter months. This month we are highlighting Starlight Baseball Director Blayne Murphy.

Coach Murphy is excited to be returning to Starlight for the Summer of 2013. Murphy had great success in his first season heading up the Camp Starlight Baseball program. His season boasts a First Place Boy’s 5th Grade team, as well as two Co-Champion titles in the 8th and 9th grade Boy’s Baseball divisions respectively.

To keep his mind occupied during his countdown until his return to Camp Starlight, Blayne is keeping himself busy coaching baseball at Hannibal-LaGrange University in Missouri. We asked Blayne about this year’s Trojans and he was excited to share. “We have a handful of impact transfers coming in, and are lucky to have a core group of returning Juniors and Seniors that should make us pretty tough this spring!” He even ventured to say that his team is good enough that, given the chance, they might take home a Wayne County Championship! He also is spending lots of time staying active at the gym and training with various baseball specific activities. He hopes the Starlighters out there with plans to return to the diamond this summer have been thinking about baseball in the “off season” too!  He left us with a few great pointers for our campers to stay ready for another great summer up on the Starlight Baseball Field.

Blayne suggests simple long tosses in the gym; he says, “It’s really important to keep your arm limber during the winter, try and spend 15 minutes every other day just to keep your arm trained and fit. This simple exercise will greatly accelerate an athlete’s ability to get ready quickly for the baseball season.” Another great way to stay in shape for baseball, is to participate in a winter sport, basketball and swimming are two excellent sports that will keep a young person active and keep their general condition ready for a baseball season. Finally, “Coach Murph” recommends spending at least one hour a week at an indoor batting cage facility to keep your hand-eye coordination trained and keep your baseball swing grooved and ready to go once the snow melts across the northeast.

We asked Coach Murphy for any last words for his Starlight baseball players and he said “I look forward to seeing you all again at Camp so we can get to work on winning more Wayne County Championships!”

Stack the Caps

Friday, March 22nd, 2013

Summer is now just around the corner, and we know all of you are getting excited that so soon we will all be together again at Camp Starlight. Part of what the people who return year after year to Starlight love so much is that being a Starlighter is being a part of a community.  You become a small part of something big and wonderful that we all love. A really great way to give back to not only the Starlight community, but in your hometowns and school systems, is by supporting a non for profit organization dear to the Camp Starlight family’s heart, Stack the Caps for Kids with Cancer.

Stack the Caps began in 2008 at Camp Starlight in Starlight, Pennsylvania. The event was inspired by a wonderful camper and a true role model for adolescent girls, Brielle Namer, who died from a very rare form of cancer. In her memory, Camp Starlight’s Owners and Directors have organized an annual drive to provide new baseball caps to children with cancer. Over 400 feet of caps have been stacked by Camp Starlight in the five years since the inception of Stack the Caps. Memorial Sloane Kettering and Children’s Hospital Boston are two hospitals to receive donations. Our goal is to stack over one mile of caps. Many of you have participated in the Stack the Caps events held at camp each summer, but did you know you can do even more for the cause by hosting a Stack the Caps event at home?

Hosting a Stack the Caps event is a fun, unique, and rewarding way to bring together any community you are a part of. You could hold an event at your school, temple, or with any other sports teams or organizations you participate in. It is a great way to satisfy community service hour requirements you may have for school or, as many of you have already done, a wonderful cause to use for your bar/bat mitzvah projects. To get more information on how you can help support Stack the Caps for Kids with Cancer, visit the website or simply email to get started on hosting your event!

The First Day I Got to Starlight

Thursday, March 14th, 2013
The first day I got to Starlight it looked like the best place ever!!  I was so right!!  Camp Starlight means the world to me, there is nothing better then spending the whole summer with friends you love.  All day you play and laugh and smile with your friends.  To me, my camp friends aren’t  just friends they are sisters.  I wish I could spend every second of my life at Starlight laughing and playing and doing all different things with my friends.  At Starlight you get to be who you want to be.  I have a really special bond with all my friends, counselors and staff, and when the summer ends you don’t want to leave CAMP STARLIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂

Going to Camp with Your Siblings

Sunday, March 10th, 2013

They may fight like cats and dogs at home, but attending camp together is special for siblings.  Parents may be surprised to learn that at camp, they don’t accuse each of being the one to lose the television remote.  Instead, they wave and smile when they pass each other on campus.  They don’t fight about taking up each other’s space in the car either.  Instead, they make special meeting places to talk about camp—everything they’ve done, new things they’ve tried, new friends they’ve made, and how their sports teams are doing how they got a bullsyeye in archery or are going to be singing a song in the show.  Siblings don’t taunt each other when they do something silly at camp.  They cheer for them.  And, parents, you may be surprised to learn that siblings don’t pretend that each other has an infectious disease that prevents them from ever touching at camp.  They readily hug.

As you can see, summer camp may as well be Hogwarts for its ability to transform sibling rivalry into a special relationship.  Camp is a distinct set of memories they share apart from their parents.  Those camp experiences will always be just theirs, which creates a bond that helps them grow as brothers and sisters as well as individuals.  It’s an opportunity that many children who do not attend sleepaway camp don’t get to experience until adulthood.  By being able to share a special set of traditions and values, siblings are able to appreciate their relationships at a much earlier age.   The thrill of seeing each other experience camp firsts and pass camp milestones also helps them learn to appreciate each other as individuals.

And, let’s face it, we know that seeing your children smiling together in a camp photo after hitting the refresh button a thousand times each day makes it all worthwhile for you.  Those smiles are why you put them on the bus or plane each year.  They’re why you post the photos to your on Facebook pages and pass them around, accumulating likes.  You  love hearing them asking each if they remember a certain time at camp or singing the same songs and doing the same cheers.  In that respect, being able to send your children to summer camp together is special for you too.


Thursday, March 7th, 2013

In an age where our eight year old kids know more about technology than some Fortune 500 CEO’s, it is apparent that children are “growing up” at a rate faster than anytime before. There’s no doubt parents everywhere find themselves frantically Googling terminology, mathematical equations, and whatever these dangling participles are to save face when “helping” their kids with homework every evening. Did I ever learn this?!? I thought I did these projects in college! What exactly is the difference between kinetic and potential energy again? It’s mind blowing to look on as a fourth grader puts together an Excel spreadsheet with the expertise of a veteran accountant.

While it is encouraging to know that if this whole 7th grade thing doesn’t work out, a kid can take over in the accounts payable department at my company, you have to wonder if all of this stuff might be also turning our kids into far too serious people much too fast. Whatever happened to good old fashioned fun? At Camp Starlight fun is something that we still hold as important, vital, and a key principle to our summer program.

When our campers exit the buses on opening day, they leave behind the long days of sitting in desks, staring at computer screens, and daydreaming through the windows about the great outdoors. They know the days ahead will be full of a glorious thing called fun! Starlight’s daily program areas are specifically designed for our campers to discover new hobbies, sports, and talent and give them the opportunity to improve and enjoy activities with which they are already familiar. Every area is open for exploration! Parents are always surprised to hear that their sports obsessed sons have wowed the Starlight community with amazing performances in their division’s theater production.  They are jumping for joy when they check the daily photos and find their “shy, quiet” child decked out in some crazy get-up, hands in the air, dancing with 15 of their nearest and dearest. We are right there with them, reveling in the excitement of kids just being kids.

The power of play and the idea that it is ok to let loose and have fun has an incredibly positive impact on kids. Camp Starlight is dedicated to providing our campers with the constant opportunity to enjoy being a kid. Every night our campers enter a world of game shows, obstacle courses, mad science labs, and more. And head to sleep each might dreaming of what the next day may bring. Whether producing an original film in Video, waterskiing around the lake, perfecting a magic trick, or dribbling a basketball for the first time, they can and will do it! So here’s to counting down to 2013 bringing another summer jam packed with F-U-N!!!


What’s the Weather Like?

Sunday, March 3rd, 2013

The popularity of summer camp has spread in recent years, now regularly attracting children from all regions of the United States and abroad.  For many of these campers, it’s their first trip to the Northeastern United States.  So, naturally, one of the most common questions we get at Camp Starlight is about the weather.  We’re not just saying this because we’re camp people: There couldn’t be a more perfect place to spend a summer than Northeast Pennsylvania!

The mountain air is clean and crisp!  Many of our campers and staff members frequently comment on how nice it is to be free of the smog of the big cities in which many of them live.  During the day, the temperatures are typical of summer weather.  Because Camp Starlight is in the mountains and borders a lake, the temperatures tend to be a few degrees cooler than in lower lands.  However, the summer sun still shines very brightly on the vast majority of the days, and it can get a bit warm.  We encourage campers to stay well hydrated, though, and wearing sunscreen is a must!  Shorts and tank tops or t-shirts are usually the most appropriate daytime attire.

We think that perhaps the best part of getting to spend our summers at camp, however, are the evenings. Temperatures cool down just enough to make most nights perfect for campfires and outdoor activities.  Most campers take a sweatshirt to their evening activities. They may not always need one, but it’s a nice thing to have around just in case.  Our favorite thing about nights at camp, though, is the sky. Because our camps are in rural areas, there is very little light pollution, so you can actually see the stars!

It rains very seldom at camp, but the advantage of being on a mountain is that the water drains downward and it’s seldom wet for long—just long enough to make the grass a little bit greener.  While most of the country struggles with being not too hot or not too cold during the summer months, the weather at summer camp in the Northeast Pennsylvania is just right!