Archive for June, 2013

Meet the Staff…

Sunday, June 30th, 2013

For this installment of Meet the Staff, Griffin M. of Boys bunk 19 caught up with Rocketry Specialist Michael F.  Here is what Griffin learned about Michael:

Griffin: Where are you from?

Michael: Marlboro, New Jersey

Griffin: What college do you attend?

Michael: Tulane

Griffin: What is your college major?

Michael: Accounting

Griffin: What are your career aspirations?

Michael: Agent

Griffin: How many years have you worked at camp?

Michael: 3

Griffin: Why did you decide to work at a summer camp?

Michael: I loved camp growing up.

Griffin: What made you choose Camp Starlight?

Michael: I grew up as a camper here.

Griffin: What is your favorite things about camp?

Michael: Olympics, FNS, Interfaith

Griffin: What is your favorite evening activity so far?

Michael: FNS

Griffin: What is your favorite camp meal?

Michael: Cookouts

Griffin: What do you hope to bring away from the summer?

Michael: Fun

Griffin: What are the top three things on your bucket list?

Michael: 1.) Go to the Superbowl 2.) Live to be 100 3.) Own a sports team

Griffin: What is your favorite professional sports team?

Michael: Knicks

Griffin: What is something that most people here at camp probably don’t know about you?

Michael: I am color blind

Creative Fun in Creative Writing with Lower Camp Girls

Saturday, June 29th, 2013

Lower Camp girls really brought out the “creative” in Creative Writing this week while completing a poetry bracelet project.  The girls wrote poems about Camp Starlight and then completed the project by transferring them to star shaped shrink dink paper.  The resulted charms were completed by beads and, voila!  Starlight thoughts to wear around their wrists year round. The bracelets were adorable (so adorable, in fact, that we included a photo of one), but the poems were amazing…so amazing that we couldn’t resist sharing a couple of them.

Danielle S., Bunk 8

Camp Starlight is the best,

It really beats the rest!

I go to dance every time I get a chance.

Panic is so fun, remember you need to PANIC!

And then you need to RUN!

Bedtime may not be your favorite time,

But when a new day comes tomorrow,

It will be time to rise and shine.

The food here is great,

Especially the churros and ice cream cake.

You’ll hear everyone scream and shout,

When Olympics breakout.

When Camp Starlight is done and you go home,

The Alma Mater will be stuck in your head.

Try singing it before you go to bed.

Brooke H., Bunk 4

Camp Starlight is amazing!

I always love where we swim in the lake.

We even get to make cake!

I also love the things we make.

At nighttime we tell some bedtime stories.

Our secret snack every night.

We eat bite by bite.

We also get snacks from the snack shack.

So we don’t have to pack.

Have You Ever Heard of a Diabolo?

Friday, June 28th, 2013

Have you ever heard of a diabolo? Not the devilish kind. We mean the apparatus that was developed by a Frenchman as a twist on the Chinese yo-yo, has a name with Greek origins, and is an extremely popular part of the Camp Starlight Circus program. In recent years, the diabolo has become a common feature in circus acts and street performances, which has contributed a great deal to its rising popularity. Contrary to popular belief, the name of the instrument is not taken from the Italian “diavolo” or Spanish “diablo”, both words for “devil. The name is actually derived from the Greek words “dia bolo,” which literally translates to “toss throw,” but for which the connotation is “to confuse.”

Recently, some of our lower camp girls spent some time learning the basics of the diabolo, and they were anything but confused. In fact, they were having a great time learning to get the hang of some of the key moves and then having opportunity to perform their tricks in succession as part of a routine. Although many of them started out a little bit timid at first, they were spinning, tossing, and cradling like pros after a little bit of help from Ben, the Circus Specialist. Although most of the girls admit that they’re not quite ready to join Ringling Brothers or Cirque Du Soleil just yet, they really enjoy playing with the diabolo and are surprised at how easy it is to learn a few basic moves that are sure to impress their friends and parents.

Meet the Staff…

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

We have a lot of really great staff here at Camp Starlight, and for our very first Meet the Staff feature of the summer, Senior Girls Alexa F. and Erica L. interviewed one of our outstanding (and popular) Camp Starlight nurses, Aiesha.

Alexa and Erica: Where are you from?

Aiesha: Massachusetts

Alexa and Erica: What college did you attend?

Aiesha: Norfolk State

Alexa and Erica: What was your college major?

Aiesha: Nursing.

Alexa and Erica: What are your career aspirations?

Aiesha: To be an anesthesiologist

Alexa and Erica: How many years have you worked at camp?

Aiesha: 2

Alexa and Erica: Why did you decide to work at a summer camp?

Aiesha: I thought it would be fun.

Alexa and Erica: What is your favorite thing about camp so far?

Aiesha: The kids!

Alexa and Erica: What is your favorite evening activity?

Aiesha: MTV Night

Alexa and Erica: What is your favorite camp meal?

Aiesha: Friday Night Dinner

Alexa and Erica: What are the top five things on your bucket list?

Aiesha: 1.) Ropes course 2.) fly a plane 3.) travel to every continent 4.) be tri-lingual 5.) surf the Pacific Ocean

Alexa and Erica: What is something that most people here at camp probably don’t know about you yet?

Aiesha: I have four children.

Cooking with the Upper Inter Boys

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

We joined Upper Inter Boys bunk 16 in cooking today.  All of the boys were very excited for their first visit of the year to one of everyone’s favorite activities: Cooking.  We asked the boys what their favorite thing about Cooking is.  Their unanimous reply was, “Eating!”  However, Jesse S. and Ben S. added that they also really like watching the food cook and seeing the ingredients turn into really delicious food.  Drew B. added that he also really enjoys mixing all of the different ingredients together, and Michael S. said that he likes smelling how good the food is.  We also asked the boys if they enjoy cooking at home.  Luke B. said that he loves to cook cake and zucchini pizza at home.  Brett S. really enjoys making quesadilla pizza at home.  (He explained that a pizza quesadilla pizza is a quesadilla made with pizza toppings.)  Andrew H. loves to make “these cakey fudge-like brownie things” at home.

When the food was finished and it was time to eat, we asked the boys what they thought of their culinary creations.  “Yummy!” was the unanimous reply through full mouths and thumbs up signals.  The empty plate speaks for itself.

A Respite from Technology

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

We recently read an article on the American Camping Association website entitled Who Are Your Campers? The article included a rather interesting illustration of statistics about children today.  One of the pieces of data that most caught our eye was the statistic about children and media.  According to the illustration, children today spend, on average, 7.5 hours with media.  One of the key points of summer camp has always been the greatly reduced exposure to technology.  It’s recommended that children sleep 8-10 hours a night, which leaves 14-16 hours left in a day.  That means that approximately half a normal day for a child involves the use of media or technology of some kind.  Even schools are focusing on transitions to electronic based curriculums.  In contrast to the considerably less media exposure of previous generations, it’s easy to assume that summer camp must be practically culture shock to modern children who.

Although many camps offer activities, such as video and photography programs, the noticeably fewer technology options at summer camp leave campers with a considerable hole to fill.  This is where athletics come into play.  There is no shortage of sports at Camp Starlight, and campers quickly become very involved in both their intra and inter camp teams.  The lack of outside distraction allows them to focus on athletic performance.  Although it’s not about winning, per say, for the majority of campers, an astounding number of them voice pride in the improvement of their skills since last year or vocally share their objectives for this year with coaches and counselors over the first few days of camp.  They clearly come with goals, which suggests that, contrary to what one might assume, campers actually anticipate a break from media outlets and look forward to it enough to take the time to outline ways in which they hope to improve themselves during their summer camp experience.

Summer camp used to be thought of as an escape to fresh air and nature from urban jungles.  Perhaps it still is for some.  It seems, however, that it has just as much become a respite from technology and the emphasis on social media that has overtaken the lives of contemporary children.  Campers spend time at camp focusing on qualities of life that have taken a backseat to technology in recent years: the value of face-to-face communication, spending time outdoors being active, working toward personal goals in improving skills in sports or hobbies.  This is one way in which the motivation for coming to summer camp may have changed but the hoped for end result is still the same.  This also is what keeps summer camp a timeless option for filling children’s summers.

Upper Senior Girls Start New Starlight Tradition…

Monday, June 24th, 2013

Around camp this morning, the Upper Senior Girls were busy in Arts & Crafts working on a new Starlight tradition–painting their own logs to sit on for tonight’s Campfire.

A Recap of Day One…

Monday, June 24th, 2013

What do the seasons, Les Miserables, and Camp Starlight have in common? They were all part of the 2013 Opening Night Show last night at Camp Starlight. Following a musical opening showcasing the Camp Starlight leadership team, everyone’s favorite summer camp theater director, Jeff Moss, led the camp in a sing along that included all of the traditional favorites.

Riding a successful opening day and night, the flag rose over Camp Starlight this morning for the first full day of camp.  Already the buzz is spreading about league breaks and Wayne County tryouts are underway.

Until the next update, enjoy a few photos from yesterday’s arrival and opening night show…

While We Wait for the Campers to Arrive…

Sunday, June 23rd, 2013

Summer is finally here and the campers are on their way…literally.  In the meantime, last night was Staff MTV Night, and it very entertaining to say the least.  Animal themes were the trend this year.  We were treated to acts featuring elephants, squirrels, and dogs (lots of dogs).  Boy bands also held their own.  The Backstreet Boys, in particular, are practically mandatory (in a good way) at every Camp Starlight MTV Night event.  Dances contained a fair amount of Harlem Shake and even a touch of Gangnam Style.  The Camp Starlight Support Staff got in on the action this year with an extremely entertaining number that wowed everyone.  We’re not going to tell you which division won because, as everyone knows, that’s a surprise we save for the MTV Night Finals here at Camp Starlight when the entire camp gets to see the act for themselves.  Let’s just say that it was truly a group effort; very creative, original, and had the entire audience rolling with laughter during the performance and on its feet at the end.  The lip syncing wasn’t too shabby either.  In short, it touched on everything the judges will be looking for when the camper MTV Night divisional competitions begin in just a couple of weeks!  We’ll see you soon!

A Camper Reflects on the Day before Camp Begins

Saturday, June 22nd, 2013

With just about 24 hours and counting before the first buses full of campers drive up the camp road, we thought it the perfect time to share this blog that one of our campers submitted about how excited he is for camp to begin:

I am nearing the first day of camp. Every thought in my head reflects towards the memories and friendships I have made at camp; the buses pulling in, the opening night show. The countdown is almost over. Soon, I will be meeting my new counselors and reuniting with my friends that have proven to last a lifetime. Camp is almost here.

As a returning camper the spirit and cheering of the first minute you set foot onto the clinic field makes you feel that you are home. The thought in your head of, “Wow! I’m going to be at Camp Starlight tomorrow!” really just puts an emphasis on the popular saying, “ I live 10 for 2.” Being part of the Starlight family for my 5th year as a camper, I have grown to love every activity and cherish every single moment I am at camp. From feeling free zipping down the top of the ropes course, to catching my first fish of the summer, and making it all the way around the second lake on a wakeboard, these are just a few of my goals to accomplish at camp this summer.

I came to Starlight the first year of camp, and I hated tennis. I didn’t know how to play, didn’t enjoy any of it, it was not something I wanted to do. Finishing camp last year, tennis is now one of my favorite sports, and I look forward to playing with some of my best friends. With new facilities and additions added to the campus, I am excited to try new things I would not be able to do at home.

Who else is as excited as I am for tomorrow?