Archive for October, 2013

While You’re Waiting until June…

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

While You’re Waiting until June…

So, the summer of 2014 is still a L-O-N-G 8 months away. But here are a few things to keep you warm during the colder months of the year…

1.)    Opening Day. Is there any better feeling than that moment the bus pulls up to camp, you step off and are immediately tackled by a herd of camp friends who have waited all year to see you?

2.)    Campfires. Every camp has its own version. In fact, your camp’s campfire is a big part of what makes it your camp. You’re sure of two things: A) Your camp’s campfire is the best B) S’mores taste best when eaten at your camp’s campfire.

3.)  Sing-alongs. It’s amazing how much singing silly songs arm-in-arm with your camp friends during the summer makes you feel. Admit it. You find yourself singing to yourself throughout the winter. Your school friends catch you. You want to explain. But they’ll never get it. “It’s a camp thing,” you say. You immediately send a Vine to all of your camp friends of you singing – and doing motions to –your favorite camp songs.

4.)    Arts & Crafts. Seriously, you can tie-dye at home too…really.

5.)    The official camp video, yearbook or seasonal newsletter. It should be showing up in your mailbox anytime now. Host a party. Reminisce about this past summer. Know that next summer will be here before you know it. Set goals now. Next summer will be epic.

6.)    Camp Shows. Thespians and camp go hand-in-hand. It’s no coincidence that a lot the biggest names in Hollywood are summer camp alumni. Summer camp is a breeding ground for creativity and the perfect environment for exploring your creative side.  Admit it. You’re still humming the songs from your camp shows this past summer.

7.)    Boats. Camp has lots of boats. Ski boats, sailboats, kayaks, canoes…Whichever is your choice, one fact: some of the best moments of the summer happen on the water.

8.)    Trips. Are the movies at home ever as good as it is when you’re enjoying it with your camp friends? What about roller coasters? Didn’t think so.

9.)    Camp food. Admit it. You live for S Day Breakfasts.

10.)  Bunkmates. When you come home with something exciting to share during the winter, who do you share it with?

Evolving Camp Menus

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

If you’ve ever been to camp, then you know what s’mores are best made over a campfire, and that knish is the perfect side dish for a cookout or brisket meal. Campers who jump out of bed every morning and race to breakfast, hoping it’s an S Day Breakfast as well as those who can’t get enough of the pizza, know that camp food is as much a part of the camp experience as the activities. Like many other camp traditions, the menus at Camp Starlight constantly evolve to meet the current demands of campers.

One concern heavily influencing camp menus is the growing awareness to develop healthy eating habits early in life. Camp Starlight has introduced new and healthier menu items over the past couple of summers. Items such as Greek yogurt, hummus, guacamole and wraps are finding their way onto camp menus to enhance salad bars, longtime camp dining staples, and give campers and staff more nutritional options. Lite dressings are also appearing alongside regular ones and more fruit and vegetable choices are being offered. But the camp food revolution doesn’t begin and end at the camp salad bar.

Camp Starlight is increasingly using olive oil instead of vegetable oil and our new chef is playing around with herb and spice combinations to enhance the taste of food. This isn’t to say that some traditional camp favorites are disappearing off menus. Grilled cheese, pasta, and chicken fingers are all still very much camp fare. Camps are simply trying to make healthier versions of them by using fresher ingredients and fewer pre-packaged ones.

Campers are very enthusiastic about the recent trends in camp food. Today’s campers have savvy palates and they like that favorite foods which have traditionally not been available at camp are finding their way onto menus.  Meal times are important parts of camp each day. They are times for the camp to come together and dine as a family. They are times for singing, cheering, and catching up.  Perhaps that why camp food is such a key part of camp.

Stop! Now You Do It…

Sunday, October 20th, 2013

Being a few months removed from camp I can look back and truly appreciate all we have while we are at our summer home, Camp Starlight. We all remember the big moments and the nights of evening activities, but I think my truly favorite part of camp is the dining hall experience. It’s one we never think of when we are there, but did you know we spend about three FULL days a summer in the dining hall? Crazy!

Our camp literally comes alive at breakfast, whether it’s from a bunk-to-bunk chant or an “attention” to a birthday! We get excited for the day’s activities, recap last night’s evening, and sometimes even have to stack…..5 (clap)!

Dinner is really where we come together as a camp and where the life of Starlight shines out. We sing, dance, and occasionally spill our way through the main course. The camp songs bounce of the walls as we rehash our days and I believe it is in these moments that we store the memories of camp we will never forget.

These are the times we remember, and I hope they are the times to which you look forward. Should you have a free moment, try putting in a little thought to the things you miss from camp that you may not realize while there; I guarantee it will be worth it. Do IT!

–Kyle Hudson

It’s All about the Staff

Monday, October 14th, 2013

As we all reflect on this past summer and how incredible it was, we want to take this opportunity to thank our amazing staff! Their contribution to camp was immeasurable.  They are a huge part of the reason why this summer was so special. From the Program Heads and Division Leaders to the Support and Counselor staff, we were so impressed with your dedication and commitment to making it the very best.  We recognize that although our program and activities are second to none, the counselor involvement and spirit really make the difference in creating the magic that is Starlight. We love that the Starlight staff understand and enjoy the role they play in their campers’ lives. They learned quickly that as a counselor they could positively impact and influence their kids as well as set the tone for everything here at camp. We appreciate that our counselors take this job to heart.

Camp Starlight is what it is because of the people, and we know how important it is to find the right team that is ready and willing to learn about themselves as well as teach other. Thank you to the people who keep our community the wonderful and safe place that it is. When it comes to camp, there is nothing as important as the people we surround ourselves with. What a team we had–It’s all about the staff!

-Alyson Lee

Camp Souvenirs

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

It happens while you’re unpacking.  You happen on an oddity or two—or ten—in your child’s bag or maybe shorts pockets.  Crazy little circular chains of rubber bands (dozens of them!) seem to be tucked into every crevice of clothing your child could find; a water bottle filled with what appears to be sand and lake water or a pocket full of leaves.  These are but a few of the little treasures that made their way home with your camper.  You ponder over your child’s spoils from camp for a few minutes and try to figure out what it’s about.  Then you finally decide to ask about ‘a Ziploc baggie full of sand?’

‘From the waterfront!’ Your child proudly declares.  ‘I wanted something to remember the fun I had there this summer.’  You sit the bag (that you were considering throwing out a few seconds before your child walked into the room) down on the nightstand and make a mental note to pick up a container that will do it a little bit more justice than a Ziploc baggie.

‘And what about what about those rubber band things?’


‘Ahhhh…Of course.’

The souvenirs that find their way home from Camp Starlight are always one of your favorite parts of unpacking.  It’s become a game for you, trying to guess the chain of events that led to you finding that random piece of burnt rope alongside your child’s socks and putting it together with the years prior to this summer that he and his camp friends spent plotting their rope burn strategy.

‘Rope burn?’

‘We won!’

‘Yes!’ You guessed one.  You’re starting to get good at this.  What you begin to realize is that the random discoveries you’ve been fishing out of your child’s luggage like an archeologist at a dig site aren’t random at all.  They’re memories.  More importantly, they’re the summer’s best memories in the form of rubber bands, lake-water filled water bottles, sand filled Ziploc baggies, and, yes, even burnt pieces of rope.  The candles and ceramic animals are obvious.  You like them, too.  But it’s these special little surprise finds that tell the more complex story of your child’s summer–the reason you’ve come to like, actually anticipate, unpacking after your child returns home from camp.  You’re not exactly sure what you’re going to find or what it will mean, but you can’t wait to fi