Archive for June, 2018

Everyone Loves a Cookout

Friday, June 29th, 2018

Break out the anywhere chairs— it’s time for a cookout! Hearing their division called on the loudspeaker summons a crowd of hungry and eager campers to the cookout site. While the Seniors serve the chef’s best knishes, hot dogs, hamburgers, and watermelon, they also serve up some hilarious tactics to get the campers enticed by lettuce, pickles, and onions to top their burgers. From lower juniors to CA’s and staff, there is not a knish left to spare. Campers and staff laugh, eat, play games and throw footballs in front of the scenic Pocono mountains.

Not only is the food delicious and the view unbelievable, but like most things at camp, it’s clearly all about the people. Camp siblings, relatives, friends, counselors, department heads, key staff, and day-campers all join together to enjoy the meal. Starlight is truly one big family, and it shows. It’s almost impossible to find people by bunk at a cookout because everyone is together, interacting with all members of the Starlight family. At a Camp Starlight cookout, everyone is part of the empty-plate club and leaves with full stomachs and full hearts excited for the evening activity. Everyone loves a cookout!

Singin in Starlight Studios

Thursday, June 28th, 2018

The Rec Hall is a special place on camp that is home to both the Starlight Playhouse, known for its incredible performances, sing-alongs, and talent; and its newest creative spot: “The Basement”

The Starlight Studios was already a musician and maker’s dream with its radio broadcasting, video production, garage band, and makerspace; and the addition of “The Basement” takes it up another notch. With a piano, stage, stools, microphones, and sound equipment, “The Basement” is a singer’s oasis. Whether you are a trained singer or a diamond in the rough, “The Basement” is a space for all campers to hone their craft.

Kirstin G., the voice specialist at Starlight for the summer of 2018, is pumped. After just one full day of activities and having campers in the studio she said, “It has been so much fun!” From our Juniors to our Seniors, campers have been singing, dancing, and getting Footloose in “The Basement.”

The Lower Debs recently visited this awesome new area to let out their camp excitement at the top of their lungs– quite literally. Receiving compliments from other Starlight Studio staff and nearby campers, these girls knew how to bring the fun.

Kirstin is so excited for other age groups to experience “The Basement” for the first time and they can’t wait to be there! The perfect den to rock out with friends, this newest space in The Starlight Studios should expect lots of visitors and awesome times this summer!

A Night of New Friendship and Old Tradition

Wednesday, June 27th, 2018

It’s the second night of camp and Girls Side and Boys Side alike were already eager to meet their new camp sisters and brothers. As much as the campers are obsessed with the old friends they’ve waited ten months to hug, they also could not wait to make new ones. Just over 24 hours after arrival the kids stayed up late catching up, passed their swim tests together, and were onto the next new adventure asking left and right about the camp sister and brother reveal. To say that the campers were looking forward to tonight is an understatement. After a jam-packed first day including a pizza lunch, athletic evaluations, the first fruit call, polar bear plunge, and divisional meetings to kick off this season, the campers couldn’t wait to read the message and find out their camp sisters and brothers. Through the commotion of hugging, yelling, and running into each other’s arms, everyone found their siblings.

The Boys Side and Girls Side made it down to their respective campsites hand in hand with their sisters and brothers. Ben S. and Marlie K. with over nine summers at Starlight lit the fires with David and Allison leading in the ceremony. Every camper listened intently as the Upper Senior Boys and Girls shared about what being the oldest campers at Camp Starlight meant to them.

Bringing back amazing campfire traditions for the summer of 2018, the girls sang about a moose named Fred, the flowers and daffodils, and more, in various repeat-after-me campfire sing along favorites. Likewise, the boys cheered and showed off their divisional spirit showcasing one of the loudest HOORAH’s the inter division had ever seen.

Before the end of the night, every camper found a star in the beautiful Starlight sky, closed their eyes, and made a wish. Just as they came, all of the campers left hand in hand after a night of bonding, celebrating, and experiencing Camp Starlight tradition. It was the perfect end to a magical first day at Camp Starlight!


Arrival Day- Camp Starlight 2018

Monday, June 25th, 2018

Arrival day is finally here and every part of the camp is bubbling over with excitement. You can feel it in the air, you can see it in the smiles, you can hear it in the high-pitched voices that people get when they can’t contain this feeling and you can touch it in the warm embraces between friends old and new.

The staff have been preparing for this day for 10 incredibly LOOOONG months. They’ve worked day in and day out as busy beavers to make sure everything is prepared for today. You know their excitement levels are high by the way the talk so passionately about everything that has been and everything that is to come.

As of this time last week, the entire 2018 Camp Starlight staff have been all together preparing, organizing and learning everything needed to be ready for TODAY!! To be ready for RIGHT NOW!!

As the children tumble out of the buses there’s no stopping them. They run in all directions in search of their best friends, arms wide open for the bear hug that they’ve been waiting 10 months to give their fellow campers again. As the music blares, the boys and girls rush to their eagerly awaiting counselors and friends in their bunk for the summer. Cheers and laughter can be heard all around the campus as campers and counselors meet for the very first time and also reunite after months of missing each other. This blanket of happiness is so electrifying and comforting and this is only the beginning of the adventures as the Starlight family of 2018.

The beautiful campus of Camp Starlight paves the way for a new summer, new stories, new friends and new memories, but that same old Starlight feeling that we are once again HOME!

Getting Ready for Camp Starlight

Tuesday, June 19th, 2018

This summer, I’m heading off for a two month adventure of a lifetime.  I’m packing my bags and heading off to…


Yep, you heard that right.  I’m heading off to Camp Starlight (along with my 3 kiddos) to head up their media team.

I went to camp once when I was 8.  Camp Summit in North Carolina.  It was the best two weeks of my life.  I always wanted to go back.  Camp Summit no longer exists and life happens as it may.  I never did return as a camper or counselor.  Until now…I’m the 41 year old camper.  This is my kids’ first sleep away camp experience and feelings range from “a little nervous” to “wishes she was already there”.  What’s not lost on me, is the privilege to see and hear my own kids’ camp experience in real time and photograph it.  It’s an incredible opportunity.  But it’s not just my own children’s experiences, it’s the lives of 560 boys and girls.  As a photographer at a summer camp, being a mom is the biggest role I’ll play.  I’ll photograph each child as my own.  As an artist, and a mom, I want the parents at home, who are hitting “refresh” on their computers to feel and see and hear the same things through my photographs.   It’s a huge responsibility and I’m 100% up for the challenge.

The Starlight media team consists of three photographers (including myself) and a videographer.  The next 8 weeks will be a creative journey the likes I’ve never known.  Between telling Camp Starlight’s daily story and creating visual content for social media and marketing, I’ll be CREATIVE and CREATE EVERYDAY!!  All the best parts of being a photographer wrapped into one without the daily grind of running a business.  I will grow as an artist and a photographer.

I’ve spent the last week packing my three kids for the best summer of their lives. (BTW, packing three kids for 7 weeks away from home ain’t no joke!)  Thank goodness for Excel spreadsheets and advice from experienced friends.

Follow my journey on instagram @courtneystudios and @campstarlight_official.

See you at camp!



Without Camp Starlight I Would Be

Friday, June 8th, 2018

When campers come to Camp Starlight for the first time they are surprised that this is a place where you find out so much about yourself you never knew before. Whether its discovering a passion for music or a talent in archery, campers at Starlight quickly find out how much they have been missing out on before coming to camp. Additionally, campers realize how much they would miss out on if they never spent a summer at Camp Starlight here are a few things campers would be without Camp Starlight…

  1. Bored: Every sport and activity imaginable is presented at Camp Starlight so campers are always on the move learning new things and skills. Ceramics, tubing and producing music videos just aren’t on the agenda on the couch back home.
  2. Unmotivated: Campers are constantly encouraged by coaches, counselors and staff to do their best so they can be their best. It doesn’t matter if the support is for a sport, musical performance or a chess tournament, campers are always being supported and guided to success.
  3. Unpassionate: The loads of unique activities campers get to experience often help them develop and find their passion. Exposing campers to all different kinds of sports, arts, music and games guides them to figure out what they are truly great at and then propel them to excel in their passion.
  4. Unchallenged: Not every activity at Camp Starlight is mastered in one activity period so specialists really challenge campers to conquer a skill or understand a strategy over a period of time. The challenges campers face is what helps them become better players and leaders as they take the time and effort to overcome their challenges.
  5. Uninspired: With staff from all around the world and opportunities that only come once in a lifetime, Camp Starlight inspires campers to be individuals and pursue what they love best. Campers look up to their counselors as role models, believing that they can become a professional soccer player or artist just like them if they put in the hard work. Camp Starlight helps campers believe in others so they can believe in themselves.