July 7th, 2019
May 30th, 2019
We are thrilled to be welcoming Courtney back as our camp photographer for her second summer at Camp Starlight! Read below to see some of her favorite photos from summer 2018.
As the excitement builds for our upcoming trek to Camp Starlight, here it is…a kind of BEST OF SUMMER 2018. I ain’t gonna lie, I could look at camp pictures all day. So this was a fun project to work on throughout the past 10 months. And honestly, this doesn’t even scratch the surface of images that take my breath away. But this tells the story, and hopefully stokes the excitement in you for the summer ahead.
In less than a month, I’ll be back to do it again. This time some of those smiling faces that come bouncing off the bus on arrival day, may actually be that excited to see “me”. And that makes me feel pretty special. Something really incredible happens during those 7 weeks. My experience was unique in that I got to experience ALL of camp. Not just isolated with one age group, gender, or activity. I was with every age group, every gender, every sport, every activity…EVERY DAY. I saw it all. Incredible and exhausting all at the same time.
See you soon,
May 7th, 2019
Camp Memories 2018
- Making brand new friends in the bunk
- Having cool counselors from all over the world
- Tubing around the lake
- Having two awesome camp sisters
- Funny times in the bunk
- Being a music kitten in the play Aristocats
- Trying the star jump for the first time ever
- Going to the best camp ever!
- Sydney G1
Some of my favorite camp memories were…
- Winning MTV Night divisionals
- Getting pizza for dinner on Junior day
- Having the best time ever with my amazing counselors and my awesome CA.
- Having a water fight after our parent left on visiting day. Even though I was crying the water fight cheered my right up.
- The best Olympic breakout!
- We saw the movie Coco after Olympics and we got popcorn
This year was a great year.
- Andie G6
It was raining so hard outside so our counselor Sydney started singing “Singing in the Rain”. So we all went outside and started singing with her. We all got soaked. It was so much fun.
- Claudia G10
March 29th, 2019
Written by Tessa (Lakehouse B)
The word “appreciate” is simply one of the many that would come to my mind when thinking of this beautiful place. If someone were to ask me, “what did you appreciate overall during your upper junior summer?”, the answer would probably be the 10 Dena gave us on inspection that day, or maybe the canteen we would get 3 times a week. Coming upon my following summers here, my division leaders have been the ones who impacted me the most. Tracie teaching us to always walk around with our heads high. Janelle’s infectious attitude always relating back to being kind. Megan teaching me how to be a good person or better triceratops, upon entering my first year in upper camp. Then came my upper deb summer in 2016. Let me just say one word. Eagles. I could never appreciate something more than that summer blessing me with the relationships formed with the 35 girls in my division who I proudly call my sisters. When I say sisters, I truly mean family. Lower Senior summer with Shelby taught me that I cannot sweat the small things, and that it is beyond important to cherish every second in this place. Shelby has never failed to teach me that when we’re in this place, there is no other option to be anything but yourself. It is now my seventh summer, and being an Upper Senior who has now carried each tradition to every division below has really shown me how to appreciate every little thing and moment. Looking back, I wouldn’t change one moment, I wouldn’t even trade it for an extra canteen! Reflecting on my past summer I realize that my favorite place has given me my best friends, memories, opportunities and everything in between. Appreciation doesn’t necessarily have to be a “where”. The “how” is something that touches me the most. They say that home is where your heart is. Camp Starlight has my heart.
March 4th, 2019
A rainy day at camp is better than a sunny day stuck at home!
Summer weather in the northeast can be unpredictable. Sometimes you have weeks of high temps and sunshine, other weeks you’ve got off-and-on rainstorms. Thankfully, Camp Starlight is here to provide an exceptional camp experience, rain or shine.
When it rains, the entire camp is prepared. There are countless indoor activities to keep campers entertained and occupied until the sun comes back out.
There is no better way to spend a rainy day than enjoying a good show. Camp Starlight gives creative campers an outlet to work on their performance and musical interests. From theatre improve to dance and instrument practice, campers can express themselves through the creative arts. Regardless of skill level, every camper is welcome to participate in some of the many performing arts options at camp.
While music, theatre, and dance may be the rainy day option for some, other creative campers prefer the visual arts. Camp Starlight introduces campers to woodworking, ceramics, drawing, jewelry and candle making. Aspiring artists can channel their inner creativity in many different ways at camp.
Other Rainy Day Options
The Camp Starlight experience is designed to give every camper a unique and personalized sleepaway camp experience. This is why some programs offer additional options for campers who have specific interests, such as radio broadcasting, science, cooking, and digital photography. These options keep kids in their zone as the rain comes pouring down.
While many of camp’s sports programs are designed to be played outside in the beautiful summer weather, some indoor options allow campers to stay active without getting soaked. Gymnastics, fitness and aerobics, figure skating, and basketball are a few examples of sports that can be moved indoors. These options give campers plenty of possibilities for rainy day fun.
Camp Starlight always has a plan. Camp staff and counselors are prepared for rainy days and have tricks up their sleeves to ensure a rainy day is still just as much fun as a sunny days. The best part about rainy days at camp is that you are still surrounded by friends.
We never let a little rain ruin our fun at camp. No matter what the weather forecast says, campers fill every day with new activities, great food, new friends and adventure!
February 25th, 2019
My favorite memory at camp is the first day. We all sat down at picnic table. We all said hi and played some games to get to know each other better. Camp is a place to make strangers into BFFs! I will never forget my first day at camp. My first summer ever!
My favorite camp memory is getting up on waterskies for the first time. I didn’t expect it to happen, but suddenly I was up, the boat made a circle and I passed the place I had started! I was so excited that I stopped concentrating super hard and I was just happy! It was the best feeling!
My favorite camp memory is being lead part in the junior show. The Junior show was Aristocats and I was Duchess, I had a lot of lines and songs to sing. I even got to sing a solo! I can’t wait for next summer so I can be in another play.
My favorite memory at camp is when I went tubing with all my friends! I fell of because it was going really fast and laughed so hard! Another great memory was when we found a rubber chicken in our attic, and now it’s on our bunk plaque.
Lily W G7
January 28th, 2019
In a world where third graders have cell phones and middle school students are striving to be “Insta-famous,” it’s no wonder teachers, and parents are noticing that students lack basic interpersonal skills needed to be successful in the real world. This is why more and more adults are actively looking for ways for young people in their lives to connect with others and improve their communication skills. Camp Starlight is a great option for students not only to spend the summer having fun and trying new things but also provides a safe space for them to work on their interpersonal skills, meet new people and build relationships organically.
Being successful at camp means being able to listen to rules and expectations, follow directions and adhere to a schedule. Campers have a lot of freedom to make their own choices, but there are times when their safety, health, and wellbeing are dependent on listening to counselors and staff. Counselors make it a point to ensure all campers feel heard and demonstrate active listening strategies when campers are talking. Eye contact, body language, and asking questions are all way counselors show campers they are listening, and campers follow their example.
Campers are expected to listen to each other and avoid interruptions or distracting behaviors while fellow campers are talking. Learning to be a good listener will help campers be successful students during the school year and prepare them to be successful leaders as they enter the workforce.
Good leaders can make important decisions in a short amount of time. They understand how to use all the information that they have, consider their past experiences, common sense, and intuition, and decide with confidence. Campers are given hundreds of chances over their sleep away camp experience to work in their decision-making skills. From which activities they want to try each day to what they want for lunch, campers are trusted to make healthy, safe and smart decisions to customize their camp experience.
While camp will easily be the most fun campers will have all year, not every moment is rainbows and butterflies. Campers will face challenges during their time away from home, and it may be the first time they are charged with solving big problems without their parents by their side. Counselors are always on hand to guide campers through obstacles and challenges, but encourage campers to find solutions on their own. After a summer at camp, campers are equipped with problem-solving strategies to help them become more effective leaders.
Verbal and Non-verbal Communication
In a world where children and teens do most of their communication from their phones or computers, it’s no surprise that many are lacking opportunities to practice good ol’ fashion face-to-face communication. Since screen time is minimal at camp, campers spend most of their time talking and listening to others, developing things like self-awareness, empathy, patience, conflict management and listening. They learn to read cues given off by other campers, and how to be aware of the way they interact with others, both one-on-one and in a group setting.
Camp helps campers bridge the gap when it comes to the critical interpersonal skills they need to be successful in life. And, as is most of the life skills that campers learn while they swim, fish, act, dance, hike, play, sing and explore, they usually have no idea they’re actually learning something. Every day, campers work on character building disguised as fun and leave camp more well-rounded than they came.
January 17th, 2019
When was the last time you wrote a handwritten letter? When was the last time you went out to the mailbox to find a handwritten letter addressed to you? If you are like most people, receiving a letter in the mailbox instead of an inbox is a special treat to be treasured. The idea that someone took the time to sit down and put their thoughts to you on paper, find an envelope, a stamp and get it out into the mailbox is something to be admired in this fast-paced world, which is what makes receiving mail so special.
At Camp Starlight, campers look forward to filling their friends and family back home in on the details of their camp experience through a series of handwritten notes. But participating in the ancient art of “snail mail” is about more than just touching base with friends and family back home. Writing and receiving letters benefits campers in many ways.
During their break away from school, students typically have fewer chances to practice their basic reading and writing skills. Writing letters helps campers fine-tune this skill in a way that is fun and personal. There is no pressure to get all of the spelling right or indent properly, just an opportunity for campers to practice their penmanship and creative writing skills. Receiving letters from home also gives them a chance to brush up on their reading skills.
For campers who are growing up in a technology-driven world, a letter from home while at camp may be their first experience in getting something personal in the mail. There is an anticipation that comes with waiting for the recipient to receive their letter, and then excitement in receiving the response. This experience could foster a love and appreciation for handwritten notes in campers, and encourage them to continue the tradition throughout their lives.
A letter from home can be just the thing a homesick camper needs to feel better. A letter is a tangible treasure campers can hold onto and look back on whenever they want. It is a tangible reminder of their life back home and a connection to their loved ones.
Campers can write as many handwritten letters home as they wish. They are encouraged to use their quiet times to reflect on their day and write about their experiences and adventure to share with people back home.
A summer at sleepaway camp introduces campers to some of life’s most simple pleasures, such as songs around a campfire, enjoying a sunset and appreciating the art of snail mail. Just another way Camp Starlight gives campers experiences that they may not have had anywhere else!
January 10th, 2019
Written by Hayden (Lakehouse B)
Appreciation is often missed in our daily lives. We always are onto the next, never really stopping to appreciate what we’re doing. To me, appreciation can take many, many forms. It can be returning a favor, doing something kind for someone, or simply saying “thank you”.
I came to camp starlight as an upper junior. At the time, I did not know how much I would come to appreciate this place, my second home. However, my appreciation for camp runs deeper than just being here. I find things to appreciate at camp every day, like my amazing division and my opportunity to live in the Lakehouse with them. The beautiful sunsets I watch on Friday Nights with my best friends in the world.
This summer, when I went to outdoor adventure, I had one of those small but special moments that happen when you’re at Camp Starlight. Normally when I have outdoor adventure, I head right for the fire – building, but that day I decided to try the high ropes. I got all geared up and headed for the zipline. It was very hot, and let me say, I am not the best climber. That didn’t matter to me. I climbed all the way to the top, listening to the encouragement of my friends below. When I finally reached the top, I was nervous and couldn’t stop shaking. Suddenly, right before I leaped off of the edge, I looked around, and the world seemed still. I looked over camp and just appreciated the view and how hard I had worked to get there. I almost succumbed to the day-to-day lack of appreciation.
So, that zipline taught me a valuable lesson. It taught me that sometimes we all need to take a minute in all of our fast-paced lives to just appreciate. Appreciate this beautiful camp, the wonderful people in it. The views we get to take in, and so much more.
January 4th, 2019
The campers who arrive at camp are not the same campers who go home at the end of the summer. After weeks playing, exploring, dancing, connecting, singing, running and trying new things, they leave camp better than they arrive. There is so much change and growth that happens between the first day and the last day. The first day of camp often looks very similar to the last day of camp, but for very different reasons.
The first day of camp is a mixture of excitement and anticipation. For many, it is the first time they spend an extended period of time away from home, and they are nervous about the change. Saying goodbye to their parents can be tough for campers, and there are often tears (from both the campers and the parents!) Everything is new and unfamiliar on the first day of camp, and although campers know they will have fun, they’re also unsure about how they will adjust and how they will fit in.
Throughout the summer, relationships are built, memories are made, and campers fall into a routine that feels comfortable and familiar. They try new things, meet new people, and discover new things about themselves. This slow but steady personal growth can be an emotional rollercoaster for campers but results in critical character building that will impact them throughout the school year.
As the last week of summer rolls around, there is a definite change in the vibe at camp. While campers are adamant about soaking in every last second of summer, they’re also keenly aware of the upcoming transition. On the final day, you can feel a familiar excitement and anticipation in the air. Campers are excited to go home but anxious and emotional about saying goodbye to the place and the people who have been so important to them for the entire summer.
Tears are definitely shed on the last day of camp. Campers cry as they hug their new best friends and promise to keep in touch over the school year, and parents cry tears of joy as they welcome their children home. It’s an emotional day all around, and many campers start their countdown to summer before they even drive off the grounds.
While it’s hard to watch campers say their emotional goodbyes, staff and counselors at Camp Starlight see it as a sign of a job well done: emotional goodbyes mean fun was had, friendships were born, and memories were made.
A summer at camp is a growing experience; an experience that starts and ends with big emotions. Both hellos and goodbyes can be difficult, but the growth that happens in between is what makes the sleepaway camp such a significant childhood milestone.