Posts Tagged ‘America’s Finest Summer Camp’

Respecting Tradition

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

Throughout the summer, key staff members give address the camp during Friday Night Services.  The following is a recent address given by CA Division Leader Nora.  Because it’s timely not just to the Olympics in London but to our current Olympics, we want to share it.

“The Olympics started today…in London!  Tonight, the opening ceremonies for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games were held.  How fitting is it that, on a night where we honor the theme of “RESPECT” here at Starlight, an event revolved around respect and tradition begins worldwide.  The Olympics calls for various types of respect.  We show respect for the athletes representing our various countries, the athletes show respect for each other, and of course, the athletes show respect for themselves.  These are all topics that different Key Staff members have addressed in the previous weeks’ Key Staff Address.  Tonight, I want to talk about respecting traditions.

Much like our own Olympics, the Summer Games is a long standing tradition with various components that still exist today because of the respect it has garnered from year to year.  Respecting traditions is something we do every day here at Starlight, whether it be chanting a song or cheer, raising and lowering the flag, or even wearing a Starlight shirt to Friday night services, the respect that each of us holds for these traditions is what cultivates and nurtures these customs so that not only we, but those Starlighters deep into the future, can enjoy and appreciate as well.

The beginning of the 6th week at Starlight is always a time of anticipation and excitement.  As we all know, “the good stuff” happens at the end of the summer!  Most of these events are long standing traditions that still thrive today because of the respect that past and current Starlighters hold for these customs.  One specific event is the Senior Show.  And again, how fitting is it that tomorrow night’s Senior Show is Fiddler On The Roof, a show centered around respect and respect for tradition.  And not only that, but how fitting is it that tomorrow night is Jeff and Denes’ 100th show together at Starlight.  Two people who truly help us all respect the many traditions and customs that make Starlight so unique.  What a special weekend to begin a special part of the summer.

So, as we begin this 6th week of Summer 2012, I encourage each and every one of you to think about all the respect for tradition that has helped shaped the summer that we have been enjoying, and will enjoy for the next couple of weeks.  Think about how you can respect these traditions, so that not only we, but our fellow Starlighters in the future can love and appreciate for years to come.  Shabbat Shalom.”

The Social Network–Summer Camp Style

Sunday, January 22nd, 2012

If most Camp Starlight campers were asked to close their eyes and think about camp, their minds would be flooded with memories of times in the bunk, at campfires with their friends, winning a Wayne County game, or shaking their napkin in the dining hall. If you asked most Camp Starlight campers about their world outside of camp, most would likely at least mention their use of technology such as computers, video games, or cell phones. The fact of the matter is the era that we are living in is a revolving door of technology. Almost everything is done by computer, involves the Internet, or can be done from the tiny keyboard on your cell phone. By joining the Starlight community during the summer, campers and staff are given an opportunity to be a part of a real live social network away from computer screens and cell phones.

Summers at Starlight give campers and staff the break from all of the technology, therefore creating camp’s own social network. Instead of writing on a friend’s Facebook wall for their birthday, we cheer as they are called to raise the flag at line-up and then join them for canteen during rest hour! Conversations over text are replaced with face-to-face interaction throughout the day. And boy’s side chants and jeers as the sports’ scores are reported to a rapt audience instead of being read from a glowing computer or television screen.

By no means is technology an unfavorable benefit to today’s society. However, at Camp Starlight, we create an atmosphere all our own where campers can step back from the sometimes consuming world of technology. They engage with others around them, creating friendships and bonding through old-fashioned conversations and shared experiences. These experiences bring life to the basketball courts, at project tables in arts and crafts, while helping others learn their lines for the upcoming show at the Starlight Playhouse, and many more every day. This social network buzzing through the grounds of Camp Starlight is fun and exciting while it is also a great way our campers develop stronger social skills and interact with other campers and staff. Countless memories are created without any form of technology, and it is a nice break from the busy and often times impersonal world in which we live.

At the end of the day, campers climb into bed without worries of charging gadgets or shutting down their computers. They close their eyes and drift off to sleep with the excitement for what the next amazing day at camp will hold for them!