Posts Tagged ‘benefits of camp’

Being a Counselor Assistant at Camp Starlight

Thursday, September 20th, 2018

Sixteen is not an age you would associate with a summer camp. When you think of a sixteen year old, words like “rock n roll,” “rebellion,” and “sleep in extremely late” flash like snapshots of your own teen years into your head. Teenagers typically want to get away from it all and live in the moment, but at Camp Starlight, sixteen year olds break these stereotypes as Counselor Assistants. Pushing the limits of responsibilities and taking the initiative to embrace upcoming adulthood, Counselor Assistants spend another summer at Camp Starlight in the in between stage of camper and counselor. Not yet counselor, not entirely camper, these kids enter a role entirely their own on campus and even though it is a unique role, these kids enter this sphere for a reason.

“What inspired me to return for this summer was that for the past 8 summers all my counselors were so kind, supportive and motivating in everything I did and helped me with everything I needed. I want to be that person these campers look up to and I want to be the same role model for my kids one day,” said Marni, a Counselor Assistant.

Even though starting the transition from camper to counselor is challenging, these kids believe and do make a difference in the life of the campers. Each and every one of these counselor assistants have grown up with the values of Camp Starlight rooted into them, accepting that friendship, tradition and family is a part of their identity. The determination to sacrifice a summer of possible shenanigans back home as teenagers highlights how seriously these soon to be counselors want to continue to plant the traditions, fun and love of Camp Starlight into future campers, hoping new roots will grow alike to their own.

“I’m returning this summer as a Counselor Assistant because I can’t imagine a summer without all these people in my life,” said Lauren, a Counselor Assistant.

 

 

 

What Seniors Will Miss Most about Camp Starlight

Thursday, August 9th, 2018

When you spend eight summers of your life at the same summer camp, you get to reflect on all the magic you’ve experienced and memories you have made at a place that is so special and unlike anywhere else. At Camp Starlight, Upper Senior campers truly get to experience every single aspect of summer camp, transitioning from summer to summer with more responsibility and more fun. Upper Seniors get to see every angle of Camp Starlight and experience every special activity, they really do it all. However, when the last night of the last summer comes, it always arrives too quickly for these Upper Seniors. Reflecting back on every summer spent at Camp Starlight, here are the things that Upper Seniors will miss most about Camp Starlight when they have to say their final goodbye.

  1. The Traditions: They will miss all the iconic traditions that define Camp Starlight because that is what makes a summer camp experience. The relay races, Olympic games, powder puff football, color wars and campfires all make for a picture perfect summer and these traditions is what transforms a normal summer into a magical one to remember.
  2. The Staff: Coaches and counselors really help define a camper’s summer because they are the mentors in their life guiding them to achieve their goals and overcome their obstacles for that summer. The constant support and belief is what helps a camper become the better athlete, the better artist and the better individual.
  3. The Adventure: Campers are able to explore and feel an adrenaline rush practically every day on or off campus, travelling to different places and cities for special trips when they aren’t whizzing on the zipline or jumping great heights at outdoor adventure. The sense of adventure and opportunity to discover the unknown is an element of Camp Starlight that campers will yearn for the most.
  4. The Memories: Camp Starlight is unique in the fact that practically every moment can be transformed into a memory. Every evening activity, special event or moment that made a camper smile creates a summer for campers to always look back fondly on, the memories these campers make with each other are unique and often the ones they never forget for the rest of their lives.
  5. The Friendships: Since most campers don’t all come from the same place, summers spent at Camp Starlight are so special since this is the only time campers are able to connect and bond with their camp friends. Camp Starlight helps form friendships that are so strong and unlike any friendship back home. The friendships are a vital element of what campers look forward to seeing every summer and will regret saying goodbye to the most.

 

 

Camp Starlight Olympics- Day 4 Scores

Tuesday, August 7th, 2018

Watching Campers Grow as Athletes and Individuals

Monday, August 6th, 2018

Every day at Camp Starlight is completely different for me, I see a multitude of faces from every division and interact with campers I’ve known for five years or for five minutes. The only consistent aspect of my job is my ability to meet new people every day and that is why I know my job as the Athletic Director is the best job on campus. Whether I am overseeing Wayne County match or providing a helping hand for any athletics based evening activity, I am always on the move meeting and getting to know different campers. When campers express interest in a sport and I get to help them improve their skills, I also get to know who they are and why they are passionate about the sport. I love the relationships I get to form with the campers and when they get older and look back at these summers they won’t remember whether they won or lost a lacrosse or basketball game, they will remember the people they made relationships with, which I believe to be so cool. When I get to see these campers come back summer after summer and see how they grow in terms of skill and independence, it’s a very rewarding feeling for me. When campers that become too old for Camp Starlight but reach out before they go to college to tell me I’ve impacted their life positively, it is the most rewarding feeling. Those moments are why I know I have the best job at Camp Starlight.

Our Lower Deb Summer

Sunday, August 5th, 2018

Being a Lower Deb comes with more respect, responsibilities, opportunities, and freedom. We have a mascot that represents who we are, and who we can be. We have our own cheer that shows our spirit, and proves that we are powerful. We are lucky to be able to get 10 times closer with our division just from one night. Being the role models that we looked up to as a lower junior means so much. In Upper Camp, we now have the responsibility of making a younger camp sister feel happy and comfortable. We also have the privilege of having two sisters with whom we form a special bond and friendship. You learn to be a loyal bunkmate, sister, and friend. We learn to step out of our comfort zone and try new things. We wouldn’t trade this memorable experience for anything else in the world.

            -Emma D., Lexi B., and Emma J.

A lot has changed now that we are in Upper Camp. As upper campers you have more freedom and with that comes more responsibility. When you become a Lower Deb you discover friendships you never would have imagined. You get closer with the whole division and learn to accept each others’ differences. When we were juniors we looked up to the Lower Debs; now we have become the role models. In this division we do not see each other as 3 separate bunks but as 1 whole division. One of the highlights of becoming a Lower Deb is the reveal of the summer mascot. This annual tradition started with a rubber chicken; this summer it is a lioness.We have made bonds that will last a lifetime. We know that no matter what, we can rely on each other. We hope everyone will get to have this experience.

-Ava R., Cassidy W., and Myla W.

For many years we have looked up to the people we would soon become. For the first time we get to experience what it’s like to be a role model for the campers in Lower Camp. Being in Upper Camp makes us realize how much we appreciate every second we get to spend at camp. As we get older we take on more responsibilities and understand how lucky we are to have such an amazing experience year after year. Part of being a Lower Deb is becoming closer to each and every one of our lifelong best friends and making memories that will last us a lifetime.

-Carly E., Loren G., and Kamryn G.

The Fun of Science Outside the Classroom

Saturday, August 4th, 2018

Throughout the day I am quite scattered around campus, some afternoons I’m launching bottle rockets in front of the Rec Hall and on other days I’m helping blow cube shaped bubbles in the Makerspace. The wide range of science based activities I get to participate in and teach to campers makes every day exciting and different which is why I believe I have the best job on camp as the Makerspace Specialist. When campers come to summer camp they want to escape school and classes, believing a science based activity is no fun and all rules, but my job as the Makerspace Specialist is to show campers how fun and interesting it can be to play with applied science. Building robots, planning science experiments, launching model rockets, blowing odd shaped bubbles, and of course making slime are all exciting activities I can share with the campers to see the fun side of science. When campers participate in these activities they get to develop a passion for science outside the classroom and I get to witness their growth and improvement over the summer which is my favorite part of my job. Nothing is more rewarding than helping a camper understand the beautiful intricacies of science and robotics and see them make connections they never thought they could make before. My specialty is very unique compared to all the different sports, music and art based activities campers have the opportunity to partake in so it’s an honor to be one of the few counselors helping campers experience a healthy and fun exposure to science. Without working with these campers all summer and sharing my love of science, my life would be so different and not as fulfilling because when camper’s make connections to science and develop a passion that is when I know all my hard work is worth it and that I have the best job at Camp Starlight.

Camp Starlight Hypnotist

Friday, August 3rd, 2018

Camp Starlight Hypnotist from Camp Starlight on Vimeo.

The 5 Coolest Things About Night Time At Camp Starlight

Thursday, August 2nd, 2018

There’s something magical that happens at camp when the sun goes down at Camp Starlight. Of course, we have the fun and excitement of our evening activities. Yes, there is so much more that sets the scene for some of the fondest memories of the summer.

Here are the five coolest things about night time at camp:

Stars

When the sun goes down and the moon rises over the camp, the entire vibe changes. What was just a high energy playground of fun and adventure turns into a calm, peaceful retreat in the mountains. And away from the city lights, the stars shine brighter than you could ever imagine! Just picture sitting with your fellow campers, searching for shooting stars and admiring the overwhelming majesty of the nighttime sky. Campers and counselors enjoy sitting their everyday chairs and finding constellations in the sky. Not only is it a great way to relax and unwind after a busy day, but it’s also an opportunity for exploration.

Campfire

The campfire is a traditional part of the Starlight experience and brings campers together unlike any other part of camp can. The bright reds and orange flames dancing against the black sky create an intimate and exciting environment in which campers can talk, sing, roast marshmallows, be silly and make memories. A campfire is a place where campers can reflect on their day, where they can share their adventures and stories with other campers, and where they can feel connected with nature. Many campers say that campfires are their favorite part of camp, as it was a special way to end the day.

Fireflies

There’s nothing more endearing than watching a camper experience the magic of fireflies for the first time. Fireflies put on a illuminated show for campers as they make their appearance each night. The laughter and excitement that comes from catching one of these little creatures and examining them up close is an experience that many campers have for the first time at camp. These bright little flying bugs turn night time into a light show!

Night Time Sounds

While many of the nighttime aspects of camp can be seen, there is something to be said about the unique sounds of camp at night. From owls calling in the distance to the songs of crickets and the crackling of the fire, certain sounds will stick with campers forever. These sounds, many of which can only be heard once the noise of the day has faded, serve as a soundtrack to the summer nights that campers will never forget.

Bunk Time

As the campground settles down and busy campers head back to their bunks, more memories await. Bunk time allows campers to have quiet conversations with their bunkmates and share stories and details about their lives. This low key, quiet time is a great way for campers to connect with each other without the distractions of the day. This time gives campers a chance to journal or do some self-reflecting, prepare for the next day or simply get some much-needed rest.

A summer at Camp Starlight is packed with fun, new adventures, new friendships, and excitement all day long. But when the sun goes down, the fun doesn’t stop. Campers love night time at camp because it brings a whole new feeling and vibe to sleepaway camp. Each night, campers fall asleep with images of campfires and fireflies dancing in their heads and wake up from a good night’s rest ready for another day of fun.

 

The Best Ways to Enjoy the Camp Starlight Lake

Sunday, July 29th, 2018

Camp Starlight would not be complete without the picturesque waterfront. Our two lakes are one of the main reasons that many Starlighters call their summer home “the most beautiful place on Earth”. There are countless ways to explore the waterfront and each different experience is special in its own way. Here are our top picks this summer!

Tubing

Whizzing around the lake behind the speedboat is undoubtedly one of the best ways to enjoy our Starlight waterfront. Riding the sombrero with four of your best friends is a blast and the twists & turns form nothing short of a thrilling experience.

Kayaking

One of the most relaxing ways to experience the lake is paddling around in a kayak. It’s the perfect way to appreciate the serenity of the Starlight lakes and enjoy your afternoon in the sunshine. Seated in the kayak you feel so close the the water and it’s hard not to notice the calmness surrounding you.

Paddle Boarding

Gliding through the water on a paddle board is an incredible and relaxing way to enjoy the picturesque silhouette of the trees over the lake. Campers love to take the opportunity to paddle board as both a way to splash around and also to stop and take it all in while they’re on the water.

The Top of a Water Toy

Whether it’s on top of the slide, rocking on the rock-it, or making a splash on the avalanche and chaos, being on one of these inflatable contraptions feels like being on top of the world! Waving to friends on the dock as campers play and jump on the waterfront toys is a blast and definitely prime time for some of the funniest and best camp memories.

Hiking

Hiking around the Starlight lake is truly one of the best things our campus has to offer campers. Accomplishing a full hike around the lake is both an achievement and an incredible way to bond with your lifelong friends. Through paths and meadows, the scenery along the lake is often times just as beautiful as the water itself. Don’t miss it!

Friday Night Speech

Monday, July 9th, 2018

Once, a farmer decided to sell his farm. He had lived there a long time and thought there might him be something better waiting for him. So, he decided to ask his friend – who was a poet – to write the description of his farm for the advertisement. This is what the poet wrote:

“A beautiful property where birds sing at dawn, extensive woodland that’s bisected by the brilliant and sparkling waters of a large stream. The farmhouse is bathed in the light of the rising sun in the morning. During the evening there is plenty of tranquil shade to enjoy on the beautiful veranda”

Several weeks later, the poet met the farmer and asked him if he had sold his farm yet? “No”, the farmer replied. “After I read your description of my farm, I decided not to sell. I had never seen what you described. I guess I didn’t appreciate what I had…”

Since this year’s service theme is “appreciation”, I decided to look it up in the dictionary. This is what it said:

“A feeling or expression of admiration, approval, or gratitude.”

But, for me it is more than just a “thank you”…for me it

is acknowledging and giving acceptance to something or someone.

It seems to me that sometimes we don’t appreciate all the good things around us…Just like the farmer who didn’t appreciate his farm. Sometimes our eyes are closed to great things and great people that are right in front of our eyes. People we can listen to and learn from.

And, I’ve discovered, you don’t have necessarily like someone or something to appreciate it…to be able to take advantage of the gifts they can bring us.

Even more importantly, we need to appreciate everyone ‘s right to “be”; everyone’s right to share this world with us…no matter how different they may be from us. Yes, they may look different from us…. they may think differently from us…indeed…. they may be very different from us. But we need to respect their rights as a person…as much as they need to respect ours.

Appreciation begins as mutual respect…it can lead to friendship…and, yes, even love.

Look around this amazing scene tonight.

Starlight is filled with people and opportunities waiting to be appreciated by the campers who are lucky enough to be here…and who appreciate that they are lucky enough to be here.

They can give you gifts that you can take home with you and treasure forever.

Life is funny, you know.

In the beginning there is birth.

In the end there is death.

Everything in between is a ”gift”.

That’s why we call it the “present”.

So, appreciate everything that is here for you in the “present”.