Posts Tagged ‘Benefits of Summer Camp’

How Summer Camp Cultivates A Growth Mindset

Monday, November 6th, 2017

Camp Starlight is focused on developing the whole child in a way that is healthy and fun. And although all of the running, jumping, swimming, climbing, dancing, and playing is great for their physical health, working on their emotional well-being, their character, and their self-confidence is just as necessary. This is why we put so much emphasis on having a growth mindset vs. a fixed mindset.

 

By definition, people with a growth mindset “believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment. On the other hand, people with a fixed mindset “believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe that talent alone creates success—without effort.”

 

Campers come to camp with the labels and expectations that the world has put on them, and many have come to believe that these traits, both good and bad, are just an integral part of who they are. Some have been told they are smart their entire lives, and their fixed mindset makes them believe that their intelligence is something that comes naturally to them and doesn’t require effort to improve upon. The same goes for athletic performance, relational ability, and their character. Campers who have been told they have anger issues will begin to believe that they are incapable of handling their anger; it is a fixed part of them that can’t be changed or improved upon.

 

At Camp Starlight, we focus on fostering a growth mindset in each camper. When they succeed, we praise their efforts by saying things like “you worked so hard at that” instead of “you are awesome!” Although the latter can be helpful to hear, hearing specific praise acknowledging the effort that the camper put into a specific task is more rewarding and builds their self-esteem. Camp staff and counselors work hard to praise the process instead of just the person. Campers will hear us say things like:

  • Tell me more about what you did
  • How did you figure that out?
  • Are you pleased with how it came out?
  • You must be so proud of yourself

 

We try to avoid labeling campers or putting too much emphasis on the labels they put on themselves. We want to encourage them to see themselves as capable and worthy of improvement in all areas of their lives. We want them to strive to be the best versions of themselves instead of being complacent with the label they’ve grown so comfortable with.

 

As campers step out of their comfort zones and try new things, they realize that they are capable of so much more than they thought and that their qualities, strengths, and abilities are not fixed. We want campers to be intrinsically motivated; to try new thing and preserve through hard things to feel good about themselves, not because they are seeking the approval of anyone else.

 

A summer at camp is about growing, maturing, and improving in all areas of life. Our goal is that campers leave with new friends, new experiences, and a stronger sense of who they are and what a valuable asset they are to the world. And it all starts with how they think about themselves.

 

5 Things Campers Look Forward to the Most for the Summer

Wednesday, October 25th, 2017

For almost the entirety of the year, campers sit at home waiting for the summer to start. Drumming their fingers and looking back at all the fun they’ve had so far, campers dream about all the things they can look forward to once camp finally arrives. When campers are at home with wandering minds, here are the things they look forward to the most when they get to come back to Camp Starlight.

  1. Sleeping Bunks: Experiencing every night at Camp Starlight as a giant sleepover with your best friends is why campers daydream about being back in their bunk beds. Even when the day is over, campers are still able to have fun.
  2. The Lake: The sunsets, sailing, paddle boarding and water toys allow campers to splash around and have as much fun as possible in the water. The Lake is an iconic point of Camp Starlight for good reason.
  3. Unique Activities: Campers are able to learn many unique skills at camp from magic tricks and circus activities to cooking and waterskiing. Opportunities at Camp Starlight are not always available for kids outside the ten other months of the year.
  4. Their Friends: The Friendships formed at Camp Starlight are very special and unlike any other friendships you will encounter. The summer bonds campers together in a very unique that makes these friendships last way past the summer.
  5. Traditions: All the fun traditions Camp Starlight possesses is what makes a summer at Starlight full of excitement and adventure. Becoming a part of Starlight history and carrying on these traditions is what keeps the magic of camp alive.

Why I Cant Wait to Come Back to Camp Starlight

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017

For those who have never worked at a summer camp before, there are many questions to ask and ideas to consider about life at a summer camp, but at Camp Starlight, returning staff can put all worries to rest about what it is like to work at the most special summer camp this world has to offer.

For starters, working at a summer camp is all about helping kids grow and become better individuals and one of the most rewarding aspects of working at Camp Starlight is the ability to watch all sorts of talented kids grow and master what they love. More often than not, the staff returns to see the campers they have helped, anticipating all the potential within them for another summer at Starlight. Along with the campers, all the staff members look forward to spending another summer with friends they have met from all over the world. Camp Starlight nurtures friendships not just for campers, but for staff as well, and Camp Starlight is a place that allows people to strengthen friendships with people from Australia, South Africa, England and any place imaginable.

Because of all the people staff members at Camp Starlight are able to work with, Camp Starlight is the most positive working environment, everyone is happy to see and spend another day of the summer with their co-counselors and campers. It never really feels like work because you always have that much fun wherever and whatever you’re doing at Camp Starlight. With all these positive elements of working at Camp Starlight, it’s no wonder so many staff members return each summer to once again feel the magic of Camp Starlight, a place that is truly worth the ten for two.

My Last Summer as an Upper Senior

Monday, September 18th, 2017

When I ran off the bus on the first day of camp, I immediately started crying because I was so happy to be back at Camp Starlight. As an Upper Senior, this was my last summer at Camp Starlight and when I arrived I knew I was ready to embrace that role at camp.

The last summer is bittersweet in how special it is. This is the summer where I finally got to do everything I ever wanted to do at camp and it was a blast, but this was the last time I would get to spend an entire summer with my best friends playing games, hanging in the Lake House and having all the fun I could want. Sometimes it is overwhelming having this much responsibility at camp and knowing that you’re a huge role model for the younger girls, but once I embraced that responsibility, I became a better leader for my division. There are so many life lessons you learn in your last summer at camp, for instance, I learned how important it is to be calm and collected in stressful situations and that it is better to always have a positive outlook in any situation. Learning this helped me be the best leader and find my voice in the division. All the responsibility of being an Upper Senior is hard work, but at the end of the summer when I realized how many amazing things happened because of my hard work, I realized how in the end it was all really worth it and that my summer wouldn’t had been as fun if I didn’t put in my all. It is incredibly hard to say goodbye to my summer home but I with all the amazing memories and friendships I’ve created over the years, I know Camp Starlight will never really leave me.

– Bailey R., Camper

 

My First Summer at Camp

Monday, September 4th, 2017

I was very excited and nervous for my first day of summer camp at Camp Starlight. I did not now what to expect when coming to camp and was nervous about what would happen. When I came to camp and came off the bus I exploded with happiness, camp seemed so cool and fun.

Campus is so pretty with the giant lake and there are so many great snacks to eat. I quickly made a lot of friends and had so much fun with the dance specialists. The dance staff is so nice and fun to dance with, dance is my favorite activity at camp. When I grow up I want to be a counselor and a dance specialist at Camp Starlight.

I made so many memories at my first summer but my favorite memory of the summer was making it to the finals for MTV night, my counselors really pushed me to work hard and it payed off.

I also learned a lot of fun things, like how to waterski for the first time. Every day is fun and full of adventure. I love all my new friends at camp and even though I was nervous at first, Camp Starlight easily became my summer home. I love how much fun I get to have every day at Camp Starlight and can’t wait for next summer already.

– Molly M., Camper

Camp Starlight Music Production

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017

 

The Summer Closes but Starlight Will Never Fade

Friday, August 18th, 2017

As last sunset of the summer touches the lake and the Starlight shirts are packed away, another summer at Camp Starlight has come to a close. The summer flew by as the wind does through the trees, easily and without notice. It’s not until the activities slow down and trunks lift out of the attic that you realize another summer of fun, laughter, excitement and challenge has come and gone. You won’t be able to see the growth within yourself if you stare up close in the mirror, but it is visible in the list of achievements you’ve accomplished throughout the summer, whether big or small. Smiling at your new friends and hugging your old ones, Camp Starlight has brought you together with people you never knew you would meet in life from all over the world. Remembering all the times you spent laughing at the evening activity, singing and cheering during Olympics and how excited you were to start the summer when you hopped off the bus, the memories from the summer of 2017 flood you entirely. It’s really at the end of the summer that you realize how special this place is and how it’s magic transforms an ordinary summer of work and play into a season of outrageous amounts of fun and unique opportunities. Preparing for goodbyes have never been as difficult as when you have to separate from those you have grown closest to and admire. You may wonder how does time move this fast exactly when you don’t want it to and why will these next ten months until camp feel like ten years. The wait is long, the goodbyes are hard and the heartache is heavy, but all of this is worth it when you hop on the bus to go home because you know soon enough you will hop right back off to your summer home, Camp Starlight.

Olympics Produces Winners and Life Long Memories

Friday, August 11th, 2017

After a great battle between blue and white, the annual Olympics at Camp Starlight came to a final close, declaring Happy Blue Day the successor on girl’s side and Grand Stand White the winner of boy’s side. Every single camper, regardless what team they were on, put in one hundred and ten percent effort into these Olympic games, embracing every unusual task or challenge that would earn their team points. Campers wouldn’t even do a double take when asked to toss cheese puffs onto a camper’s head full of shaving cream, duke it out in the most intense game of Gaga or eat dinner in complete silence to help their team win. Olympics is a five day event that everyone takes seriously, counselors and staff included because it is also their hard work and dedication that helps their team win. Counselors and staff can sacrifice all their time to help design costumes and a set for Sing! or compete in staff volleyball games during rest hour just so that their team can get a few extra points. No matter how few or many points a camper or counselor earned for their team, they all added up in the end and without them the results wouldn’t have been the same. Olympics is a time that brings all of the campers, counselors and staff together, a special event that bonds everyone together as they all fight for the same goal. When the winners are announced at the end of the fifth day, cheering and shouts of joy erupted in the air but it didn’t compare to the rewarding feeling when everyone from the blue and white teams rushed the lake, celebrating all the things that every camper had been able to achieve during this Olympics. While winning is a reward in itself, the real reward of Olympics are the memories everyone was able to create during these five days of fun, athleticism, teamwork and friendship.

Camp Starlight Olympics: Blue Girls Day 2

Wednesday, August 9th, 2017

For the second day of Olympics, the girls of Happy Blue Day proved even stronger than on the first day, amping up all the energy and spirit for the games. The Juniors served up some tough competition for the Grand Stand Whites on the tennis courts and battled in the sand during a tough game of Newcombe on the volleyball courts. The sand of beach volleyball and the nets of the tennis courts were also well defended by the Lower Inters, bringing just as much intensity as the Juniors. Running bases with ease, the Upper Inters glided through pitches on the softball diamond and took their coordination skills to the test for the soccer shootouts. The Lower Debs also put their soccer skills to the test for an exciting game of soccer against the white team. Upper Debs dribbled effortlessly around the Grand Stand Whites in basketball and slammed some pitches for a game of softball. Defending Happy Blue Day with ferocity, the Seniors raced around the field in soccer and competed in the boating meet with power and spirit. All the girls proved their dedication to their team and made their coaches and counselors proud when sporting the color blue with pride.

Camp Starlight Olympics: White Girls Day Two

Wednesday, August 9th, 2017

The Grand Stand Whites packed a powerful punch for the second day of Olympics, raising the bar in spirit and sportsmanship for the day’s activities. Inspired by the previous day’s events, the Juniors put all their passion into exciting games of tennis and beach volleyball against Happy Blue Day. Battling in the sand, the Lower Inters dominated in a game of Newcombe and then later put all their energy onto the tennis courts just like the Juniors. Running the bases, the Upper Inters took pride in a great game of softball and kicked with power for the soccer shootout. Bringing the heat to the black top and the pitch, the Lower Debs played exciting games of basketball and soccer while the Upper Debs pushed hard for the win in basketball and softball. The Seniors showed off many summers worth of practice for an intense game of soccer against Happy Blue Day, fighting to prove that white is better than blue. With Lower Camp competing in a swim meet and Upper Camp in a boating meet, the Grand Stand Whites faced off in the water for a fun afternoon of healthy competition. The girls worked really hard the second day and had fun cheering on their friends through wins and losses, happy to be experiencing Olympics at the end of a perfect summer.