Posts Tagged ‘Benefits of Summer Camp’

Learning to Lose

Tuesday, October 6th, 2020

Walking off the field, high-fiving your teammates, and grabbing a snack after a close victory is one of the greatest feelings in sports. Players and coaches work hard all year to win. When they walk off the field after earning “the dub,” the whole team can take solace in a finite result.

The other team. The losing team. That is where real character is shown. Winning is easy, taking a loss with good sportsmanship, and learning from it is significantly harder.

At Camp Starlight, we offer top-quality instruction in all our activities to prepare campers for inter-camp competitions and for their lives at home. However, no matter how gifted our campers and staff are, we are not always the best at every activity. We lose sometimes.

Losing at camp, though, is not a permanent result. Losing is a learning opportunity and a chance to grow. It is also a chance to build resilience and perseverance to win the next game or competition. Our mature staff leads by example and loses with grace and sportsmanship. We always shake hands after games and work with campers not to be negative with ourselves or our teammates.

One of our coaches used to say “You have to learn to lose before you can love to win.” If you can’t learn to lose, which means using it as a tool to move forward and progress, then you will never get better to win. We cherish every win with humility and learn from every loss.

Win, lose, or draw, the true winners are the competitors who gave it their all, had fun and demonstrated sportsmanship. That’s what camp and competition are all about.

Generation Z Living Tech Free

Sunday, September 27th, 2020

  1. iPhone/ Smartphone
  2. iPad/ Tablet
  3. Laptop.
  4. Television.
  5. Apple Watch/Fit Bit/ Smart Watch
  6. Amazon Echo/ Google Home/ Apple Home Pod
  7. Bluetooth Speaker.

This list of items can be found in nearly all our campers’ homes. We live in a tech-ridden world where technology is not only common, but a must to keep up with the fast-paced environment. However, at summer camp, we allow campers to remove themselves from technology and slow things down.

By eliminating technology in the bunks, Camp Starlight fosters an environment that allows campers to develop relationships and grow. Without electronic distractions in the bunk such as social media and video games, our campers have real face-to-face interactions, creating bonds stronger than technology.

This is most evident on a rainy day at camp. While a rainy day may seem glum and uneventful from an outsider’s perspective, campers in their bunks are anything but glum. Imaginations seem to run wild when 10 friends are stuck in a bunk together for hours. They create games, bunk traditions, or even mini business ideas in their bunk all because they were in an environment that nurtured this creativity and teamwork between campers. When the option is to create a game or play a video game, the video game is often the easy choice. When the option is creating a game or sitting on your bed, imaginations go into hyperdrive, allowing children to grow individually and with their bunkmates.

We do understand the value of technology, however, which is why many of our member camps incorporate technology into their daily program with activities like coding, digital photography, music production, and digital media arts. We utilize technology in this capacity as a learning tool to equip our campers with a new skill set to use when they return home.

In a world where technology does so much for us that campers often don’t need to think for themselves, we take this influence out. We allow campers to think. We allow campers to grow. And we allow campers to slow things down, if just for a short few weeks.

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

-Ferris Bueller

At Camp Starlight, we don’t miss it. We live it. All summer. Every summer.

Counsel for a Summer. Impact for a Lifetime.

Wednesday, August 5th, 2020

Working at Camp Starlight for a summer is fun, challenging, and rewarding. You have the opportunity to live in a bunk with our campers on our beautiful campus in the endless mountains of Northeast Pennsylvania. You will work with campers during each of our six activity periods. However, you will be with the kids so much more often than that. In fact, you’ll be with them from wake-up to bedtime. 

Mealtimes. Rest Hour. Shower Hour. Activity Periods. All-day long, you have the chance to interact with our amazing campers. And as lucky as you are to be with them, they are equally fortunate to have you as one of our amazing staff members.

Through all the time that you spend with your campers, it only takes a single moment…a single moment to change a child’s life. This may sound like something out of a fantasy novel, but it is absolutely true. We can all think back to a single conversation we had with an adult when we were younger that still impacts us today. The strangest part about this “moment”? You will never know it’s happening, and neither will the child. You may say something that seems inconsequential to both of you. Then, days later, that child is still thinking about it and you have long since forgotten about it. Years later, you’ve changed that child’s future based on a single conversation, and while they frantically search for your phone number to say “Thank You,” you may hardly remember that camper. 

At the conclusion of my third summer at Camp Starlight, I received a Counselor Appreciation letter from a camper who wrote about something that had happened the summer previously. The letter detailed a very intellectual and emotional realization that the camper had due to an interaction we had. However, this interaction wasn’t a profound conversation or a disciplinary issue. This interaction was me turning off the water while he brushed his teeth. He turned it back on. I turned it off. We went back and forth several times, and, amidst our laughter, I finally convinced him to leave it off once I left the bathroom. In my mind, that was the end. However, for reasons he explained in the letter, this was genuinely a meaningful moment in his life that he still thought about over a year later. Without his Counselor Appreciation Letter, I would have never known this “moment” existed. 

As a counselor at Camp Starlight, we only ask that you come as you are. Athletic, quirky, nerdy, shy, outgoing, or anything in between. We’ve seen it all and appreciate it equally. As a staff member, we don’t expect your summer to be filled with life-changing moments. In fact, looking for these moments would be counterproductive. By simply being yourself, you will build strong relationships with your campers. 

So, don’t search for this “moment.” Embrace your individuality and cherish the summer with these amazing children because as much as you can impact them, they will certainly have an impact on you.

Becoming a Leader Through Leagues

Wednesday, November 6th, 2019

For some, leadership is an inherent trait. For others, it is learned. However, all of our campers can learn and develop leadership skills. At Camp Starlight, our Leagues Program provides our campers with a great opportunity to hone their leadership skills.

Each summer, Camp Starlight features an intra-camp League, in which every camper is assigned to a team named after a College Athletic Program. The teams compete throughout the summer in various sports against all the other teams. The teams are competing within their divisions to win the coveted Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream prize at the end of the season.

Because our League teams are named for schools, days in which campers participate in leagues games are called College Days. When it’s a College Day at Camp Starlight, you know it! Campers dress in their team shirt to get in the competitive spirit and cheer their teammates on the sidelines to support the team. The teams will face-off once per league day in a grand show of athleticism, sportsmanship, and fun.

For individual campers, competing in leagues provides familiarity, as they have the same teammates for the duration of the summer. This creates an environment that fosters stronger relationships, cooperation, camaraderie, and responsibility.

When players first start to play together, they become aware of their individual strengths and how they can contribute to the team. Those who have strengths in a certain area, have the opportunity to be a teacher and a role model for their teammates. In other areas or sports, these campers may switch roles, allowing our campers to learn to be great leaders and great learners. They gain self-confidence through their own performance and by encouraging their teammates.  Team members build upon each other’s strengths to better the team towards a common goal.

Leadership, however, isn’t just about ability. It’s about being accountable for one’s actions and leading by example. All players get the chance to develop leadership through determination, communication, self-confidence, and drive.  Even if a camper isn’t a top athlete, they have the ability to lead through great sportsmanship and a positive attitude.

Because leagues promote teamwork and foster relationships, campers also become better at communicating. And because sports also instill self-esteem, Campers not only communicate better, but they do so with confidence.

In the end, the winning teams might get the ice cream, but everyone receives the added benefit of becoming a better leader.

 

To a Sweet New Year!

Thursday, September 26th, 2019

As we celebrate the New Year, we can’t help but look back on all that was sweet last summer at Camp Starlight. We take this time to appreciate the beautiful gifts that camp gives all of us.

We are grateful for the friendships that form each year. Summer after summer, we welcome old and new friends into our life. Camp Starlight allows us to create special memories with our bunk mates while also exposing us to campers from other bunks and divisions. We are fortunate to experience divisional traditions so that we can form friendships in and out of the bunk. We are always excited to meet our camp siblings, allowing us to form bonds with campers regardless of their age. We work together on sports teams, league teams, and Olympic teams to bring us even closer to our Starlight Family. There are friends and there are camp friends. The seven weeks we have together makes our camp friends our best friends, and best friends are forever.

We remember all of the special counselors that helped us through the summer. We are so grateful for the counselors that come from all over the world to make sure we have a great summer. We reflect on all the hard work the counselors put in to take care of us and all their patience and kindness that they show. They help create the warm and welcoming environment that makes Camp Starlight feel like home summer after summer.

We look back on all the fun that we had at each activity and all of the new skills we developed. We focus on our passions while discovering new passions through new experiences! We take the time to remember all of the fun evening activities and special events that created so many laughs and memories. We cherish the songs, the cheers, the dance moves, and the spirit that is Camp Starlight.

We envision the beauty of Camp Starlight. We recall the feeling of driving down the mile-long road, lined with trees on both sides and the feeling you get when you wrap around the corner and see the image of camp after waiting 10 months. The endless mountains and the reflection of the beautiful sunset over lake as the day nears the end are so clear in our minds. Finally, we picture the stars that twinkle above our summer home. We think about the wish we made on a shooting star, that will hopefully bring us all home next June.

We look forward to a sweet new year and cannot wait to get back to our summer home for another summer of friendship, love, fun, and memories to last a lifetime.

The Junior Show at Camp Starlight

Wednesday, July 24th, 2019

Sunday night marked the fourth production in the Starlight Playhouse, The Jungle Book. This family-oriented musical tells the story of Mowgli (Simon B), and his journey through the jungle. He is guided by Bagheera the Panther (Mikayla T) and Baloo the Bear (Rory M) as he learns valuable lessons about life and about himself. Crowd favorite songs included the beloved classic, “The Bare Necessities” as well as “Trust in Me” and “Overture”. The hard work of the juniors surely showed when the audience was offering a standing ovation to congratulate them on a job well done. An honorable mention is also in order for the adorable elephants, played by our very own day campers!

The juniors gave an unforgettable performance and all campers and counselors are very proud of all of their hard work. Coming soon to the Starlight Playhouse is our all-camp show, Frozen, which will be performed this upcoming Sunday.

Lower Seniors Basketball Versus Chen-a-Wanda

Tuesday, July 9th, 2019

On July 3rd, the lower senior boys basketball team had a nail biting victory over Chen-a-Wanda in this week’s Wayne County match. Hayden A was a fantastic rebounder who played hard throughout the game, scoring 2 points and 5 rebounds. Jesse K scored 6 points, 2 rebounds and had a strong finish at the rim, caused a foul and put the free throw in to take the lead at half time. Benjamin K scored 6pts, 1 rebound and 2 steals, playing strongly in the point guard position while Dre L’s strong communication to teammates gave a defensive advantage. Ryan S, with 3 rebounds and steal, as well as his hustle made a difference in the game. Benjamin A was present on the defensive end and was a rebounding threat on the floor with 4 rebounds. Dylan C was a defensive threat on the floor and had 1 assist. Jackson F was a strong all round player who rebounded skillfully and scored some points while on the floor, totaling 6 points, 10 and rebounds. Charlie G played hard and hustled while on the court and ended the match with 3 rebounds. Charlie H finished with 10 points and 4 rebounds. He was a big contributor to the game with strong ball handling skills. Kyle M was a strong points leader with 15 points, 2 rebounds and 1 assist. He was a great communicator with his teammates. Jack S handled the ball well and ended with 2 rebounds and 1 assist. Tared S ran the floor and rebounded well ending the match with 5 rebounds.Benjamin R scored 15 points and had the game winning free throw that put the team ahead with 9 seconds to spare to steal the victory.

 

 

 

Upper Debs Basketball versus Camp Tioga

Monday, July 8th, 2019

On Tuesday July 2nd, the upper debs from Camp Starlight fought with heart, spirit and ambition. In the beginning of the game, Lily A won the jump ball to start the game. Chloe B shot 7 points as Camp Tioga tried to shake her down. Carly E had two points to take the pressure off of the team, which boosted up the spirit of the game. Sienna K had great ball control when the other team tried to trap her in the corner. As the 3rd quarter was reaching the peak to finish, Myla W grabbed the rebound and held the ball with her life as Tioga was trying to receive it. Emma J and Shira R played good defense and made great passes. Cassidy W contributed with master mind plays and helped guide her team. Joie E, Emma D and Sarah T played good defense, which resulted in blocking the ball, rebounds and slowing down their best point guard. Lastly, Ashley W did a great job of controlling the speed of the game, and being unselfish with playing with her teammates. However, the girl’s efforts came out short and lost to Tioga, but a valiant effort was put forth. Great job upper debs!

Week 1 at Camp Starlight

Sunday, July 7th, 2019

Week 1 in Review 2019 from Camp Starlight on Vimeo.

Camp Photographer at Camp Starlight

Thursday, 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,

courtney

Best of Camp Starlight 2018