Posts Tagged ‘bunkmates’

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.

My Bunk

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

While I am now surrounded by the comforts of home, I would gladly give them all up again just to be back at camp, sleeping in my bunk. I must admit that the first few days of falling asleep in a quiet room, sleeping in my own bed, and waking up without bugles ringing in my ear have been nice but it does not seem to make up for the longing I have for my bunk.

Each summer when all of my bunkmates arrive at camp, we run to our bunk and begin to make it our summer home. On the porch we hang a big welcome sign with all of our names. We unpack our clothes and place them in our cubbies. Then each bed takes on a personality of its own with its bright sheets and blankets, fun pillows and sentimental stuffed animals. As the summer moves on the walls begin to fill up walls with posters, letters and pictures from home. The bunk becomes a disco, a runway, a theater where we perform. We play on the floor with jacks, cards and trade stickers. At night, we lay in our beds sharing stories. When the lights are all out, we continue to laugh and whisper until sleep fills the air. What I miss the most about my bunk is waking up, looking around and knowing that all my friends are there.

Responsibility is Opportunity

Saturday, August 2nd, 2014

One of the things to which every camper and staff member looks the most forward to each Friday evening during the Camp Starlight services is the Key Staff address. The Key Staff address is a message given by a senior staff member pertaining to a theme. Lower Inter Girls Division Leader Tracie Saltzman presented a different take on the theme of responsibility that highlighted the qualities that Camp Starlight strives to promote and develop in both campers and staff members.

I feel truly blessed to be in front of all of you tonight to talk about responsibility. What is responsibility and how do you feel whensomeone tells you that you are responsible for something.  I bet your parents tell you that you have many responsibilities. Responsibility to do your homework, maybe responsibility to clean your room or clear your place at the dinner table. Here at camp, I know that I, along with your counselors, tell you about the responsibilities that you have. Clean your bunk, be quiet at line up, get to activities on time, stack your tables and the list goes on. All of these things that you “have” to do can be overwhelming and stressful. Even the dictionary defines responsibility in a way that can be perceived as negative. It says that responsibility is when you have a job to take care of something or to do what is expected.

I would like for you to look at responsibility a little differently. I would like for you to look at responsibility as an opportunity. At Starlight, we all have responsibilities so we all have opportunities. At the opening night show, several of you marched in with the banners that are displayed everyday in this rec hall. The values of Camp Starlight:  Spirit, Tradition, Adventure, Fun and Family. All of those values are your opportunities here at Starlight.

Opportunities to show your Spirit: Cheering on bunk mates to succeed, dressing up for a themed event, chanting in the dining room, wearing the blue and white during Olympics, representing Camp Starlight at an invitational game, a Wayne County game or right here during a league game.

Opportunities to continue the Traditions of Starlight that have left their mark here throughout the years. Olympic songs and sing banners hanging here in this rec hall, the bunk plaques decorating the dining room, morning and evening lineup, the Friday night service that always starts with the singing of Bim Bom, and when we all gather here in the rec hall to sing our hearts out at the pre-visiting day sing along.

Opportunities for Adventure. Everyone’s adventure is different, but it’s the opportunity to try something new. Maybe it’s singing in a play in front of the entire camp or waterskiing for the first time, scoring a run, creating a new arts and crafts project, radio show or sports broadcast, jumping from the star-jump or catching a fish.

Opportunities for fun: Shaking your napkin, tubing, playing an awesome game of name that tune with camp brothers and sisters, dancing at a mustache tutu party, running slope for lope, or just full on singing “Let it Go” at the top of your lungs with 800 others singing right along with you!

And Opportunities to embrace our Starlight family like being a good camp brother, camp sister, bunkmate, counselor—you are an integral part of your division.  We are a family built on bonds of friendship that will last a lifetime! We all have the responsibility and, therefore, the opportunity to carry on the values of Starlight and to keep it a strong and vibrant camp.

The returning campers know this and you 1st year campers will see that at the end of the summer, just before we have our banquet, all of the campers that have had parents, grandparents and great grandparents that were also campers here at Starlight, gather at the flagpole for a generational picture.  It is amazing to see how many of you are in that picture each summer. We all have the responsibility and opportunity to carry on the values of Starlight so that someday, when you have kids of your own, they can be in that picture at that same flagpole, overlooking that same beautiful lake having had the best summer with their Starlight family.

I want to thank each and every one of you for giving me the opportunity to share and enjoy another incredible summer at my home away from home. It’s a responsibility that I value forever in my heart.

How to Have Fun at Summer Camp

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

Campers: June is finally here and you’re about to head off to camp for the summer. Whether this is your first summer or your seventh, it’s completely normal to be a whole lot excited and even a little bit nervous. This just HAS to be the best summer EVER…as in epic! But do you ever find yourself a little bit confused about how to make that happen? Here are a few ideas to help you out as you get ready for camp.

Make new friends!

Of course your old friends are amazing. That’s why they’re your friends. But new friends are pretty great too. Make it a point to say ‘hello’ to people and introduce yourself to those you don’t know. Talk to other campers to find out what you have in common besides camp. Show support for other campers at activities.

Get involved in camp activities

There are so many awesome things to do at camp. Take advantage of the opportunity to get involved in them. Don’t just rely on favorites for your summer fun. Try some new things too. You’ll find that if you go to each activity—even those you don’t love—with a positive attitude and get involved, camp is even more fun.

Show your camp spirit

Camps rely on their campers to create a fun, energetic environment by showing their camp spirit. There’s a reason you count down the months and days each year until it’s time for camp and why YOUR camp is the BEST camp. Don’t be shy about showing it at camp.

Be your best self

Camp is the most fun for everyone when campers are positive, energetic, open and inclusive. There’s no need to make it like school where only certain types of people hang around together. If someone in your bunk or at your activity is shy, go out of your way to include them and take a leadership role in introducing them to others. If your friends try to say negative things about other people, change the subject or reply with a positive. Encourage others at activities, particularly those who struggle or who fear being made fun of. The more fun that everyone has together, the better camp is!

Keep an open mind

Sometimes, things at summer camp don’t go quite how you expected. Think before you react. Don’t let one bad activity, conversation or even day ruin your whole summer. Remember, it’s just one thing out of thousands that happen over the summer. Rather than dwelling on that one thing, shake it off and move on. If you do, you probably won’t even remember it by the end of the summer.

There Is No Such Thing as Too Much (or Too Many)…

Saturday, February 22nd, 2014

Camp is definitely an “all-in” environment. There is very little that is considered too extreme when it comes to demonstrating enthusiasm, wackiness, even fun. No one ever wants to “kind of” do something at camp. Camp is all about going big before you go home. In that vein, it’s time for a list of things of which there is no such thing as too much (or too many) at camp:

There No Such Thing as Too Much (or Too Many)…

Laughing. Seriously, you can’t laugh too much at camp. It’s impossible. Whether it’s over an inside joke with your bunkmates or at one of your favorite counselors doing something goofy on stage in front of the whole camp, laughter is a camp constant.

Cheering. At camp, you do it at sporting events, while watching a fellow camper dive into a whipped cream pie, while watching staff members wrestling each other in Jello, while showing team spirit, as a show of divisional or camp unity, to making meals more fun, even when your favorite dessert is rolled out. Cheering is just something you do at camp…pretty much all of the time.

Singing. Like cheering, singing is okay pretty much everywhere at camp. At some camps, it’s how you say good morning and goodnight. It’s what you do when the whole camp is together. It spices up meals and campfires. Most camps even have their own songs. And there is always that one song every summer that practically every camper and staff member finds themselves humming or singing at least once every day.

Moustaches. No, seriously. Moustaches are totally a camp thing. But they’re a BIG camp thing. Fact: staff and campers alike love moustaches. They demonstrate their love of moustaches via body art, jewelry, face paint…pretty much anything.

Tutus. If you thought tutus were just dance garb, you thought wrong. Tutus are versatile camp wear that comes in handy for pretty much everything. Showing team spirit, cheerleading, costumes, just because…Hey, it’s a tutu. What isn’t it good for at camp?

Spirit. Speaking of spirit, it goes way beyond showing support for a team at summer camp. Camp spirit is all about demonstrating why your camp is the best camp—all day, every day. Every camper and staff member comes to camp prepared with sufficient clothing in camp colors. It is perfectly acceptable to paint your entire body camp colors in a show of spirit, and temporary tattoos with the camp logo or colors are pretty much standard at every camp activity.

Sun. Sure, rain happens sometimes and, when it does, campers and staff alike deal with it. But sun is the ideal setting for fun at camp, and you can never get too much of it. Sure, indulging involves lots of sunscreen, but anyone who has ever spent a lazy afternoon lying in the grass while chatting with camp friends knows that life doesn’t get much better.

Camp. That’s right. It’s pretty much a unanimous consensus at camp that there is no such thing as too much camp. That’s why most campers and staff members drive those around them nuts with camp stories during the 10 months when we can’t be there. Most campers and staff agree that life would be so much cooler if “10 for 2” was actually “2 for 10.”