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.