Posts Tagged ‘camp activities’

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.

Week 1 at Camp Starlight

Sunday, July 7th, 2019

Week 1 in Review 2019 from Camp Starlight on Vimeo.

Camp Starlight Memories

Tuesday, May 7th, 2019

Camp Memories 2018

  1. Making brand new friends in the bunk
  2. Having cool counselors from all over the world
  3. Tubing around the lake
  4. Having two awesome camp sisters
  5. Funny times in the bunk
  6. Being a music kitten in the play Aristocats
  7. Trying the star jump for the first time ever
  8. Going to the best camp ever!
  • Sydney G1

Some of my favorite camp memories were…

  1. Winning MTV Night divisionals
  2. Getting pizza for dinner on Junior day
  3. Having the best time ever with my amazing counselors and my awesome CA.
  4. Having a water fight after our parent left on visiting day. Even though I was crying the water fight cheered my right up.
  5. The best Olympic breakout!
  6. We saw the movie Coco after Olympics and we got popcorn

This year was a great year.

  • Andie G6

Camp Memories

It was raining so hard outside so our counselor Sydney started singing “Singing in the Rain”. So we all went outside and started singing with her. We all got soaked. It was so much fun.

  • Claudia G10

Appreciation at Camp Starlight

Friday, March 29th, 2019

Written by Tessa (Lakehouse B)

The word “appreciate” is simply one of the many that would come to my mind when thinking of this beautiful place. If someone were to ask me, “what did you appreciate overall during your upper junior summer?”, the answer would probably be the 10 Dena gave us on inspection that day, or maybe the canteen we would get 3 times a week. Coming upon my following summers here, my division leaders have been the ones who impacted me the most. Tracie teaching us to always walk around with our heads high. Janelle’s infectious attitude always relating back to being kind. Megan teaching me how to be a good person or better triceratops, upon entering my first year in upper camp. Then came my upper deb summer in 2016. Let me just say one word. Eagles. I could never appreciate something more than that summer blessing me with the relationships formed with the 35 girls in my division who I proudly call my sisters. When I say sisters, I truly mean family. Lower Senior summer with Shelby taught me that I cannot sweat the small things, and that it is beyond important to cherish every second in this place. Shelby has never failed to teach me that when we’re in this place, there is no other option to be anything but yourself. It is now my seventh summer, and being an Upper Senior who has now carried each tradition to every division below has really shown me how to appreciate every little thing and moment. Looking back, I wouldn’t change one moment, I wouldn’t even trade it for an extra canteen! Reflecting on my past summer I realize that my favorite place has given me my best friends, memories, opportunities and everything in between. Appreciation doesn’t necessarily have to be a “where”. The “how” is something that touches me the most. They say that home is where your heart is. Camp Starlight has my heart.

Interpersonal Skills at Camp Starlight

Monday, January 28th, 2019

In a world where third graders have cell phones and middle school students are striving to be “Insta-famous,” it’s no wonder teachers, and parents are noticing that students lack basic interpersonal skills needed to be successful in the real world. This is why more and more adults are actively looking for ways for young people in their lives to connect with others and improve their communication skills. Camp Starlight is a great option for students not only to spend the summer having fun and trying new things but also provides a safe space for them to work on their interpersonal skills, meet new people and build relationships organically.

Listening

Being successful at camp means being able to listen to rules and expectations, follow directions and adhere to a schedule. Campers have a lot of freedom to make their own choices, but there are times when their safety, health, and wellbeing are dependent on listening to counselors and staff. Counselors make it a point to ensure all campers feel heard and demonstrate active listening strategies when campers are talking. Eye contact, body language, and asking questions are all way counselors show campers they are listening, and campers follow their example.

Campers are expected to listen to each other and avoid interruptions or distracting behaviors while fellow campers are talking. Learning to be a good listener will help campers be successful students during the school year and prepare them to be successful leaders as they enter the workforce.

Decision Making

Good leaders can make important decisions in a short amount of time. They understand how to use all the information that they have, consider their past experiences, common sense, and intuition, and decide with confidence. Campers are given hundreds of chances over their sleep away camp experience to work in their decision-making skills. From which activities they want to try each day to what they want for lunch, campers are trusted to make healthy, safe and smart decisions to customize their camp experience.

Problem Solving

While camp will easily be the most fun campers will have all year, not every moment is rainbows and butterflies. Campers will face challenges during their time away from home, and it may be the first time they are charged with solving big problems without their parents by their side. Counselors are always on hand to guide campers through obstacles and challenges, but encourage campers to find solutions on their own. After a summer at camp, campers are equipped with problem-solving strategies to help them become more effective leaders.

Verbal and Non-verbal Communication

In a world where children and teens do most of their communication from their phones or computers, it’s no surprise that many are lacking opportunities to practice good ol’ fashion face-to-face communication. Since screen time is minimal at camp, campers spend most of their time talking and listening to others, developing things like self-awareness, empathy, patience, conflict management and listening. They learn to read cues given off by other campers, and how to be aware of the way they interact with others, both one-on-one and in a group setting.

Camp helps campers bridge the gap when it comes to the critical interpersonal skills they need to be successful in life. And, as is most of the life skills that campers learn while they swim, fish, act, dance, hike, play, sing and explore, they usually have no idea they’re actually learning something. Every day, campers work on character building disguised as fun and leave camp more well-rounded than they came.

 

 

10 Ways to Connect with Campers: Camp Starlight Counselors

Thursday, December 27th, 2018

To have a summer of fun and happiness as a counselor, you need to ensure that your campers are having just as much fun and are just as happy. The best way to make sure both you and your campers are having an amazing summer is to connect with them. Here are ten ways to connect with campers that will help everyone have a summer to remember.

  1. Get To Know Them: Find out what your camper is passionate about or what makes them excited to be at Camp Starlight. Figuring out who they are and what they want out of their summer experience will help you ensure they have a great summer.
  2. Attend Their Activities: When you see them participate in sports and activities you see them achieve goals or you see how you can help them overcome a challenge. Watching your campers have fun shows that you’re interested in their happiness.
  3. Laugh With Them: Laughing with your campers at a joke or funny event helps you connect with them and make memories. Always finding a time in your day to laugh with your campers shows them you want to be with them.
  4. Use Your Imagination: Don’t be afraid to be silly with your campers or use your imagination to make a day more fun with them. Using your imagination allows your campers to see how much fun you can have together.
  5. Eat Meals Together: Meal time is an important time of the day that allows for campers to talk about their day, what made them happy or what made them not so happy. Spending that quality time together ensures a deeper connection as the summer goes on.
  6. Smile: When you smile more it is proven to improve your mood and therefore you are more approachable to your camper. Smiling helps you show to your campers that you are happy to be at camp with them.
  7. Ask Questions: Sometimes campers aren’t so vocal about their feelings or experiences so make sure you always ask them lots of questions and get to know how they are doing. Asking questions shows you’re interested in their wellbeing and your happiness at camp.
  8. Participate in Activities: Show your enthusiasm by participating in an evening activity with them or getting involved in their daily activities. Your participation shows you care and allows you to bond together.
  9. Show Support: Always cheer them on during games, celebrate their success and help them when they’ve fallen down. Showing support is how you connect with your camper and help them have an amazing summer.
  10. Take a Challenge Together: Whether it’s helping them overcome their fear of the water or helping them choreograph an amazing dance for an evening activity, taking a challenge with your camper allows you to bond with them whether you succeed or not.

Things I Wish I Knew Before My First Summer

Friday, December 7th, 2018

Everyone remembers his or her first summer at camp. They remember the countdown until the big day, the careful packing and the butterflies as they arrive at camp. When you arrive at camp for the first time, you have many questions and uncertainties. You’re curious about the games you’ll play, the food you’ll eat, and how you’ll like sleeping in a cabin. But before the first day of camp is over, most campers are settling in and finding their groove. If you ask most campers about the things they wish they would have known before their first summer at Camp Starlight, this is what they would tell you:

Camp friends become best friends

There is something about spending every day with the same group of people, experiencing so many “firsts” together and connecting over shared experiences that often combine to create lasting friendships. Camp friends become best friends because the entire summer is spent in such tight community, that it is almost impossible not to form long-term relationships with many of the people you meet at camp. You enter your cabin as strangers, and by the end of the summer you’ve shared stories and secrets and inside jokes, you build trust and encourage each other and listen to each other. Camp friendships aren’t tainted by social media, they’re organic relationships built on shared interests and experiences, and they often last a lifetime.

Being outside all the time is amazing

Some first-time campers worry about spending so much time away from home and away from their beloved smartphones. But if many campers knew all of the benefits of spending time outside and away from their screens, they’d be excited about all of the outdoor adventures waiting for them at camp. Camp Starlight is set on beautiful acres of land, surrounded by beautiful natural landmarks. Spending extended time outside allows you to soak in Vitamin D, breathe in the fresh air, and is great for your mental health. Any campers nervous about the amount of time spent outside at camp will quickly learn that camp is the best place to connect with nature.

There’s no need to be nervous

We know spending a summer away from home can be a little nerve-wracking, but veteran campers would tell you that there is nothing to worry about. Campers who let their nerves get the best of them miss out on some great camp experiences. Counselors work hard to make each camper feel comfortable and at home as soon as possible. While it is normal to feel nervous when trying something new, it’s important to remember that camp is specifically designed to be the safest, coolest, most exciting place for kids and teens to spend their summer. There is a 0% chance that you’ll have a horrible time at camp, so there is nothing to worry about.

Teamwork makes the dream work

The sooner you learn to lean on your fellow campers and counselors and work together, the more fun your camp experience will be. The people you share a cabin with quickly become like family, and counselors become trusted role models who work to ensure you have the best summer possible. The summer camp experience is meant to be shared, and you will have much more fun when you work together with other campers and counselors. New campers may be hesitant to ask questions, but if they know how ready and willing seasoned campers and camp staff are to help, they’d feel a lot better about seeking out help. Everyone at camp is there to help each other!

It would be the time of my life!

You will have many assumptions and expectations about your first summer at camp, but there is one thing you can know for sure: you will have the time of your life! Most campers get a general idea that summer camp is designed to be a fun place to spend a few weeks, but if you knew what was truly in store for you, you’d be jumping up and down to get here! Seasoned campers can tell you until they’re blue in the face about how life-changing summer camp can be, but there’s only way to really experience it, and that is to sign up for your first summer camp experience!

There are many things you don’t know about camp until you get here. You won’t know many of the camp traditions, how to sing the songs, the fastest way to get to your cabin, or what activities to try. There will be many questions and a lot of things you will have to learn along the way, but if you can come to camp knowing these five things, you’ll be ready to jump into the camp experience!

 

 

Camp Starlight Appreciation

Monday, November 12th, 2018

Written by Peyton (Lakehouse C)

7 years ago, I started attending Camp Starlight. Coming from Florida, I didn’t know anyone here, and I was definitely scared and nervous about making friends. I remember my first day so vividly. I was on the last bus to get to camp, and when I stepped foot on the clinic field, I was surrounded by the group of girls in my bunk who all already knew each other. They had been here lower junior, and I was a new camper in their bunk. I wondered how I would ever get close to these 7 girls who didn’t know how to even pronounce my name correctly, and were already the best of friends. Looking back on this now, I should have noticed that if the rest of my bunk were so close from only spending 7 weeks together, there had to be something truly magical about Camp Starlight.

After only a few hours into my first summer, my bunk and I knew each other better than anyone else in the world. That is the magic of this place that I definitely appreciate because I would have never gotten to know such amazing people, who live thousands of miles away from me. Over the course of the next summers, I got closer to my entire division and many others around camp. This created a huge family from near and far that I know I will have forever. I appreciate Camp Starlight because it turned a group of strangers into a tight-knit community and family.

My appreciation for this camp extends beyond the ability to create an extended family. During the months following camp, I missed some of the small things here that I never focused on. When I tried new extra-curricular activities that year at school, I realized how helpful it is to have friends to stand by your side while trying new things like I did at camp. I missed having friends on the sidelines wanting you to succeed at any challenge. Once school started, I missed the sounds of reveille as my wake up call shifted to my alarm clock. I missed going to the health center instead of the nurse, and the singing and cheering in the dining hall instead of a school cafeteria. I missed recall blowing instead of the bell, and I missed super six instead of my boring sixth period. It was these little things that I never came to appreciate and miss until camp ended.

After every summer, I go back to Florida, and my parents ask me how camp was and ask what happened. However, the thing about explaining something you appreciate is that there is no way to fully encapsulate it. You cannot learn to appreciate something unless it is gone. When I was a junior, all I wanted was to have later bedtimes, longer shower hours, and higher bunk number. Now that I am an upper senior, all I want is to start the ticking clock of camp over again, and truly appreciate the magic and power of this special place, Camp Starlight.

Camp Now More Than Ever

Tuesday, November 6th, 2018

There is something about spending the summer at a sleepaway camp that allows kids and teens to connect in a way they just can’t at school. Maybe it’s the extended time they spend together or the fact that selfies and Instagram and the social media comparison epidemic is taken out of the equation at camp. Whatever the reason, campers are able to interact and build relationships on a deeper level at camp than they can at school or on sports teams at home.

One of the major reasons campers can form such strong bonds in such a short amount of time at camp is because they’re unplugged. They are not distracted by putting filters on their Instagram pictures or obsessively tracking how many likes their status update receives. Instead, they’re having real conversations and real experiences that trump scrolling through social media any day. Since their faces aren’t glued to a screen, campers can actually look at each other and talk to each other, and it re-enforces the power of human connection.

Another reason campers connect on a deeper level with other campers is because of the extended time they spend together. While kids spend a majority of their day at school, most of it is spent in the classroom, with pockets of time throughout the day where they can freely interact with their peers and work on building relationships. At summer camp, communicating and building relationships is all campers do. From the moment they wake up until “lights out” campers have two jobs: have fun and make new friends. This is why camp relationships are so strong from the get-go because campers have nothing but time to work on establishing trust and friendships with their peers.

Many campers who attend Camp Starlight are active in sports teams and clubs at home. But at home, when the game or practice is over, the team goes their separate ways. At camp, you walk off the field with your team AND your opponent and make s’mores around a campfire together. This time spent together strengthens relationships of teammates and helps establish healthy attitudes towards competition and sportsmanship.

Camp builds community because camp is a community. At school, students are usually focused on trying to find the little group that they can fit into. At camp, everyone is in the same group. Of course, individuals find their own smaller circle of friends, but at the end of the day, around the campfire, everyone is a camper. Everyone is there for the summer of their lives. Lifelong friendships are started at Camp Starlight because of the traditions, memories, and experiences they share.

It is common for campers to comment on the differences between their school friends and their camp friends. There always seems to be something a little more intimate, a little more solid in their circle of camp friends. Probably because these friendships are based on shared experiences, honest communication and quality time instead of Instagram followers and Facebook likes.

Happy Halloween from Camp Starlight

Wednesday, October 31st, 2018

When you go to camp it’s basically Halloween all the time! At Camp Starlight, there are so many opportunities where campers can express themselves by wearing a costume! We encourage our campers to be silly, the sillier the costume the better! Whether it’s wearing a crazy outfit on your birthday or your bunk just deciding to all wear your hair in a crazy style for the day, dressing up is just a normal part of everyday camp life. A tutu has become an acceptable outfit no matter who you are. Some of the most favorite special events and evening activities involve dressing up. Campers love themed dance parties, camp plays, getting decked out in blue or white for 5 days of Olympics. Camp reminds us that you’re never too old or too cool to dress in a costume. We wish we didn’t have to wait 8 more months to dress in costumes again!