Tonight, Camp Starlight is celebrating its 68th anniversary during the annual Anniversary Party. Because time flies at camp, it’s easy to forget just how long 68 years of family, tradition, spirit, adventure, and fun is–and how much it adds up. When Camp Starlight opened, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was president. Since Roosevelt, there have been 12 additional United States Presidents. Man walked on the moon. An entire space shuttle program began…and ended. Computers have gone from being the size of an entire room to being the size of notebooks. Practically every household has a television. Microwaves were invented. The VCR came…and went. There have been literally dozens of movies and television programs made about camp. Through it all, Camp Starlight has thrived. In 68 years, there have been literally hundreds of campfires and thousands of campers. The flag has risen over the camp no less than 3,000 times. From 10 original bunks to 50 plus a Lodge and a Lakehouse, from less than 100 campers to nearly 600, the Camp Starlight 68th Anniversary Party is a reason to celebrate a camp that has not merely stood the test of 68 years but is alive with the pride of campers, staff, and alumni. And celebrating we are! Campers and staff alike are dancing and singing along with live bands from Camplified. Earlier today, everyone enjoyed the carnival. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “epic” as ‘telling a story about exciting events or adventures.’ Given the history of Camp Starlight’s 68th Anniversary Party is E-P-I-C!
Posts Tagged ‘camp spirit’
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.
The adventure has begun here at Camps Starlight for the staff of 2014. They’re here preparing to meet all of our campers on Sunday, and they’re an OUTSTANDING group of people. Their enthusiasm is amazing. We definitely have a lot of great new additions to the Starlight family. Already they’re making the Camp Starlight dining room one of the funnest place to eat in camping and can’t wait for our campers to get here to show them what Starlight spirit is really about. We’ve also engaged the staff in some of the awesome activities that we have here at Camp Starlight every summer. They’ve even had a chance to experience our program! Although they’ve already learned a lot about Camp Starlight and we’re all eagerly anticipating the arrival of the campers, there is still a lot to teach them about some of our traditions, so we’re glad we still have a few more days before the buses pull up the camp road and the real fun begins!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
One of the biggest parts of the CA summer here is Camp Starlight is Apprentice. Inspired by the reality series of the same name, throughout the summer the CAs are given tasks that are reviewed by Allison upon completion. This year, one of the Apprentice tasks was to write a new Camp Starlight blog or create a new blog feature. There were so many excellent entries that we’ve decided to share many of them not just through the remainder of the summer but throughout the winter as well. The following entry was submitted by Mollie F. and Alyssa W.:
5 years, 8 years, 10 years, 40 years. Fun, adventure, tradition, spirit and friendship are what brings the campers, staff, and counselors back to camp every single summer.
Friendship is a key part of Camp Starlight and the friends you make are ones that will last a lifetime. Perry, an Upper Plebe, who is in his 6th summer at Camp Starlight says, “I come back to camp every summer to be with my friends.”
Fun is a key part as well as a key goal when we come to camp. Not only do the campers have fun at camp during the summer but the staff as well. Zach a current division leader and someone who has grown up here at camp says, “I come back to camp each summer to be with my campers and have fun at activities with them.” The fun aspect of camp is evident through the smiling faces of the campers and the counselors as they participate in and run activities.
Tradition, tradition, tradition can be found in many ways here at camp. Many activities and decorations here, such as Friday Night Services, bunk plaques, and Sing banners were created by traditions dating back 66 years. Madi a current CA says that she comes back to camp each summer to carry on the family tradition of coming to Starlight, since her mom went here. This summer, the Starlight Playhouse put on Fiddler on the Roof for Jeff Moss’ and Denes Van Parys’ 100th show in honor of Starlight’s emphasis on tradition.
Spirit and pride in our blue and white runs through the blood of each Starlight camper. We all show this spirit whether it’s during one of our leagues games, or even Wayne County. You always see campers cheering on their team mates. The true blue and white spirit shows when Olympics roll around. Andie, a Lower Inter, loves the Camp Starlight spirit, especially during Olympics, by dressing up in whether blue or white. Everyone is in blue and white, including counselors. No matter what age or how long you have been at camp, you feel the blue and white pride and spirit.
The opportunity for adventure knocks often at camp. Whether you are trying a new activity or getting off the bus to meet new counselors and even friends, the excitement is shared by great people and others with a common goal. “I come back to camp each summer knowing that adventure awaits, whether it’s trying something new, having new opportunities, or meeting new campers and counselors”, said Mollie a current CA. Camp Starlight is a special place in all of our hearts and remains there throughout the year until we get on the bus again to come back.