Posts Tagged ‘Camp Starlight’

You Know You’re From Camp Starlight When

Monday, July 24th, 2017

When you leave Camp Starlight at the end of the summer you start the countdown for when you can return, hoping that within those ten months of waiting you will run into friends from camp. When you are back home, their are so many signs that point to the fact you or your friend is from Camp Starlight. You know you’re from Camp Starlight when…

  1. All the clothes in your closet are blue and white. Whether they are saved from Olympics day or just from athletics, blue and white dominates your wardrobe.
  2. Your favorite time of the year is summer. When you’re asked which time of the year you enjoy most, you blurt out summer before the question is even finished.
  3. You sing along to all the words in “Sweet Caroline.” You will belt out the chorus without thinking twice because it takes you back to all those times you sung them together with your friends in the dining hall.
  4. Your alarm ringtone is Reveille. You can’t start the day without those trumpets because you know that if you wake up to anything else it’s a betrayal to your summer camp self.
  5. You have prominent tee shirt tan lines. Spending every day outside in the sun, the rays tan your skin but miss your shoulders because you’re always sporting a Camp Starlight tee every day of the summer.
  6. Your desk is full of letters from summer camp pen pals. The mailmen even starts the recognise the names on the letters because the correspondence between camp friends is something that can never be stopped.
  7. Your wrists are covered in friendship bracelets. Collecting them all summer long from your camp friends, friendships bracelets practically become a part of you and never leave your wrist.
  8. Your favorite place in the whole world is located in the middle of Pennsylvania. People will wonder why you won’t believe the tropical beaches of Mexico or the Eiffel Tower in Paris hold the title of most best place to travel, but you know that Camp Starlight in Pennsylvania is the most special and magical place in the whole world to go live.

Spreading the Love of Music

Sunday, July 23rd, 2017

Written by Theresa M. Piano Specialist.

My world is that of music and piano is my language. As the Piano Specialist at Camp Starlight, I have the opportunity to spread the music vibes and help kids nurture their love for music and that is why I believe I have the best job at Camp Starlight. Every day campers from all divisions come into the studio with an extensive knowledge of music or none at all, and I am able to have fun with all of them. I am always surprised with their talent and to see their skills develop is so grand, especially when kids from lower camp accomplish a simple skill because the joy in their faces when say “I did it!” is brilliant. Even though all these campers have different levels of skill, they all are so supportive of each other’s accomplishments, whether it is learning the C scale or mastering a complex song on the piano. There is a great sense of comradery and I am so happy to be a part of it. As the piano specialist, I am proud to be passionate about the piano but my favorite part of my job is when the campers tell me they really enjoy learning the music or that this part of the day is the one they most look forward to–those are the moments I look forward to in a way that is hard to explain other than pure joy. When the campers tell me they enjoy letting go and just allowing the music to take over, it is the most rewarding feeling to know they share those same feelings as I do about the music. Sharing the music vibes is why I know I have the best job at Camp Starlight.

How Goals are Achieved at Camp Starlight

Saturday, July 22nd, 2017

With the endless amount of opportunities provided to campers at Camp Starlight, campers are not only constantly encouraged to set goals for themselves, but they are encouraged to achieve those same goals as well. Whether a camper decides to set a long or short term goal, Camp Starlight guides the campers to achieve them in a way that makes the journey to success that much more exciting and fun. Learning how to play piano, do a magic trick, sink a three pointer on the basketball court or standing up on water skis, the goals campers set for themselves are varied but always achievable with the support of staff and friends at Camp Starlight. Everyone is excited to help each other and push campers outside of their comfort zone to reach their goals because this is a place where everyone believes in the potential of others. Here to celebrate both the wins and losses, achievements and failures, Camp Starlight always keeps the ball rolling for campers to pursue their goal no matter how many times they fall on their journey. No one will judge a camper’s goal either because no goal is too big or too small, even if the goal is as simple as a making one new friend. Camp Starlight recognizes the amount of effort someone needs to put in to achieve a goal, understanding that it is not just the work of the camper to achieve goal, but the combined support of coaches, counselors and staff. The unconditional support of everyone at Camp Starlight is how goals are always achieved every summer.

Jesse H. Speech

Friday, July 21st, 2017

My name is Jesse H. and I am here today to speak to you about courage. Courage is a word with many meanings. Whether it is facing your fears, trying a new thing, or simply stepping out of your comfort zone, courage is a quality we should all apply to our personalities. Sometimes our courage is diminished when there are obstacles in the way. The most intimidating and dangerous obstacle, however, oftentimes is ourselves. Our personal fear is a limiting factor that every single one of us lives with. However, I can offer a piece of advice to all of you that may help your struggle against fear. As Franklin D Roosevelt said, ‘The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.’ Let me elaborate by telling a story…

During my Upper Inter summer, we were having a blast at Dorney Park. Back then I was terrified of any ride that wasn’t a merry-go-round. Throughout the day, I avoided all of the big coasters. After a few hours, my group approached the last ride. For those of you who have been to Dorney, you may have heard the name “Steel Force.” For those of you have not yet been, you will get to know the name very soon, because it is a mighty sight to behold. Our counselor urged me to go on. In my head I was panicking, and then a thought came to me. “Why am I scared of these? I know these coasters have been tested thousands of times, and also that G-d will protect me no matter what.” At that moment, I realized that if I looked at my fears more objectively, then there is, in fact, nothing scary about these rides. Willingly, I hopped on board Steel Force. I screamed a lot, but I had an absolute blast; it made my day and the entire trip a wonderful time. I learned how to turn fear and anxiety into courage and excitement. Now every time I am on a coaster, I think about that moment when I successfully translated my fear into courage.

Parallel to this little allegory, courage continues to be a necessary device when making important life decisions. Should I have a Bar Mitzvah? Will I get married? Will I have children? Should I go back on line for seconds? Questions such as these have life-altering consequences, and require a certain degree of courage to move forward and to make the correct decision. Doing the right thing isn’t always easy, but with a little love, judgement, a strong will, and a healthy dose of courage, making the right choices should come a bit easier. Demonstrating courage can improve anyone’s life ten-fold. Just remember the words that the only thing to fear is fear itself (FDR). I remember when my father first told me these words. I couldn’t fully comprehend what it meant back then, like some of you may be experiencing right now. Eventually, if you can start to understand, I promise you your life will be prosperous and exciting.


Help Campers Express Creativity Through Dance

Thursday, July 20th, 2017

Written by Hana M.

Everyday when I walk into the dance studio I look at the wall of mirrors and wonder what talent I will see today, marvelling at what new dance moves will be performed and what new techniques will be mastered. The dance studio brings in new campers everyday of all different skill levels and being able to watch the creativity and passion flow from these campers is why I believe I have the best job on campus as the Dance Specialist. Coming into the studio with a crazy amount of energy and smiles, the campers always come ready to learn a new move or dance routine. I feed off their energy and it drives me to have the most fun possible with them, it makes me eager to teach and help them master new skills of dance. When the campers pick up on something they have never worked on before and master it with ease it is so exciting to watch. On the other hand, when campers with lower confidence in their dancing abilities pick up on the dance I become overjoyed to see their progress and see how they realize they can dance. One of my favorite parts of my job is to see campers build their confidence as camp goes on, increasing the difficulty of the dance moves or pace of the routine. When I see campers overcome these struggles and present a final dance it gives me the most rewarding feeling as a counselor. The final dance, whether it’s presented to the camp, at competition or just in the studio, always looks so effortlessly done, but I know all the hard work that is put in to make it look effortless and that is an honor to me. Helping these campers express themselves through dance and song and see them accomplish so many goals is why I know I have the best job at Camp Starlight.

Krispy Kreme Makes for a Sweet Morning

Tuesday, July 18th, 2017

Instead of Reveille ringing throughout camp in the early morning, a famous jingle is played and awakens campers faster than ever before: it’s a Krispy Kreme morning. To excite campers for another fun day at Camp Starlight, the Krispy Kreme theme song is played all throughout camp and wakes up campers from their own dreams to enter a real dream of sugary glazed donuts. The jingle immediately has campers leaping out of their bunks and flying down to the Dining Hall in just their pajamas to get their hands on two perfectly glazed donuts. The giant green Krispy Kreme sign stationed at the front of the Dining Hall is like a beacon of light and hope to the campers and quickens their pace even more. No counselor needs to hurry their campers out of bed because the campers are already two steps ahead of them because they know how delicious and delightful the first bite of a Krispy Kreme will be. Waiting in line will deter no one as camp director David passes out the treats to every single camper while clad in a Krispy Kreme shirt and hat. Campers always look forward to Krispy Kreme breakfasts because of how fun it is to eat sugary donuts but they also love it so much because they get to eat these treats with all of their closest friends. The campers joke around with each other by pretending that the donuts are their own eyes or place them on their fingers to imagine a new diamond ring. The donuts bring out the most playful side of the campers in the morning and bring them together, bonded by sugar and laughter. Sitting down in the Dining Hall wearing pajamas and and spreading a smile full of Krispy Kreme, campers happily enjoy the special breakfast knowing that the rest of the day at Camp Starlight will be just as sweet.

Hugging Each Other Tight on Visiting Day

Tuesday, July 18th, 2017

The biggest countdown in the summer are the days, hours and minutes leading up to visiting day, the moment families can finally be reunited for the first time since they had to say goodbye at the start of the summer. During this countdown, parents and campers will anxiously try to imagine how it feels to hold each other in their arms after sprinting and rushing across the field the morning of visiting day. As campers cross out another day in their calendar at night, they visualize the cutting of the ribbon on visiting day that allows their parents to enter camp and embrace them with the warmest hugs. When visiting day finally arrives, campers wake up hours before reveille and jump about the bunks with excitement, happy to finally see their parents and curious to see what treats and toys they bring. Campers tidy up every single nook and cranny of the bunk to show their parents how responsible they’ve become at camp and prepare all their artwork they have crafted for them down at Arts & Crafts. Holding a giant welcome sign on the porch of every bunk, campers stretch their necks and widen their smiles, because they are inches away from feeling the genuine love of their family. Once families are reunited again, the biggest sigh of relief is released because up until this point in the summer, everyone had been holding their breath. When parents hug their kids and see how happy they are here at summer camp, they see how they have made a new home at Camp Starlight, this special place keeps their kids just as safe as when they are in their own arms.

The Empowerment of Cooking

Monday, July 17th, 2017

You are what you eat, it’s a simple state of fact. Whatever you put into yourself, you are affecting how your body and mind works and that ultimately decides how you succeed in your day. At Camp Starlight, campers are provided with the opportunity to participate in a cooking activity so they can learn what they should nurture themselves with and how to put good into themselves to get good out. A vital skill in life, cooking can be a very empowering activity for a camper because they learn how to create good nourishment for themselves with a few ingredients and some simple steps. When campers see they can create something both delicious and healthy for themselves, they are able to have more control in their life and become a more independent individual. These are the skills that will last the rest of their lives and campers are presented with the opportunity to not only add to their education of healthy eating and nourishment, but they get to advance their cooking skills and techniques. Learning about how to eat healthy is one thing, but the ability to know how to create the healthy food in the kitchen is another. At Camp Starlight, campers develop advanced knowledge about a healthy lifestyle in the interactive cooking activity, along with developing a passion for the art of cooking. Campers are able to let themselves go and let the ingredients come together to do the talking to produce something beautiful. When campers walk out the kitchen at the end of the activity they have learned about cooking, but they have learned even more about themselves and their abilities.

S-Days Change Up The Pace and Fun

Monday, July 17th, 2017

While most people tend to look forward to the weekends and dread Mondays, at Camp Starlight campers look forward to Mondays the most because they are S-Days. On these special days, a theme is designated for all the activities that take place that day and varies between division. Whether it’s a banana theme or a winter wonderland, these themes excite the campers for a day full of special events. S-Days change up the pace significantly at camp because the activities are longer and therefore fewer of them, allowing the campers to thoroughly enjoy an entire afternoon making volcanoes in a mad science activity or spending quality time at the waterfront while groups going tubing on the lake. S-Days keep campers on their toes because they really will never know what to expect. Additionally, the element of surprise with S-Day themes excites the campers even more and really brings them together when they finally get to dress up or participate with the theme. These special Mondays are what campers look forward to every week, but they look forward to spending them together with their friends even more. The chance to be silly in themed costumes or fool around in these themed activities is how campers form deeper bonds and connections with one another.

Campers Teach Counselors Valuable Lessons

Sunday, July 16th, 2017

Throughout a normal day at Camp Starlight, campers will be often asked what they learned that day. Did they master a new serving technique in tennis? Did they learn how to overcome stage fright for the play on Saturday night? There are many lessons a camper can learn from their counselors, but there are also many lessons campers can teach to counselors. The most valuable lesson counselors are taught by their campers is that of patience. It is not a fast lesson or something learned in one period of the day, patience is taught over a long time. Patience teaches counselors how to reword or rephrase directions so that campers can better understand them, patience bridges a language barrier. Patience shows counselors to be straight to the point with directions and to be kind at all times, even if the day is not going as smoothly as desired, learning not to sweat the small stuff and that there is a way around every obstacle. Patience is how hard work is completed and positive results are made, slacking in energy will only hinder the progress and yourself. It is amazing to see that even though counselors are doing most of the teaching in terms of technique, skill and instruction, campers are the one that do most of the life changing in the counselor. Campers are full of surprises in terms of what they have learned and what they can create, but they consistently teach counselors the same lesson of patience every summer and the lesson isn’t fully taught until the last day of summer. When the counselor sees their campers accomplished in their sport or activity on the last day, this is when the lesson of patience is learned and mastered by the counselor.