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 tradition’
Now, if you’ve never had an infamous Camp Starlight Slushie, you’re definitely missing out. Available only in the canteen, along side your favorite candy bar of course, it can be made into almost any concoction of flavors imaginable. First we start with the “slush” a frozen ICEE type of substance, ice cold pellets and sweet in itself.
Next comes the flavoring, campers love this part because they get to customize their slushie to taste exactly how they want it to. From Cherry to Bubble Gum, the possibilities are endless! In the mood for a sweet classic; Blue Raspberry is the way to go! Maybe you want a little tartness in your life; Lemon Lime is the choice for you. But, one of the most popular Slushie flavors at Camp Starlight is SHOCKER; a clear flavor that packs a lot of punch, an extremely sour punch. Some campers will mix it with other flavors, but the “bravest” taste budded children will choose it alone.
So what is in a Slushie? Think mini ice pellets, small enough to drink through a straw, flavoring which can be mixed and matched to create whatever concoction you want. And of course fun! Because, who doesn’t love sticking their tongue out and asking their bunk mates “whaa collaa ithh maa tong?!” (What color is my tongue)
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.
Arts and Crafts at summer camp is more than just stringing together a few beads to make a bracelet or gluing some spray painted macaroni to a cardboard picture frame. It’s a program that gives campers the opportunity to explore their creative interests in several different types of art by offering a diverse array of age appropriate projects. Of course there are the traditional projects that are just plain fun, like paper mache and tie-dying. However, many summer camps also offer campers the opportunity to try things that are not only artistic but could be useful skills or even careers, such as metal work, jewelry making, calligraphy, cartooning, or soap and candle making. Just like sports programs at camp, many campers have discovered a passion in their summer camp’s Arts and Crafts programs that they later pursued further.
Another way in which summer camp Arts & Crafts programs benefit campers is by providing a creative outlet for children who are being given fewer chances to explore the arts in their school programs. Ashfaq Ishaq, PhD, argues that without being given the appropriate opportunity to explore their creative sides, children will not learn how to combine creativity with acquired knowledge to reach their full potential. Art encourages spontaneity and exploration, two things that allow us, as people, to be innovative and prolific in our thinking. Creativity also refines problem solving skills by helping us understand how to think “outside the box” when traditional solutions aren’t practical. All three qualities are considered crucial to success in a child’s education as well as their adulthood careers. Summer camp Arts & Crafts programs also give campers the opportunity to try some projects that might not be available in traditional school art programs, such as throwing clay on a pottery wheel.
For many campers, summer camp has become a way of maintaining tradition in environments that are ever changing. Faced with a fast paced, changing world in the winter, children can still depend on summer as a way to fall back on activities and hobbies that may not be greatly valued in conventional schools anymore but are useful and bring satisfaction. Arts and Crafts may be a dying art within American school systems. But it’s thriving within American summer camps.