Posts Tagged ‘camp traditions’

The Unique Camp Perspective

Monday, February 19th, 2018

One thing parents love so much about camp is that it takes campers out of their comfort zones in many ways. Not only are campers eating and sleeping in a new place, but they’re also trying games and activities that are new to them, and working with people they’ve never met. This shake-up of their routine does wonders for their social, physical, and emotional health. Camp also has a unique way of shifting the mindset of campers. A summer at camp is a summer away from social media and texting and a time focused on nature, real relationships, character building, and good ‘ol fashioned fun.

Camp Starlight immerses campers in a world unlike anything they are used to. It takes away a few modern comforts and conveniences and replaces them with things that are more low maintenance. Campers quickly learn the value of a one-on-one conversation with a trusted friend over having 50+ comments on their Instagram picture. They learn to appreciate the breezes, the vastness of the lakes, the sunsets and all of the natural beauty that surrounds them. They begin to see things differently, and this perspective stays with them even after they leave camp. Campers who used to find their joy in material things now look internally to find happiness, and this is a skill that will change their character and build their confidence.

Camp is a big place, full of big adventures and big fun. But in the midst of all of that, there are a million little things to be discovered, admired and appreciated. From quiet time on the lake before the camp gets crazy, to the beauty of a bonfire or the thrill of climbing the rock wall, campers learn to look for the little things that add up to make a big difference in their camp experience.

With social media playing such a huge role in the lives of kids and teens, many parents wonder if their child could survive without checking their Facebook or taking 20+ selfies on the way to school. Rest assured, parents, that without technology and social media to worry about, kids can focus on what they do best: being kids. They have the entire summer to focus on making friends and having fun and they learn that being in the moment is far more important than finding the perfect filter to capture the moment. Social media has its advantages of course, but at camp, camper’s learn a valuable lesson: their worth is not defined by how many followers they have or how many likes their pictures get.

Camp changes the way campers see the world. By spending their summers here, campers learn a little bit more about the world around them and how to appreciate the little things that make every day beautiful.



How Camp Makes Kids Better Eaters

Monday, January 22nd, 2018

For some lucky families, dinnertime is an enjoyable and relaxing time to connect with family. For others, it’s like World War III. Whether kids are too busy chatting about their day to eat, or refuse to eat anything remotely healthy, keeping kids fed can be a challenge for many families. Many parents are surprised to hear that when their kids go to camp, they’re more likely to try newer, healthier foods than they would at home.

Spending the summer at camp means kids are active and busy from morning ‘til night. They are running from activity to activity, and are burning calories without even thinking about it. They need to be constantly refueled, and camp makes sure they’re putting good stuff in their bodies. At Camp Starlight, campers are sometimes more likely to try a new food because their friends are eating it, which opens their minds to trying new things. It’s a good kind of peer pressure.

Kids also become more responsible for their eating choices. They don’t have parents choosing and prepping every single meal for them, so they are responsible for making balanced and healthy choices. They have access to homemade options throughout the day as snacks, and are given multiple healthy options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Soups made from scratch and a colorful salad bar encourage campers to make balanced and healthy choices. They are also encouraged to stay hydrated with water throughout the day.

Kids aren’t deprived of a sweet treat here and there, but they learn about balance. They eat well throughout the day and stay active, and learn that indulging in a dessert is perfectly fine in moderation.

At home, it is easy to get into a weekly dinner routine consisting of the same meals that kids will like (Taco Tuesday, anyone?!) While this makes dinner time a little easier for parents, it doesn’t give children the opportunity to try new foods. At Camp Starlight, campers are exposed to new foods on a daily basis and are encouraged to try them! They are usually pleasantly surprised that they like quite a few of the new foods that they try!

It’s important to teach children from a young age the importance of nutritional responsibility. Providing them with new foods to try and encouraging them to find a balance is what they eat, drink and do will create healthy adults who value good food and living a healthy lifestyle.




Polar Bear Challenge Motivates Campers

Monday, September 11th, 2017

Jumping into a teeth chattering cold lake every morning isn’t the most pleasant sounding idea at Camp Starlight, but you would be surprised by how many people willingly do it and there’s actually a great reason why they do.

At Camp Starlight there is a special club you can be a part of if you jump into the lake every single morning of the summer. Jump in, splash around and embrace the cold and you’ll be a member of the prestigious Polar Bear Club. Each morning campers from all the divisions jump into the lake to complete the daily task of being in the Polar Bear Club. No skips are allowed, even if it’s extra chilly in the morning, and if you successfully complete this challenge there is a special party at the end of the summer just for you.

It’s a silly challenge but there are so many benefits to being a part of the Polar Bear Club because of everything it teaches campers. For a camper to participate in this means they start their day completing a challenge a lot of people won’t even attempt to do. When a camper starts every morning overcoming a challenge and feeling accomplished, it sets them up to have a positive day where they can accomplish many more things. This ripple effect will translate into campers realizing how much potential is inside them, motivating them to tackle larger and more difficult challenges. The Polar Bear Challenge also shows campers the importance of determination and to never give up, especially on mornings when it’s a bit nippier than usual.

Their hard work pays off when at the end of the summer they realize they are one of few campers that were actually motivated enough to become a member of the Polar Bear Club, the rewarding feeling is something that makes all those cold mornings well worth it.

Upper Senior Volunteers Are Serving up Smiles

Monday, August 7th, 2017

Camp Starlight gives a camper everything they could practically want when they are at summer camp: fun, adventure, music and anything else under the sun. To acknowledge everything Camp Starlight gives to its campers, the Upper Senior boys and girls give back to camp by volunteering at every camp cook out. Preparing, serving and smiling, the Upper Seniors help out tremendously by sacrificing their own down time to make every campus cookout run smoothly. Often wearing punny shirts that say “Lettuce Serve You,” the Upper Seniors make volunteering and giving back to camp a really fun experience. Handing out every hotdog and hamburger with a smile, they show how volunteering can be a rewarding experience and they give the support staff a well deserved break. Their hard work in setting up the food and serving all of camp sets themselves as great role models for Lower Camp as well, portraying qualities of responsibility and leadership that are a part of Camp Starlight’s philosophy in teaching campers important lessons. When the campers from Lower Camp see the oldest campers give back to Camp Starlight, they are inspired to do the same and take the initiative to be selfless. The Upper Senior’s volunteering sets a chain reaction for other campers to follow in these acts of kindness. While the Upper Seniors are helping out campers enjoy a fun cookout, they are also helping Camp Starlight continue to become a more positive place all summer long.

Junior Boys Basketball

Tuesday, August 1st, 2017

The Starlight Junior boys basketball team took a great team win from Tioga, winning 38-8. Every single player on the team contributed. Justin J. led the way with 10 points and Reid S. added 6 points to the total himself. Jackson H., Miles L., Max S. and Harrison R. all scored 4 points and Rhys B. added 2 points. Calen T., Marc F., Rhys B. and Jesse J. played very big with 2 blocks and 14 combined rebounds. Carter B. played great offensively with 4 assists. Overall it was a combined team effort to come out victorious over Tioga.

Lower Senior Boys Basketball

Monday, July 31st, 2017

The Lower Senior boys basketball team moved onto a 2-0 record beating Weequahic at home behind Justin G.’s game high 30 points and 5 steals. He exploded in the first quarter, setting the offensive tone by scoring 12 points. Jake B. and Justin H. also took some of the scoring load with 12 points and 2 steals a piece. Michael G. erupted for a quick 8 points to start the second half while Ben W. had 2 steals and 4 points and Aidan C. scored 3 points. Jack T.’s defensive presence nabbed 8 rebounds. Jonah S., Harrison S., Alexander H. and Ethan B. rounded out the scoring with 2 points each.

Camp Siblings at Camp Starlight

Monday, July 10th, 2017

As the sun sets behind the trees and a lavender sky, new camp families are joined together in the grassy fields. Stretched out into a giant circle, girls from Lower Camp are spotted in between their new camp sister on the softball fields and brothers on the tennis courts. Boys and girls from Upper Camp mentor the younger campers, providing a sense of support and care just like older siblings do at home. For many campers, this is their first time fulfilling the role of big brother or sister while for others this is the first time they will experience the relationship of having an older sibling that will specifically advise their growth at camp. The older/younger sibling dynamic at camp gives the opportunity for younger campers to also look up to a big brother or sister when they look up into the stars- more often than not these views tend to be one in the same in the eyes of the little sibling.

“When I was younger and I was the little sister I looked up to my big sisters. Now that I have the chance to be a big sister I want my little sister to look up to me like I did years ago,” said Dani, Upper Senior girl.

Camp Starlight creates the perfect summer day for campers every day of the year, but when a camper does find him or herself craving a touch of a home, their camp sibling is there to pick them back up again into another day of fun and make them feel just as welcome as opening day. With a camp sibling, Camp Starlight can always feel like home away from home.


Senior Girls Soar as Eagles

Saturday, July 8th, 2017

The one tradition Lower Seniors and Upper Debs look forward to at the start of the summer is the Eagle Ceremony. In reference to a cheer begun a few years ago, Lower Senior girls fly high as Eagles instead of quacking around like ducks because at this stage in their lives they become the leaders instead of the followers. At the ceremony, Upper Debs watch as the Lower Seniors are initiated as Eagles with camp director Allison, the Upper Debs are present so that they can look forward to experiencing the same ceremony next summer and begin to uphold the characteristics that define an Eagle. The idea of leadership is very important for Camp Starlight to instill among the Upper Camp because it is a positive theme for the girls that are getting older, achieving more responsibility and fulfilling the roles that require leadership qualities.

The Lower Seniors–now Eagles–can now fly high at Camp Starlight.

Let’s Talk About Traditions

Monday, November 7th, 2016

screen-shot-2016-11-01-at-3-01-02-pmCamp traditions are kind of like an inside joke between friends; you really have to be there and be part of it to understand and appreciate the power and the feeling that is associated with them. Camp traditions are things that happen at camp that every camper and staff member can relate to, whether they went to camp 70 years ago or are experiencing it now for the first time. They are a way for campers to connect with their fellow campers, their counselors, and the camp itself. Some “traditional” traditions at camp like singing Friends and the Camp Starlight Alma Mater, All Camp Show, Opening Campfires, skipping around the flagpole, divisional cheers, and singing in the dining room create a sense of connection and belonging to the Starlight family. Many traditions at Camp Starlight are held sacred to campers and counselors alike, and they’re just one of those things you have to experience to truly understand.

Camp: Forever Changing, Yet Exactly the Same

Monday, October 24th, 2016


Camp is one of those things that meets campers exactly where they are. It has this unique way of providing campers with exactly what they need, sometimes before the campers even know they need it. Camp has a way of being the perfect combination of excitement and relaxation and has been that way for over 70 years.


In 70 years, a lot has changed at Camp Starlight, but a lot has stayed the same. Over time, camp has transformed to meet the needs of the campers who come each year. The lake has always been central to the camping experience; even before jet boats were invented. The style of bathing suits may have changed, but the memories created in the lakes stay the same. The cabins may have been without porches then, but the stories and late night conversations inside of them were as special then as they are now. The camp has seen many upgrades throughout the years, but the feeling that camp gives campers throughout the summer never changes.


If campers from last summer were to sit down with campers from 50 years ago, they would have a lot in common. They would be able to trade stories about competing in Olympics, and they would be able to bust out the lyrics to some of the camp’s most popular songs, songs that haven’t changed since day one. They would be able to reminisce about the delicious camp lunches, the campfires, and all of the different sports and activities that filled up their days at camp. Even though a lot of time has passed, campers from 50 years ago would recognize camp as a place where they felt cared about, understood and accepted. Campers from last summer would be able to talk about new facilities, updated cabins and high-tech classes and workshops, but would be familiar with the overall feeling of acceptance and encouragement that is the foundation of Camp Starlight.


Camp must change in order to meet the needs of the incoming generations of campers. It must have a sense of flexibility and growth to cater to new campers while holding on to its foundational values and traditions that have made it the camp it is today.  Camp is constantly changing and improving, but as always, is committed to being a place of friendships, fun, and life-long learning.