Posts Tagged ‘sleepaway camp’

Digital Photography at Camp Starlight

Wednesday, June 28th, 2017

Taken by Camp Starlight camper Brooke E.

New Counselors at Camp Starlight

Wednesday, June 28th, 2017

Just like many new campers, I step one foot in front, then the other follows along, as I explore the Camp Starlight campus for the very first time as a new counselor. I notice how big and tall the trees are and the dew on the grass soaking through my shoes. Just after a few steps, all my senses come alive–almost awakened. The sunlight shines and lights up all the particles of dust in the air that my presence has kicked up, transforming even the smallest elements of nature into dancing fairies. A celebration of natural life bloomed all around me. The vast open sky above affirmed that this special place holds no bounds for what can happen next, magical or real. Once you arrive at Camp Starlight you realize the idyllic summer that is Camp Starlight, this is where the true blossoming celebration takes place. To pass along through the road is just the beginning to experience the celebration.

Camp Starlight Opening Show

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

On the first day of camp, the overflow of emotions from the bus arrivals don’t settle once the hugs are embraced and each high five has been returned with enthusiasm, this is when the celebration only begins. Fast forward to the unpacking the Camp Starlight gear, sports equipment and precious stuffed animals, the bunks are filled with decorations of old memories, but all returning campers know to leave a large amount of space for the new memories they will make this summer. Since the sun is setting just in time for the stars to peek through the night sky, the opening show is ready to be begin.

For the first time this summer the entire camp gathers in the Rec Hall for the Opening Show and the camp is ready to make their official grand welcome. The lower juniors are excitedly curious to see the show for the first time in the front rows while the seniors happily embrace the nostalgia for seeing the show for the last time in the back. Regardless of age, every camper will stretch their neck, their eyes and even their toes to watch every song and dance–the audience is just as engaged as the performers on stage. It’s as if you feel tiny fairies pull the corner of your cheeks upward in a smile as soon as you enter that rec hall and the chords of the first song is played. A happiness so natural occurs among all the campers and staff it makes you feel so warm on the inside you start to wonder if you’ll melt into a puddle of bliss right there. The cheers are contagious, the laughter spreads and by the end of the show every individual–old and new–is swaying arm and arm with each other, singing the lyrics to songs as if they have been singing at camp their whole lives. The voices join into one glorious union and when you catch a glimpse into a camper’s eyes, you see they have finally come all the way back home at Camp Starlight. The opening show is not just a songs and dances, it’s a homecoming.

Off the Buses & Into Our Arms

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

Suspense is thickening in the air as all staff gather on the field to welcome the Starlight campers for the summer of 2017. Counselors have been waiting over a week, some two, passing the time with an extensive orientation program that amps up their excitement even more. Pre-Camp workers have been eagerly waiting a month and have passed the time through camp preparation, ensuring Starlight is the most beautiful it can be for their campers. Not to mention that many staff members have been patiently waiting years for the opportunity to inspire and encourage a community of campers, a thrill that all new counselors experience for the first time and an adrenaline rush that all returning counselors are addicted to. All these seconds, hours, days and years have accumulated into this single moment and the electric anticipation is more than tangible, you can reach your hand out into the air and feel how highly charged the atmosphere of camp is on the very tips of your fingers. The buses roll through the gates, park in the untouched grass and the horns on the buses ring out to affirm that the campers are finally here.

The campers burst out of the bus doors and the counselors explode in cheers and celebrating the arrival at their summer home. They will spend the rest of summer sharing stories, eating s’mores, singing classic traditional camp songs and laughing beside at the end of each evening activity. It is a moment that sparkles in your memory when you will think back to this day 1 year or 10 from now. The way the campers sprint to say hello to their old counselors or friends from camp is of the purest joy–it’s all in their wide genuine smiles and an honor to see the world in their eyes.

Everything has led up to this moment, this experience, this family.

Bedtime at Camp Starlight

Tuesday, May 30th, 2017

Every day at camp is packed with fun, adventure, socialization, physical activities and character building, which can really wear a kid out! For many campers, falling into bed each night is a welcome rest from their busy day, and most campers are so exhausted from a fun and busy day that they are practically asleep before their head hits the pillow.

 

Bedtime at camp, like everything else, comes with its own set of traditions. It’s so much more than “lights out,” it is a final time during the day for campers to connect with each other, to reflect on their day and to make memories. When everyone is in their pajamas and calming down for the night, campers enjoy hearing their counselors read stories, singing songs, and sharing their favorite moments about the day. As the lights go out, flashlight time allows campers to bond with cabin buddies. This quiet time also gives counselors one extra opportunity to check in with each camper individually and ask about their day and address any specific needs they may have.

 

Campers love bedtime because it’s like having a sleepover with your best friends, every single night of the summer! There are so many lifelong memories created around the silliness and fun of bedtime at camp. Campers have alone time to read, journal, or just have some quiet time before they go to sleep. Campers get excited about the “down time,” and some are so tired from a fun-packed day that they’re asleep as soon as their heads hit the pillow. Veteran campers will attest that bedtime is a bonding time and that many deep, important conversations happen during this time that serves to strengthen relationships between them.

 

If anyone can get kids and teenagers excited about bedtime, it’s Camp Starlight. Campers get a good night’s sleep and are well rested and in the morning, are ready for another day of swimming, biking, climbing, dancing, laughing, playing and experiencing the best summer of their lives.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Farm To Camp: A Summer Camp Experience With A Grown Up Twist

Thursday, May 25th, 2017

Something amazing is happening on August 26th-27tht, an event that combines the adventure and experience of summer camp with the delicacy of gourmet food from around the region. Farm to Camp is an adults-only summer camp experience packed into one amazing weekend. From a waterfront cocktail hour and a five-star meal under the stars to a wide variety of indoor and outdoor summer camp themed activities, this is an experience you won’t want to miss.

Eat

Farm to Camp starts off with a sunset cocktail party, where campers can mingle with new friends and taste local wines before dinner. After cocktails, an eight-course meal is served at a long table under the stars, surrounded by soft lighting and the gorgeous surroundings of Camp Starlight. Prepared by culinary geniuses, an extensive dinner menu featuring local and organic options will leave taste buds in a state of bliss. Fresh produce from farmers in the Pennsylvania and NY area, and guests all come together for a meal to remember. Even the tableware and serving dishes are environmentally friendly, adding another organic element to this incredible meal. Each plate is handcrafted not only for exceptional taste but for beauty as well. This is sure to be a meal to remember. In the morning, enjoy another exceptional, farm-fresh meal for brunch before you head home.

Play

Before the sunset cocktail hour, guests can spend the day feeling like a kid again by participating in many traditional summer camp activities. From tennis and softball to fitness classes and volleyball, guests can experience some of their favorite childhood activities, or branch out and try something new. When was the last time you let your guard down and had some good, clean fun? If it’s been too long, Farm to Camp will be a breath of fresh air. After dinner, guests can explore the grounds, socialize around the campfire, make S’mores, or dance the night away to the beats of a late night DJ.

Sleep

There’s only one thing to do after a day of fun and good food: Sleep. Guests can shower, unwind and relax in one of the camp cabins, complete with electricity and hot water. Campers can meet new friends by being assigned to a cabin with other guests, or choose in advance to stay with people they know. Private rooms are also available at an extra charge.

Farm To Camp allows guests to relive the summer camp of their childhood with a grown up twist. It allows campers to enjoy healthy, gorgeous, organic meals with good friends and good wine in a weekend that will make them feel like a kid again.

 

1, 3, 5, 6 We Want Olympics!

Monday, May 22nd, 2017

As the summer comes to a close, a feeling of anticipation fills the air. A quiet sound starts to arise that begins to get louder and louder…. “1, 3, 5, 6 we want olympics… 1, 3, 5, 6 WE WANT OLYMPICS!” The sound of this all too familiar cheer echoes across the camp as campers ranging from juniors to seniors clap and shout at the top of their lungs. Even the counselors join along in excitement as they know that the fun and spirit has only just begun.

Breakout

Before we know it, the chants turn into a reality and OLYMPICS IS HERE. We spend all summer guessing what the newest breakout could be, but when it finally comes we couldn’t even IMAGINE how awesome it is! Ice skating at the flagpole? Running around camp to decode the drones’ secret message? What will it be next!? Whether it be at night, during the day, or early in the morning, the surprise of Olympic breakout is destined to be a highlight of everyone’s summer!

When the moment arrives, the entire camp uproars in excitement as the team lists fly into the air and campers search frantically to see whether they are on Blue or White. The Leadership teams are announced and David declares that Olympics has officially begun! The first team meeting kicks off Olympics and it’s time for everyone to get P-S-Y-C-H-E-D!

The Spirit

B-L-U-E we got the spirit! W-H-I-T-E that’s how we spell victory! Dressing up head to toe in your team color and learning the multiple cheers is one of the most fun parts of Olympics. It’s a chance to get decked out and show just how spirited you are! Both during games and in between, campers and counselors alike can be seen walking around camp cheering for their team with the utmost enthusiasm. It’s a time for everyone to bring out their creative, silly, and SPIRITED personalities.

The Events

Aside from the spirit that Olympics brings out, getting to compete in different sports is the best part for many. Olympics is a time for campers to show all that they’ve learned over the summer and bring out their athletic side. From a soccer game on the alumni that goes into a shootout to an intense game of basketball that goes into double overtime, you truly never know what to expect when the Blue and the White face off.

Even if you don’t consider yourself to be a major athlete, Olympics has something for every camper to enjoy! A part of Olympics that campers and counselors alike look forward to is the apache relay. Whether it be catching a pancake and eating it, writing with your foot in chalk, or breaking a shirt that’s trapped in ice, the Apache Relay is always an event that is sure to be full of twists and turns that will keep the entire camp in high suspense. For all of our campers and counselors that know their random facts and figures, the Trivia Bowl is a perfect time to shine as the Blue and White battle it out in a series of intense, (and silent!) rounds. And how could we forget one of the biggest parts of Olympics- Sing! As the Blue and White practice with energy and dedication, they are able to show off their talent and hard work when they compete head to head at the Rec Hall.

Closing Ceremonies

In the blink of an eye, the past five days of spirit, intensity, and fun all comes to an end as the teams rush the lake and put a close to our Olympic competition. Later, as both teams come back together and gather around the flagpole to watch the Olympic torch go out, Olympics is officially declared to be over.  Everyone around camp is left in anticipation of what next summer’s Olympics will bring and wishing we could fast forward time.

 

8 Reasons We Are Looking Forward to Opening Day

Monday, May 8th, 2017


With just under 60 DAYS to the start of summer 2017, there is SO much excitement and anticipation in the air! We cannot wait to show you all that we have in store for another incredible summer.. So pack up your duffels and get ready for your best summer YET! Here’s a list of 8 reasons of why the Starlight family is looking forward to Opening Day:

Running off the buses to hug your camp friends

After a long ten months away from our summer home, getting to be reunited with your camp friends is the highlight of Opening Day. As the buses drive down the winding camp road and make their way to the clinic field, the feeling of knowing you’re finally home is exhilarating. It is truly an indescribable moment when you are able to take those first few steps off the bus, breathe in the camp air, and leap into your camp friends’ arms!

Meeting your Division Leader, ADL, and Counselors

Now for one of the most exciting parts of camp- getting to meet the staff that is going to be taking care of you for the rest of the summer! Whether it be a counselor who has a unique accent or a counselor that sings to keep the bunk in high spirits, your counselor, ADL, and Division Leader are a crucial part of what makes Starlight so amazing.

The first meal at the dining hall

Walking into the dining hall for the first time after 10 months is a feeling that is hard to describe. Each summer, it is so exciting to find out which table your bunk gets to sit at and which song will call you up to get your meal for the rest of the summer. From divisional chants to dining hall songs, the spirit that consumes the dining hall is what defines the Starlight family. Whether it be everyone’s favorite stuffed shells with mozzarella sticks or delicious pasta with chicken and broccoli, I can’t wait to find out what our first dinner at the dining hall will be!

Learning your division’s cheer and saying it in front of the whole camp

From JUNIORS, HOT-TO-GO to S-E-N-I-O-R-S, our divisional cheers are the best! The battle of the divisions begins on Opening Day to see who can chant it the loudest and the proudest to rep their group!

The first lineup

“Welcome to the summer of 2017!,” David yells on Opening Day.

The bugle blows and all of camp gathers at the flagpole for the first time of the summer. Juniors and Inters listen to the announcements with excitement and the Debs, Plebes, and Seniors smile as they think back to their first opening day so many years ago. When you stand around the flagpole and overlook the lake for the first time with your Starlight family, it is clear that you are officially back for another magical summer.

The Curtains Opening in the Rec Hall

Ladies and Gentlemen… and children of ALL ages:

The moment we have long awaited for has finally arrived.. The Opening Night show! As the camp watches the many performances on the stage, laughter and cheers fill the air. From dancing to Singing in the Rain to singing along to Starlight’s favorite song, “Can’t Smile Without You,” this night is the perfect way to kick off and celebrate the summer.

Hearing the bugles after 10 long months

No, you aren’t imagining the sound of Lineup in the middle of Math…this is REAL! The bugles are such an important part of Camp, and while we are usually sad to hear Taps and put the close on another incredible Starlight day, this was the day we waited all year for. Which brings us to the most important of all, number 8…

Realizing the summer has officially begun!

We cannot WAIT for another exciting and memorable Starlight summer with all of you. SEE YOU SOON!

Jamming Out at Camp Starlight

Monday, March 13th, 2017

Music can be tied into so many activities and experiences at camp. From songs around the campfire to traveling songs, incorporating music into camp life just comes naturally. For campers who are interested in fine arts such as dance, music and theatre, music is a tool that can be used to express themselves in a way that written or spoken word just can’t. Dance classes give campers an artistic outlet to do what they love, and can create a strong sense of self-confidence.  Camp Starlight gives them the opportunity to explore music as a way of self-expression, and has so many benefits for the growing minds of young campers.

 

Whether it is singing, dancing, or playing an instrument, music works wonders on a growing, adolescent brain, and can teach them things that build their character and helps them become more productive members of society. While they are having fun with their fellow campers and counselors through music instruction, they don’t realize they are becoming more creative, more communicative, and more well- rounded in the process. At the end of the summer, many campers are proud to go home and show off their new musical abilities, and it gives them a sense of pride to have learned something new while they were away from home.

 

Children who learn to play an instrument at an early age benefit in many ways. It teaches perseverance, helps with math and number skills, enhances coordination, improves memory, reading and comprehension skills, and can help sharpen focus and concentration. Studies have shown that learning to play an instrument has lifelong benefits, which is why music and access to instruments is such an important part of camp life. Campers can learn to play the guitar, participate in a live show, or learn about the behind the scenes workings of a real radio station. Camp provides plenty of options for all kinds of personalities and learning styles to really dive into music and everything it can teach them.

 

It is safe to assume that most campers are exposed to music on a daily basis back at home, but at camp they are exposed to different types of music, which broadens their horizons and helps them become more culturally aware. They learn to appreciate different styles of music, and learn the history behind specific music styles, instruments and songs.

 

Camp Starlight is all about providing children with the tools and resources they need to build their character and set up a foundation for a successful future. This goal could not be reached without the incorporation of dance, songs and musical instruments into the every day life of the campers.

The 8 Reasons You’re Already Excited About Summer 2017

Monday, January 30th, 2017

If you’re already planning and excited about next summer, you’re not alone. You’re one of the many campers who make going away to camp a part of their summer experience year after year. Here are 8 reasons why you’re already looking forward to summer 2017:

 

  1. You get to see old friends- When asked, most campers say seeing old friends is the #1 reason they are excited to get back to camp. Social media, texting, emails and phone calls throughout the year are great, but there is nothing like after a busy school year reconnecting with old friends!
  2. Campfires- there is something about the singing crickets, the crackling of the fire, good friends all around, S’mores on the fire, and those whacky, silly campfire songs that make summer camp so much fun.
  3. Outdoor Adventures- more than likely, you don’t live in a place where you can easily access an impressive ropes course or mountain biking trails, or the chance to go camping in the mountains. At camp, you have access to all of these adventures just steps from your cabin.
  4. Freedom- You’ve worked so hard all year to get good grades, contribute around the house, participate in sports and other afterschool activities, that summer camp is a nice break from all of those responsibilities. At camp, you’re free to relax!
  5. Special Events- from pool parties and talent shows, to laser tag and MTV night, campers are always excited about special events! You never really know what to expect with these special events, all you know is that it’s going to be awesome and it’ll be a night you won’t soon forget!
  6. Reconnecting with Nature- when you leave camp, it can feel kind of weird to spend the next few months sitting in a classroom, or coming home to sit and play video games. Camp gives you a new appreciation for the outdoors, and being outside all of the time becomes a part of who you are. Many campers are excited to breathe the fresh mountain air, cannonball into the refreshing lake, and experience quiet time with nature throughout camp.
  7. The Food- Even at the best schools, cafeteria food is still cafeteria food, and can get boring after a while. Thankfully, coming to camp means you have a wide variety of food options to choose from, and all of it is delicious! Remember the breakfast sandwiches? Remember the ice cream sundaes? Remember the cookouts? Healthy and delicious options are always available for bust, hungry campers!
  8. The Traditions- if next summer will be your first summer as a repeat camper, you have something really exciting waiting for you! Your time as the new camper is over, and now you’re a P-R-O! You already have a hang of the traditions, the rituals, the songs and customs that happen at camp. You now have the opportunity to teach the new campers! If this is your third or fourth summer returning to camp, you know that even though there are some things that stay the same, every camp experience is new and different and exciting!

 

It’s not too early to start counting down the days until summer 2017. It’ll be here before you know it, and you’ll be packing your bags and heading back to one of your favorite places on the planet. There is so much to look forward to, and these are just SOME of the many reasons kids are already so excited to get back to camp! Why are you pumped about getting back to camp?