Posts Tagged ‘summer camp friends’

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!

What Starlight Means to Me…

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

The following is another CA submission for the CA Apprentice program.

What Starlight Means to Me…

By: Madison D., CA

Hi, my name is Madison Dratch and this is what Starlight means to me.  Ever since I was 10 years old, I knew that Starlight was a place that I could call my home.  I have made countless numbers of friends that have impacted my life in such a strong way.

One of my favorite memories at amp was when I was chosen to be Upper Senior Captain for Olympics.  Being able to lead my team during that Olympic games was absolutely unreal.  Know that I was the person that all of the camp looked to for guidance is a feeling that everyone should be able to experience.   Not only has Camp Starlight made me more confident and strong, but it has also shaped my life and made me an overall better person.  I couldn’t imagine what my life would be like if I didn’t go to Starlight.  Camp is my home away from home, and I could spend the rest of my life here.

What does Starlight mean to you?

Debs Down Low

Sunday, August 5th, 2012

Lower Debs competing at Spirit of Starlight

One of the highlights of the Camp Starlight Lower Debs program is Debs Down Low (DDL).  For one recent Debs Down Low activity, the girls were challenged to meet and work with new people in the division.  Haley S., Lily B., and Olivia A. shared their experience with us.

“After a long walk around the second lake, we found ourselves sitting in a special place with people that have extremely different personalities.  We talked about our similarities and had a couple of laughs along the way.  We found that we weren’t so different after all.  We are definitely the perfect match.  Whenever we hear that we are doing activities with our DDL sisters, we jump up and down.  A DDL sister is someone that you can go to when you’re having a hard time as well as someone you can rely on.  A DDL sister is a sister at your home away from home. “











The Social Network–Summer Camp Style

Sunday, January 22nd, 2012

If most Camp Starlight campers were asked to close their eyes and think about camp, their minds would be flooded with memories of times in the bunk, at campfires with their friends, winning a Wayne County game, or shaking their napkin in the dining hall. If you asked most Camp Starlight campers about their world outside of camp, most would likely at least mention their use of technology such as computers, video games, or cell phones. The fact of the matter is the era that we are living in is a revolving door of technology. Almost everything is done by computer, involves the Internet, or can be done from the tiny keyboard on your cell phone. By joining the Starlight community during the summer, campers and staff are given an opportunity to be a part of a real live social network away from computer screens and cell phones.

Summers at Starlight give campers and staff the break from all of the technology, therefore creating camp’s own social network. Instead of writing on a friend’s Facebook wall for their birthday, we cheer as they are called to raise the flag at line-up and then join them for canteen during rest hour! Conversations over text are replaced with face-to-face interaction throughout the day. And boy’s side chants and jeers as the sports’ scores are reported to a rapt audience instead of being read from a glowing computer or television screen.

By no means is technology an unfavorable benefit to today’s society. However, at Camp Starlight, we create an atmosphere all our own where campers can step back from the sometimes consuming world of technology. They engage with others around them, creating friendships and bonding through old-fashioned conversations and shared experiences. These experiences bring life to the basketball courts, at project tables in arts and crafts, while helping others learn their lines for the upcoming show at the Starlight Playhouse, and many more every day. This social network buzzing through the grounds of Camp Starlight is fun and exciting while it is also a great way our campers develop stronger social skills and interact with other campers and staff. Countless memories are created without any form of technology, and it is a nice break from the busy and often times impersonal world in which we live.

At the end of the day, campers climb into bed without worries of charging gadgets or shutting down their computers. They close their eyes and drift off to sleep with the excitement for what the next amazing day at camp will hold for them!


We at Camp are Thankful for…

Saturday, November 26th, 2011

Every year around this time we pause to reflect on those aspects of our lives about which we are most thankful.  To celebrate this turkey day, we thought we’d share what makes us most thankful for summer camp:

Our camp families: Without our campers, there would be no summer camp.  We’re thankful you value your summer camp experiences so much that you return every summer, and that you continue to build and carry on the traditions that make America’s Finest Summer Camps so special.

Our camp family: The unique family we are all a part of each summer.  The bonds that campers and staff create truly do last a lifetime.  We love every moment of the summer when we are laughing, playing, singing, and sharing together.

Camp Memories: Every year we bring home new memories that motivate us to make the next summer even more special than the previous.  Talking with our families and camp friends about our summers and sharing in each others’ unique experiences while at summer camp are some of our favorite times during the winter months.  They help us get over our “camp sickness” and carry us through those months between summers.  Speaking of camp friends…

Camp Friends: Every camper knows that camp friends are friends for life. Our camp friends share some very special memories that one can only get at summer camp.  Our camp friends are also great at helping us get through those ten months that we’re not at camp by reminding us of just how special summer camp is, whether it’s through the distance that makes seeing each other at camp every summer so special or the closeness of having a camp pal who  “gets it”.

Amazing Staff Members from all over the Globe: Summer Camps are only as good as their staff, and we’re thankful that we have some of the most amazing staff anywhere in the world.  Each summer, you come from all over the world and commit yourselves 24/7 to insuring our campers have a safe, amazing summer.  We know it’s hard work, and we are grateful that so many of you find the experience so gratifying that you return year after year.

The Breathtaking Scenery of Maine and Northeast Pennsylvania: We love where our camps are located almost as much as we love our camps.  The beautiful woodlands of Maine, the mountains of Northeast Pennsylvania, hiking paths, the lakes that are such a big part of our camp experiences and traditions, and the wildlife all make the perfect backdrops for our amazing campuses.

The Beautiful Campuses that are our Summer Homes: Just like the houses we live in the other ten months of the year, each of our summer homes has its own energy, homey feeling, and special places for gathering, playing or contemplating. We’re proud that ours are some of the most awesome facilities in camping and look forward to continuing to build and improve them each summer.  We know our campers eagerly await opening day when they finally get to see how camp has changed since the previous summer and what new additions might be waiting for them.

Our Year-Round Staff: Yes, even summer camp requires a staff to work year-round.  After each summer, they go back to their offices and immediately begin planning the next, thinking about what new programs we might add or how we might make existing ones better.  They begin traveling, recruiting new staff members.  They create newsletters, Tweets, and blogs.  They answer the phones when you call.  They plan the menus.  In short, they tirelessly build each amazing summer day by day.

Being a Part of Such an Iconic American Tradition:  All over the world, American summer camps are an icon of Americana.  They’re unique to America and so many have found them inspirational that there have been movies and television shows that feature them, as well as books and songs written about them.  We are also grateful that many of our international friends are beginning to see the value in the American summer camp experience and, increasingly, are joining us from all corners of the globe.

We hope this holiday season that we’ve inspired you to contemplate what it is about camp that you’re most thankful for and how it has enriched your life.  We encourage you to share those thoughts with us.  We’d love to hear them!

Happy Holidays, Everyone!

Radio Reminiscing

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

The other day as I was listening to the radio while driving down the road, in the blink of an eye, I was back in the Dining Room surrounded by the voices, noises, and even the smells of Camp Starlight. I love it when those moments happen. Something as simple as one song can transform your mood, surroundings, and energy. Not only do we come across unexpected moments that return us to our summer home away from home, but it creates an excitement, buzz, and energy that I know I can’t shake. When times like that happen, I’ll find myself on the phone or computer reconnected to a long lost camp friend.

More importantly, those quick, unexpected instances make me want to return to camp as soon as I possibly can. I am reminded each time those moments happen why I fell in love with Camp Starlight, its campers, and staff twelve years ago.  I feel I am one of the fortunate; I have had the opportunity to experience Camp Starlight, and I look forward to the next time I hear a song on the radio that sends me back to camp.

What brings you back?