At summer camp, there are an infinite amount of fun things to do and so there are a lot of things that may not always go as planned. A great lesson that Camp Starlight has taught its campers and staff is flexibility. Camp Starlight goes with the flow and always has creative solutions to any challenge. It’s important to stay flexible at summer camp because that’s what makes a summer memorable and fun. Sometimes when things don’t go as expected, that’s when the most fun occurs because of the way campers and staff treat the situation. Instead of stressing out and seeing the negative, Camp Starlight has taught campers and staff to see the positive side of the new things that can happen when something goes not as planned. Additionally, campers are just as flexible, they are eager to try a new thing and go with the flow of activities. Camp Starlight instills this idea of flexibility because it relates to life outside of summer camp as well, a valuable lesson that is applicable to school, a job, a sport’s team or at home. It’s important to stay flexible and work out solutions because that how positivity is maintained at summer camp and out in the real world, flexibility is just one of the many ways Camp Starlight helps campers to grow and become positive leaders in the world.
Posts Tagged ‘summer camp’
For many counselors at Camp Starlight a significant amount of distance is required to travel to get to camp. Driving literally across the country or flying seventeen hours straight from across the world, counselors are dedicated to make it to Camp Starlight. What makes those insanely long trips and flights worth it? The reason these counselors spend a long amount of time travelling is because they know that spending the summer at Camp Starlight is a once in a lifetime experience and a summer you can never replicate anywhere else. When counselors interact with the kids for the first time and see that they can change their lives for the better, all the jet lag and hours spent standing in line at the airport melts away. Nothing can compare to the rewarding feeling of helping a camper learn a new life lesson or help them overcome an obstacle, so when a counselor travels from around the world to Camp Starlight, those are the feelings they want to experience and celebrate. The counselors realize that even though they spend a lot of time travelling to get to camp, campers wait around all year long to return to Camp Starlight. When someone asks a counselor from Australia if the seventeen hour flight was worth it they usually respond with another question: was the ten month long wait to return to camp worth it? The answer to both questions lies in the amount of campers and counselors that do make that return trip–almost all of them.
When you walk through camp on any given day, you can spot a seemingly endless amount of blue stars and Camp Starlight insignia adorned on campers, counselors and staff. Throughout camp, the Camp Starlight name and logo is a prominent presence on campus because so many people are proud to wear it. When you wear Camp Starlight gear, you represent so many aspects that define what it means to be a part of the Camp Starlight family. The blue star is stamped on all staff shirts like a postcard to show that Camp Starlight is the best place to be in the whole world. This is a place people travel to, looking for that stamped blue star, so they can see all the history and tradition that lies within the five points of the star. Wearing Camp Starlight gear means to be proud of all tradition that has built such a supportive and encouraging community of campers and staff. It means to be proud of a community where there are always new and exciting opportunities taking place, a place where new passions are being discovered, new goals are being achieved and a new home is being founded. When you wear the blue and white, you wear all the smiles shared because of this place and you wear all the love the Camp Starlight family gives. The spirit of Camp Starlight is in every stitch of fabric and the sense of adventure found here is printed on every logo. To wear Camp Starlight gear means to be proud of everything that every camper, counselor and staff member has accomplished every summer. It takes a lot of hard work to build up and add to that pride, but it is so easy to slide on that Camp Starlight shirt and smile because you know you are a part of a place that has changed lives for the better, including your own.
As summer approaches, individuals are faced with the question of where to work for the summer. While acquiring an internship can give you extensive experience in your respective field of work, the benefits of working as a camp counselor are too large to ignore. For seven weeks, you are working in a fast-paced environment with people from all over the world. These seven weeks present challenges, valuable lessons, and an increase in skills you never realized you had.
Living in a bunk day in and day out with both campers and co-counselors is a unique situation that many people wouldn’t necessarily find themselves in. As a camp counselor, you are presented with the task of getting to know each of your campers on an individual level in order to establish strong relationships and ensure a safe and enjoyable environment. The ability to recognize the strengths and weaknesses of each of your campers is a skill that is highly valuable in any profession.
The environment at camp allows counselors to discover their individuality and be themselves. This environment of acceptance fosters the development of each counselor’s confidence and overall skill set. With higher confidence comes clearer decision making abilities, higher quality instruction, and stronger performance.
At camp, you are both a coach and a mentor to not only the kids in your bunk, but also to the rest of the children at camp. Camp transforms counselors into natural leaders with the drive to be successful. The confidence that is established at camp can be carried over to all aspects of life after the summer is over. From going into a job interview to giving a presentation to your boss, having confidence in yourself will allow for the highest success rate.
Team Building and Problem Solving
Working with co-counselors at camp teaches a valuable lesson in both teamwork and problem solving. Although your co-counselors are around your age, they can be from all different parts of the world. Counselors come to camp from the United States, the UK, South Africa, and Australia. This wide range in backgrounds presents the opportunity for understanding and appreciating different cultures, working with varied experience levels, and finding a common ground to resolve conflict and effectively problem solve as a cohesive unit.
The fast-paced nature of camp highlights the importance of learning flexibility and communicating with those around you. Whether it be schedule changes caused by inclement weather or adapting to the preferences of your campers, the ability to be flexible and innovative is a lifelong skill that allows your leadership capabilities to excel.
The combination of the skills learned as a camp counselor which include communication, problem solving, flexibility, individuality, and confidence, is a key factor in being successful to any workplace. When faced with the decision to apply for an internship or a counselor at a sleepaway camp, take into consideration that in just seven weeks, lifelong skills will be developed and achieved.
Take a moment and look around you. Whether it be at a restaurant, at the movies, at a park, or in your own home, there is one constant that is found at all times with individuals; mobile devices. Phones, iPads, and other forms of technology have taken over daily life. It has become impossible to have a simple meal with family or a playdate with friends without the distraction of technology.
Before the influx of technology occurred, children used to ask for hands on presents that fostered creativity and adventure for holidays and birthdays. I remember the excitement I had on my seventh birthday when I received my first bicycle. Seven year olds today, however, receive iPhone 8s for their birthdays. While technology has a lot to offer individuals, it can have an extreme negative impact on the development of our youth. Creative impulses and a sense of adventure are diminished as children plug in their headphones and sit inside for hours at a time exploring their latest technology.
The solution to this lack of real living is simple: spend your summer at camp. Sleepaway camp offers children a seven week experience that they will never forget. In one summer, concrete memories will be made and lifelong skills will be acquired. Time spent outside in the fresh air with friends provides children with more tangible skills than a mobile phone ever could.
Technology continues to grow at a rapid pace each and every day. Soon, our world will be filled with artificial intelligence and self-driving cars. The need to be independent will be diminished. This is why kids need America’s Finest Summer Camps now more than ever.
During the school year, dedicated athletes devote hours a day to their skill. Most spend time before and after school working on their strength, speed, agility, focus, and concentration. From the first day of practice to their final game, athletes see a significant improvement thanks to the time commitment they’ve put towards their sport.
But imagine what they could do if they had seven whole weeks to devote to learning, practicing and improving the sport or skill that they’re passionate about? Camp offers campers an extended period of time to focus on their craft in an encouraging and positive atmosphere.
Being trained and encouraged by the counselors at Camp Starlight is one way campers can improve their skills while at camp. Each sport and activity is lead by a counselor who is not only knowledgeable about what they teach but passionate about it as well. Learning from someone other than their school coach allows campers to see their sport or activity from a fresh perspective.
During the school year, students may get bored with the same old practice routines. At camp, the new environment and the new drills bring the game or activity to new life. This allows campers to experience the activity that they love so much in a different way.
Another reason camp is such a great place to progress in a particular skill is that of all of the positive encouragement campers receive from their peers. They can learn from those who have more experience than they do, and in turn, help those who are new to the game. As they make new friends each day, campers build a support system at the same time. There is something special about being cheered on and encouraged by people they didn’t know just a few weeks before!
Some campers come to camp to focus on one sport or skill set, but others like to mix it up. Seven weeks is a long time, and it’s a perfect amount of time for campers to experience new activities and improve upon many different skills. Campers don’t feel like they have to commit to one sport or activity due to time restraints. They can dabble in athletics for a few weeks, then get involved in the arts, and then spend the last week or so connecting with nature.
Whether they choose to work on a specific sport or skill or want to jump around and try a little bit of everything, a summer at Camp Starlight provides campers with plenty of time to take their skills to the next level.
At Camp Starlight, we strive to create a culture of kids and teens that respect themselves and others. Everything we do is based on giving young people every opportunity to interact with other people in a healthy and positive way. Every day, campers learn to solve conflicts, share their feelings, listen, and communities effectively; skills that are vital in becoming a productive member of society. And in a world where so many kids report feeling left out and alone, we’re determined to help create a culture of “includers.”
Inclusivity is a foundational element at camp, and from day one campers are taught the importance of teamwork and making everyone feel welcomed. In a place with this many people, there are bound to be personality conflicts, but we welcome these as opportunities to teach respect and acceptance. Everyone is welcomed to camp with open arms, and a friendly and welcoming attitude is instilled into everyday culture.
When we hire counselors, there are a few things we look for in regards to character and personality, and an attitude of acceptance, respect and inclusivity are some of them. Our counselors and staff are trained to lead activities that make everyone feel included, and to notice signs in campers that could signify that they’re feeling left out or lonely. Campers also see counselors interact with other groups and staff members and learn to model their positive and inclusive behavior. There is no “us vs. them” mentality at camp (unless it’s all in fun during a game or competition!) and even good sportsmanship and teamwork are a top priority.
One of the coolest things about camp is that the options for sports, arts, activities, and adventures are endless. There is not a one-size-fits-all type of camp; it’s a place where kids with all different levels of abilities and strengths can find a place where they belong. Everyone finds their place at camp, and is encouraged by other campers and staff to be the best versions of themselves.
Camp is a place where boys and girls feel like they belong. After a summer at camp, students head into the school year with an eye and a heart for others. They learn to build others up and make everyone feel included. If you were to take a peek at campers as they enjoy a meal, you’d never guess that they were strangers before; the connection and relationships that they build at camp are based on respect, communication, and inclusivity.
After working a summer at sleepaway camp, it is hard to summarize the vast amount of experience gained in just a few weeks. Over the course of one summer, you are presented with challenges, lessons, an increased set of skills, and numerous other benefits. When you think of a summer spent working at sleepaway camp, the first thing that comes to mind are the times spent on the field helping kids learn how to kick a soccer ball, in the bunk playing jacks with your campers, or at the evening campfires roasting S’mores. Because each of these moments are filled with lifelong memories, it can be challenging to recognize that these moments are extremely applicable in the professional world.
A summer working at Camp Starlight teaches you how to be responsible, a valued leader, confident, a team player, and a problem solver. The ability to work with people from all different backgrounds and age levels is an opportunity that many people cannot say they have had. Fortunately, in your role as a counselor at sleepaway camp, you have attained skills that are attractive to employers and that are immensely useful in the professional sphere.
Recognizing Strengths and Weaknesses
At Camp Starlight, you are exposed to a wide range of individuals from around the world. In the bunk, you can live with children from ages seven to sixteen from all parts of the United States. Counselors come from the U.S., the United Kingdom, South Africa and Australia. This unique environment presents the opportunity to understand, connect with, and appreciate all individuals around you. With each relationship established, the ability to recognize the strengths and weaknesses of your peers increases tenfold.
In the professional world, it is of extreme importance to be able to work with people of all different backgrounds and cultures. With each background and culture comes different expectations that must be met if you want to be successful. Working at sleepaway camp gives you the experience necessary to meet these challenges and expectations. Having the ability to recognize what will both facilitate and hinder success is a skill that is invaluable in any profession.
As a counselor, each day presents you with the opportunity to develop who you are as an individual and further increase your confidence. Higher confidence enables individuals to make decisions more effectively, have stronger performance capabilities, and deliver a higher quality of work. Both on the fields and in the bunk, you are a coach and a role model to all of the children at camp. Having this opportunity at all hours of the day at camp transforms counselors into empowered leaders with an unprecedented drive for success.
Confidence and leadership both go a long way in the professional world. From applying for a job and mastering the interview to giving a presentation to your boss, having a feeling of empowerment ensures a high success rate in the workplace.
Camp Starlight is a fast-paced environment where anything could happen. Over the course of the summer, there could be inclement weather, changing preferences of campers, or changes to the daily/nightly schedule. These changes emphasize the importance of being a flexible employee and communicating effectively with those around you. This also leads to high innovative abilities that encourages counselors to excel at camp.
Along with the fast-paced nature of camp, conflicts between campers in the bunk and amongst counselors do arise. The ability to communicate powerfully during times of conflict allow for problem solving and conflict resolution. Communication helps individuals to find a commonality that will end conflict and bring people together as a unified front.
In every workforce no matter the department or field of profession, communication is the key to the success of a company. Without communication, deadlines cannot be met and progress will not be made. Learning how to communicate effectively at camp will allow you to enter into the working force with both ease and success.
A silver lining can be defined as finding the hopeful side to any situation, no matter how gloomy. Silver linings are small blessings that can lift the spirits of individuals as well as put an instant smile on your face. As someone who went to sleepaway camp, I have an unlimited amount of silver linings that I can recall at any moment of the day to make it better. For twelve summers that I spent at Camp Starlight, I have had the opportunity to make memories, both big and small, that are impossible to forget. With each summer comes new bonds and irreplaceable friendships. After these twelve summers, I have the ability to remain positive and look on the bright side of just about any situation I am faced with. This skill is one that I have incorporated into my daily life in countless environments, both inside and outside of camp.
At Camp Starlight, small blessings radiate wherever you look. The support network is unprecedented in the fact that everyone in the camp community looks on the bright side. Whether it be helping to sweep the bunk before inspection, campers cheering a bunkmate on as she climbs the rock wall, or counselors reading a story before bed, the positive feeling of love and support ruminates throughout the camp environment.
While camp presents campers and counselors with this magical feeling of happiness, there are obstacles that are faced over the course of the summer. Changes in weather, homesickness, arguments, and disappointment is inevitable. However, camp provides its community with an opportunity to learn how to overcome these challenges by looking on the brightside. For every moment that appears to be gloomy, there is someone there to lend a supportive hug or helping hand to cheer you up. At Camp Starlight, the love between individuals is genuine and powerful. Being able to have real conversations and talk through difficult situations with friends and counselors alike is the silver lining that makes camp so unique.
These small blessings and ability to overcome obstacles at camp helps to prepare us for the daily routines we face during the other ten months of the year. Instead of needing help cleaning the bunk or feeling down after losing a sports game, campers and counselors are now faced with the challenges of school work and the professional world.
Philosophies learned at camp are ingrained in both campers and counselors as we remember the importance of remaining positive and supportive to those around us. These same campers that once needed help making their beds over the summer, now have the skill set and ability to support those friends in the classroom. This includes helping others with homework assignments, raising money for a school event, or even cheering on the school’s sports teams. For counselors in college and in the workforce, the attitudes and lessons learned at camp are easily transferable to all tasks. These can include pulling an all-nighter before an exam or meeting important deadlines set by your boss. It is the inner drive to look on the bright side that motivates campers and counselors to find a silver lining in all that they do.
Today’s world has become inundated with technology. Whether it be checking the amount of likes you received on your latest Instagram, scrolling through Facebook, or trying to take the perfect selfie, our focus on technology has overpowered our daily lives. Without the ability to live in the moment and appreciate our surroundings, technology continues to have the upperhand on blocking face to face communication between individuals. This is why getting the chance to unplug for seven weeks at camp is the perfect opportunity to take a step back from the outside pressures of life and enjoy the people that surround you.
For seven of the fifty-two weeks of the year, you can explore everything the world around you has to offer. Once reveille blows in the morning, your day starts by enjoying the view of the morning mist coming off the lake and the sounds of birds chirping. Meals are filled with lively conversations with your bunkmates, spirited cheers, and songs. As the day progresses, opportunities to grow your creativity and skills continue. From learning how to dive at the lake to conquering your fear of climbing the rock wall to then fly down the zipline, unplugging allows us to experience new adventures each day of the summer.
It may sound far-fetched, but the friendships I have established at camp have surpassed all other relationships I have ever made. Camp friends see the real you, not the version of yourself that you post for the world to see on social media. Without the barrier of a screen between individuals, concrete bonds can form and lifelong memories are made. Interactions at camp are both real and authentic. I still talk to my bunkmates from my first summer in 2006, and when I see them, it is as if we have never been apart.
The unplugged atmosphere at camp allows you to be yourself at all hours of the day. Whether it be coming up with a dance for MTV night, going to different activities with your bunk, or dressing up for a wacky event, your spirit and confidence shines. Everywhere you look, people are smiling, cheering, singing, and dancing. At camp, you can be yourself and achieve all your expectations, with the acceptance and support of everyone around you.
The act of unplugging is so much more than being without technology for seven weeks. It’s a chance to explore, create, and experience new adventures. Unplugging has allowed friendships to be established and lifelong memories to be made. Most importantly, unplugging at camp allows us all to embrace our individuality and learn to be our true selves.