North Star Camp for Boys

Friday, September 28, 2018

Camp Moves Me 2018

During the month of October, North Star Camp is participating in Camp Moves Me, a fun and easy way to raise money for our scholarship foundation with Camp for All Kids. By running, walking, biking, hiking, swimming or moving during any activity we can help send additional campers who otherwise would not be able to afford it. 

We have always been proud of the support that our North Star families have provided to our scholarship foundation. For the past five years, during this national campaign, North Star has been the #1 fundraiser. We are looking forward to another strong year! 

Here's how to participate: 
1. Register for Camp Moves Me. Make sure to join the "North Star Camp" team. 
2. Spread the word about your commitment to stay active. Email, post and share your participation and encourage others to do the same. Don't forget to tag North Star Camp!
3. Collect donations and pledges. Remember, the money you raise goes directly back to North Star's scholarship fund, Camp for All Kids. 
4. Move, move, move! Track your distance and reach your goal throughout the whole month of October. The more you move, the more campers you can help send to camp! 

Monday, August 6, 2018

Settle Up Challenge 2018

"There's plenty of camping left", but as North Star’s 74th summer comes to a close, it is time to start settling up with the greatest counselors and staff members in the world, who work tirelessly make our camp such a special place.  In preparation for a great sendoff, we are asking Alumni and other members of the North Star Community to join current staff members in the third annual North Star Settle Up Challenge to support Camp for All Kids.

The Settle Up Challenge is a gift-matching campaign that invites members of the community to match donations to Camp for All Kids made by our counselors and staff from their end-of-summer camp paychecks.  Camp for All Kids, the successor to what you may remember as the Scholarship Fund, facilitates racial diversity at North Star and five other summer camps (Birch Trail, Chippewa, Kamaji, Menominee and Timberlane) by providing scholarships called “camperships” to kids from underserved communities to attend camp.  It’s a simple and highly effective way to benefit kids who otherwise wouldn’t get a summer camp experience.

The North Star Settle Up Challenge is great way to model philanthropic dedication for our current staff.  The staff hear stories about Alumni, read their names on plaques, and see photos in the Lodge and feel the history of camp every day.  (We have second and even third generation North Star men on the staff too.) 

Many of you were counselors at North Star, so you know that giving back part of a modest camp salary is quite generous for our staff members.  We had tremendous results last summer when more than 50 North Star staff members donated over $3,800, and 40 North Star alumni pledged matching donations totaling over $22,000.  As a result, the Settle Up Challenge raised more than $25,000! You can make your pledge by simply emailing Andy ( with your commitment. You can set a cap on your matching gift. We already have raised over $25,000 in matching donations for this year, and are looking to beat last year by even more!

Here’s how the Challenge  works:  If a North Star counselor contributes, say, $20 and ten alumni match it, that donation turns into $200. (We suggest a minimum of $500 for your matching gift.) We will total up the donations from current camp staff and contact anyone who donated during the week of August 13th to tell you the amount raised by the staff.  You can then go to the Camp for All Kids website and make your tax-deductible matching gift.

This year, 28 campers attended North Star through Camp for All Kids “camperships.”  These kids not only make lifelong friendships and experience the magic of camp, they also contribute so much to the camp culture.  North Star contributors have been the heart and soul of Camp for All Kids since its inception. Please contact us at with any questions.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

The North Star Games

Yesterday was the first ever North Star Games, for which all of camp was drafted in to 4 constellation based teams, Hydra, Hercules, Dorado, and Mensa. The event officially kicked off Friday afternoon with the North Star Pow Wow, which celebrated the Native American history of the Northwoods. Educating our campers about Native American history, culture and traditions, and creating a connection with the land has always been a priority throughout camp’s 74-year history, and our campers and staff feel that this new take on a Pow Wow Day is a more empathetic and appropriate way to accomplish those goals.

With the help of a few Pine Manor campers, Andy discussed the history of our Pow Wow Day, how the days traditions have changed it over the years, and the decision to move on to The North Star Games this summer. He also shared the history of local tribes and allowed the campers to see a few native artifacts we have at camp. Eli Gould, Aidan Weinberg and Louis Schienfeld then led the rest of the campers in a few traditional Native American games. A favorite was "The Running Game", which is a distance running race with one major catch, runners need to be screaming at the top of their lungs.

Our Friday Night Service focused on this transition, as well as the importance of conservation and respecting the land. After taking time to learn about some of the first environmentalists, the Chippewa tribe, and their modern counterparts, we held the opening ceremony for The North Star Games. In 1944, Lou and Renee decided to buy the land that became North Star when they saw the Council Ring. They looked to the sky and saw the North Star, and camp had a name. The teams walked from that spot to an athletic field lined with lanterns. Andy told stories about the North Star and what it represents, and the Senior Village captains from each team lit a torch to signify the beginning of the competition. In the morning, opening ceremonies continued with a cheer from each team followed by the launch of their team rocket.

The day itself included many favorite camp events, such as leg wrestling, Polaris Ball (a modified softball game), Canoe Tug of War, and log rolling, water polo, and a variety of swimming events. There were also a few additions, including Stand Up Paddleboarding, rocketry, and a plaque competition.  There was a silent lunch (because there is no sound in space). Despite rain, the enthusiasm around camp was palpable, and we were able to fit most of the scheduled events in. The staff softball game to decide eating order was modified into a dodgeball tournament in the VICtory Fieldhouse, which also hosted Floor Hockey, which was played in lieu of Speedball. The day concluded with a closing ceremony in Mike Hall, highlighted by a performance from The Pinery Boys, who treated camp to a performance of authentic logging era music. The sportsmanship of campers and staff was on display throughout the day, and even though "it just doesn't matter", Hydra ended as champions of the first North Star Games.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Camper Counselor Day and other special programs

The last four days have been busy with special events, most notably an earlier than usual Camper Counselor Day. We have also welcomed prospective campers and their families into camp for Rookie Weekend, celebrated the Big 10, and had our last Cruiser Day of the summer. Today is Bi-Camp, and a contingent of campers from Camp Nebagamon have joined us to compete in a variety of camp activities.

Camper Counselor Day gives our Senior Village campers an opportunity to experience what it is like to be a staff member. The campers select a staff member to be for the day and swap clothes with them. The villa campers are "counselors" for the day, teaching activities and supervising cabins. The staff enjoy the opportunity to sample some of the activities they have wanted to try all summer. The Senior Village campers finish Camper Counselor Day with a sense of gratitude for the work their counselors do to make the summer special for them.

On Saturday and Sunday, we hosted 11 families for our second session Rookie Weekend. In addition to a tour for the boys and parents, prospective campers are able to participate in a bit of camp to see what like at North Star is like. They play in challenge games, swim during an organized free, and even have a chance to sign up for two activities of their choice. They also played in our Dodgeball Extravaganza evening program, trying to stay in for as long as possible while playing against the staff. Rookie Weekend is a great opportunity for a prospective North Star family to see camp running at full speed. If you know anyone who may be interested in attending Rookie Weekend in 2019, fill out the Refer a Friend form.

Sunday night we celebrated the Big 10. This year, we had seven honorees who have spent 10 years with us. This year's Big 10 men are Noah Broutman, Ethan Rane, Spencer Malkin, Asher Borstein, Noah Sherman, Danny Levy, and Jake Kraemer. Visitors and staff told stories to share some of the memorable moments these guys have had at camp before we all enjoyed some cake to mark the occasion.

Yesterday was our last Cruiser Day of the summer. Cabins enjoyed many of the staple Cruiser Day activities, such as tubing and trips to the resort across the lake. Cabins also had the opportunity to make Oreo cookies and J4 made their own pies for a pie eating contest. J2 and J3 had a challenge day, spending the day together and participating in unique sports such as water polo. The Intermediate Village visited Wild Mountain, a waterpark in Taylors Falls, Minnesota, for a day of waterslides, go-karts and alpine slides.

Today is our annual Bi-Camp competition with Camp Nebagamon. They are joining us for a day of friendly competition in Tennis, Swimming, Canoeing, Sailing, Chess, Archery, Riflery and Cross Country. We are proud of our campers for being such gracious hosts and welcoming Nebagamon to camp in such a friendly manner.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

NSC Trip Report

In addition to the multitude of the special programs, many campers have returned from their cabin trips lately. Cabin trips are an opportunity to push the boys outside of their comfort zones and experience nature. Trips are also fantastic bonding opportunities as the boys go with their entire cabin, counselors, and a wilderness trip leader.

I6 went on a 3-day, 2-night trip on the Flambeau river. They made it to their second night campsite on the first night after a fantastic group effort paddling. The next day they were looking for a new campsite and were invited to stay on a private site a bit upstream. Despite the detour, the counselors of I6 reported that the positive attitude of the campers never wavered. The boys enjoyed the site's bathrooms with mirrors. The second night the boys played games and joked in their tents despite less than ideal weather. On the third day, the cabin enjoyed canoeing down both Cedar Rapids and Beaver Dam.

I3 also went on the Flambeau, and had to paddle hard to reach their first night campsite before it started raining. They made it, and were able to set up their site quickly as the rain started to fall. They were able to learn how to keep a fire going despite the rain and set up a tarp so they could cook dinner. They had a short paddle on the second day, and made it to a campsite near Cedar Rapids. It rained a bit that afternoon, which made the boys laugh while they played cards in their tent. The clouds cleared away and the cabin ran Cedar Rapids, and even those who capsized were having fun. That evening they played a game called camouflage in the enchanted forest near the campsite. The final day was more relaxed, and they recited riddles on the water. One of their counselors, Jonah Rane, is a high school coxswain,  and on this day he called out the strokes for the cabin, helping them keep pace.

The campers of I1 went on the Nam-St. Croix, and enojyed some beautiful scenery, especially at a campsite called Sand Rock Cliffs. At this site, they played games and told stories to pass the time. They were lucky with the weather, and only had a short spell of rain one day at lunch. To keep the cook dry, they set up a tarp over the "kitchen". They raved about their tripper Shiva's meals, and returned with a new affinity for Indian spices. I2 also went on the Nam-St. Croix, and canoed 28 miles from start to finish. The food was also a hit on this trip, they enjoyed favorites such as quesadillas and pita pizzas. They floated and swam in the river, and at one point the campers saw "the biggest fish ever", a catfish about 4-feet long. They were still raving about the size of the fish when they returned to camp. In addition to that fish, they were able to watch a swimming snake, and these interesting animals helped them appreciate the nature on their trip.

J2 went on a 2-day trip on the Namekagon River, commonly known as the "Mighty Nam". They also experienced a bit of rain, but loved the food on the trip. Culinary highlights included Pita Pizzas, S'mores, and carmel delights. The campers also loved brownie pancakes in the morning. The trip was a great first overnight for the many of the campers, and they're already excited for a longer trip next summer.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

College Days, Village Campfires and More

It has been a busy few days since the last update. The Senior Village is finishing up College Days this evening, while the rest of camp has been enjoying some extra attention on their activities without Senior Village campers. They also participated in a modified Superhero themed Predator Prey. Wednesday evening's village campfires were forced inside because of rain, yet the Junior and Intermediate village staff found ways to still make these nights memorable.

College Days has been busy since Tuesday, with events such as trivia, a Euchre tournament, football and volleyball keeping our Senior Village campers busy. There as a march-madness style basketball tournament in which each of the four college days teams was divided further into four five-man basketball teams. The tournament was a lot of fun, and Max Dunn secured the biggest upset of the day with a game-winning layup. The arm wrestling competition included a tense matchup between Bennett Crane and Aidan Black that felt like it was never going to end. Today is the final day of college days, and has included events such as cheer writing, plaque making and a mascot competition, as well as tug of war. The teams also raced in an outdoor themed relay event that included a paddling portion, a portage, and a fire building component. Still to go is the cook off, where each team will prepare a three course meal for a few staff judges, and the bowling and karaoke events. 

Predator Prey is a cabin based game that sees each cabin take on the role of a species on the food chain. The cabins need to find water, food, and shelter to survive. To mix it up, this predator prey was superhero themed. Wolverine and Superman were put at the top of the food chain. Iron Man and Captain America were among the middle tier, the lowest in the hierarchy included Black Widow and Green Lantern. Predator Prey is enjoyed by campers because it requires running and a bit of strategy in finding resources needed for survival.

In lieu of their village campfire, the Junior Village had its first "invention convention". Each cabin was given a bag filled with random objects such as a mask, a paper towel roll, some balloons and a deck of cards. They were given a half hour to invent a product and sell it to staff judges in a short commercial. Some of the inventions included a confetti popper and a "paradise viewer", a homemade virtual reality device to make the user feel they are beachside. The Intermediate Village had a talent show and a game of musical chairs that the entire village participated in.

Tomorrow's Friday Night Service will have the theme of perseverance and grit. On Saturday, campers will begin the second half of their second week of activities.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Special Programs Galore!

Time flies when you're having fun. It is already the second week of the session, and the summer is starting to find its groove. Today is our second cruiser day of the summer. Junior and Intermediate Village campers spent the day participating in activities such as tubing, slip n' sliding, and potentially a trip to a resort across the lake. Cruiser day is camp's "weekend", a break from our typical routine.  Cabins spend the day together, partaking in activities planned by their counselors.

Senior Village campers enjoyed the first day of College Days, a three-day event in which the campers are split into 4 teams and face off in a variety of events. College Days officially kicked off Monday night, as the village watched Rudy for some inspiration before a few days of friendly competition. After the movie, the campers were divided into their four teams before choosing the colleges they will represent for the next few days. The 2018 College Days teams are the Central Arkansas Bears, the Colorado School of Mines Orediggers, the Defiance Yellow Jackets, and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Notre Dame, taking some inspiration from Rudy, came back dramatically from a 6 run deficit in their first round softball game. They would go on to win the softball event.

While the schedule on cruiser day is different than others, campers have gotten to experience a variety of unique events and special programs during the session. On Wednesday evening, campers and staff played a game of glow in the dark ultimate frisbee, with a glowing frisbee and each player wearing multiple glow sticks. At Saturday's dinner picnic, a group of staff members and campers decided to see how tall they could stack their cups, ending with an astounding 101 cups stacked on top of each other! This inspired a cup stacking session in the next day's Wacky One Day activity. Also featured in Sunday's Wacky One Day period was Sumo Wrestling, a juggling class, and a seminar on how to change a tire. Campers were given a comprehensive lesson in this important life skill, starting with where to find the manual, and then watching a demonstration on how to change a tire, step by step. Initially attended primarily by our younger boys, a crowd of older campers joined once they saw just how educational the session was.

On Sunday the Pine Manor campers went out of camp to attend an Ojibwa Tribe Pow Wow. They were able to see a dancing competition and traditional drumming, as well as a singing group from Canada. The performers were dressed in traditional outfits, and the local tribal leader spoke to the audience in both english and a native language. There were a variety of vendors present, with offerings ranging from a map of tribal lands across North and South America, to a man selling indigenous LaCrosse sticks. The wood was steam bent, and the vendor showed campers how to cradle a ball with his special one-handed sticks.

The upcoming week promises to be just as fun. The Senior Village still has a few days of College Days remaining, including highlights such as plaque making and the Cook-Out. The rest of camp will participate in their second round of activity sign-ups. Chairs up!