North Star Camp for Boys







Monday, June 18, 2018

North Star Summer of 2018!


North Star’s 74th summer is officially underway! The buses from both Chicago and Minneapolis timed a perfect arrival at 4:00 and each camper passed through a tunnel of excited counselors to see a beautiful 80-degree sunny afternoon. It was a picture perfect start to summer. The energy showed through as we gathered around the flagpole to announce the cabins, and then the boys headed toward their bunks to unpack. The cabin list is attached.

The boys are now unpacking and new campers are receiving a tour of camp. As they walk around camp, they will see many of the improvements from the off-season, including the new baseball batting cage and pitching machine, some remodeled cabins, a new splashmat and water log at swim point, and much more fun to come. By the time they go to sleep tonight, they'll have played games with their cabins and met some of the other guys their age as well.

Dinner this evening will be burgers, fries and jello, plus the ever present salad bar and Sun Butter and jelly. There will be vegetarian burgers available for those that prefer, and Gluten free options for those that need it. And of course brownies for dessert. Immediately following dinner, the campers will choose their first week's activities.

The evening activities will be followed by the candlelight ceremonies, where each cabin will have a meeting led by their counselors. They will share their goals and expectations for the summer, while continuing to get to know one another. This will be the first of many cabin discussions that are an important part of the team-building goals that we have for each cabin group, and helps develop the strong sense of community that we strive for at camp.

In addition to developing the community, we are working to develop each boy as an individual as well. One of the goals we are working towards this summer is called “the meaningful check in.” Each day, each boy at camp should receive a receive a check in with one of their counselors giving them an opportunity to reflect on their day. While so many boys consider sufficient dialog to be “What’s Up?”, “Nothing, you?”, “Nothing really,” we strive for more than that. Tru relationships and opportunities to grow require more depth than that. Friday Night Services offer the whole camp a time to reflect on our camp values. Sunday Night Campfires offer each cabin the chance to reflect on their growth as a cabin. And the Meaningful Check-Ins will offer each camper a daily opportunity to reflect on their personal goals and development. Our staff have taken this idea to heart, and I look forward to seeing this in action this summer.

Tomorrow the kids will have a busy day as our amazing medical team checks in the boys. The campers will take a swim test and find time to play several games of dodgeball. Evening program tomorrow will be our first game of All-Camp Capture the Flag. First thing on Wednesday morning the boys will begin their first week of regular activities. Wednesday morning our oldest campers will leave for their Canadian adventure, where they will spend 10 days in the Canadian wilderness in Quetico Provincial Park. Some of our 8th graders (we use the grade they just completed) will leave that day for five days on the Superior Hiking Trail, while other campers will depart straight away on the Brule River or the Flambeau River. Wednesday evening will be the staff show, where our very talented group will be on display.

Thank you for trusting us with your boys!

Sunday, June 3, 2018

2018 Staff Spotlight - Courtney Lyn-Kew


First year counselor Courtney Lyn-Kew joins the NSC staff as a counselor and soccer & fitness training instructor. He grew up in south Florida, playing soccer year round. He got his undergraduate degree from Defiance College in Ohio where he played on the soccer team.

He's now getting a graduate degree from Palm Beach Atlantic University with his Masters in School Counseling. He worked a few summers ago at a camp in Maine and we're excited to have him at NSC this summer!

More about Courtney

How did you learn about North Star and why did you apply?
- I found out about North Star through my own personal research. I was fortunate enough to work at a camp in Maine two years ago and I loved it, through school I wasn’t able to work during the following summers, however with having more flexibility this summer I knew that I had to find another camp to teach at!

If you could be any animal (besides a human), what would you be and why?
- If I could be any animal besides a human, I would choose to be a Koala. They’re very chill animals and basically just want to eat, sleep and hangout in trees, so basically everything I wish I could do now.

What is your guilty pleasure tv show(s):
- Don’t really watch tv at all but some shows that I have always enjoyed are Family Guy, and Stranger Things.

What is your dream Job:
- Growing up my dream was to be a professional soccer player, however I wasn’t able to make it happen. On the positive side I fell in love with school counseling and coaching. So for me, School Counseling and coaching soccer are now my dream jobs and I don’t see them changing anytime soon.

If you could have dinner with any three people, dead or alive, who would they be and why?
- If I could have dinner with three people, I would choose Barack Obama, Martin Luther King Jr, and John Wooden. All three of those men are people I look up to, so to be able to have a meal with them and just pick their brains and take in everything they have to say would be amazing. Hearing their stories and how they found the courage to overcome their struggles and the feelings they all went through would be a dream come true and such a good learning experience.

What is the best Christmas/Hanukkah/holiday present that you've ever gotten:
- The best Christmas gift I have ever gotten would probably be my JBL speaker, I use it everywhere I go. I’m very active, I use it at my soccer practices, at the beach, work (if it’s not busy), in the shower, kayaking, I literally take it everywhere with me and I love it. It’s indestructible.

What are/were your favorite subjects in school:
- For me I always loved P.E., I have always been athletic so it was a natural relationship. I also really liked Geography, I always found learning about different countries very interesting, I also liked simply knowing where the other countries were in relation to me.

What are your top three movies of all time:
- This was by far the hardest question to answer, however “Cool Runnings” is an absolute classic. Then I would have to say “Miracle”, I think the acting is so good and everybody played their roles so well and then all the emotions that were brought out of me, easily had to be in my top 3. With my last and final pick in the top three movie draft, and I know there will be people who disagree, however I personally have to go with “Guardian” with Ashton Kutcher. Now have never been someone who cries easily, in fact I can’t remember the last time I cried, but Guardian had me so close to letting a tear out that I had to put it in my top three.

What sports teams do you root for:
- Basketball- Miami Heat, Futbol- Manchester United and West Bromwich Albion, Tennis- Roger the legend Federer, Golf- Bubba Watson, Hockey- Florida panthers, College football- University of Florida, College soccer- Indiana University, College Hockey- University of Minnesota.

What noteworthy/random/menial jobs have you held?
- I would call it a job but I absolutely love my internship, so it was noteworthy to me. I learned so much and had such a good time working with the kids, I felt I had a really good impact on some students and truly helped them change their live around. A random job I’ve had was working as Door Guy for a Bar in downtown West Palm Beach, I’m 5’10 and about 175 lbs and definitely don’t look intimidating, I originally applied to be a bar back but I guess they saw something in me that I didn’t. A menial job would be working as a busboy when I was younger, however I have always been a fan of people who work hard so to me as long as you’re earning honest money then I don’t really see jobs as being menial.

What did you do last summer?
- Last summer I stayed here in West Palm Beach due to school, however I worked a lot, relaxed, spent a good amount of time getting a nice tan, I grew my beard out (it wasn’t a good look) and basically just hung out with some friends.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

2018 Staff Spotlight - Joey Kaiser


Joey Kaiser returns for his second summer at North Star, after missing the summer of 2017. The Twin Cities native has been working on finishing his degree in electrical engineering at the University of Minnesota Duluth. This upcoming fall will be his senior year during which hr will be tutoring general physics and working as a residential advisor.

As of recently he has also taken up training for a Marathon which he will run this September in the hopes of qualifying for the Boston Marathon. Before camp starts he's planning a trip up the north shore as well as a trip into the Boundary Waters with friends.

More about Joey

What is your favorite camp meal?
- The pizza, the crust is my favorite!

If you could be any animal (besides a human), what would you be and why?
- An owl so I could fly and be able to see at night.

What is your guilty pleasure tv show(s):
- The Office

Where is your favorite spot at camp:
- The bench swing facing the lake by the funbugs.

What is your dream Job:
- Owning my own restaurant.

If you could have dinner with any three people, dead or alive, who would they be and why?:
- John Paul II, CS Lewis , and Tom Petty. I would choose John Paul because I think he was wise, CS Lewis because I think his books are interesting and Tom Petty because I like his music.

What is the best Christmas/Hanukkah present that you've ever gotten:
- I think the Christmas present that I was most excited for is when my uncle bought my siblings and I a gamecube with Mario Kart double Dash when I was 10.

What are/were your favorite subjects in school:
 - I like reading in general so definitely reading class.

What are your top three movies of all time:
Lord of the Rings(The Fellowship of the Ring), Shawshank Redemption, and the Dark Knight

What's your go-to pie at the Norske Nook:
- Banana cream

What sports teams do you root for:
- Occasionally the Minnesota Vikings

Share a random or little known fact about yourself:
- I like reading books that are considered classics.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

2018 Staff Spotlight - Asher Borstein


Its the Big Ten for Asher Borstein. The Chicago area native graduated from Francis Parker High School where he played softball and chess. He is now finishing up his freshman year at Northwestern University.

At NU he's studying math and economics. He's involved with Greek life and plays intramural. At camp you'll find Asher on the tennis course, teaching disc golf as well as chess. We're excited to have Asher back!

More about Asher

What is your favorite camp meal?
- Waffles, easily. Favorite dessert is churros.

If you could be any animal (besides a human), what would you be and why?
- I would be a bird, flying would be sweet

What is your guilty pleasure tv show(s):
- The office and breaking bad. West world is pretty amazing as well.

Where is your favorite spot at camp:
- Council ring

What is your dream Job:
- General manager of a baseball team

If you could have dinner with any three people, dead or alive, who would they be and why?:
- I would have dinner with LeBron James, Jeff Bezos, and Barack Obama

What is the best Christmas/Hanukkah present that you've ever gotten:
- Best Hannukkah gift was when my Dad gave me his baseball card collection

What are/were your favorite subjects in school:
- Math and economics (my majors!)

What are your top three movies of all time:
- Usual Suspects, Get Out, Slumdog Millionaire


What's your go-to pie at the Norske Nook:
- I have yet to go to the nook and not get Butterfinger

What sports teams do you root for:
- I root for all Cleveland Sports: Cavaliers, Indians, etc.  (I attempt to root for the browns but this is difficult)


Share a random or little known fact about yourself:
- I was a top 50 high school chess player in the state of Illinois a couple years ago!

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

2018 Staff Spotlight - Harry Williams


1st year counselor Harry Williams joins us from Chester in the UK. He's a student at the University of Manchester where he is studying Mechanical Engineering. Growing up Harry was involved with scouts and would go on 2-3 camping trips per year.

Guitar and soccer (or futbol) are two of Harry's big interests. He's been playing guitar for six years and has taught kids. He's been playing soccer much of his life and reads up quite a bit on coaching and strategy, looking into analytics and other areas of the sport.

More about Harry

How did you learn about North Star and why did you apply?
- I always wanted to work on an American summer camp and in the UK you can sign up to an agency who will put you in contact with camps. Then North Star got in touch with me, the camp looked amazing so I said yes!

If you could be any animal (besides a human), what would you be and why?
- I would be a cheetah because who wouldn't want to be the world fastest mammal?

What is your guilty pleasure tv show(s):
- A British kids show called Tracy Beaker which I used to love watching but I didn't tell anyone!

What is your dream Job:
- When I graduate I hope to become an Engineer in a field that makes a difference to people's lives, that could be coming up with solutions to climate change or working on prosthetic limbs.

If you could have dinner with any three people, dead or alive, who would they be and why?:
- I would have dinner with Stephen Hawking because he was a great man with an incredible mind, I would love to learn from him. Malcolm X, I read his autobiography and was amazed by what he achieved in life by overcoming awful circumstances. I could learn a lot from his life experience. Finally, Jurgen Klopp! He is the manager of my favourite football (soccer) team, Liverpool FC, it would be so cool to talk to him about what goes on at the club and to talk to him about his life.

What is the best Christmas/Hanukkah/holiday present that you've ever gotten:
- I had asked for a bike but wasn't expecting to get one. I was so happy when I did!

What are/were your favorite subjects in school:
- Maths and Physics were my favourites, the teachers I had for both were great and they gave me an important foundation for my Engineering studies.

What are your top three movies of all time:
- Forrest Gump, It's a Wonderful Life & Superbad

What sports teams do you root for:
- Liverpool FC (Soccer), England (Cricket, Rugby, Soccer).

What noteworthy/random/menial jobs have you held?
- I fed my neighbour's cats for a few years. They had a very luxurious menu laid out by their owners, being one of those cats wouldn't be a bad gig!

What did you do last summer?
- I went camping in Portugal with my mates from uni and after that I went to Sorrento in the Amalfi Coast, Italy with my family. Both were amazing, the Amalfi coast is beautiful.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

2018 Staff Spotlight - Andrew Cohen


Andrew Cohen is back for his seventh summer at North Star and his second year on staff. The native of Deerfield, IL is just finishing up his junior year at Deerfield High School. There he's involved with student council, which he's been on since his freshman year.

This year he's been managing the JV volleyball team. Earlier in the winter, he traveled to New York City with other high schoolers as part of a youth group trip.

More about Andrew

What is your favorite camp meal?
- My favorite meal at camp has to be cinnamon rolls.

If you could be any animal (besides a human), what would you be and why?
- If I could be any animal I’d be a dog. They always make people happy and they don’t have to worry about very much.

What is your guilty pleasure tv show(s):
- I still love watching Phineas and Ferb whenever it comes on the TV.

Where is your favorite spot at camp:
- My favorite spot at camp is definitely the Council Ring. It’s always so peaceful there and the sunsets are incredible. I have countless memories from the Council Ring from my years as a camper and a counselor.

What is your dream Job:
- I’d want to be a pilot so I could travel the world.

If you could have dinner with any three people, dead or alive, who would they be and why?:
- First on this list has to be Kyrie Irving because I’m a huge Celtics fan. Chance the Rapper would also be there because I love his music and he seems like a really nice guy. Finally, I’d have Jimmy John so I could thank him for making such delicious sandwiches.

What is the best Christmas/Hanukkah present that you've ever gotten:
- When I was five years old my parents got me and my sister a Wii and that’s been by far the best gift I’ve received.

What are/were your favorite subjects in school:
- My favorite subjects are anything related to math or science.

What are your top three movies of all time:
- In no particular order my top three movies are Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Star Wars Return of the Jedi and the Avengers.

What's your go-to pie at the Norske Nook:
- My favorite is the apple pie

What sports teams do you root for:
- I’m a huge Celtics fan and I also love watching the Cubs play.

Share a random or little known fact about yourself:
- Not a lot of people know that I play guitar

2018 Staff Spotlight - Elliot Robinson


Elliot Robinson joins us for his first summer. He's currently a second year bio engineering student in Sheffield in the UK. He grew up in the town of Barnsley and was on a swim team as a kid and also served as a volunteer coach while in grades 9-12.

Upon going to university, Elliot got into archery. He joined the university archery team and is currently the club's safety officer. He has his Golden Duke of Edinburgh award and took an expedition to Ecuador. He's also taken up competitive lifesaving so he'll be a valuable member of our waterfront as well as archery staff.


More about Elliot

 How did you learn about North Star and why did you apply?
 - I learned about North Star through Camp Leaders and applied through Camp Leaders as well.

If you could be any animal (besides a human), what would you be and why?
 - I would be a dog (probably a German Shepherd), so I could give people reassurance and protect them, as well as, being really adorable and playful.

What is your guilty pleasure tv show(s):
- I will watch almost any sit-com just to relax, my favourites are; How I Met Your Mother, Brooklyn 99, Friends, Big Bang Theory and Scrubs.

What is your dream Job:
- CEO of a Biotechnology and future technologies company.

If you could have dinner with any three people, dead or alive, who would they be and why?:
 - Stephen Hawking - so I could attempt to learn a fraction about his life’s work
Chris Hemsworth - so I could see for myself if the rumours were true about him being a really standup guy, and talented in just about anything he does. I would also see if I could get a copy of his gym workout, for his role as Thor.
Sargent Steel(my great grandfather) - so I could ask him first hand what it was like in the war and show him how far we’ve come since then.

What is the best Christmas/Hanukkah/holiday present that you've ever gotten:
- My car, for my eighteenth birthday, a white Ford Fiesta, which has since helped me go on many adventures.

What are/were your favorite subjects in school:
- Although I was good at the sciences and maths, my favourite subject was art as it was a lot more chilled out than the other subjects and I could listen to music and chat with my friends and class it as working, as long as, I had pencil to paper.

What are your top three movies of all time:
- Infinity War, Deadpool & Bugs Life

What sports teams do you root for:
- I root for my university sports teams, as I feel a lot closer connection to them, than any town or city team.

What noteworthy/random/menial jobs have you held?
- I was a preschool worker at sixth form, before and after college.
I am currently a STEM ambassador, promoting science and engineering to the next generation.

What did you do last summer?
- I went on a family trip to America, we went to Yellowstone national park and saw so much wildlife, as well as, Old Faithful.