North Star Camp for Boys

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Friendship Fire and a Wacky Weather Day

Only in the Northwoods can the sky look as different as it did today between the time we entered breakfast and the time we left. First it seemed like we were going to have a beautiful day on our hands, then maybe a stormy one.  It turned out we had a little of both, but the sun proved victorious.
We started today with the whole camp in the lodge for some serious Bingo. There was a palpable enthusiasm in the Lodge, with great prizes like Disc Golf lessons, extra Wanegans, or the right to babysit for Phoebe (Leb and Sue's dog).  But the real clamor was for the grand prize - a trip to Dairy Queen for the cabin! When all was said and done, the mighty cabin of J-1 took home the gold.
The rain stopped and allowed 2nd period to take place under the sun.  After lunch, as I walked through the Junior Village cabins during rest period, I realized that there was not a lot of rest taking place.  In J-6, the counselors were running an energetic game of the obscure card game "Bang!" that the campers were loving.  In J-1, J-2 and J-3 the staff were leading games of Mafia, which allows all of our future attorneys to shine.  In J-4 there was a continuation of the Bunk Basketball tournament, that proves that you really can play ball in the house, as long as your parents are not around! And in J-7, the staff put a new spin on the rest period classic of Rafterball and had all of the campers involved.  With counselors like this, it is easy to see why camp is off to such a great start!
The afternoon was out of order - we had third period followed by an extended first period with a quick rain shower in between. But the weird day concluded with a classic - The Friendship Fire.
The Friendship Fire is a tradition that continues from the very first summer at North Star in 1945, when Lou and Renee Rosenblum conducted North Star's very first Friday Night Service at the Council Ring.  The theme of the campfire program is camp's most important value, friendship, which Lou and Renee stressed at camp from the start. 
One part of the service has a representative from each city throw a key long into the fire and say "This Keylog represents the bond of friendship between [his hometown] and North Star Camp." This summer we have just under 100 cities from around the world represented. This marked the debut of the 2010 version of the Camper Counselor Chorus, and Tennis Mike played a great musical selection. The highlight of the evening  though was Michael Eichner's sermonette about the true meaning of camp friendships and what makes them so special.
As we walked back into camp from the Council Ring, the same sky that tinkered with our daily program gave us a beautiful pink sunset with majestic clouds that help make Friday Nights at North Star so special.