North Star Camp for Boys

Monday, July 12, 2010

Another "North Star Moment"

There was Magic in the Northwoods tonight. Where else can you find 15 years old playing soccer, football, tennis and softball at the same time… with 9 years olds who were also playing all 4 sports at the same time… on the same field? I venture to say that this game was only played in one place on the planet this evening. Right here at North Star! I would also venture to say that creative, fun and exciting games were being played all over the world at summer camps, they just happened to be different games. But, I have the pleasure of writing about our game at North Star this evening.
But, I choose to look at a bigger picture and I’d like to give you a little in site into what makes North Star… well, North Star. The origin of the game took place last Wednesday evening at our weekly staff meeting. Our administrative team knew we had Monday evening open and we thought it would be a good opportunity to give our counselors an opportunity to prepare a special event for the camp to enjoy. We brainstormed for 7 ½ minutes, that’s all the time any creative team needs, isn’t it? In that time we came up with all sorts of ideas, another version of Brave Heart, a dodgeball extravaganza, Minute To Win It game show night, and then out of the corner of the room came, “How about Mob Ball?” The room went quiet, “Mob Ball” Sounds perfect for a boys camp. Well, Tim Edwards, from Manchester, England described this game with basketballs, soccer balls, footballs, tennis balls, and softballs all used in the same game. There would be different colored balls that could only be used by certain age groups. And of course, we would use the entire camp as the playing field.
I knew we had something good going when I saw 5 counselors carrying the huge soccer goals to the middle of the junior village before dinner. I knew we had something really good when there wasn’t a sound while Tim explained the rules and I knew we had a huge hit when I saw kids running everywhere with all sorts of balls all over camp. It is actually quite humorous to see a 9-year-old dribbling a basketball down the road with his buddies scrambling behind.
I think the real story is the creativity that camp gives to young people. After all, Tim, at 23 years old is a young person. Tim solicited help from 15 other staff members to put this program together and it was a huge success. I’ve always felt that giving opportunities for leadership is a central part of our success and allows everyone here to feel a part of something bigger than himself.
Speaking of creativity, wait till you read about our Espionage Game that will be taking place Wednesday evening. Espionage is a game of mystery, intrigue and suspense and takes place after dark. Every cabin will have some challenge to complete and something about crawling around camp in the dark is captivating to the kids. More to come after Wednesday...
As I write this we have campers participating in sign-up trips out of camp. There are 9 kids on a horseback riding overnight. Tomorrow we have 27 boys going to a local disc golf course where they will play on a championship course. We have other canoe and hiking trips planned and any camper has the option to participate in a sign up overnight camping trip.
The play, an adaption of The Producers, is in its final stages of rehearsals and we are looking forward to watching the world premiere on Thursday evening.
And of course, the biggest weekend of the year begins on Friday as we have many visitors coming into camp in the evening, our 1st session campers leaving on Saturday and a new group arriving on Sunday.
The craziness continues and I can assure you that the creativity and fun never stops at camp. We’re having a blast and I am confident your son will have wonderful stories to tell you when you see him this weekend.
Chairs Up,