North Star Camp for Boys

Thursday, August 26, 2010

NSC Council Ring Recieves Improved, Expanded Seating

Hayward, WI (Reuters) - Unveiling the first major off-season camp improvement, North Star has announced that the Council Ring has seen several of its half log benches replaced. The work, which began towards the end of the summer of 2010 has been a multi-stage process, first seeing several of the seats in the South Section (Junior Village) replaced. Following some organizational discussions it was decided that the North Section would also receive additional seating, with one bench being added to each row, increasing capacity in this section by 33%.

The work on the J-Village section was completed earlier this week, while simultaneously work has been ongoing in the North Section (Senior Village). While capacity here will remain roughly the same, replacement was extensive. Following removal of existing benches, supports were replaced, ensuring level seating with optimal sight lines towards both the Council Ring Fire Pit and speaker's podium.

According to Chief Engineer and project foreman Thomas Brokaw of Hayward, the benches were replaced with a rough hewn half log of the poplar variety while supports were treated 6'X6'. Brokaw stated "what a guy could do is take some poplar and peel the bark. Once the benches are in place we'll put some linseed oil and clean it up. It'll be good enough for who its for." Brokaw confirmed that all of the materials came from local suppliers, furthering North Star's commitment to utilizing Hayward area businesses.

Further investigation revealed that this expansion and improvement was part of North Star's long term goal of better utilizing the Council Ring. With the nearby LCO landing big names for their concert venue, its no surprise that North Star has gone in this route. Acts traveling to the area include Great White, Bret Michaels and Ted Nugent. According to property owner Robert Lebby "The Council Ring is one of the preeminent campfire circles in the Northwoods, if not the country. We've been closely following the Wrigley Field model. Following their success with the Winter Classic, not to mention Jimmy Buffett, Billy Joel and Elton John, we're confident that this is the right direction." Lebby would neither confirm or deny a pending deal with popular recording artist James Taylor to headline the potential opening concert. Previous national acts to appear at North Star include singer/songwriters Peter Yarrow and Noel Paul Stookey (of Peter, Paul and Mary), Wendy & Willy Welch (wrote "Right Field"), and The Billys.

Lebby was also unwilling to comment on a rumored deal to sell Council Ring naming rights. A source familiar with the deal, but preferring to remain anonymous stated that several local and
national companies have expressed an interest in some sort of naming rights deal. "While compensation has dropped drastically since the Citigroup/Mets deal, there is no reason that the Council Ring shouldn't be able to fetch North Star a nice deal. North Star should be able to net a long term deal or they could opt for a sorter term deal and negotiate a new deal when the market has recovered." Amongst the companies rumored to be interested are LP Lumber, Stihl Chain Saws, Jack Links Jerky, UHaul and Crazy Creek outdoor chairs.

There is no proposed work to the East Section (Intermediate Village) of the Council Ring, which has been upgraded in the past few years. Mr. Lebby has confirmed that the upgrades will not impact seating regulations which allows campers and staff to bring Crazy Creek (type) chairs to the council ring for all events, however on Friday nights everyone must sit on benches.

Editors Note: While not April Fools Day, this clearly is a joke. The Council Ring has been expanded and benches have been replaced, however there are no plans to convert the Council Ring to a concert venue, nor are there plans to sell naming rights. Alumni should NOT contact Leb with offers to purchase Council Ring naming rights.

2011 Early Enrollment Discounts

Register now for the Summer of 2011!

You can SAVE OVER 10% ON TUITION by taking advantage of our Early Enrollment Incentives.

Click here: or click "Registration" in the upper right hand corner to get started.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

All Is Quiet in the Northwoods...

Amazingly it has already been a week since camp ended. After the campers left, we had a great week of Post Camp with over 20 families. Now as they scatter around the country, camp is growing quiet. Even the animals have noticed as they have started to take camp back for the winter.
We truly had an awesome summer! Over the last few weeks we have been receiving word from parents and campers alike letting us know how much they enjoyed and learned from their time at North Star. We’re always thrilled to hear from our camp families in any capacity, and it is always rewarding to hear the positive outcomes for the summer. Most of all, we want to thank you for trusting us with your sons. We often boast that we have the nicest campers in the world, and we mean it. So thank you for making the decision to have them spend the summer with us.
Now it’s on to the Summer of 2011! As we winterize the facilities here, we are well underway with our planning for a great 67th camping season at North Star, and we hope that you will again join us. We already have enrollment open for 2011 and already have many families on board, both new and old. We know it’s still early, but we are offering discounts for enrolling before September 1st, so take advantage now! Deposits are fully refundable until November 1st, and we offer Cancellation Insurance that allows you to protect your tuition payments beyond then as well. You can Register Online at If you have any questions, please give us a call up at camp at 715-462-3254.
Thanks again for a great summer. We look forward to an awesome Summer of 2011!
Leb, Sue, Dan & Andy

Friday, August 20, 2010

Post Camp Report

Its hard to believe that its already been a week since second session ended. This morning, at the start of breakfast, Leb mentioned that it was exactly one week ago that the buses were on their way to Chicago. As most of you know, the buses leaving doesn't exactly mean the end of things up at camp.

Once the buses roll out all the counselors who remain at camp finish up some final work details and get all the cabins cleaned. Those cabins will all be inhabited for the next week by families who come up for our post camp week. So for those of you who have never been to post camp, here is a little rundown on the week.

About 100 people come up to camp for post camp. Some of these are families of current families while others are North Star alums who return to camp for the week (often with their spouses and children). Some post campers have been coming up for many decades while others are enjoying their first or second time here. For the most part, our post campers come up here for many of the same reasons that everyone else does.

We have lots of fun programming during the days. The climbing wall, waterskiing, riflery, and archery are some of the more popular daytime activities. We also have organized sports like softball, basketball, and soccer. Evening programs this post camp included a campfire, a talent show, and, of course, a dodgeball extravaganza.

Beyond the activities, though, a lot of post campers just like hanging out with their friends. For the former campers and counselors, they have the opportunity to catch up once again. For long time post campers, they have the opportunity to see each other again. Many of those who spend the week here may or may not have known each other before they started at post camp, however their friendships have certainly grown stronger because of it. At night post campers hang out in the lodge playing instruments, taking each other on in cards and board games, or just enjoy others company.

Tomorrow marks the official end of our post camp, however most families have headed home already. We'll be sure to keep everyone informed of more camp news and also try to give you all an inside look into what's going on here as we pack up camp and work towards 2011 and NSC's 67th summer.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Pow Wow Day 2010

The last week of the summer is always marked with lots of special programs and events. The start of this week is highlighted by Pow Wow Day, where the entire camp (staff included) is separated into four different tribes. This year those tribes were Yuki, Kickapoo, Stono and Cree. Our captains (called braves for the day) and advisers (Medicine Men) worked tirelessly for several days beforehand picking teams, assigning team members to their events and writing more than a few cheers.

The day started with great weather as we had our traditional opening ceremonies, complete with Leb riding a horse. After that the tribes separated by village for leg wrestling. Each village narrowed down to a final four and eventually a winning leg wrestler. This was followed by two morning series of events. One of things that makes Pow Wow Day unique is the diversity of the events. There are plenty of sports as well as events like climbing and archery, however there are other specialty events that really give all of our campers an opportunity to excel. Campers compete in events like orienteering, scavenger hunt, not to mention several Arts & Crafts and canoeing events.

Some counselors will tell you that the highlight of the day is lunch, but not because of the food. While the food is great, the lunch is actually a silent lunch where campers and staff have to figure out how to communicate for the entire meal without talking. After lunch and the announcement of scores, we had our traditional staff "one pitch" softball game along with running relays and camper and staff tug-o-wars.

The afternoon continued without a hitch until 4th series, which takes place exclusively at swim point. The rumbling of thunder could be heard off in the distance and we decided it was better to be safe than sorry, so, like during United Nations Day (a first session event like Pow Wow Day), we decided that if the weather improved, we'd swim after dinner. The weather cooperated for the most part and we were able to get most of the swim point events in. We were able to witness some great inner-tube relay technique from several campers and we had a few impressive log rollers this year as well. The final event is intermediate and then senior water polo. With it getting late the entire camp cheered on the water polo games as darkness was descending upon swim point.

We ended Pow Wow Day in Mike Hall as the inclement weather returned. This did not dampen our campers' spirits nor did it quash any of the final cheers. It did, however, mean that Leb wouldn't be able to string out his typical stalling... if you've never seen it you wouldn't believe it possible for one person to take so long to announce the final scores. Congrats to the tribe of Yuki, winners of Pow Wow Day 2010, as well as those on Cree, Kickapoo and Stono for a great day!

Friday, August 6, 2010

1 Week in Review, 1 Week to go

We have had an amazing week at camp.  It's been action packed, so here goes nothing:

Green-White Egg Marathon
On Sunday we had our annual Green-White Egg Marathon, which is our biggest Green-White event of second session.  To sum it up, it is a giant relay race around camp that involves almost every activity we have.  The campers from each team participate in everything including running, swimming, biking, canoeing, three-legged race, climbing, archery, riflery, and more.  The whole event concludes with "Boil Water Boil," in which each team has two campers who work to boil a No. 10 tin can of water.  The catch is that each team has to carry a raw egg throughout the whole competition.  If the egg is broken, the team must send its egg runner to the office porch to retrieve a new one.
This year's marathon was as close as they get, with the White team edging the Green team by only a few seconds.  It was a great event that demonstrates the enthusiasm we have at camp, as not only does everybody participate in their own event, but they show up at the other events with positive words of encouragement for their teammates, and everybody gathers around the final Boil Water Boil to give their teammates a much needed boost.

On Monday we elected our President and Vice-President of the Great and Glorious North Star Party! We undergo this democratic ritual every summer, and the contest was heated as always.  To the victors go the spoils, and the ability to attend the staff meetings as well as to be Leb and Dan on Camper-Counselor Switch Day.  We had contestants from each village, and after a wonderful presidential debate in front of the whole camp, the people spoke.  Pine's Josh B. and Alex F. were elected to serve as President and Vice President for the next year.  They ran their campaign like a well-oiled machine, starting on Facebook well before the summer even began.  They plastered camp with their signs, and all of their hard work has paid off.  Now we're looking into campaign finance reform at North Star.

All-Camp Campfire
Tuesday we had a great All-Camp Campfire showcasing many of our campers' talents, most notably in the category of "stupid human tricks." We saw everything from Max P.'s dazzling yo-yo tricks to Noah C.'s contortionist ways.  It never ceases to amaze us how talented our campers are, and we love giving them opportunities to show it off.  No camper ever leaves North Star with a fear of public speaking!

Cruiser Day
While there is never a Cruiser Day that goes by that fails to showcase the creativity of our staff, this one was a cut above.  Intermediate Village Director Jon K. planned Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Day for the whole Ridge.  The campers and staff were divided into four teams - Leonardo, Donatello, Michaelangelo, and Raphael - and participated in a full day of Turtle themed activities. These rained from "Ninja Ball" to a "Pizza Hunt" in honor the crime fighting amphibian's favorite food. Then, to continue the theme, the turtles were rewarded with a pizza dinner.  Cowabunga dudes!

The Fun-Bug World Record
On Thursday during our organized free period, Ben M. and Jeremy S. decided that they were going to take being the Fun-Bug Dudes to new heights.  They decided that they wanted to set the all-time record for Fun-Buggers in one period.  They invited representatives from the Guinness Book of North Star Records to officiate the event and they rallied the troops.  They had it set up so that you could stop by and quickly become a Bronze member just by hopping on one of the Fun Bugs, or you could take one out for a spin around the sailboats and back to become a Gold Member.  When all was said and done, over half of the camp had come through to participate in yet another display of the goofy and wacky creative energy that our staff brings to the table everyday!

Professor John "Little Bird" Anderson
Thursday night the whole camp gathered in Mike Hall for a special guest.  A professor of Native American History named John Anderson came to speak to camp in preparation for Pow Wow Day.  John was raised and spent much of his life on the Lac Courte Orreilles Reservation right here in Hayward.  John taught us many things about the beliefs of his tribe regarding the land and the animals among us.  He explained the meaning of his tribal name "Little Bird" and taught us about his traditional garb.  He taught us different dances and chants, and gave us new appreciation for what we have hear at camp. Along with his Wigiwagan (life partner) Mourning Dove, all of the campers and counselors alike really learned a lot.

The Commando Raid
One of the great camp traditions, Friday afternoon it was time for the Commando Raid - an all-camp water balloon fight.  Thanks to the tremendous efforts of the CITs for filling all of the balloons, the camp was able to spend a hot afternoon doing battle with water balloons.  Everybody set after camp's favorite target - Leb.  He knows what to do however, and has his oversized balloon ready to go for any passers-by.

Friday Night Services
On the eve of Pow Wow Day, tonight's service honored the Native American roots of this region.  We talked about the Ojibwa ideal that we are just guest on this land, and that it is our duty to protect it and maintain it for future generations.  We talked about understanding our past and learning from it, so that we can always continue to improve.  One of our readings pointed to finding the equilibrium between man and nature, and resisting the temptation of greed.  It was a beautiful service with a record-length keylog ceremony with so many campers and counselors wanting to give their appreciation.

We are now geared up and ready for the final week of camp.  It is hard to think that at this time next week, all the campers will be back in their hometowns.  We have an exciting week ahead starting tomorrow with Pow Wow Day and continuing with the Arts and Crafts Show, Espionage, Lazy Day, the Staff Show, Request Night, the Final Banquet, the Dodgeball Extravaganza, the Camper-Counselor Hunt, Camper-Counselor Switch Day and more.  It's going to be a jam-packed week at camp.  We've got plenty of camping left!