*FINAL PRE-CAMP LETTER TO PARENTS AND CAMPERS*
WE ARE EXCITED ABOUT THE UPCOMING SUMMER and look forward to the start of our *67th camping season!* This will be the final communication for 1st session and 8 week campers from camp before your son(s) arrive. Detailed travel instructions for 2nd session campers will be sent later.
*Along with all of our other correspondence from camp during the summer will be by posting on our website at www.northstarcamp.com. The news updates can be found on "Leb's Ramblings," at www.northstarcamp.com/blog. It can also be found in the Media Room, which is in the Current Families section of the website. We will be utilizing Facebook and Twitter to let families know when there are new blog entries, summer pictures posted and other news bits. You can follow North Star on Facebook at facebook.com/northstarcampforboys and you can follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/northstarcamp.
*IMPORTANT HEALTH ISSUES: *Please do not send your son to camp unless he is in 100% healthy condition. If you are at all doubtful, keep him home a few days longer. Under no circumstances should he come to camp if he has been significantly exposed to chickenpox or the Swine Flu. If you have any questions regarding this, please call camp. *WE ARE NOT ABLE TO GIVE ALLERGY INJECTIONS AT CAMP.* Campers will need to go to the clinic in town for these injections. This will require a short appointment in town to meet with our local physician prior to the first injection. There will be a clinic charge of about $70.00 and an injection fee of $26.00-$40.00 each visit depending on the number of injections. Since our local clinic is 20 minutes away we will take all campers with allergy injections on the same day. We are requesting that if allergy injections can be avoided during the summer that would be the best, however we will do our best to assist you if they are necessary.
*MEDICATION* You must use Camp Meds if your son will be receiving medication at camp. Please contact them immediately if you have not done so already. You can find their contact information on your CampInTouch page. If your son brings medication to camp, please have him give it to the nurse when he arrives or you may give it to Leb in Chicago or Milwaukee. No medication will be allowed in the cabins.
*BUS TRANSPORTATION: **CHICAGO:* The *CHICAGO* area boys should meet and report to the back parking lot of the Marriott Renaissance - 938 Skokie Blvd. at the corner of Dundee and Skokie Blvd. (right off the Eden's Expressway) at 7:30 A.M. on *Monday June 20th.* Please be prompt. Campers should bring a *bag lunch and drink.* Please use good judgment regarding the amount of food you send, only enough to be consumed on the bus. Any left over food and/or candy will be collected and disposed of when arriving at camp. On more than one occasion a camper has become ill on the bus because of an overdose of sweets.
There will be several buses leaving from the Chicago area. All vehicles will stop in Milwaukee to pick-up the Milwaukee area campers. We do not have assigned seating and your son can take any bus. I will be on the bus.
Chicago baggage will be brought to camp with the kids. Bring your sons' baggage to the bus stop and we will load it on a truck for transport to camp. Be sure that the baggage is properly labeled.
*MILWAUKEE* area campers should meet with baggage on *Monday, June 20th* at 9:15 A.M. at the K-Mart Shopping Center on South 27th Street, one block South of I-94. Please be prompt. Go West on I-894, off I-94 to the South Street exit. Park north of the K-Mart sign on South 27 th Street. The reason we stop on the South side of Milwaukee is that the bus route we take to camp is I-94 through Milwaukee and past Madison. To come into the north shore would be a long detour for the buses. Campers should bring* a bag lunch and drink.* Leb will be on the bus.
*BOYS FLYING INTO MINNEAPOLIS -- VERY IMPORTANT INFO!!!* The only way that we can guarantee meeting your son at the arrival gate in Minneapolis is if you participate in the unaccompanied minor program. You sign up for this with the airline. Airlines allow up to four individuals to fly on one Unaccompanied Minor reservation, so coordinating with others in your city can save you on the airline UM fee. We will be able to get gate passes for our staff if we have the name, flight information and confirmation number of the unaccompanied minor. *This information should be entered into the Transportation Form in the Campintouch system.
The airlines will require the name and address of our staff member who will be meeting your son at the gate when you check your son in. We will email their name and information a day or so before June 20th. Please provide your son with enough money to purchase lunch at the airport as well as money for the return trip. This money should be put in his valuables storage when he arrives at camp.
Dan Lichtenstein will be coordinating our Minneapolis travel arrangements.
Airline baggage fees result in a wide variety of charges which can range from as little as $25 to over $100 per bag, depending on whether or not the airline agent decides to charge for oversized and overweight bags. We highly recommend that campers flying into Minneapolis ship their bags. It often ends up being cheaper and it definitely eliminates the hassle of dealing with the bags on both ends. We will send out a more comprehensive email detailing the process of shipping your baggage to camp.
We will be mailing green North Star baggage tags to all families traveling from outside of the Chicago area. We ask that you attach these tags to any luggage that is being checked or your son is carrying-on.
Boys who live in Minneapolis or who are being dropped off at the Minneapolis airport should meet a North Star staff member at the carpeted area across from Baggage claim area #13 (door #1) on the arrival Level of the Lindberg (main) Terminal at 12:00. Staff will be wearing gray North Star staff shirts.
*If you are dropping your son off at camp,* try to arrive anytime after 3:00 p.m. This will ensure that your camper will not have down time before the other campers arriving around 4:00. After 3:00 p.m. our staff will be ready and able to give your son undivided attention. We recommend that first time campers take the bus to give them an opportunity to meet friends on the ride.
*ARRIVAL AT CAMP: *No news is good news and your son will not call upon his arrival. He will send you a post card. (We will send an email indicating a safe arrival to all parents.) Please be aware that the mail to and from camp is very slow to some areas of the country. At times, it seems like it travels by Pony Express. Our mail carrier arrives after lunch. If your son writes a letter at rest period, it does not go out until the next day. It then travels to Hayward, trucks to Minneapolis where it is finally sent on its way. A slow process, so do not be discouraged by a lack of mail at the beginning of the summer.
Do not forget to include your boy's name and cabin name once you know it when addressing letters to him at camp. We get some letters addressed only to North Star. We suggest that you send along with your son (especially younger boys), stamped, self-addressed envelopes.
*PACKAGES- PLEASE READ: *In order to control the unbelievable amount of unnecessary packages that had been arriving at camp in recent years we are continuing our *NO PACKAGES TO CAMP policy. If your son has forgotten something that is important or urgent, we request that you send the package to Leb with your son's name on the package. We also ask that you email Leb the contents in advance so that it can be expected. Envelopes with magazines and newspapers are fine. However, envelopes with anything else in it, such as coins, small gifts, gum stuck between the pages, etc. will be returned. Please pass this information along to *grandparents, aunts, uncles and other family members.*
PICTURES and MESSAGES FROM CAMP: **You can now view our summer pictures through your CampInTouch account!*** We will continue to post pictures on our website and to post Leb's Ramblings. You can view the pictures by going to our website at www.northstarcamp.com and clicking "Login" in the upper right hand corner. Once you have logged in, click on "Photos" to see the summer pictures. You can create guest accounts for your friends and family to view the pictures by clicking "Guest Accounts" on your CampInTouch page.
We will use Facebook and Twitter to notify families when new pictures are up or a new "Rambling" has been written. There may be times when I will send you an email so please make sure that we have your preferred email address. I truly believe you will want this service so please read the notice at the top of this letter.
CAMP FORMS: The response in returning the various camp forms has been good. If you have not returned yours as of yet, you can access them on the Campintouch System. All forms are due June 1st. The Canadian permission forms with copies of birth certificates or pass ports are past due for boys having completed 9th grade.
*CampInTouch* If you're wondering what CampInTouch is, it's your personalized access point to camp information. You can access it anytime by going to www.northstarcamp.com and clicking "login" in the upper right hand corner. You can also access it through Facebook by clicking on the CampInTouch tab on www.facebook.com/northstarcampforboys. From that page, you'll be able to access pictures, complete your forms, view the packing list, and more.
*ELECTRONICS POLICY* NO VIDEO GAMES, LAPTOP COMPUTERS, iPads, iPhones or any CELL PHONES for that matter, (they don't work here anyways) or any kind of computer hand held games. iPods are allowed, but ONLY FOR MUSIC. We do not want our campers watching videos, playing video games, and we ask that you only send devices free of these things.We may choose to collect the devices and enable the password protected parental controls to prevent them from using these features. We will reverse this process at the end of the summer. Campers viewing videos on iPods or using applications, email or the internet will have their iPods confiscated for the remainder of the summer. We take no responsibility for lost iPods or other electronics. Many campers do not bring any iPods or other electronics, and we welcome you to avoid the hassle by leaving them at home.
Also, please do not send squirt guns. Electric fans are not permitted, battery powered fans are acceptable.
*POLICY REGARDING PERSONAL PROPERTY* If a camper damages another campers, staff or camp property due to his negligence it is expected that the camper will be responsible for payment or repair.
*CAMPER EMAIL & FAX* We will not distribute e-mail or faxes sent to campers unless you live out of the United States or you are traveling out of the US. In this event, please send us an itinerary of your travel plans so that we will know how to get in touch with you in case of an emergency. * *
*GEAR FOR CAMP* It is not too late to purchase all your camp gear on-line at our camp web store. Almost everything you need is there including sleeping bags, NSC logo gear, duffel bags, camp linens, etc. You can view the items by going to our website at www.cloz.com/northstarcamp. We have no control over the shipping date.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding any aspect of camp, please do not hesitate to call.
The entire North Star community is looking forward to an exciting and wonderful summer.