North Star Camp for Boys

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Staff Spotlight - Jordan Reiff

Hi, I’m Jordan!  I spent five years as a camper at North Star and four years as a counselor from 2002 to 2010 (meaning that Jordan is returning for his Big Ten!).  I was born and raised in Skokie, Illinois, where I graduated from Niles North High School in 2009.  I am finishing my final year at Ithaca College in Ithaca, NY where I am studying Drama with a minor in writing.

I spent a semester in New Zealand with the National Outdoor Leadership School -- which basically meant  living in a tent for 77 days.  And I studied for another semester at an intensive theatre academy.  I spend my free time reading, watching movies, and cooking.  At camp, I teach theatre games, mountain biking, and rock climbing.  But I also love horseback riding and ultimate frisbee!

More About Jordan 

Favorite Tombstone pizza type: Pepperoni

Favorite project at camp (that you don’t necessarily instruct): Speedball!

Your three favorite movies of all time: ‘O Brother, Where Art Thou’, 'Waiting for Gufman’ and 'The Departed’

Preferred wanegan offering: Peanut Butter M&M’s

Best evening program at camp: Espionage!

Favorite cartoon character: Tommy Pickles

Favorite camp (card) game:

If you could have lunch with any two people, dead or alive, who would they be?: Groucho Marx and Anton Chekhov

What is your dream job?: I’d love to be the Artistic Director of a theatre company.  Outside of the whole theatre thing, I would travel and write about it. 

A little known fact about yourself: For a scene in a theatre class once, I learned to do a backflip by running up a wall.  

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Staff Spotlight - Zach Bantle

New counselor Zach Bantle  hails from Adams, Massachusetts. He’s currently a freshman at Western New England University in Springfield, MA, where he’s majoring in Mechanical Engineering.There he’s a varsity wrestler. Throughout high school he wrestled, played football and lacrosse. He’s also big into the outdoors and over spring break he took a solo one night camping trip despite some icy temps near 20 degrees.

As a collegiate wrestler, he's spent the majority of his time in the gym preparing for spring wrestling. He's looking forward to some upcoming tournaments, including ones in Pennsylvania and Ohio. Zachdone community service trips to the Colorado Rockies as well as Camden, NJ. We’re excited to have Zach join our staff as a pathfinders and football instructor and we’ll be sure to have him do some wrestling instruction, too

 More About Zach

Your three favorite movies of all time : Vision Quest (Watch this one before every wrestling meet!) Gone Baby Gone. Happy Gilmore 

What is your dream job
: College has defiantly turned my job aspirations on its head, I now dream to be a school teacher (work with kids mostly) 

Best place you’ve ever traveled to : When I was younger my dad’s job shipped him to Switzerland, I lived there for 8 months. I got to go on a real alpine slide, see the beautiful alps, and try my hand at learning German 

Favorite cartoon character : Wily coyote 
If you could have lunch with any two people, dead or alive, who would they be?:
John D. Rockefeller and J.P. Morgan 
How did you learn about North Star and why did you apply?
: I learned about camp through the internet, I was just searching for camps I might enjoy working for and North Star really popped up to me. 
What noteworthy/random/menial jobs have you held?
: I have been a camp counselor, I have also worked as a farm hand since I was 13, I have also been a janitor, and worked in a machine shop 
What did you do last summer?
: I spent last summer working as a camp counselor for the local day camp in my town. I also drove to Colorado with my friend. 
What, if any previous camp experiences have you had?
: I have been a CIT at a camp in my area two years, also I was a counselor at a day camp last year. 


Friday, March 29, 2013

Staff Spotlight - Danny Verb

Danny Verb returns for summer number nine. A native of Riverwoods, IL, Danny is a senior at Deerfield High School. Like our other second year Junior Counselors, Danny has been occupied with the college search process. He'll be heading south for his higher education as he's off to New Orleans and Tulane University in the fall. He'll be joining a nice crew of NSC guys at Tulane.

Danny has been working at the Sachs Recreation Center as a swim instructor. He's also been involved with his synagogue youth group. At DHS he's been on the soccer and volleyball teams. At camp he'll be instructing climbing and archery and we'll make sure to get him playing some soccer and volleyball.

More About Danny
Favorite Tombstone pizza type: cheese with hot sauce on top

Favorite project at camp: Archery

Your three favorite movies of all time: Batman Begins, Cast Away and Shawshank Redemption

Preferred wanegan offering: I will always choose Reese's cup for wanegan

Best evening program at camp: North Star ball is the best 

Favorite cartoon character:  Jerry from Tom and Jerry

Favorite camp (card) game: Euker(spelled wrong) is my favorite camp card game 

If you could have lunch with any two people, dead or alive, who would they be?:  Bill Gates and FDR

What is your dream job: A patent lawyer for a large company

A little known fact about yourself: I learned how to solve a Rubik's cube at camp my third summer. 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Staff Spotlight - Andy Rodheim

Back for summer number eleven, Its Crazy Legs Rodheim! There have been many tall tales about how the nickname Crazy Legs came about, but if you see Andy running around camp, it will be no secret how he garnered the moniker. At camp, Andy is one of our Village Directors. You can usually find him on the tennis courts, driving a ski boat or playing softball.

Andy is a native of Buffalo Grove, IL. Currently he's a junior at Northwestern University majoring in political science and economic. He's also studying for the LSAT. He's a busy guy, as the Vice President of Hillel and also a member of the NU Interfraternity Council Exec Board. He also a big fan of traveling, with some of his favorite destinations being Israel, San Juan and Tulsa, Oklahoma (seriously).

More About Andy

Favorite Tombstone pizza type: Cheese

Favorite project at camp (that you don’t necessarily instruct): Softball

Your three favorite movies of all time: Remember the Titans, Toy Story, The Social Network

Preferred wanegan offering: Very tough choice. If I'm in the mood for chocolate, I'd go with Reese's, but if i'm not in the mood for chocolate, I'd go with Nerds

Best evening program at camp: Another tough choice. I'm going to call it a tie between All Camp Capture the Flag and Village Campfire

Favorite cartoon character: Bugs Bunny

Favorite camp (card) game: Another tie, this time between Euchre and Egyptian Ratscrew

If you could have lunch with any two people, dead or alive, who would they be?:  I would have lunch with Abraham Lincoln and Jackie Robinson

What is your dream job:  General Manager of the Chicago Cubs

A little known fact about yourself: I have a collection of over 200 bobbleheads. My favorite is Walter Payton.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Staff Spotlight - Jeremy Palgen

Jeremy Palgen returns for summer number three. A native of Manhattan, IL, he's currently at the University of Illinois majoring in biology and is the former President of the Sigma Nu fraternity. He'll graduate in the fall. Jeremy has also done a bit of recruiting for us, bringing a few of his fraternity brothers to North Star, and this summer his brother Michael will join us as a counselor and his sister Caitlin will be on our health staff.

Jeremy studied in Costa Rica in December, researching howler monkeys in the rain forest. He's proud to report that he did get pooped on. Other things that he's been up to... he played intramural basketball but his team managed to lost most of their games. He's been doing Crossfit with 2012 counselor Ryan Nemethy and he waterskiied off of a 5 foot ramp. This spring he went sport climbing in the Red River Gorge in Kentucky. At camp, Jeremy is one of our village directors as well as a climbing and fishing instructors.

More about Jeremy

Favorite Tombstone pizza type: Garlic bread pizza, hands down

Favorite project at camp (that you don’t necessarily instruct): Climbing and waterskiing!

Your three favorite movies of all time: Hitch, Fast and Furious (#1), Fern Gully

Preferred wanegan offering: Charleston cheeeewwww

Best evening program at camp: Friday Night Services and Glen's Game

Favorite cartoon character: Tom and Jerry

Favorite camp (card) game: Murderwink!

If you could have lunch with any two people, dead or alive, who would they be?:
Jackie Robinson and Matt Rixon

What is your dream job: Anything outside!! Hang-gliding instructor would be pretty sweet!

A little known fact about yourself:
I used to inform the Ninja Turtles that it was fall by putting leaves down the sewer drain during Fall

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Staff Spotlight - Oliver Rockman

Add Oliver Rockman to the list of Big Ten men. At North Star, its a fairly big deal when you celebrate your 10th summer at camp. We honor that achievement with a special evening program roast, the date and time of said Big Ten being a surprise to all of camp. We're looking forward to telling some great stories about Oliver, who started off at North Star as a young camper from Omaha, Nebraska.

Oliver shows his passion for Nebraska Cornhusker football very openly. This fall, he went to several of their road football games, in part because he's now wearing another shade of collegiate red. Oliver is a freshman at Indiana University, but that hasn't changed his allegiances. We're thrilled to have Oliver back as a riflery and golf instructor. 

More about Oliver

Favorite Tombstone pizza type: cheese

Favorite project at camp: riflery

Your top three movies of all time: 1. The Godfather 2. Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan 3. Macgruber

Preferred Wanegan offering: Charleston Chew

Best evening program at camp: Night off… Just kidding, Friday night services

Favorite cartoon Character: Sterling Archer

Favorite camp (card) game: Isn't Euchre the only card game allowed to be played at Northstar?

If you could have lunch with any two people, dead or alive, who would they be?: 1. Didier Drogba 2. tie between Marlon Brando in character as Don Corleone and Will Forte in character as Macgruber.

What is your dream Job: Village Director or Head Coach at Nebraska

A little Known fact about yourself: Was a water boy for the Indiana football team.

It was no accident that Oliver ended up with the red cupcake

Monday, March 25, 2013

Staff Spotlight - Zach "Blumy" Blumenfeld

Zach Blumenfeld  is a guy of many talents... as if being a Presidential Scholar and a contestant on Jeopardy wasn't enough. He hosts live music on his radio show The VU Backstage at Vanderbilt University, where he's currently a sophomore. He joined Delta Tau Delta fraternity and served as Philanthropy Chair this spring.  He's also been playing club water polo, and was just appointed the first-ever CEO of RVU Records, Vandy's student-run record label.For spring break, Blumy went to to Glen Canyon as an Alternative Spring Break leader with Vanderbilt. He and a senior led a group of 10 other students on a community service project. 

Blumy returns for summer number ten. In honor of this accomplishment, we are going to try to find a new camp song for him. At camp, he instructs fitness training and swimming.

Favorite Tombstone pizza type: Meat Lovers

Favorite project at camp (that you don’t necessarily instruct): Waterskiing

Your three favorite movies of all time: Pulp Fiction, Pulp Fiction, Pulp Fiction

Preferred wanegan offering: If they offered (Norske) Nook pies every time I'd be in heaven.

Best evening program at camp: Friday Night Service

Favorite cartoon character: Finn the Human! (from Adventure Time)

Favorite camp (card) game: Euchre

If you could have lunch with any two people, dead or alive, who would they be?  Teddy Roosevelt (my favorite President) and Benjamin Franklin (maybe the most well-rounded person of all time)

What is your dream job: ROCK STAR

A little known fact about yourself: I drive a 2001 blue VW Beetle that always smells like one knows why!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Staff Spotlight: Scott Goldberg

Log rolling is one of many hobbies for Scott (R)
Hey everybody- my name is Scott Goldberg, and I am one of North Star Camp's Village Directors. This upcoming summer will be my 12th, so there are plenty of reasons to keep coming back. I am in my third year at Middlebury College studying Economics and Italian. Fortunately, I am spending this semester abroad in Florence in a language-immersion program studying Italian linguistics and history. 

At camp, you can find me teaching windsurfing, sailing, and climbing. When I'm not on the projects, I'm always up for a nice game of Monopoly or a rousing game of softball. I love camping, and I can't wait for the summer of 2013!

Favorite Tombstone pizza type: Lots of cheese!

Favorite projects at camp (that you don’t necessarily instruct): Fishing, continuous dodgeball, Ultimate Frisbee, Windsurfing, and logrolling, some North Star favorites.

Your three favorite movies of all time: Wall-E, La Vita รจ Bella, and a tie between Shawshank Redemption and The Dark Knight

Preferred wanegan offering: Though it has never been offered, Kinder Bueno!

Best evening program at camp: All-camp capture the flag

Favorite cartoon character: Spongebob Squarepants @jeffmccormack #absorbentandyellowandpourisishe

Favorite camp (card) game: Euchre

If you could have lunch with any two people, dead or alive, who would they be?: Elie Wiesel and Steve Jobs
What is your dream job: I still haven't figured that one out yet… any suggestions?

A little known fact about yourself: I love puzzles, but sometimes my attention span can't handle them.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The March Siren is Online

After a brief hiatus, the Siren is back! We apologize for the delay, but things have been quite busy in the winter office. Our new addition, Laney Shlensky, has been a very welcome distraction! This new Siren has details and pictures of our new arrival, as well as all kinds of camp news. This Siren is filled with info on a fantastic group of returning staff, a great group of returning and new campers, and all of the exciting happenings at camp.

And if all you are looking for is more pictures of Laney, we would be happy to share! You can find our albums at!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

NSC March Madness

Once again its time for all North Star people, past, present and future to join the NSC March MadnessChallenge. If you're a current or future camper, staff or NSC alum or a parent of any of those, you're encouraged to participate. There is no cost to participate and winner gets a wanegan of his or her choice, to be redeemed at camp, during the summer of 2013.

...In true North Star tradition, this is not a competitive thing so even if you don't know much about college basketball, you should still join. As you'll see with the log-in info below, we're using again this year. We hope this does not offend some of the various NSC alums who work for other media outlets. Here are the links and log-in information:

Direct Link to group -
ESPN March Madness Front Page -
Group: The Council Ring
Password: Keylog

If you have any problems logging in, let us know. If you do not have an account, you are going to have to register before you can join. It is free of charge (you do not need ESPN Insider)

A few things. First off, please forward this to any and all North Star people. We want to make sure that as many North Star people as possible are included. We know that a lot of our current campers and staff will enjoy seeing as lots of alumni participate. Don't worry about sending this to someone who may have gotten it already.

If you choose to join in, please put your name and perhaps even the years you attended North Star within your bracket name or entry info. Feel free to be creative, but it will be nice for people to see some names and know who all is involved.

One entry per person, please.

You are able to sign-up now. You can fill out your brackets any time after selection Sunday and before tip-off on March 21st (you do not need to fill out brackets before the play-in game).

There is also a second March Madness that we want everyone to know about. The Camp For All Kids Foundation is having their 2nd annual March Madness competition. CFAK helps send kids in need to camp and is the organization that is responsible for bringing scholarship kids to camp. There CFAK MarchMadness is a great fundraiser aimed at making camp possible for more kids. Find that fundraiser here:

As always a big quick keylog to Doug Willson who opened up his Crunch Island Challenge to North Star guys many Marchs ago.

Keep those fires burning!

Past Winners:
2012: Charles Eisner
2011 - Zach Garfinkel (
2010 - Alex Sharrin
2009 - Peter Tauber
2008 - Eli fried
2007 - Kenny Grider
2006 - Jeff Schrager
2005 - Alexander W Heldman