North Star Camp for Boys







Friday, May 31, 2013

Staff Spotlight - Stefan Granados


These past few months, I have been doing a variety of things.  Aside from studying, I love to spend time with friends and family.  I have also been spending a lot of time playing my violin and a small bit of guitar.  A friend of mine and I went to state with our duet and got a superior rating at the state level, which is exciting and now the battle is up for first chair next year so I practice hard for that.

Recently I was in the spring production of A Midsummer Night's Dream at my school.  Playing this involved me dressing up as a woman and speaking in a challengingly high voice.  However I never let this scar my masculinity; I just laughed it off with my friends.  And now, I am preparing to go back to my home away from home and be a counselor! I am very excited to see how this year rolls out, so I'll see you all soon!

More About Stefan

Favorite Tombstone pizza type:  Pepperoni, hands down

Favorite project at camp (that you don’t necessarily instruct):  I love land sports, and especially windsurfing!

Your three favorite movies of all time: Batman the dark knight, Django Unchained, and the breakfast club

Preferred wanegan offering: any kind of skittles except tropical! those are awful

Best evening program at camp:  North star ball; it has the best name, and its one of the best games ever

Favorite cartoon character:  Randy from southpark

Favorite camp (card) game:  High card, all the way

If you could have lunch with any two people, dead or alive, who would they be?: Charlie Sheen (it would be interesting) and Jon Stewart

What is your dream job:  own a time traveling organization

A little known fact about yourself: it is no little known fact that I am five foot one, but a little known fact is that my dad was only four foot eleven!


Thursday, May 30, 2013

Staff Spotlight - Max Emmerman



Max Emmerman is finishing up his senior year at Francis Parker High School in Chicago, IL. At school he’s the captain of the golf team. He also plays tennis and he’ll be instructing both of those this summer at camp along with some disc golf. In the fall he'll be down in New Orleans at Tulane University and he's been buying lots of shorts because it is going to be so hot down there. He's been doing a lot of work for college next year and have been trying to finish his senior year with decent grades.

The tennis season at Parker just finished up and my team did great.  He played singles in sectionals, but  lost in the first round.  The other singles player on his team made it to state but lost in the second round. A second generation camper, Emme is also a big Green Bay Packers fan. We’re thrilled to have Max back for his ninth summer.

More About Max

Favorite Tombstone pizza type: Pepperoni

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

Your three favorite movies of all time: Happy Gilmore, Pulp Fiction and Mad Max

Preferred wanegan offering: Skittles

Best evening program at camp: Glenn's Game

Favorite cartoon character: Roger (from American Dad)

Favorite camp (card) game: War

If you could have lunch with any two people, dead or alive, who would they be?: Jerry Seinfeld and Kenny Chesney

What is your dream job
: Manager of a successful European soccer team

A little known fact about yourself: I can flip my eyelids inside out, and I make mean scrambled eggs


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Staff Spotlight - Harley Rutherford


I was born in Canberra, Australia, and have lived in and around there all my life, sometimes in town, sometimes on a farm outside of town. I took part in hiking expeditions through my school on a yearly basis from about year 7 onwards, in addition to going hiking with my family occasionally as well. In year 11 this love of hiking led to me joining the Duke of Edinburgh scheme, in which groups of people between the ages of 14 and 18 would all go hiking together once in every few months. After finishing year 12, I became a 'draft pony', which is the DofE term for 'young adult leader', and now I take part in hikes sometimes as often as once a month.

I am currently taking a gap year in my studies to work and travel the world. After taking part in North Star I am traveling over to Europe for a month before flying back to Australia. This is the first time I have ever left my own country, and I am doing it on my own. At camp I'll be instructing archery, sailing and pathfinders.

More About Harley

Your Dream Job: Private Helicopter Pilot at an island resort.

Best place you ever traveled to: North Queensland: Daintree Rainforest (So far. This will probably change by the end of this year)
Your favourite Cartoon Character: Aang, from 'Avatar the Last Airbender'

If you could have lunch with any two people, dead or alive, who would they be?: Russel Brandt and Noel Fielding

How did I learn about North Star and why did I apply: A mixture of good luck, word of mouth and the internet. I found out about the program whilst looking for alternatives to teaching English in schools, and which would still allow me to travel. I applied because I could work with kids and around people who may have similar interests as me, and get to teach activities which I love doing regardless.

Noteworthy, random or menial jobs that you've held: I have been a waiter for 10 months, which has taught me to remain calm in just about any situation imaginable, and that no matter how bad things are, they can always get worse when your kitchen runs out of gas.

What did you do last summe
r: Attended the National Folk Festival; went kayaking in Kangaroo Valley for 3 days; completed the Light to Light hike, along approximately 30 kilometers of coastline, in two days; and learnt to fire twirl.

What, if any previous camp experience have you had: None through North Star, but lots and lots of hiking, bushwalking and camping experience.

If I had a superpower: Flying 



Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Staff Spotlight - Josh Devorkin


My Name is Josh devorkin and I am from Mequon, Wisconsin. I am currently a junior at homestead high school. I love to play sports. I'm currently playing lacrosse for lakeshore lacrosse and my summer team Golden Eagles Elite.

When I'm not in school or playing lacrosse I'm coaching the special olympics swim team. At camp I will be teaching waterskiing/ wakeboarding, swimming, lacrosse and tennis. 

More About Josh

Favorite Tombstone pizza type: Cheese

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

Your three favorite movies of all time: Inception, Batman

Preferred wanegan offering:
Skittles

Best evening program at camp: Capture the flag

Favorite cartoon character: Spongebob

Favorite camp (card) game: Euchre

If you could have lunch with any two people, dead or alive, who would they be?: Micheal Phelps and Albert Einstein

What is your dream job: NCAA lacrosse coach

A little known fact about yourself: I'm a twin


Monday, May 27, 2013

Staff Spotlight - Parker Rasansky


My name is Parker Rasansky and I am from Dallas, Texas. I am currently a Junior at Greenhill School. I love to play sports and for school I play basektball and baseball. I am also peer mentor at our school and am an active member in Spanish Club and Business Club. At camp I will mostly be teaching every land/team sport but I will also teach disc golf and wakeboarding.

More About Parker
 
Favorite Tombstone pizza type: Cheese

Favorite project at camp (that you don’t necessarily instruct: Disc Golf

Your three favorite movies of all time: Batman Trilogy, Glory Road, Inception

Preferred wanegan offering: sour skittles

Best evening program at camp: glens game

Favorite cartoon character: spongebob

Favorite camp (card) game: euchre

If you could have lunch with any two people, dead or alive, who would they be?: Kevin Durant and Albert Einstein

What is your dream job: NBA Owner/Coach

A little known fact about yourself: I am a twin


Sunday, May 26, 2013

Staff Spotlight - Jason Funk


I was born in New England and grew up in New Hampshire. My childhood was a lot of fun and I remember fond times spent with my family and friends hiking in the white mountains and summers on Lake Winnipesaukee swimming and boating. My dream as a kid growing up reading National Geographic magazines was to explore the world.

I guess it was no surprise that I chose to move out west to study anthropology in Arizona, to work at archaeological reserve in Belize for a summer and join the Peace Corps to serve in Ecuador. Recently I just finished a dual MA degree in International Studies and Environment & Natural Resources from the University of Wyoming in Laramie. I'm excited about joining the North Star community, getting to know the campers and staff, and sharing in exploring the outdoors as a trip leader.   

More About Jason

Your three favorite movies of all time: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Dances with Wolves, Back to the Future

What is your dream job:
To be an explorer- full-time

Best place you’ve ever traveled to: Wind River Mountains in Wyoming

Favorite cartoon character: Wile E. Coyote

If you could have lunch with any two people, dead or alive, who would they be?: Layton Kor and Gary Nabhan are two individuals that I admire and find fascinating

How did you learn about North Star and why did you apply?: I found out about North Star through a NOLS internet job posting that I check regularly. I applied to be a wilderness trip leader at North Star for a few reasons: First, there are few things I enjoy doing more than giving back to youth through teaching, mentoring and sharing my knowledge about nature, wilderness travel and adventure sports.  Second, I was really impressed by the sense of community at North Star after talking with a few of the staff from camp.  Finally, I have never been to Wisconsin and hear lots of great things, so I'm excited to make my way out there for camp this summer!

What noteworthy/random/menial jobs have you held?: The most random job I have ever had was during high school working at a clothing department store (I won't name which). Long story short, the job didn't last long because I am mildly color blind and my ability to match clothing for display racks was not up to par... so if any staff or campers are reading this remember to not ask me about wardrobe choices that have to do with color because I likely won't be much help.

What did you do last summer?:
I backpacked in Peru for two months after Peace Corps Service in Ecuador.

What, if any previous camp experiences have you had?:
I was a camper at Camp Belknap in New Hampshire on Lake Winnipesaukee as a third grader. I am not ashamed to admit that I was a little bit home sick during the first week, but by the time my parents came to pick me up I remember not wanting to leave! When I was a bit older before starting high school I went on a two week rock climbing intensive camp with Outward bound in North Carolina. The two experiences really shaped my love of the outdoors, camping outside, climbing rocks and mountains as well as traveling and exploring.


Saturday, May 25, 2013

Staff Spotlight - Spencer Reed


SPENCER REED returns for his seventh summer. Coming all the way from Los Angeles, California, he’s a sophomore at Loyola High School in LA. There he’s a rower and writes for his school newspaper. He also enjoys surfing. At camp Spencer will be instructing tennis, along with a few other activities.

More About Spencer


Favorite Tombstone Pizza type: Pepperoni and Sausage

Favorite Project at Camp: Swimming and Water Games

Three Favorite Movies: Hot Rod, Into the Wild, and The Great Escape

Preferred Wanegan Offering: Definitely Starburst

Best Evening Program: Glen's Game or All-Camp Capture the Flag

Favorite Cartoon Character: Either Shaggy or Charlie Brown

Favorite Camp Card Game: A dead tie between  Euchre and Mao

Two Person Lunch: Emile Hirsch and Vince Young

Dream Job:  Besides a North Star Camp Counselor, I would have to say a Bio-Chemist for the military

A Little Known Fact about Myself: I am deadly afraid of snakes and am left handed.




Staff Spotlight - Spencer Marks


Hey guys, I'm Spencer Marks. I am a sophomore at Francis Parker School in Chicago. I play on the school soccer team, I write for the school newspaper and my favorite subject is history. This will be my 7th year at North Star and my first year on staff. At camp, I really enjoy riflery, land sports, disc golf, water games and occasionally climbing. I can't wait to see everyone and meet all the new guys when camp starts!

More About Spencer

Favorite Tombstone pizza type: Pepperoni

Favorite projects at camp (that you don’t necessarily instruct): swimming and water games, climbing, disc golf, riflery, and all land sports

Your three favorite movies of all time: Get him to the Greek, Forrest Gump, Toy Story (all 3 of them)

Preferred wanegan offering: Charleston Chew or Hershey's or Reese's or Twix (I love chocolate)
Best evening program at camp: All-camp capture the flag

Favorite cartoon character: Scooby-Doo

Favorite camp (card) game: Euchre

If you could have lunch with any two people, dead or alive, who would they be?: Bar Refaeli and Trey Burke

What is your dream job: foreign correspondent

A little known fact about yourself: I love the University of Michigan and its football and basketball programs more than life itself. (although that may not be little known)

Spencer (top row 2nd from left) with his 2012 cabinmates
on the Canadian

Friday, May 24, 2013

Staff Spotlight - Max Sinton


MAX SINTON comes to camp from Deerfield, IL where he’s a sophomore at Deerfield High School. At DHS he’s on the school lacrosse team. He’s looking forward to coming to camp for his seventh summer and instructing lacrosse, football and disc golf.

More About Max

Favorite Tombstone pizza type: pepperoni

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

Your three favorite movies of all time: 1. The Longest Yard, 2. Crooked Arrows, 3. Step Brothers.

Preferred wanegan offering: Skittles

Best evening program at camp: Glens Game by far!

Favorite cartoon character: Scooby-Doo

Favorite camp (card) game: Squares

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

What is your dream job: i'm not exactly sure but to make so much money that the 3 seconds it would take to bend down and pick up a $20 bill off the street would have a higher opportunity cost than if I worked for those 3 seconds. That calculates out to $24,000/hr, or $960,000/40-hr week.

A little known fact about yourself: When I was just a few months old I managed to fracture my skull.


Staff Spotlight - Daniel Levine


I’m Daniel Levine and this will be my 7th summer at Northstar.  In the camp offseason, I am a student at Francis W. Parker School in Chicago, Illinois.  I am currently a sophomore, and during the school year, I play on the varsity tennis team. During camp, you will probably see me at the tennis courts, playing some land sports and at the waterskiing docks.

More About Daniel

Favorite Tombstone pizza type: I’m lactose intolerant

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

Your three favorite movies of all time: Animal House, Forest Gump and Pulp Fiction

Preferred wanegan offering: Skittles (Taste the Rainbow)

Best evening program at camp: North Star Ball

Favorite cartoon character: SpongeBob Square Pants

Favorite camp (card) game: Euchre

If you could have lunch with any two people, dead or alive, who would they be?: Michael Jordan and Abe Lincoln

What is your dream job: Sports Commentator

A little known fact about yourself: I’m extremely afraid of heights


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Staff Spotlight - Jake Malter


Jake Malter is from Chicago, IL, where he’s a sophomore at Francis Parker School. It’s a bit of an understatement to say that Jake likes golf… he’s the only sophomore on the Parker varsity golf team. He’s also enjoying a documentary film course at school. Jake returns for summer number seven.

We're excited to have Jake joining us on staff instructing disc golf and athletics.

More About Jake
 
Favorite Tombstone pizza type:
Cheese

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

Your three favorite movies of all time: The Hangover, Saving Private Ryan and Bridesmaids

Preferred wanegan offering: Jujifruits

Best evening program at camp: Glens game

Favorite cartoon character: Stewie Griffin

Favorite camp (card) game: B-S

If you could have lunch with any two people, dead or alive, who would they be?: Mila Kunis and Morgan Freeman

What is your dream job: Pro sportsman

A little known fact about yourself: My favorite food is pizza


Staff Spotlight - Ethan Handler


Ethan Handler comes from Northbrook, IL where he is a sophomore at Glenbrook North High School. There he is currently on the JV tennis team. He’s also on the state-bound math team. Ethan is an avid baker, and spent spring break skiing in Breckinridge, CO. 

Ethan returns for his sixth summer at camp. He'll instruct tennis and climbing

More About Ethan

Favorite Tombstone pizza type:  cheese

Favorite project at camp (that you don’t necessarily instruct):  ultimate frisbee
 
Your three favorite movies of all time:
  The Incredibles, Psycho, Breakfast Club

Preferred wanegan offering: Reese's Peanut Butter Cup
 
Best evening program at camp:
Glenn's Game
 
Favorite cartoon character:
  Bugs Bunny

Favorite camp (card) game:
  Euchre
 
If you could have lunch with any two people, dead or alive, who would they be?:
  Roger Federer, Tina Fey
 
What is your dream job:
  World-renowned chef and baker
 
A little known fact about yourself:
  This may be my 6th year as a camper/CIT, but my first year at North Star was 1998 (when I was a year old), when my dad was camp doctor.
 


Staff Spotlight - Jacob Zionts


Jacob Zionts is currently a sophomore at Highland Park High School, where he is on the tennis team. He was the captain of the freshman and sophomore scholastic bowl team. He’s also on the debate team and the school board of DECA. AS if that hasn’t been enough, he’s been doing lots of creative writing and also has been working at Uncle Dan’s Outdoor Store.

More About Jacob

Favorite Tombstone pizza type: Cheese

Favorite project at camp: Three way tie between wakeboarding, disc golf, and biking.

Your three favorite movies of all time: Office Space, Anchor Man, and The Untouchables

Preferred wanegan offering: York Peppermint Patties or Mike n’ Ike’s

Best evening program at camp: Predator vs. Prey or Glen’s game

Favorite cartoon character: Jimmy Neutron

Favorite camp (card) game: Egyptian Rat Screw

If you could have lunch with any two people, dead or alive, who would they be?: Aristotle  and Adam Smith

What is your dream job: Being Hillary Clinton’s future Secretary of State

A little known fact about yourself: I have an extensive shoe collection. 


Staff Spotlight - Ian Michelson


Ian Michelson comes to camp from Glencoe, IL where he is a sophomore at New Trier High School. He plays lots of sports, as he’s on the New Trier tennis team. He was recently elected on to the social service board at New Trier, we plan a huge amount of charity programs, tutor underprivileged students, and play sports with the physically disabled.He plays guitar and also has been picking up the ukulele. He’s also involved in social service projects and DECA.

At camp Ian will instruct tennis, athletics and some windsurfing.

More About Ian

Favorite Tombstone Pizza: The classic cheese

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

Your three favorite movies of all time: Pulp Fiction, Beverly Hills Cop, and The Godfather

Preferred wanegan offering: Snickers

Favorite cartoon character: Jerry from Tom & Jerry

If you could have lunch with any two people, dead or alive, who would they be?: Jimi Hendrix and Tony Larussa

Best evening program at camp: Friday night service

Favorite camp (card) game: Euchre

What is your dream job: Sportscaster on ESPN

A little known fact about yourself
: Although I live in Chicago, I am a huge St. Louis Cardinals fan!


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Staff Spotlight - David Shakno


David Shakno will be back for his sixth summer. A native of Shaker Heights, OH, David is a sophomore at Shaker Heights High School. He runs cross country for his school team and is also the multimedia editor for the school newspaper. He recently qualified to participate in a National History Day competition in Washington D.C. Congrats David!

More About David

Favorite Tombstone pizza type: Cheese

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

Your three favorite movies of all time: Dodgeball, Anchorman, Blazing Saddles

Preferred wanegan offering: Reeses

Best evening program at camp: North Star ball

Favorite cartoon character: Tommy from Rugrats

Favorite camp (card) game: Euchre

If you could have lunch with any two people, dead or alive, who would they be?: Dick Vitale and Stephen A. Smith: We would have great conversations about basketball.

What is your dream job: Anything related to sports

A little known fact about yourself: I made an iPhone app called "Sports Central," which is on the Apple iTunes Store.



Staff Spotlight - David Glass


David Glass returns for his 7th summer. From Highland Park, IL, David is a sophomore at Deerfield High School. He’s very active in biking, climbing and sailing and we’ll make sure to put his skills to good use there. He’s looking forward to joining the North Star staff.

More About David

Favorite Tombstone pizza type: definitely peperoni

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

Your three favorite movies of all time:
The SpongeBob Movie, Forest Gump, and  Step Brothers.

Preferred wanegan offering: I like my Butter Fingers

Best evening program at camp: North Star ball

Favorite cartoon character: SpongeBobSquarePants

Favorite camp (card) game: Euchre

If you could have lunch with any two people, dead or alive, who would they be?: I would have lunch with my parents because I always have to share them with my brother.

What is your dream job:
My dream job would be the one that I have right now being a counselor.

A little known fact about yourself: I am the oldest person in my graduating class of 500.




Monday, May 20, 2013

Staff Spotlight - Jacob Byck


Jacob Byck comes to camp from Deerfield, IL where he's a sophomore at Deerfield High School. He has a younger brother who is a camper at North Star as well as a twin sister that has been at Camp Birch Trail. Jacob is a big sports fan and has played several years of travel baseball and now plays for his school’s team. He also helps coach his brother’s team

We're glad to have Jacob on staff as one of our athletics instructors.

More About Jacob

Favorite Tombstone pizza type: Cheese

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

Your three favorite movies of all time: Happy Gilmore, Miracle, 21 Jump Street

Preferred wanegan offering: Skittles

Best evening program at camp: Friday Night Service

Favorite cartoon character: Bugs Bunny

Favorite camp (card) game: Spit

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

What is your dream job: Owner of a professional sports team.

A little known fact about yourself: I am on the sophomore baseball team.

Staff Spotlight - Sam Bricker


Sam Bricker is back for summer number eight. From Deerfield, IL, he’s a sophomore at Deerfield High School. He’s got a pretty diverse set of interests. Sam plays on the school tennis team, is on student council, and DECA (business club). As a youngster, Sam was actually had none other than Andy Shlensky as his baby sitter, but he’s lived to tell the tale.

We're excited to have Sam join the North Star staff, instructing tennis, and disc golf.

More About Sam

Favorite Tombstone pizza type: Pepperoni

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

Your three favorite movies of all time: Dodgeball, The Sandlot, Star Wars

Preferred wanegan offering: Hershey's cookies and cream

Best evening program at camp: Predator vs. Prey

Favorite cartoon character: Jimmy Neutron

Favorite camp (card) game: Euchre

If you could have lunch with any two people, dead or alive, who would they be: Abraham Lincoln and Michael Jordan

What is your dream job: Spy

A little known fact about yourself: I have two middle names

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Staff Spotlight - Josh Pollack


Josh Pollack is a current sophomore at Deerfield High School. There he is on the varsity soccer team. They had a grea season, competing in and winning one game in the playoffs. In addition to that, he also plays club soccer for the Chicago Magic. He also loves playing basketball and football and is a big fan of the Indiana Hoosiers hoops team.

In addition to Josh's love of traditional sports, he enjoys the recreational sports, too, including bowling and mini golf. We’re excited to have join the North Star staff.

More About Josh

Favorite Tombstone pizza type: pepperoni
 
Favorite project at camp (that you don’t necessarily instruct):
Disc golf because i rarely get to play it at home and there i can play it everyday.

Your three favorite movies of all time: The Lion King (original of course), Billy Madison, and The Natural.
 
Preferred wanegan offering:
sour patch

Best evening program at camp: predator vs prey.

Favorite cartoon character:
Roger Rabbit

Favorite camp (card) game: mao

If you could have lunch with any two people, dead or alive, who would they be?: Lionel Messi and Abraham Lincoln.

What is your dream job: my dream job is to be a lawyer

A little known fact about yourself: I have 4 older siblings the farthest being 13 years older and closest being 5 years









Staff Spotlight - Jacob Baim


 Our Counselors in Training play a unique role at North Star. These are the guys that were campers last year and now find themselves on staff. They are a tremendous asset as they not only bring energy and enthusiasm, but being not too far removed from their camper years, they bring a great perspective and understanding what its like to be a camper. We consider our CITs to be members of our staff, and most of the time, our campers don't see them as "in training", but just as one of their counselors. 

We are excited to introduce you to our CITs over the course of this week. We kick things off with Jacob Baim.
Jacob returns for his seventh summer at North Star. Currently a sophomore at Highland Park High School, Jacob has been in several North Star theatrical productions. This is something that he does at school, where he’s active in swing choir, chorale and acting. He’s also been in school musicals, S.T.U.N.T.S. and short play festival. During his camper years, Jacob was a top notch archery and waterskiier, and he'll instruct both at camp this summer. 

More About Jacob
Favorite Tombstone pizza type: Pepperoni

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

Your three favorite movies of all time: Anchorman, The Dark Knight, and My Cousin Vinny

Preferred wanegan offering: Whatchamacallit

Best evening program at camp: Glen's game

Favorite cartoon character: Spongebob Squarepants

Favorite camp (card) game: Euchre

If you could have lunch with any two people, dead or alive, who would they be?
: Tina Fey and Nic Rouleau

What is your dream job: To be on Broadway

A little known fact about yourself: I write shows and music


Getting Ready for Camp, Some Tips to Help you Prepare


Getting ready for the summer and sending your son to camp can be a cumbersome process. This will be my 29th summer at North Star and along with the many years that Andy, Vickie, Leb and Sue have spent at camp, we've learned a few things about what works...and what doesn't. Below are some tips and practical advice to help you prepare for the summer. Take a few minutes to read over these pointers. We believe that they'll help you through the process of getting ready for the summer and will set your son up for success at camp!

Take things one step at a time
When you look at all the forms, packing, labeling and just the overall idea of sending your son to camp, it can get overwhelming. There is a lot to do ahead of the summer, but if you jump in and just take things one step at a time, you’ll see that pretty quickly you start knocking things off the list.

Shop smart
We’re surrounded by great camping stores that sell fantastic gear that could last your son many years. Unfortunately, by next summer the odds that your camper will be wearing the same size hiking boots or fleece jacket are pretty low. Camp can be tough on equipment and things can get lost. While high end stores are fun, there are places like REI and campmor.com, along with many other traditional stores that are great for buying camp gear. One place not to skimp is on your son’s sleeping bag. A synthetic sleeping bag that DOES NOT have a cotton lining could last your son for many years.
  • Bonus tip: Avoid the metal cook kits with multiple plates and pans. Pieces tend to fall apart. A plastic plate, cup and utensil set is ideal. Campmor sells this set: http://bit.ly/11vG1xr. You can also buy these items individually at camping or sporting goods stores. Add a mesh bag to store these in.
Homesick Happens
Every parent wants their son to have the perfect camp experience. A top worry is that their son will be homesick. The fact is that campers, regardless of their age, may get homesick. This isn’t a bad thing. What is important is to, first off, let your son that he may miss home, family and their pets. Its important to tell them what they may feel as opposed to just using the word "homesick". Let them know that this is perfectly normal and if it does happen, there are lots of staff and other campers there to help them out. All they have to do is talk to them about it. Homesickness should be seen by parents as an opportunity. Once kids plow through it, they learn to be stronger and more self-reliant.
Don’t promise to “pick him up” if things aren’t perfect
Camp is fun, and it’s much more than that. Campers make friends, learn skills and grow. There are challenges that come at camp, but what’s great is that they are in a safe setting with plenty of support! Do not promise your son that you’ll pick him up if he’s homesick, unhappy or if things aren’t working out! You’ll be left with two choices if he calls you on this. One is to pick him up and take away a great learning opportunity. The other is to go back on your promise and risk damaging the trust that he has for you. Instead, let your son know that you’re confident that when these challenges arise, that he’ll do great.
  •  Bonus Tip: Don’t burden your son with your emotions. Your son will miss you and you’ll certainly miss him. Let him know that. Please don’t overshare your worries and anxieties. This will likely lead to increased anxieties of his own that could lead to increased homesickness and challenges for him at camp.
Duffles, not trunks
Foot lockers are bulky and tough to store. Duffles withstand travel much better and can pack away easily. If you’re buying new, go for duffle bags!

Print and pack labels for letters
In an electronic age, campers aren’t used to sending out letters. We’ve seen lots of interesting attempts by campers to address envelopes in rather creative handwriting. Ahead of the summer, make labels for the different people that you want your son writing and then give him a short lesson on how to make sure the letter gets from point A to point B.

Be honest on camp forms
Being up front and open on medical and personality forms will ensure that we can provide the best summer possible for your son. All campers come to camp with a clean slate, but that doesn’t mean that it won’t help them to make us aware of issues that he’s been dealing with. We guarantee that this information will be shared only with those that need to know it. If you haven’t yet watched the Bob Ditter video on the importance of camp forms, we recommend you to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eA-nB5fNWFE 


Sharpies are your friend!
Label everything. You can either write it in or order labels from Mabel’s Labels or Stuck on You.

Camp rules have a reason 
Like families, camp has rules that campers and staff need to abide by. These are detailed in the main spring info pack. From food in camp to cell phones, there are reasons we’ve put these rules into place. If you would like to better understand the reasons for these rules, don’t hesitate to contact us. We ask you to help set your son up for success at camp by ensuring that he’s following camp policies.

Call us, email us, let us know how we can help.
We know that preparing for camp can be a cumbersome process. If you have any questions about anything, do not hesitate to call or email us at any time. Whether you need advice on camp gear or have a question about a camp form, we’re here to help.  We can be reached by phone at 715-462-3254 or via email at office@northstarcamp.com.