North Star Camp for Boys

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Pro Photographer Captures our Last Day of Camp

We were lucky enough to have photographer Rachel Beltzman at camp for our final day to capture some of the scenes of Request Night and our Final Banquet Dinner. Check out this note from Rachel and make sure that you Check out the Photo Gallery!
This summer my family anxiously drove up to Hayward, Wisconsin to pick up our 10 year old from his second summer at North Star. We were so excited to see him and meet all of his new friends and counselors. We were so curious to experience what the magic of North Star was all about. Being a photographer, Andy and I thought it would be fun to try and capture the last night of camp on film for all of you to see. While I did tried to capture the spirit of the night, being there was truly a magical experience. I now not only know what camp looks like, but I truly know what it feels like as well. The energy was like nothing I have ever seen before. Boys laughing, shouting, singing, playing, hugging, eating!, chanting and simply being boys was amazing and I hope you can see from the pictures why they all count down the days until the next time they can all be together. Enjoy...
GO TO: or (from your iphone or ipad)
  • Click on: Client Ordering or Galleries
  • Gallery: North Star Camp
  • Email: Any valid address will do
  • Password: campers
These photos will be up for 1 week. If anyone would like a print, please email me at so we can make arrangements. 
Thank you, 

Rachel B. your life developed - 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Back to School Special

Its hard to believe that 2nd session ended just over two weeks ago. We know that many of our campers began school today or sometime last week and figured that it was a good time for an update as to what we've been up to since the buses rolled out on August 9th.

As camp empties out on the 9th, there is quite a bit of work to be done. Least of that is making sure that everyone gets to where they need to go. Three buses headed to Milwaukee and then Chicago. We also had about a dozen flights leaving Minneapolis. Back at camp, we had our staff cleaning up cabins, boxing up lost and found (and yes...there was some lost and found) and getting ready for post camp. For one week, camp becomes more of a resort than camp.

Post Camp has been a big part of camp for quite some time. Many families make it a part of their year as they venture to North Star to spend the week doing lots of different camp activities. For many, being at Post Camp means being a part of a camp community. One of our post campers, Clara Zukrow actually begain attending post camp with her husband 60 years ago and now her childnen and grand children join her. 

We had a fantastic Post Camp with great weather. Typically as Post Camp ends, we begin to pack up and shut down for the year, but not this year. Camp Kesem Minnesota headed to NSC for the week. For those not familiar with Camp Kesem, its a national organization that has chapters on college campuses all over the country. The organization outs on one week summer camps for children who have a family member dealing with cancer. 

There were 64 campers, both male and female, as well as 30 staff members that spent the week having a blast at camp. Their activities included many that we were used to, like climbing, archery and dodgeball, as well as a few that were new to us, such as the counselor ice cream war. We're looking forward to hosting Camp Kesem again!

As Camp Kesem ended, we said goodbye to several staff that spent ten (or more) weeks at NSC this summer. Yousssef Azmani, Olly Cayless, Scott Goldberg, Jason Mann, Jordan Reiff and Andy Rodheim helped run programming for both Post Camp and Camp Kesem. 

Andy and I will be up here for another week or so, along with Youssef, who is helping out with some projects around camp. We've already got 2014 on our minds. Work is being done on the exterior of a few cabins while others are having some work done to level them out. We'll continue to send along updates of the work around camp as well as pics as the colors change up here.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Tennis Mike Gets Hitched!

Here's Sue's Trip Report from Mike's wedding:
This is the morning after report for Mike Storm's wedding that Leb, Dan, Andy and I attended.  Mind you after 5 days of shooting pain through my mouth and ear, I went to Duluth in the morning and had a root canal.  Still with lip drooping we headed to Hastings, MN for the wedding least I'd be accused of rather having a root canal than attending Mike's wedding.  You know he would have made that joke.  Upon arriving to the Schaar's bluff a beautiful park overlooking the Mississippi River we see Mike shirt flapping open making final preparations.  He stayed like this until 15 min prior to the ceremony.  Robert said to him:"Don't you think you should get ready?"  Mike looked at him like:  "Don't marsh my mellow".  Kathy had strewn games ie. crochet (which Leb beat me by a hair) and frisbees throughout the grounds.  The theme for the wedding was bicycle built for two and Kathy found a cool old two seater that she made into a floral display by adding a basket.  It was
beautiful.  The catering crew for the picnic was family and friends.  Cakes were made by Kathy and a neighbor.  I couldn't get a picture of Kathy but she was glowing in a floral full length gown.  Mike signaled the opening of the ceremony which was held in the lovely visitor center along with dinner, with some notes on his horn.  Mike's band had their final performance at the wedding and when Mike wasn't getting hitched he was playing with the band.  Who knew Kathy plays the flute?  She and Kathy(Mike's bandmate) surprised Mike by playing a medley of a bicycle built for two and other love songs on their flutes.  For awhile it was the Kathy and Mike show when Kathy joined her church choir to sing a toast.  Not a dry eye amoung the NSC crew when they exchanged their vows.  Mike was worried he wouldn't get through them since tears of joy would spring up throughout the night.  Leb, Andy and I were suffering the same condition.  He managed to get his beautiful words out without too much trouble as did Kathy.  Mike sister was the officiant and she wove the bicycle theme through out the service brilliantly. Mike stopped his sister cold when she forgot to introduce a musical interlude for he and his band.   Mike's niece a journalist and Kathy's son a Dr. of Philosophy both read their missives about the union that were so moving they should go on the road and perform marriages.  At the very least publish.  Instead of rice, bubbles were blown.  At the end of the ceremony Mike came to our table and said "Leb I have no idea how to get the toasts started".  He was hemming and hawing until Leb finally picked up on the idea that he wanted him to start the toasts.  Leb started it off talking about the 25# Mike loses every summer playing non stop tennis, doing raps and making popcorn.  Andy followed saying he didn't think it was possible for Mike to be happier until he saw him with Kathy and how amazing it was that Mike actually found a woman that would tell jokes with him on stage.  It was easy to pick out the Storms family among the crowd.  They look like Mike and share his happy go lucky approach to life.  All are musical including mom and all tell jokes.  Mike's mom is 85 and a dish.  She played piano and her granddaughters sang their traditional song for grace.  The sunset was perfectly timed and the moon was rising as the s'mores in the outdoor fireplace were offered.  Who could make room for anymore sweets.  Dan commented that you could tell it was Mike, the dessertatarian's, wedding since half the table was desserts.  To add to the fun Andy found seven degrees of separation with Mike's niece who thought he looked familiar.  It tuned out that they both sat together in Journalism classes at Northwestern and both had newborns.

Here's a new joke Mike's brother told me:  What did the robot say to the gas pump? .........................Get your fingers out of your ears when I'm talking to you.     ha ha isn't that a Mikey joke?

Friday, August 23, 2013

Camp Goes Quiet

2014 Registration is Now Open
Guaranteed Spots for Returners Only Until September 1st
Register Now at!

Tonight camp will officially go quiet as our summer programming wraps up. Over the course of the last week, we have played host to Camp Kesem - a free one-week camp for children who have been affected by a parent's cancer. Camp Kesem is a national organization that has chapters at 50 college campuses and each group runs its own camp for these kids. For the first time, North Star hosted the University of Minnesota's chapter and we have had a wonderful week filled with songs, cheers, laughter and a lot of spontaneous fun.

Tomorrow will be the first day of the “off-season.” As we wind down what was really a great summer, I continue to be so grateful for the kind of community that we have here at North Star. We have been hearing story after story of what a fun and meaningful summer it was for all involved, and I want to share one of my favorites. One of our first year campers was driving him with his parents and after telling them about all of the skills he learned, the games he played and the songs he sang, Will M. said this to his mom:
"You know, mom, it's really special because you look around at camp and every one of the guys is a friend."

I am so thankful for all of our campers and staff that help make North Star a place where everyone can feel that safe. That sentiment is being reflected in the enrollment for 2014. Coming off of a summer with a full and young camp, we have already had a flurry of registrations in from returning and new campers alike. We want to reiterate that WE CAN ONLY GUARANTEE PLACEMENT FOR RETURNING CAMPERS IF YOU ENROLL BY SEPTEMBER 1st. Please don't wait! This is our way of protecting our returning campers. After September 1st may be too late in many age groups. If you have a younger son that is interested in coming to camp next summer, please enroll him before September 1st as well. And if you have any friends or family that may be interested, please let them know that they should be in touch quickly. You can also fill out our Refer-A-Friend Form online.

You can Register Online at If you have any questions, please give us a call up at camp at 715-462-3254.

We are looking forward to a fantastic Summer of 2014, our 70th camping season at North Star, and we hope that your son will again join us.

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. We look forward to many more. 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Kicking off the Final Week

The normal flow of the summer gives way to lots of special programs over the last week of camp. While the "normal" days are never really normal, the last week is jam packed with special days, big programs and the eventual process of saying goodbye to friends new and old.

We kicked off the big week on Saturday with our 69th Pow Wow Day. The entire camp was split into four teams, representing the tribes of Hopi, Yakima, Flathead and Omaha. Just about a week ago the 12 captains or chiefs were announced. These captains, four per village, were selected by the counselors to lead the teams. With their medicine men (counselor advisers), they choose their teams, assigned everyone to events and helped build great excitement and energy.

The day led off with a traditional wake-up from the medicine men. They went from cabin to cabin to rouse all of our campers. After our opening ceremonies, campers went off with the rest of their villages for leg wrestling. Before lunch, we had two series of events, and when the scores were revealed half way through the day, Omaha had modest lead.

After lunch, the counselors play one-pitch softball for eating order for dinner. One-pitch is a unique in that each batter literally gets one pitch. If the batter looks at a strike or fouls a pitch off, they're out. If they take a ball, they get first base. Before the third series, camper and staff running relays as well as camper and staff tug-o-wars got the entire camp back in action. Third series saw lots of canoeing events and fourth series all takes place at swim point, with swim relays, log rolling and waterpolo.

With campers and staff alike exhausted after a long day and filled up on a great dinner of bar-b-que beef sandwiches and corn, we all headed up to the Council Ring for our closing ceremonies. This is when we have the inevitable stall. What the campers fail to realize is that what makes the stall is the reactions of the campers. If they would just sit quietly, Andy would be forced to read the scores. Ultimately, after about 30 minutes of camper induced chants, cheers and shenanigans, the scores were read. Yakima came from being in 2nd place at lunch to win the day, but in the end, it was about who had the most fun.

Pow Wow Day is just the beginning. As we speak, we're about to begin Espionage, where the campers quietly sneak around camp trying to accomplish certain objectives under the cover of night. Tomorrow sees us sleep in for Lazy Day followed by the camper counselor hunt and casino night. Before the week is done, we'll have camper counselor day, our final staff show, a request program as well as several other events to wrap up what has been an amazing summer. 

Friday, August 2, 2013

Catching up on the Ramblings

About a week and a half ago I sat down to do a blog entry. It was a great time to preview one of our cruiser days and talk about the week ahead. As often happens here at camp, I got distracted a few times over that night, forgot about the blog entry. This happened about three times over the ensuing week and a half, and now, here we are on the eve of North Star's 69th Pow Wow Day. So I'll catch everyone up.

Typically, the 5th/6th weeks of the summer tend to be a bit more "normal". We have regular days, not as many special events, and we're really able to enjoy days of activities and cabin bonding. This summer, however, we got a jump start on special programs, leading off with College Days. Exclusively for our senior village campers, College Days is a three day period where the oldest campers are split into four teams. With no assigned captains, the teams govern themselves as everyone participates in a series of events. Many of these are sports related, but we also have things like waterskiing, bowling and, of course, the cook-off.  Teams also make plaques, have a mascot and cheer competition and by the end of the three days, the seniors could sleep all day if we allowed them.

As College Days were ending, it was time for us to honor a few of our long timers. On Friday we first had the opportunity to recognize Bill and Patty Lisberg. Bill has been camp doctor and with Patty, they've been coming up for 20 summers. They've actually started as NSC post campers in 1984 and we were thrilled to name the waiting room in our health center "The Lisberg Lounge". Were looking forward to another 20 years with Bill and Patty.

That evening was our "Big Ten", a time to honor those folks who have spent ten years at North Star. We had a full crew to honor this year, recognizing counselors Michael Berger, Zach Blumenfeld, Stefan Granados, Dylan Jacobs, Jordan Reiff and Oliver Rockman. We had a fantastic group that traveled up to share in the event with lots of family members and past campers/counselors heading to be in attendance. It was a great night with some fantastic stories.

Following the Big Ten, the action continued. Over the weekend we welcomed in our rookies. Its fun to have prospective future campers spending time at camp for more than a few hours. Despite some less than ideal weather, the rookies loved playing dodgeball, regardless of the precipitation. After the rookies departed, it was time for the Green-White Egg Marathon. The marathon is an all camp event that takes about two hours. It starts with a relay race and over the course of the afternoon, everyone participates in at least one event. With the egg marathon, however, each team travels with an egg, and if the egg breaks, a runner must go and replace the egg. This year, as usual it game down to the boil water boil and a close marathon as usual.

As if that wasn't enough, we headed towards Pow Wow Day as captains and teams were announced at the start of the week. And if that weren't enough, we sent 70 campers to Camp Nebagamon for the annual bi-camp competition yesterday. Campers competed in archery, canoeing, cross country, chess, riflery, sailing, swimming and tennis. It was great to see our friends at Nebagamon and we thank them for their great hospitality.

Saturday is Pow Wow Day and we won't make you wait another week and a half for updates. The summer is flying by and we're looking forward to an amazing final week of the session!