North Star Camp for Boys

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Blue Skies and Action Packed Days

It's been a fantastic week at camp and there has been a lot going on here. In addition, we are currently on pace for the all-time best weather for a single camp session. Every day has been in the 80s and sunny, with a nice breeze and a cool night. You can't do better than that! Here's a quick recap of some highlights:

Each summer our Senior Village Campers participate in a 3-day special event called College Days. One of the things that makes College Days so unique is that it is completely camper run. The teams organize themselves and compete in events ranging from football to debate, arm-wrestling to a cooking competition, soccer, speedball, softball, cheering, arts & crafts, trivia and more. 
The colleges this year were Drexel University, University of Tennesse-Martin, Stephen F Austin and San Diego State. The highlight this year was the new addition of the pie baking competition where all four teams had two bakers that worked together to try to replicate a Norske Nook pie, and they were delicious. Our guys really have many talents!

Tuesday was our second Cruiser Day of the summer, and it was a great one! Cruiser Day is a cabin day that typically falls on Tuesday at camp. It is a break from our normal routine, and the kids and counselors of each cabin get together to put together a plan for their whole day. The activities can range anywhere from our normal camp activities to the goofiest and most creative things our staff can dream up. Each Cruiser Day starts with breakfast in bed and we feast on some delicious doughnuts. From there, we do our biggest cabin cleanup of the week. Everyone changes the sheets, mops the floor, and we send out the laundry.
As if that wasn’t enough fun for one day, then we get into the activities. Kim McCormack helps to make sure that there’s an array of fun activities for the cabins to participate in, and they take on all kinds of things. Many cabins enjoy going tubing and waterskiing. This week they could go slip-and-sliding on the athletic field, go on a photo safari around camp, or even try their hand at cooking their own personal pizzas.
Every Cruiser Day ends with a cookout dinner, where each cabin prepares their meal over a campfire. There is a campsite for each cabin, and they build the fire, prepare the food, and feast in the luxuries of the great outdoors. This week we prepared everybody’s favorite – Tin Foil Surprise. It’s a combination of ground beef, potatoes, carrots, onions and topped with cheese. You wrap it up in Tin Foil, and the outcome is the delicious surprise! Dessert was the always popular S’mores.

For this summer, we have revamped our Sunday night programming. With a great deal of thought, we have broken our Sunday evening program into two parts - Unorganized Free and Cabin Campfires. The purpose of these evenings are two-fold:
1) To allow every camper the opportunity at self-directed free play, and
2) To help each camper process his camp experience and the growth that he is experiencing at camp
If you haven't read about it already, I encourage you to do so here: Go Outside and Play!

Our trips program is in full swing and over half of the cabins have already embarked on their journeys into the wilderness. We have had trips go out to the Superior Hiking Trail, St. Croix, Flambeau and Brule Rivers and have more to come. In addition to being able to experience all of the thrills of the wilderness, the cabin trips provide a wonderful group bonding experience. It is really a time where the campers must work together to accomplish the daily tasks of getting down the river, setting up camp and preparing the meals. It's a true test of teamwork that allows the campers and counselors of a cabin to really come together. We love hearing the stories they tell when they return to camp and seeing the pride they take in their accomplishments.

While our Senior Village Campers were participating in College Days, our Juniors and Intermediates had some opportunities for bonding themselves. The Junior Village had a campfire where they played Beach Flags, a game where the campers lie down and feathers are placed behind them.  One less feather is placed than campers present, and thus, after each round, one camper is eliminated.  The goal of the game is to be the final camper standing.  First, each cabin played their own game; next, these winners represented their cabin in the final Junior Village match.

Our second session Green-White competition is underway and Village Activities have been fantastic. There have been spirited games of softball, kickball, dodgeball, football, soccer, speedball, tennis baseball and more. Our Green-White Egg Marathon is coming up this Friday and the enthusiasm is very high.