North Star Camp for Boys

Monday, June 20, 2016

The Summer of 2016 is Underway!

All, all, all of the campers have arrived safely and North Star’s 72nd summer is officially underway! The boys arrived to a perfect Northwoods day of 77 degrees and sunny and were welcomed by the most energetic staff you could imagine, jumping up and down to celebrate their arrival. Thanks to well-timed arrivals, the Chicago and Minneapolis buses arrived at the same time, and we quickly gathered around the flagpole to announce the cabins, and a lot of cheering, high fiving and hugging ensued. From there, the boys headed to their cabins to get unpacked, and that is where the relationship building between counselor and camper will begin. The cabin list is attached.

The boys are now unpacking and new campers are receiving a tour of camp. There is a lot of excitement as they head out by the athletic fields and get their first glimpse of the new Bouldering Wall, the new and improved Archery Range, and the brand new NSC Fieldhouse! The bouldering wall is now double sided with the back side being inverted by about 15-degrees, a great challenge for our advanced climbers. The new archery range will more than double the capacity of the old range, allowing more boys to get more opportunities for practice. And the Fieldhouse is going to revolutionize rainy days at North Star, though the forecast looks good on that front. By the time they go to sleep tonight, they'll have played games with their cabins and met some of the other guys their age as well.

Dinner this evening will be burgers, fries and jello, plus the ever present salad bar and Sun Butter and jelly. There will be vegetarian burgers available for those that prefer, and Gluten free options for those that need it. And of course brownies for dessert. Immediately following dinner, the campers will choose their first week's activities.

The evening activities will be followed by the candlelight ceremonies, where each cabin will have a meeting led by their counselors. They will share their goals and expectations for the summer, while continuing to get to know one another. This will be the first of many cabin discussions that are an important part of the "team" building goals that we have for each cabin group, and helps develop the strong sense of community that we strive for at camp.

The candlelight ceremony is also an important introduction to our goals and values at camp. The North Star Mission Statement reads:
“North Star exists to create and promote a safe, fun environment in which the community ensures the physical, social, emotional, cognitive and spiritual growth of its members”
It is that development, in addition to the meaningful relationships that form, are the real reasons we do this. From camp every summer, boys at North Star are building confidence, developing relationships, growing more mature and independent, and working to always do the right thing for the right reasons. Between Friday Night Services, cabin campfires, weekly check-ins and the rest of our program, our goal is that every boy leaves camp more mindful of their own growth, strengths and values. All of that starts by assembling a community of the nicest boys from around the country and the world, and bringing them together with a staff full of caring and empathetic role models.

Tomorrow the kids will have a busy day as Vickie and our medical team check in the boys. They will take a swim test and find time to play several games of dodgeball. Evening program tomorrow will be our first game of All-Camp Capture the Flag. First thing on Wednesday morning the boys will begin their first week of regular activities. Wednesday morning our oldest campers will leave for their Canadian adventure, where they will spend 10 days in the Canadian wilderness in Quetico Provincial Park. Our 8th graders (we use the grade they just completed) will leave that day for five days on the Superior Hiking Trail. Wednesday evening will be the staff show, where our very talented group will be on display.

Thank you for trusting us with your boys!