North Star Camp for Boys







Sunday, June 25, 2017

Sunday Blog Update


First session is now in full swing, and today our campers are in their second day of their second set of projects. Since the blog post, many unique events have occurred, such Wednesday night’s staff show, a new evening program on Thursday called “Infection”, our friendship fire on Friday night, and our first Green-White series of the summer on Saturday.

Each week, boys request their top 10 choices for activities and are placed into 6 of them. While it has been a little chilly over the last few days, campers and staff have not let weather impact their fun, and have continued making the most of each project period. Our objective based programming means that campers are focused on improving their skills on any program area in addition to having a ton of fun. Campers will sign up for their second week of activities soon, giving them the chance to both progress in areas they enjoy and try some new activities.

At the beginning of each summer we put on a staff show as a way to introduce the campers to the entire staff. It allows the staff to show their humor and talent off to the boys. This year we had a variety of great skits put on. A few staff members told their best bad jokes (keep on the sunny side), others adapted the well-known J.C. Penny skit to T.J. Maxx. In the skit, many people walk through the stage with interesting clothes on. As they enter, they are asked where they got their outfits, and respond “T.J. Maxx”. At the end, someone comes on stage and asks, “Have you seen my clothes? I’m T.J. Maxx”. Andy and Laney read a book called “The Invisible String” and two of our counselors pranked some of their unsuspecting peers into sitting on a wet towel as part of their skit. It was a fun evening program filled with plenty of laughs. Check out the North Star Instagram account for one of the highlights from the staff show, where Dan’s dog Leo was used as a prop!

Thursday night's evening program was a game called infected. A few of our staff members adapted it from the video game call of duty. One person in all of camp starts as infected, and once the bell rang, it was their goal to infect as many others by chasing them and tagging them out. If you became infected, you tied a shirt around your head and then tried to infect the remaining healthy people. The goal of the game was to stay healthy for the entirety of evening program. Infected was a great new addition to the program and the campers had a ton of fun playing!

Our first Friday Night Service of the summer was the friendship fire. As is tradition on Friday evenings, all of camp put on nice clothes to head down to the Council Ring for the service. The Friendship Fire focuses on the importance of friendship and how we can all be better friends to each other. We heard a musical selection, a counselor chorus and a camper-counselor chorus, and each sung a song that fit the theme of friendship. We were also treated to a fantastic sermonette by counselor Jake Kraemer, who spoke of the value he places on his friendships made at camp and how the supportive nature of a camp friendship makes it special. The Keylog Ceremony associated with the friendship fire is somewhat atypical. The friendship fire keylogs represent the bond between North Star and the many places our campers and staff come from this summer. At our last count, we have campers or staff from 30 states and 14 countries. It’s a pretty amazing opportunity to have friends all over the country and the world.

Green-White is an all-session event. All of the campers are split into two teams and compete throughout the session in various activities. Two captains were elected in each village based on good behavior and leadership. The captains then drafted each camper onto one of the teams. This session’s Green-White captains are Brandon L. and Charlie J. in the Junior Village, Jayden C. and Lucas F. in the Intermediate Village and Joe S. and Tagir N. in the Senior Village. Last night’s series was the first of three for the session, and included events such as football for the junior village campers, a doubles tennis match where one team wore matching sweatshirts and team-scored climbing.

As of the writing of this blog, we have already had I4 and S5 return from their trips on the Lower Flambeau River and the Brule River respectively. Later this afternoon, cabins S3 and S1 will return from a 5-day hike on the Superior Hiking Trail. Our trip leaders are staying quite busy and as early as tomorrow more trips will head out, with cabins S4 and S2 heading out on their hiking trips. The Pine Manor campers are on the 5th day of their trip in Quetico Provincial Park and we are looking forward to their return on Friday.

Tonight we will have our first Sunday night of the session, so evening program is unorganized free and cabin campfires. Unorganized free allows the campers to find creative ways to play and spend their time. This is followed by cabin campfires, during which the cabins recap the week and talk about growth and goals, both as a group and personally. These campfires are an opportunity for the boys to reflect in front of their friends and talk about what they want out of themselves and each other in order to maximize their camp experience. The cabin campfires are finished off with S’mores around the fire.


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

June 20: The first full day of camp!


Today was the first full day of camp after the campers arrived just after 4 p.m. yesterday. It was a busy day and we were lucky to avoid the rain (we all know it never rains at North Star). We had pancakes and bacon for breakfast before heading into the first cabin cleanup of the summer. The villages rotated through swim tests, health checks and village activities for first, second and third periods.

For their village activity all three villages played games of continuous dodgeball. Continuous dodgeball is an every man for himself dodgeball game played on a big field. We play with the traditional dodgeball rules, so if you get hit, you are out, and if you catch a ball, the person who threw it at you is out. If the person who threw you out gets out themselves, you are back in. We play with large groups, so there is never a winner. These games of dodgeball are a great way for the boys to have an early bonding experience with the other campers and staff in their village. Additionally, continuous dodgeball is a great introduction to our competitive philosophy. While no one wins continuous dodgeball, it is still important to give a full effort and have a great time while playing.

In lieu of continuous dodgeball, our oldest campers in Pine Manor spent the time allotted for village activities practicing for their upcoming trip to Quetico Provincial Park. The boys canoed from Brewers Bay around camp to the Council Ring and then portaged back to the canoe racks. They leave early Wednesday morning for their 10-day trip.

After third period there was an organized free, giving the boys the opportunity to go to any of the activities available at camp, or just hang out in their cabin if they prefer. We then had our opening night banquet and welcomed the campers into the dining hall for a meal of pasta. After dinner we celebrated the 13th birthday of Avi Rubin and learned a few rules for camp that were not covered in our opening night announcements. Wanegan King Drew Lorimer then held the first wanegan of the summer and then we had a game of all-camp capture the flag before bed.

In addition to Pine Manor leaving on the Canadian, S1 and S3 will leave Wednesday morning on a hiking trip, and S5 and I4 will leave on their respective river trips. The rest of camp will begin their summer activities with our first normally scheduled day of the summer.



Monday, June 19, 2017

First Night of Camp


The 73rd summer at North Star Camp has begun! Our 2017 campers and staff come from 30 states and 13 countries and now come together to make one incredible community. The buses from Minneapolis and Chicago pulled into camp together at exactly 4:15pm and the campers unloaded to meet an amazing group of staff members who were jumping and cheering at their arrival. The excitement quickly turned to warmth as the counselors were greeting new friends and old. We quickly gathered around the flagpole to announce the cabins, and then lots of happy faces ran off toward their cabins to unpack.

The boys unpacked and new campers received a tour of camp. As they walked around camp, they saw many of the improvements from the off-season. Our senior village campers were excited to see their newly renovated washhouse with more showers. Everybody saw the continued improvements in the Fieldhouse, which has the completed basketball courts in addition to a new and improved fitness center, a multipurpose room, and an upstairs clubhouse that features ping pong and foosball. Behind the Fieldhouse, a new batting cage is being installed for our baseball players to get their swings in. There is a brand new rocketry room, a new home for ecology, as well as an expanded trip shack. 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 was burgers, fries and jello, plus the ever present salad bar and Sun Butter and jelly. There were vegetarian burgers available for those that prefer, and Gluten free options for those that needed it. And of course brownies for dessert. Immediately following dinner, the campers chose 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.

One of the reasons that this community is so strong is because of the role models that your boys have at camp. Dan and Andy searched far and wide to find empathetic and caring counselors who represent our values. Each year during orientation, we do an exercise called Leaving a Legacy, where we discuss the importance of role models and set goals for what kind of role model each staff member wants to be this summer. They spoke of teaching kindness and generosity, perseverance and grit, strength and compassion. They spoke of the importance of character and integrity and their dedication to living with both. And they affirmed their commitment to helping create a North Star community that allows every boy to feel comfortable being himself, so that he can experience social and emotional growth at camp. It was an emotional evening that had us very excited to see what a wonderful impact these guys can have on our campers.

Tomorrow the kids will have a busy day as our medical team checks in the boys. The campers 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. Some of our 8th graders (we use the grade they just completed) will leave that day for five days on the Superior Hiking Trail, while other campers will depart straight away on the Brule River or the Flambeau River. Wednesday evening will be the staff show, where our very talented group will be on display.

FOLLOW CAMP ONLINE

From here on out, you can follow along with the summer of 2017 on our website at
www.NorthStarCamp.com/blog.

We will also be posting updates on Facebook at www.facebook.com/northstarcampforboys, on Twitter at www.twitter.com/northstarcamp and on Instagram at www.instagram.com/northstarcamp.

We post pictures online on a regular basis, and you can access those directly from your CampInTouch page. To access your CampInTouch page, go to www.northstarcamp.com and click "login" in the upper right hand corner. From there you can click on "Photos" to see those smiling faces. If you'd like to set up guest accounts for friends or family you can do that from your landing page by clicking on "Guest Accounts."

Thank you for trusting us with your boys!

Staff Spotlight: Jacob Sosler


Jacob Sosler returns to camp for his sixth summer at camp and first on staff as a CIT. He lives in Highland Park, Illinois and is finishing up his sophomore year at Beacon Academy in Evanston, Illinois near Chicago. At school, Jacob plays on the varsity tennis team, writes for his school’s newspaper and recently participated in his first Model United Nations tournament. At camp, his favorite activities are tennis, disc golf, windsurfing and team sports.

More about Jacob

If you wrote an autobiography, what would the title be?

I never said THAT! 

What TV show or movie are you ashamed to admit that you love?

I’m not necessarily ashamed, but some of my friends think that the excessive amount of football I watch is a little odd. 

Where is your favorite spot at camp?

There’s not a bad place at camp, but the Council Ring is tough to beat.

What is your dream vacation?

My dream vacation would probably be to spend a couple months traveling around Europe, eating food and visiting new places. 

If you had a super hero power, what would it be?

The ability to fly

If you could witness any historical event, what would you want to see?

The Constitutional Convention 

What is your favorite quote from a movie?

“Was it over... when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?” (Animal House) 

What's your favorite restaurant in the Hayward area?

Angler's Haven 

What is your hidden talent?

It’s (hopefully) not hidden, but I consider myself a pretty talented writer. 

 What advice would you give to someone coming to North Star for the first time?

My advice would be to keep an open mind and not be afraid to go outside your comfort zone. Camp provides a unique chance to participate in so many incredible activities and opportunities, so keeping an open mind and not being afraid to try something new will allow you to have the best summer possible. 

Share one notable camp memory:

My favorite camp memory was the Canadian trip during my Pine Manor year. It was an amazing experience full of experiences that I will never, ever forget. 




Sunday, June 18, 2017

Pre-Camp 2017


Pre-camp officially began on Sunday the 11th, with a few late arrivals filtering in throughout the week. Many staff got to camp earlier to complete certifications in lifeguarding or at various program areas. Once orientation began, the focus shifted to preparing for the arrival of the firsts session campers. We have been filming all week to show the North Star community see all of the great things that have been going on as we await the arrival of the campers. Clink on the image below to see some of what we've been up to this past week.



Our pre-camp is designed to give counselors as many resources as possible so that they are prepared to give campers the individual attention they need. We have sessions about topics like risk management and conflict resolution so the staff can keep North Star a safe place, physically and emotionally. Many sessions include a role-play element so our staff can practice having important conversations with campers. We spend a lot of time sharing the importance of creating the supportive and growth oriented culture that we value so much at North Star.  Highlights included a session where staff members presented the group with an item that represents what they bring to camp and the Leaving a Legacy session, where the staff share about their role models and dissect what those people did to have an impact on their lives.

In addition to being a time to learn about what it takes to be a great North Star staff member, pre-camp is hugely important as a team building exercise. We make sure to mix in fun events throughout the week so that by the time the campers arrive, the staff is a cohesive team ready to make this summer the best yet. These events included some team building games, a 2 on 2 basketball tournament with randomly selected teams and a staff show.


The Final preparations are now underway, and camp is looking great. It's shaping up to be a great summer!

Staff Spotlight: Andrea Evans


Andrea grew up in Syracuse NY, but moved to Chicago three years ago and is loving it! She has a degree in Psychology and hopes to eventually work with children and families in a hospital setting. She is currently nannying for two of the coolest kids in the world, who will also be at camp this summer.

More about Andrea

How did you learn about North Star and why did you apply?

The kids I nanny for are the children of Kia Beickert, a Child Therapist who will be working at camp this summer. When she was offered the job, I not-so-subtly offered to tag along and watch the boys there… and it is happening!

If you wrote an autobiography, what would the title be?

“Can I Pet Your Dog? An Autobiography”

If you could witness any historical event, what would you want to see?

I would love to have witnessed the moon landing.

What is your dream vacation:

I would love to visit Thailand some day!

If you had a super hero power, what would it be:

The ability to read minds

What noteworthy/random/menial jobs have you held?

I spent a summer painting dorm rooms in college, nannied for a family with seven boys under the age of ten, and worked as a 1:1 aide for a preschooler with behavioral issues. 

What TV show or movie are you ashamed to admit that you love?

I have watched “The Lord of the Rings” an embarrassing amount of times. 

What did you do last summer?

I worked, volunteered at a local hospital, and spent as much time with family and friends as possible. 

What is a little Known fact about yourself:

I took a gap year with a volunteer program in between high school and college, and mentored underprivileged middle school girls in Dallas TX.  


What, if any previous camp/outdoor experiences have you had?

I went on a lot of family camping trips as a kid, and a few as an adult. I worked as a camp counselor for a girls camp three years in a row, and love the enthusiasm and sense of community in the camp setting!

Staff Spotlight: James Herity




James Herity is 19 years old andfrom Co. Meath, Ireland. I've just my finished my first year of college at Dublin City University where I am studying Actuarial and Financial Maths.

More about James
How did you learn about North Star and why did you apply?

I learned about North Star when I was contacted by Dan through a camp hiring agency in Ireland. After a few interviews with Dan and Andy where I learned about the experience and values of North Star I gladly accepted the offer to work at camp this summer.
If you wrote an autobiography, what would the title be?

'James,Jambo,Hames,Jimmy Herity'
If you could witness any historical event, what would you want to see?

The 1916 Easter Rising
What is your dream vacation:

To travel along the east coast of the U.S, through the centre and then along the West coast
If you had a super hero power, what would it be:

Teleportation
What noteworthy/random/menial jobs have you held?

One of my first jobs was working at a Trampoline Park near my home.
What TV show or movie are you ashamed to admit that you love?

Desperate Housewives
What did you do last summer?

I went on a volunteer trip to Lourdes, France with the Dublin Diocese where we helped sick and elderly pilgrims to make their pilgrimmage. I also went a holiday with my friends to the Greek island of Crete for a week.
What is a little Known fact about yourself:

I used to attend a performing arts school when I was 6-10 years old
What, if any previous camp/outdoor experiences have you had

I've a lot of outdoor experience such as surfing in Portugal and the west coast of Ireland, outdoor rock climbing, lake and sea swimming in Ireland, Greece, Portugal and camping trips in Co. Kerry, Ireland.







Staff Spotlight: Bryce Fenlon


For the first 18 years of his life, Bryce Fenlon lived in Rochester, Minnesota. However, Bryce is currently living in Madison, Wisconsin to obtain his undergraduate degree in conservation biology at UW-Madison. He will be done this December. Currently that is what Bryce focusing on, although he does work in the University’s biochemistry laboratory vivariums to support himself.

More about Bryce

How did you learn about North Star and why did you apply?

I learned about North Star on the University’s job-board. I had previously applied to be a trip leader, but we came to the mutual conclusion that because of my experience a camp counselor position was more suitable.

If you wrote an autobiography, what would the title be?

Coffee is Life

If you could witness any historical event, what would you want to see?

As sad for the United States’ population as it was, I would be fascinated to see JFK’s 1963 assassination in Dallas, Texas. It was the 60’s Pearl Harbor, an earlier 9/11 that left the entire world stunned and threatened to turn the cold war into a frigid one. It’s a morbid fascination, I admit, but the man created the organization that I intend to participate in after my undergraduate – the Peace Corps.

What is your dream vacation?

A one-way ticket to Mexico City, and then to work my way down through Central and South America to the tip of Argentina and Chile, Tierra del Fuego. Over the last few years I have fallen in love with Hispanic culture and the Spanish language, and the landscapes across Latin America fascinate me.

If you had a super hero power, what would it be:

Instantaneous translator. Language is a remarkable way to learn about culture, and culture is an amazing way to connect with anyone. 

What noteworthy/random/menial jobs have you held?

I worked for my neighbor as a crack filler and seal coater. You know when you see a parking lot with all those fresh rubber lines and covered in a new matte-black coat? That was me for a summer. I got sunburnt and pretty dehydrated some days, but overall it was a good way for me to learn what I didn’t want to do for the rest of my life.

What TV show or movie are you ashamed to admit that you love?

Marley & Me. Only movie I’ve ever cried to, and I still love it.

What did you do last summer?

I spent last summer at a field research station on the Batipa Peninsula, about 40 minutes from the city of Davíd in the Chiriquí province of Panama. I spent three months working mainly with mantled howler monkeys (Alouatta palliata), but also with tamarins, Ateles geoffroyi spider monkeys, and a couple of capuchins that were too smart for their own good.

What is a little-known fact about yourself:

I can leave my phone alone for days at a time, given the right environment. A remarkable talent as a 22-year-old.

What, if any previous camp/outdoor experiences have you had?

From kindergarten through my eighteenth birthday, I participated in the Boy Scouts of America. To this day I remain involved, and am currently an assistant scoutmaster for my home troop. I spent countless nights on campouts, and as I got older and more athletic that evolved to high-adventure camps; sailing in the Florida Keys, backpacking in the Sangre de Cristo subrange of the Rocky Mountains, and of course the Boundary Waters. To say I liked it would be the understatement of the century. The BSA shaped me into the person I am today. It gave me an immense appreciation for nature in all its unique forms, and contributed greatly to my movement away from engineering into the field of conservation biology. I probably feel more at home in a forest than in my own house, to be honest.

Staff Spotlight: Alyssa Smith


Alyssa Smith joins the staff Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. Alyssa just graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Madison with degrees in Zoology and Environmental Studies, and a Certificate of African Studies. After camp, she is looking to pursue a career in outdoor education. After hearing about camp from a mentor, Alyssa decided to apply to join the North Star family as a trip leader because it gives her the chance to further my knowledge in outdoor recreation, while at the same time working with kids, something that she loves!

More about Alyssa

If you wrote an autobiography, what would the title be?

I Can't Believe this Thing Got Published 

If you could witness any historical event, what would you want to see?

Wilbur and Orville Wright taking flight for the first time 

What is your dream vacation: Backpacking around in Nepal

Nepal is a beautiful place in general, but Red Pandas are my favorite animal and my dream is to see on in the wild!

If you had a super hero power, what would it be

Shapeshifting 

What noteworthy/random/menial jobs have you held?

I spent a summer in college as a mini golf course attendant in Wisconsin Dells 

What TV show or movie are you ashamed to admit that you love?

One Tree Hill

What did you do last summer?

I spent last summer living in Madison, working as a bartender part time, and as a Competitive Sports Lead, running summer intramurals, through the University's rec department. 

What is a little Known fact about yourself:

I can speak Swahili, the language from Lion King

What, if any previous camp/outdoor experiences have you had?

I never attended summer camp as a kid, but my summers were spent playing softball, canoeing, kayaking and hiking around the Dells, and camping with my family. At UW-Madison, I worked as a mentor for middle schoolers in a Nature Club after school program.  I am also a trip leader through our Hoofers Outing Club, and have gone on both water and backpacking trips through them! 



Saturday, June 17, 2017

Staff Spotlight: Cece Jaik


Cece is from Colima, Mexico and has been a tennis instructor for around 20 years. Cece is also a marketing major and works in public and private tennis academies in my city. This is her second year going back to North Star and she is very happy about it. Last year Cece had a great experience and cant wait to start giving tennis lessons and share memories with you all.

More about Cece

If you wrote an autobiography, what would the title be?

The beauty of enjoying simplicity in all its greatness

What TV show or movie are you ashamed to admit that you love?

The princess diaries

Where is your favorite spot at camp?

The lake front

What is your dream vacation?

I would love to travel someday to Ireland, Switzerland and New Zealand

If you had a super hero power, what would it be?

I would love to fly

If you could witness any historical event, what would you want to see?

The day Michelangelo finished painting the sistene chapel

What is your favorite quote from a movie?

By choosing such a challenging partner and giving them everything they need, we chart the path to our growth

What's your favorite restaurant in the Hayward area?

Coops pizza

What is your hidden talent?

Sometimes i like to write poetry

What advice would you give to someone coming to North Star for the first time?

work hard, play hard and have fun

Share one notable camp memory:

I have tons of good memories from camp, but if I had to choose it would be the day when the kids arrived at camp, it was an exciting and fun day.



Friday, June 16, 2017

Staff Spotlight: Ben Morris


Ben Morris is going to return for his second year at camp! Ben is from near Windsor in the UK and currently at University in York where he studies Music Technology Systems. At camp Ben is usually playing guitar or out on the lake sailing.

More about Ben

If you wrote an autobiography, what would the title be?

All about Ben!

What TV show or movie are you ashamed to admit that you love?

Frozen...

Where is your favorite spot at camp?

Out on the lake!

What is your dream vacation?

Would love to go to Hawaii.

If you had a super hero power, what would it be?

Time travel

If you could witness any historical event, what would you want to see?

England winning the World Cup in 1966

What is your favorite quote from a movie?

My name is Bond, James Bond

What's your favorite restaurant in the Hayward area?

Coops Pizza

What is your hidden talent?

Regional trampoline finalist when I was younger

What advice would you give to someone coming to North Star for the first time?

Have fun and try to make the most of your time at camp

Share one notable camp memory:

Having my first ever s’more round the campfire. Loved them so much that I ended up taking the ingredients home for friends and family.





Staff Spotlight: Andrew Cohen


Andrew Cohen is returning for his 6th summer at camp and first on staff as a Counselor in Training. Andrew just finished his sophomore year at Deerfield high school in Deerfield Illinois where he is involved in student council in addition to playing on the volleyball team. Andrew's favorite activities at camp are water skiing, riflery, basketball and disc golf.

More about Andrew

If you wrote an autobiography, what would the title be?

Andrew Cohen: an Autobiography

What TV show or movie are you ashamed to admit that you love?

The Teletubbies

Where is your favorite sport at camp?

Basketball

What is your dream vacation?

I would go on a safari in Africa

If you had a super hero power, what would it be?

Flying

If you could witness any historical event, what would you want to see?

I would probably want to go back to November 2, 2016 to relive the Cubs World Series win.

What is your favorite quote from a movie?

"Put That Thing Back Where It Came Fromor So Help Me" - Monsters Inc

What's your favorite restaurant in the Hayward area?

Cable pizza place

What is your hidden talent?

I can play trombone

What advice would you give to someone coming to North Star for the first time?

Don't be afraid to try new things

Share one notable camp memory:

I'd have to say that the entire Canadian is my most notable camp memory.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Staff Spotlight: Oliver Borstein



Oliver is returning to camp for his seventh summer and first on staff. Oliver lives in Chicago, IL, where he attends Walter Payton College Prep for high school. Oliver will be finishing up his sophomore year before heading to camp. At school he plays varsity tennis, chess and softball.

More about Oliver

If you wrote an autobiography, what would the title be?

G.O.A.T.

What TV show or movie are you ashamed to admit that you love?

The Bachelor

Where is your favorite spot at camp?

Hitch's Hut

What is your dream vacation?

Go to Chamonix Mont Blanc for some gnarly pow and then a week in Hawaii for some relaxation by the beach.

If you had a super hero power, what would it be?

Ultimate knowledge

If you could witness any historical event, what would you want to see?

Apollo 11

What is your favorite quote from a movie?

"Roads? Where we're going, we don't need roads." -Doc from Back to the Future

What's your favorite restaurant in the Hayward area?

Old Southern BBQ Smokehouse

What is your hidden talent?

I can touch my nose with my tongue

What advice would you give to someone coming to North Star for the first time?

Make the most of every second, because camp is something special that only comes once a year!

Share one notable camp memory:

Day two of the Brule River trip. This was the day that the biggest rapids were happening and my partner was not the greatest paddler. We capsized several times but it was still one of my favorite memories because I was with my best friends.


Staff Spotlight: Francis Borchards


Francis was born in Knysna, South Africa, where she also did all of her schooling. Currently Francis is still studying trying to finish my teaching degree at the University of South Africa. Before becoming Laney's Au Pair , she was teaching 5-6 year old toddlers at a local pre-school.

More about Francis


How did you learn about North Star and why did you apply?

Working for Andy , I learned about North Star Camp!

If you wrote an autobiography, what would the title be?

Well, that didn't work...

If you could witness any historical event, what would you want to see?

Historical event, the time Anne Frank and her family went into hiding.

What is your dream vacation:

Dream vacation- cruising on the MSC via Durban , South Africa to Mozambique.

If you had a super hero power, what would it be:

Superhero power- Camouflaging

What noteworthy/random/menial jobs have you held?

Handing out water and fruit to runners at a festival.

What TV show or movie are you ashamed to admit that you love?

All of "the real housewives" shows.

What did you do last summer?

Last summer(South Africa), I was spending my last few days with my family before leaving for Chicago.

What is a little Known fact about yourself:

I am very instrumental and musical. I play the soprano recorder, taught myself the Alto recorder and bought myself the silver flute which needs a lot of practicing still !


What, if any previous camp/outdoor experiences have you had?

I went on a Survival Camp for one week , slept in tents in the woods, hiking and canoeing for 2 days, last day we ran a 2.5K, oh we were not allowed to bath nor shower for that entire week.. 



Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Staff Spotlight: Michael Yeager


Michael Yeager was born in Green Bay, WI and currently is going to school at UW- La Crosse studying exercise and sports science with an emphasis in fitness. Michael decided to pursue this degree because he has a love for sports and want to spread that passion to others.

More about Michael

How did you learn about North Star and why did you apply?

I learned about North Star through applying to Camp Menominee and being referred to North Star from them. I decided to apply to North Star for a few reasons, the first being that I was looking for a camp counselor position and North Star seemed like a great camp. The second was I was looking for a camp that was athletic based, I realized that North Star wasn’t centrally based around athletics but certain activities did. I wanted to instruct athletic activities to younger generations and pass on my love for sports.

If you wrote an autobiography, what would the title be?

If I wrote an autobiography the title would be: The Untold, True Story of Michael Yeager

If you could witness any historical event, what would you want to see?

If I could witness any historical event I would want to see the building of the Pyramids in Egypt. I have always been amazed at the fact that they built those pyramids by hand, with no machinery.  

What is your dream vacation:

My dream vacation would be backpacking through Europe. I have always wanted to see various countries in Europe such as the United Kingdom, France, Italy, and Germany. I have traveled in the United State and the Caribbean, but never “across the pond”.  

If you had a super hero power, what would it be:

If I had a super hero power it would either be to teleport or read people’s minds.  

What noteworthy/random/menial jobs have you held?

A random job that I have held would be I worked at Topper’s Pizza as an “insider” as they called it. I made the pizza’s and worked the till taking and giving out the orders. 

What TV show or movie are you ashamed to admit that you love?

One TV show that I could watch over and over again is How I Met Your Mother. 

What did you do last summer?

Last summer I went back to Green Bay and worked as a busser at this restaurant called Margarita’s. Also I hung out with friends and family, made great memories, and had a relaxing break from school. 

What is a little Known fact about yourself:

One little known about myself is that I can’t sleep with socks on.

What, if any previous camp/outdoor experiences have you had?

I have never worked at a camp before this, but when I was younger I attended Camp Yu-Nah-Li- Ya for 7 years. Many of the years I attended I stayed at camp and did the activities there, yet one of the years I went on a three day canoe trip. Additionally I have had many outdoor experiences, I have gone on two canoe trips with my father, multiple camping trips with my family, and I enjoy being outside in nature as much as I can.  

Staff Spotlight: Brisa Bustamante Silva


Brisa lives in the state of Puebla which is situated in the central east of Mexico country. She is excited to take part in the North Star Camp because it is exciting for her to be living with people from other culture, thoughts and traditions. Brisa thinks the best way to know the real world is traveling and using the five senses to realize there is another world outside, other methods of living the life, other authors, other music, other way to govern, other rules and ways to behave.

More about Brisa

How did you learn about North Star and why did you apply?

I read the publicity of North Camp on Facebook and it attracted my attention because in its official web site offered a beautiful and free place with outdoors activities. After that, I investigated more about it and I decided it would be an excellent opportunity to travel abroad, gain experience doing new activities and prove my skills in other fields. 

If you wrote an autobiography, what would the title be?

If I could write a title of my life probably it would be: Nothing belongs to you. Today you are here and maybe tomorrow in an unexpected place doing unimaginable activities. Never stays long time in the same place, you have to be in constant motion, change is grow up, take risks and load your life with adrenaline. 

If you could witness any historical event, what would you want to see?

The holocaust, because it is difficult for me come to understand why someone could feel superior to others. It might be a terrible experience but I would be there for helping the most people I could. 

What is your dream vacation:

My dream vacation would be in an outdoor place, with fog, much water around, a lot of vegetation, a cold weather, a hut and many books inside, without wi-fi and wonderful landscapes. If you had a super hero power, what would it be: I would have the invisibility power to be in other people´s life and help them to make a life easier and everybody should be happy.

What noteworthy/random/menial jobs have you held?

I worked in a Montessori school as an English Teacher, it was a big challenge due to the most of the students required attention in different fields, some presented mental impairments and congenital anomalies and I considered all those situations when I planned my class activities. 

What TV show or movie are you ashamed to admit that you love?

100 Latinos dijeron. 

What did you do last summer?

The last Summer I took summer courses in the House of Culture such as: piano, ballet and the Art of Public speaking. 

What is a little Known fact about yourself:

I am empathic, enthusiast, calm and supportive. 

What, if any previous camp/outdoor experiences have you had?

Many years ago, my family and I organized a weekend field trip in a ranch without electricity. The sun´s rays woke us up, after my brothers and me milked the cows and went to picking up the vegetables for the preparation of the food. We enjoyed a lot to be far away from the city, pollution and noise.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Staff Spotlight: Ross Krantz


Ross Krantz lives in Cleveland, Ohio. Currently, Ross has just finished up his sophomore year and recently finished up his lacrosse season. This upcoming summer will be Ross's seventh summer at North Star.

More about Ross

If you wrote an autobiography, what would the title be?

Living in the Moment

What TV show or movie are you ashamed to admit that you love?

I would have to say Supah Ninjas from Nickelodeon 

Where is your favorite spot at camp?

My favorite spot would have to be swim point.

What is your dream vacation?

I think Thailand would be pretty awesome.

If you had a super hero power, what would it be?

The ability to stop and start time

If you could witness any historical event, what would you want to see?

I would like to see the CAVS come up from the three-one lead in the 2016 Finals. (I know I already saw it, but it would be awesome to see it again). 

What is your favorite quote from a movie?

“Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” –Forrest Gump  

What's your favorite restaurant in the Hayward area?

Club 77

What is your hidden talent?

I can make a really god pterodactyl impression. 

What advice would you give to someone coming to North Star for the first time?

Appreciate every second. It goes by way too fast.

Share one notable camp memory:

Nothing matches the Canadian trip.



Staff Spotlight: Sandy Celaya


Sandra Marlene Celaya Robles joins the NSC kitchen staff from Mexico. She lives in Oaxaca, studying foreign languages, Sandy likes to read, draw and cook.

More about Sandy

What is your dream vacation?

I really like the beach, so my dream vacation will be in a quiet beach that has a lot of culture around it and many natural places to know.

A secret hobby or skill that you have?

My secret skill is that I can to make figures with balloons.

What TV show or movie are you ashamed to admit that you love?

I´m ashamed to admit that I love the tv show "the big bang theory"

If you could witness any historical event, what would you want to see?

If I could witness any historical event, I would like to witness the arrival of man to the moon.

How did you learn about North Star and why did you apply?

I knew about  North Star camp because a friend had already participated, and He told me about it and I got interested in going, because i wanted to meet new places and make new friends, also I really like to travel. 

What got you interested in cooking?

I got interested in cooking because my grand mother always has cooked very well, and I would like to cook like her, since I was a kid I always wanted to learn.

What are your favorite things to cook/bake?

I really enjoy to cook mexican food and chinese food because they are very delicious.



Monday, June 12, 2017

Staff Spotlight: Mandy Sullivan



Mandy Sullivan returns for her 16th summer as our Waterfront Director and Director of Cabin Life and Health. Mandy is a speech pathologist in a school district working PreK-12th grade. Mandy enjoys many outdoor activities and comes to camp with her son Bryce.

More about Mandy

If you wrote an autobiography, what would the title be?

The soundtrack in my head

What TV show or movie are you ashamed to admit that you love?

Alaskan bush people

Where is your favorite spot at camp?

Swimpoint... of course

What is your dream vacation?

Hawaii

If you had a super hero power, what would it be?

Super organization

If you could witness any historical event, what would you want to see?

I'd like to see the 1st Birkie 50k ski race.

What is your favorite quote from a movie?

"Everything I've done, I've done for you. I move the stars for no one." -Jareth from the movie Labyrinth

What's your favorite restaurant in the Hayward area?

Farmstead

What is your hidden talent?

Hopefully it's accordion playing, because I just bought one!

What advice would you give to someone coming to North Star for the first time?

Wear lots of sunscreen!

Share one notable camp memory:

The first time kids get up on waterskis is always memorable! They look like they have conquered the world.


Pre-pre-camp preparations


While pre-camp didn't officially start until the evening of June 11, folks have been up at camp since May 17 getting ready for North Star's 73rd summer. The kitchen opened a few weeks earlier than it typically does so that we could host a Wilderness First Responder (WFR) course. WFR is the certification that our trip leaders get so they can provide medical aid on our cabin trips.

Staff then started filtering in to begin physically preparing camp for the arrival of campers. This includes getting the docks and boat lifts in the water (and the boats after them), cleaning the floor of the fieldhouse, replacing the Senior Village benches in the council ring and many more projects. Thanks to the hard work of staff that came up early, camp is looking great.

The weight room has moved into the back of the fieldhouse, which will also have ping pong and foosball tables for campers to enjoy. The building that was formerly the fitness center will now house ecology and rocketry. Moving rocketry freed up space to give the trip staff a dedicated food preparation area. The renovations to the Senior Village washhouse are also finishing up.

Starting on Thursday the 8th, we hosted lifeguard training for many of our counselors who will be working on the waterfront this summer. Luckily for them, we had a warm few days during lifeguard training, for which they were in the water for large portions of the day.

After lifeguard training we held certification courses for climbing, archery and riflery. These two-day courses teach our staff to safely instruct on some of our adventure activities. After these trainings, pre-camp officially started. While we had canoe training and a tour of camp planned, a rainy day (even though it never rains at North Star) meant we had to audible. Instead, we began pre-camp by showing the new staff the 2016 reunion video. By Monday the 12th, most of the staff will be at pre-camp (aside from a few late arrivals). We'll spend the week preparing and getting excited for the first session campers to arrive!




Sunday, June 11, 2017

Staff Spotlight: Oliver Rockman


Oliver Rockman is returning for camp for summer number 14. A native of Omaha, Nebraska and graduate of Emory’s Goizueta Business School, Oliver joined Andy and Dan on the full-time staff this offseason. Now living in Chicago, he has been helping with the marketing and recruiting for camp.

More about Oliver

If you wrote an autobiography, what would the title be?

There and Back Again: The Oliver Rockman Story

What TV show or movie are you ashamed to admit that you love?

The Bachelor. I was in a Bachelor fantasy league and it got pretty competitive. 

Where is your favorite spot at camp?

The Senior Village campsites.

What is your dream vacation?

A few weeks in Italy, spending the time in between meals at museums or soccer games. 

If you had a super hero power, what would it be?

Teleportation

If you could witness any historical event, what would you want to see?

Bernini finishing his sculpture of Hades and Persephone in 1622. 

What is your favorite quote from a movie?

I struggle to choose between two. “A friend should always underestimate your virtues and an enemy overestimate your faults”-Don Vito Corleone and “Your god can't save you, but I can”- MacGruber

What's your favorite restaurant in the Hayward area?

The Rivers Eatery in Cable. Narrowly beats out Anglers Haven as my favorite pizza in the area.

What is your hidden talent?

I can move my ears up and down.

What advice would you give to someone coming to North Star for the first time?

Ask for help if you need it. There are so many supportive people at camp, but we can’t read your mind!

Share one notable camp memory:

A week before my first summer (all the way back in 2004) I decided I was not going to go to camp that summer. I went about that by sending an email to Leb as my mother cancelling my spot at camp. I then deleted the email thinking I had succeeded. I overlooked the possibility of a reply, and before long my mom and Leb had found me out. 14 summers later I am glad they did!

Friday, June 9, 2017

Staff Spotlight: Jeff McCormack


Jeff McCormack is the CIT Director and Disc Golf Guy at North Star.  This will be Jeff's 22nd summer at camp.  Jeff, his wife Kim, son Lake (12) and daughter Summer (4) live in Westminster, Colorado in the off-season.  They have two dogs, Osa and Boomer.  This year Jeff will be a high school Special Education teacher for students with Autism and/or Serious Emotional Disabilities.

More about Jeff

If you wrote an autobiography, what would the title be?

"My life today, because of North Star."  

What TV show or movie are you ashamed to admit that you love?

Joe Dirt.  If it's on...I'm watching it.  

Where is your favorite spot at camp?

The NSC Disc Golf Course!  Specifically Hole 11's tee overlooking Clear Lake.  

What is your dream vacation?

Never been on a cruise...really want to do one (mostly for the buffets). 

If you had a super hero power, what would it be?

Without a doubt, unlimited Teleportation.  

If you could witness any historical event, what would you want to see?

Superbowl 20.  

What is your favorite quote from a movie?

"It just doesn't matter." - Meatballs

What's your favorite restaurant in the Hayward area?

The Delta Diner.  Close enough to Hayward, right?  

What is your hidden talent?

I can create a little spit bubble on my tongue and blow it off into the air (about 1 out of every 10 attempts).  

What advice would you give to someone coming to North Star for the first time?

Really make an effort to get to know people (both campers and staff), be inquisitive and ask a lot of questions.  Those who are interesting, are interested!  

Share one notable camp memory:

The Canadian with cabin Manor in 2000, with a group of exceptional young men (including Andy), that I consider friends to this day.  What an amazing experience.  I hope to do it again some day.   



Staff Spotlight: Soumya Mitra


Soumya lives in a small Himalayan town in India called Ranikhet at an altitude of 6132ft. It's a beautiful place surrounded by lush green pine forest. From his porch, Soumya can see snow capped mountains every morning, some of which he dreams to climb some day. Soumya works with NOLS in Ranikhet as a Program Assistant and his job is to work in Ration, Operation and Outfitting department and to set up students for their field courses.

More about Soumya

How did you learn about North Star and why did you apply?

As my contract with NOLS is ending in May, I was looking for an opportunity to work as a wilderness trip leader and while searching NOLS job portal I came to know about North Start Camp. I love outdoors and I love leading students in the wilderness and sharing knowledge about wilderness skills. I know I will get to do what I love at North Star. 

If you wrote an autobiography, what would the title be?

The Folded Stories 

If you could witness any historical event, what would you want to see

The creation of the Universe 

What is your dream vacation:

To travel the world and see every corner while staying with local families and experience different cultures, eating new dishes, learn new languages and make thousand of friends.

If you had a super hero power, what would it be:

To clap and reach whenever I want to go even beyond Earth. 

What noteworthy/random/menial jobs have you held?

This was more like a volunteering job. I was associated with an organization when I was a university student and my job was to stay in the hospital with severely ill patients who don't have anyone from their families to take care of them. 

What TV show or movie are you ashamed to admit that you love?

The Hindi dubbed version of Sinchen. 
I told the same to my best friend and there was a silence after that. So I think Sinchen is the right answer for this question.

What did you do last summer?

I was leading group in the Himalayas with an organization called Indiahikes. I went to Roopkund, also known as Skeleton Lake in the Himalayas at an altitude of 16000ft and another trek called Hampta in a beautiful region in Himachal Pradesh in India. For the last month of the summer, I trekked with my girlfriend in Ladakh in India which also known as the extended plateau of Tibet for its barren features.

What is a little Known fact about yourself:

That I am terribly afraid of cockroaches and on one should about know this.  

What, if any previous camp/outdoor experiences have you had?

I have been hiking/camping for last 9 years predominantly in the Indian Himalayas and some other parts of the world. There are so many camps that I have attended and some of them I have organized. There are more than 80 treks that I have been to and few mountaineering expeditions above 20k ft. The most infamous one was in 2012 summer when I was leading a rock climbing camp in India and we almost fried because of the heat. In India, summer has a different scale and the temperature can go upto 48-degree celsius. But the most fulfilling experience was when I worked at a summer camp with visually challenged students in Kolkata. 




Thursday, June 8, 2017

Staff Spotlight: Micah Jona



Micah Jona is returning for his 10th summer at North Star. Micah just finished his senior year at New Trier Township High School in Winnetka, IL, and this fall he will be a freshman at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. There Micah will be studying business and computer science. At camp, he instructs tennis, disc golf, waterskiing, and other land sports.

More about Micah

If you wrote an autobiography, what would the title be?

Micah Jona: By the Numbers

What TV show or movie are you ashamed to admit that you love?

Gilmore Girls.

Where is your favorite spot at camp?

The health center porch during evening program (especially while sitting in the rocking chairs). 

What is your dream vacation?

Bora Bora.

If you had a super hero power, what would it be?

To fly. 


If you could witness any historical event, what would you want to see?

Martin Luther King Jr's “I have a dream” speech. 

What is your favorite quote from a movie?

“Check out the big brain on Brad.”

What's your favorite restaurant in the Hayward area?

Robin’s Nest. 

What is your hidden talent?

I have a very good memory when it comes to numbers/statistics. 

What advice would you give to someone coming to North Star for the first time?

Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and try to make friends. 

Share one notable camp memory:

Completing the final paddle of the Canadian. 


Staff Spotlight: Mike Dainis


Mike Dainis joins our staff from Salem, MA when he is not living on campus at the University of New Hampshire. Mike will be a senior nursing student in the fall. He is also a brother at the Sigma Nu fraternity on campus, and a peer buddy at Best Buddies. Mike loves to stay active, and he is very excited to be at North Star for the summer!

More about Mike

How did you learn about North Star and why did you apply?

One of my instructors at UNH sent out a flier to all of the students about the job. She said it would be a great opportunity for anyone looking to work with children and be outdoors. This sounded like the perfect job for me. I applied the same day I received the flier; and after a couple of Skype interviews, I was fortunate enough to get the job. I applied because working in pediatrics after I graduate has always been a dream of mine. This is a perfect opportunity to get my feet wet in the field while still enjoying my summer and meeting new people from around the world.

If you wrote an autobiography, what would the title be?

Diary of a Male Nurse


If you could witness any historical event, what would you want to see?

USA defeating the USSR at the 1980 Winter Olympics


What is your dream vacation:

Fiji

If you had a super hero power, what would it be:

The ability to fly

What noteworthy/random/menial jobs have you held?

I have been a waiter at a couple restaurants, as well as worked landscaping for a summer.

What TV show or movie are you ashamed to admit that you love?

Zootopia

What did you do last summer?

I worked as a waiter at the Hawthorne Hotel in Salem, MA

What is a little Known fact about yourself:

I was born in Germany

What, if any previous camp/outdoor experiences have you had?

I have never been to camp before, but I am extremely excited to come to North Star this summer