North Star Camp for Boys

Monday, June 18, 2018

North Star Summer of 2018!

North Star’s 74th summer is officially underway! The buses from both Chicago and Minneapolis timed a perfect arrival at 4:00 and each camper passed through a tunnel of excited counselors to see a beautiful 80-degree sunny afternoon. It was a picture perfect start to summer. The energy showed through as we gathered around the flagpole to announce the cabins, and then the boys headed toward their bunks to unpack. The cabin list is attached.

The boys are now unpacking and new campers are receiving a tour of camp. As they walk around camp, they will see many of the improvements from the off-season, including the new baseball batting cage and pitching machine, some remodeled cabins, a new splashmat and water log at swim point, and much more fun to come. 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.

In addition to developing the community, we are working to develop each boy as an individual as well. One of the goals we are working towards this summer is called “the meaningful check in.” Each day, each boy at camp should receive a receive a check in with one of their counselors giving them an opportunity to reflect on their day. While so many boys consider sufficient dialog to be “What’s Up?”, “Nothing, you?”, “Nothing really,” we strive for more than that. Tru relationships and opportunities to grow require more depth than that. Friday Night Services offer the whole camp a time to reflect on our camp values. Sunday Night Campfires offer each cabin the chance to reflect on their growth as a cabin. And the Meaningful Check-Ins will offer each camper a daily opportunity to reflect on their personal goals and development. Our staff have taken this idea to heart, and I look forward to seeing this in action this summer.

Tomorrow the kids will have a busy day as our amazing 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.

Thank you for trusting us with your boys!

Sunday, June 3, 2018

2018 Staff Spotlight - Courtney Lyn-Kew

First year counselor Courtney Lyn-Kew joins the NSC staff as a counselor and soccer & fitness training instructor. He grew up in south Florida, playing soccer year round. He got his undergraduate degree from Defiance College in Ohio where he played on the soccer team.

He's now getting a graduate degree from Palm Beach Atlantic University with his Masters in School Counseling. He worked a few summers ago at a camp in Maine and we're excited to have him at NSC this summer!

More about Courtney

How did you learn about North Star and why did you apply?
- I found out about North Star through my own personal research. I was fortunate enough to work at a camp in Maine two years ago and I loved it, through school I wasn’t able to work during the following summers, however with having more flexibility this summer I knew that I had to find another camp to teach at!

If you could be any animal (besides a human), what would you be and why?
- If I could be any animal besides a human, I would choose to be a Koala. They’re very chill animals and basically just want to eat, sleep and hangout in trees, so basically everything I wish I could do now.

What is your guilty pleasure tv show(s):
- Don’t really watch tv at all but some shows that I have always enjoyed are Family Guy, and Stranger Things.

What is your dream Job:
- Growing up my dream was to be a professional soccer player, however I wasn’t able to make it happen. On the positive side I fell in love with school counseling and coaching. So for me, School Counseling and coaching soccer are now my dream jobs and I don’t see them changing anytime soon.

If you could have dinner with any three people, dead or alive, who would they be and why?
- If I could have dinner with three people, I would choose Barack Obama, Martin Luther King Jr, and John Wooden. All three of those men are people I look up to, so to be able to have a meal with them and just pick their brains and take in everything they have to say would be amazing. Hearing their stories and how they found the courage to overcome their struggles and the feelings they all went through would be a dream come true and such a good learning experience.

What is the best Christmas/Hanukkah/holiday present that you've ever gotten:
- The best Christmas gift I have ever gotten would probably be my JBL speaker, I use it everywhere I go. I’m very active, I use it at my soccer practices, at the beach, work (if it’s not busy), in the shower, kayaking, I literally take it everywhere with me and I love it. It’s indestructible.

What are/were your favorite subjects in school:
- For me I always loved P.E., I have always been athletic so it was a natural relationship. I also really liked Geography, I always found learning about different countries very interesting, I also liked simply knowing where the other countries were in relation to me.

What are your top three movies of all time:
- This was by far the hardest question to answer, however “Cool Runnings” is an absolute classic. Then I would have to say “Miracle”, I think the acting is so good and everybody played their roles so well and then all the emotions that were brought out of me, easily had to be in my top 3. With my last and final pick in the top three movie draft, and I know there will be people who disagree, however I personally have to go with “Guardian” with Ashton Kutcher. Now have never been someone who cries easily, in fact I can’t remember the last time I cried, but Guardian had me so close to letting a tear out that I had to put it in my top three.

What sports teams do you root for:
- Basketball- Miami Heat, Futbol- Manchester United and West Bromwich Albion, Tennis- Roger the legend Federer, Golf- Bubba Watson, Hockey- Florida panthers, College football- University of Florida, College soccer- Indiana University, College Hockey- University of Minnesota.

What noteworthy/random/menial jobs have you held?
- I would call it a job but I absolutely love my internship, so it was noteworthy to me. I learned so much and had such a good time working with the kids, I felt I had a really good impact on some students and truly helped them change their live around. A random job I’ve had was working as Door Guy for a Bar in downtown West Palm Beach, I’m 5’10 and about 175 lbs and definitely don’t look intimidating, I originally applied to be a bar back but I guess they saw something in me that I didn’t. A menial job would be working as a busboy when I was younger, however I have always been a fan of people who work hard so to me as long as you’re earning honest money then I don’t really see jobs as being menial.

What did you do last summer?
- Last summer I stayed here in West Palm Beach due to school, however I worked a lot, relaxed, spent a good amount of time getting a nice tan, I grew my beard out (it wasn’t a good look) and basically just hung out with some friends.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

2018 Staff Spotlight - Joey Kaiser

Joey Kaiser returns for his second summer at North Star, after missing the summer of 2017. The Twin Cities native has been working on finishing his degree in electrical engineering at the University of Minnesota Duluth. This upcoming fall will be his senior year during which hr will be tutoring general physics and working as a residential advisor.

As of recently he has also taken up training for a Marathon which he will run this September in the hopes of qualifying for the Boston Marathon. Before camp starts he's planning a trip up the north shore as well as a trip into the Boundary Waters with friends.

More about Joey

What is your favorite camp meal?
- The pizza, the crust is my favorite!

If you could be any animal (besides a human), what would you be and why?
- An owl so I could fly and be able to see at night.

What is your guilty pleasure tv show(s):
- The Office

Where is your favorite spot at camp:
- The bench swing facing the lake by the funbugs.

What is your dream Job:
- Owning my own restaurant.

If you could have dinner with any three people, dead or alive, who would they be and why?:
- John Paul II, CS Lewis , and Tom Petty. I would choose John Paul because I think he was wise, CS Lewis because I think his books are interesting and Tom Petty because I like his music.

What is the best Christmas/Hanukkah present that you've ever gotten:
- I think the Christmas present that I was most excited for is when my uncle bought my siblings and I a gamecube with Mario Kart double Dash when I was 10.

What are/were your favorite subjects in school:
 - I like reading in general so definitely reading class.

What are your top three movies of all time:
Lord of the Rings(The Fellowship of the Ring), Shawshank Redemption, and the Dark Knight

What's your go-to pie at the Norske Nook:
- Banana cream

What sports teams do you root for:
- Occasionally the Minnesota Vikings

Share a random or little known fact about yourself:
- I like reading books that are considered classics.