North Star Camp for Boys

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Espionage, Espionage, Ooh, Ahh

You should have seen the smiles last night once we told the boys that pods would now be by village versus by cabin. The campers were banging on the tables, shouting their village cheers, hugging the other boys in their new pods, and playing games with each other once they were finished eating. The tetherball courts had half of the J-Village lined up for a turn, ready to play with their new friends. Although we still need to be extremely cautious about pod and sanitation policies, we are so grateful for the patience of our campers thus far, and last night was something truly special to watch. 

Last night’s evening program was our Sunday Night campfires. Each cabin has their own campfire site either along the nature trail or in the Senior Village. Last night’s theme carried forward our Friday Night Service theme of perseverance and grit. In order to help the boys better discuss their feelings each cabin used the emotion grid from Marc Brackett’s book Permission to Feel, which we’ve discussed with our staff and many of them have now read. The idea is that in order to develop emotional intelligence, we must first learn to recognize, understand and label our own emotions. The boys are then able to express their feelings towards one another and use this information to create a more supportive and inclusive cabin culture. 

While shots were being fired at riflery and campers were fishing on the pontoons, J1 took a turn on the slip n’ slide during third period. Through the office window, we could hear “rub the soap on your back!” by their counselor Max as he encouraged the boys to lay all the way down on their backs for extra speed. Camp really brings out the creativity in our staff and campers alike. 

Music Monday was tonight’s evening program, where campers and counselors took the mic to sing songs, rap, perform silly skits, and play the piano. Some out-of-cabin staff sang a parody to the tune of “Seasons of Love” from Rent titled “Summer of Pods” and sang about our quarantine period and our “525,600 nose swabs.” Of course, the Wanegan Kings distributed candy to the boys to eat as they enjoyed the performances on the J3 porch. 

Tonight’s evening program was Espionage, which happens in the dark after evening program concludes. This is an event campers really look forward to because it’s the only time they can be up and out past dark. They get dressed up in dark clothes and paint their faces with camouflage paint to play a game full of sneaking. This year’s theme is Avatar: The Last Airbender, and unlike any other year, this theme will be played out in multiple parts across this summer. It’s a game of mystery and deception, as the campers use clues to collect water balloons at different stations around camp and sneakily bring them up to the Council Ring without getting caught by the Renegades, played by some of our staff. 

To start the evening, there was a skit to introduce the Espionage theme, and then each group was instructed to go back to their cabins to find their first clue as to where to go next. As cabin groups made it to stations around camp, they were given water balloons, and with every extra riddle or piece of trivia that they correctly solved, they received another water balloon. Their goal was to end the game with as many water balloons as possible by the time they got to the Council Ring, but Renegades were constantly sneaking around camp to stop the cabin group and guess where they were hiding their balloons. If the Renegade guessed correctly about who in the group was hiding the balloons, that camper was forced to give up the balloons to the Renegade. Once every group successfully made it to the Council Ring, points were tallied, and S2 was the winning group for this evening.

After this very eventful activity, we know the boys will sleep well tonight and get to sleep late tomorrow morning. We’re excited for Cruiser Day festivities tomorrow!

Be sure to check out our Week 2 Highlights video here: