North Star Camp for Boys

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Fall Camp: The Adventure Begins

The first weekend is in the books and it has been a huge success. Over the last two days, the boys have spent time getting to know one another and getting settled into our Fall Camp routine. Today was filled with dodgeball, softball, riflery, archery, climbing, waterskiing, kickball and more. The boys had the opportunity to shoot some hoops in the Fieldhouse and watch some football outside of the Lodge. All of that only came after we took time to set up the study cabins and test our hotspots, as well as our introductory health checks.

And we are feeling ready for tomorrow. All of the remote learning schedules are mapped out to allow not only for the boys to get their studies done, but for them to have opportunities for “recess” during the mornings and afternoons, followed by “afterschool activities” at 3:30, their clubs at 4:30 and an all-camp program at 5:30. Our education coordinators have the boys prepped and ready for this “first day of school” at camp. Most importantly, it has been so great to see the boys so happy and relaxed. While we’re getting used to the slower paced experience at camp (and seeing technology here), the campers and counselors alike are expressing their gratitude for being able to be here. I’m feeling that way too.

Whenever I have to travel away from Laney, even if only for a day or two, it always looks to me like she’s changed so much when I return. I know that the reality is that she changes gradually over time, but having that break allows you to see it in a different way. I went down to Chicago for the pickup there and it was the first time I had really seen the city since the beginning of May, and in a way I had that same feeling about my city. While I have been reading all of the news about how Covid and protests have changed the city, seeing it for myself was jarring - shops boarded up, some open like nothing had happened, some streets completely quiet, others with full traffic, some people wearing masks and face shields and gloves, and others wearing none. Most of all, it was filled with a tension that I have not gotten used to. Being up here for the whole summer and most of the spring, I haven’t had the chance to learn to tolerate all of it.

So returning to camp with our Fall Campers filled me with joy and gratitude. While we’re figuring out a great many things about what this new program will look like, this adventure here is filled with laughter and cheering and active, happy, socially engaged kids who are getting to still be kids. Thank you so much for trusting us with them during these wild times. With the first weekend of Fall Camp in the books, and the first day of school in the morning, we can’t wait to make the best of every day with this group for the next six weeks.

Chairs up, pencils down,