North Star Camp for Boys

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

"Nowhere I'd Rather Be"

Today at camp we celebrated our first camp birthday of the Summer of 2013. Jacob B stood on the chair in the dining hall and was serenaded by the our traditional, unique birthday songs. After he blew out the candle in his cake, I made my usual blowing-out-the-candles joke, "We're all still here." Jacob's response, in his 7th summer and first as a counselor, was quick to turn my joke into a great moment.
There is nowhere I'd rather be.
The dining hall agreed! That was just dinner on our first full day of camp, which was no regular dinner. It was our our Opening Banquet, in which all of the campers are welcomed into the dining hall by a full staff of guys dressed up in ridiculous costumes and cheering with excitement. We have such a great group of campers here this summer, and we are so proud to welcome these guys (back) into the North Star family.

Our first full day at camp came with perfect weather. After a chilly night, we had a beautiful day in the upper 70s with the sun shining. It was perfect for a day of physicals, swim tests, and the all-important games of Continuous Dodgeball. This game has truly become a staple of the first day at camp, where a whole village is out on the athletic fields playing an every-man-for-themselves version of dodgeball. The twist on the first day is that when you get somebody out, you have to go introduce yourself to that person. Between the candlelight ceremonies that took place last night, and the various activities throughout the day, this helped facilitate an environment whereby all the of the campers know the names of their fellow campers.

For evening program, we played our first game of All-Camp Capture the Flag! We start by dividing the whole camp into two teams, and then create flag circles on completely opposite ends of camp. We rang a bell and they were off.

While the night was through then for most of our boys, our oldest group was preparing to leave for Canada. Tomorrow morning, they will take off on their 10-day journey through Quetico Provincial Park in Ontario. They did some training today along with packing, and the group also gathered at Leb and Sue's house for a proper send-off. We talked about the significance of the trip and previewed just how much fun these guys are going to have.

It is always amazing to send off these boys on their Canadian trip. It is a moment that they have been working towards for as long as seven years as campers. In this group, we have seven guys whose fathers also went on the Canadian trip. And some of us old-timers shared stories of Canadians past, it is always fun to think how the nervous energy of the group will be transformed into hard work and teamwork while they're on their trip, and finally transformed into confidence and poise when they return with a knowledge of what they completed. We'll see them in 10 days!