North Star Camp for Boys

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Summer of 2013 is Underway!

The Summer of 2013 is finally here! The day we have all been waiting for and, more importantly, the campers we have all been waiting for have arrived. The buses were filled with excitement for camp, and that was before the boys starting eating their candy. In addition to hearing about all of the incredible things that our boys have done over the offseason, one of my favorite parts of the bus ride is listening to the returning campers explain to the first timers every little detail of what they are about to experience. Between that and everybody joining in and singing songs, I could already feel the sense of community building on the bus!

We pulled into camp to see the counselors jumping around like crazy. The staff have been arriving since late May and have been working hard to prepare the grounds, get trained in their specific activities areas, and, most importantly, to learn as much as possible in order to take great care of your sons. And they have done a great job. We did an exercise during orientation where I asked the staff what they were going to do as role models for the campers this summer. Here's what they came up with:
•  Treat others how you want to be treated
•  Smile as much as possible
•  Say "hi" to everyone you see
•  Lead by example
•  Be open minded
•  Try new things
•  Make the best out of everything
•  Encourage everyone to find their voice
•  Praise uniqueness
•  Don’t Judge
•  Don't let others' judgments matter
•  Find the campers’ interests
•  Help campers find their own interest
•  Acknowledge anything is possible
•  Be supportive
•  Keep things in perspective
•  Have fun in un-fun situations
•  Be 100% committed
•  Demonstrate that it's okay to fail
•  Be the best you can
•  Have high expectations and help the campers reach them
•  Praise good behavior
•  Be Selfless
•  Teach problem solving
•  Handle defeat well
•  Handle success well
•  Have views from different perspectives
•  Express your hopes and dreams
•  Work towards your hopes and dreams

That's a pretty impressive list. Not only are these guys going to be great role models, they demonstrated right out of the gate that they are going to be a ton of fun as well.

Straight off the bus we gathered around the flagpole, and as we announced the cabins, the staff and campers went crazy. High fives, chest bumps and prepared shenanigans put a smile on everybody's face. The kids have now unpacked and new campers have been given a tour of camp. 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, jello, salad and the ever present Sun Butter and jelly (no more Peanut Butter). There will be vegetarian burgers available for those that prefer, and brownies for dessert.

Immediately following dinner, the campers will choose their first week's activities. Their counselors will be encouraging them not only to participate in the activities that they are already familiar with, but also to try out some new ones as well. 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.

Tomorrow the kids will have a busy day as they get checked out by the medical staff, take a swim test, choose their 1st week's schedule 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. Wednesday evening will be the staff show, where our very talented group will be on display.


From here on out, you can follow along with the summer of 2013 on our website at We will also be posting updates on Facebook at and on Twitter at

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 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. We can't wait for the rest of a great Summer of 2013!