North Star Camp for Boys

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Second Session is Underway!

The second session of North Star’s 72nd summer is officially underway! When we got off the bus, the staff and the 8-week campers were cheering like crazy to welcome our new campers.

It was a beautiful sunny day and it dried out the puddles from last week’s rain. As the boys introduced themselves to one another, it was easy to see that North Star really does have the nicest boys in the world. Even on the bus, the campers were so supportive of one another as they talked about all of the fun they’re going to have, the special events coming up, the camp traditions and the friends they are going to make. We gathered around the flagpole to announce the cabins, and a lot of cheering, high fiving and hugging ensued. From there, the boys headed to their cabins to get unpacked, and that is where the relationship building begins. It is our expectation that by the time everyone goes to bed, they feel that they have one counselor that they are comfortable waking up with a problem or a question and one friend that they are excited to play with in the morning. Because that is when camp starts to feel like home.

The boys are now unpacking and new campers are receiving a tour of camp. There is a lot of excitement as they head out by the athletic fields and get their first glimpse of the new Bouldering Wall, the new and improved Archery Range, and the brand new NSC Fieldhouse! The bouldering wall is now double sided with the back side being inverted by about 15-degrees, a great challenge for our advanced climbers. The new archery range will more than double the capacity of the old range, allowing more boys to get more opportunities for practice. And the Fieldhouse has already revolutionized rainy days at North Star, as we can play giant games of basketball, dodgeball, floor hockey, indoor soccer and more in this new addition. 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.

At our Friday Night Service, counselor Jacob Sherman gave an amazing sermonette about character and what that means at camp. Jacob defined character as the gap between who we are and who we want to be. At camp, we work close that gap by talking about what it means to be a good friend and a good person. Between Friday Night Services, cabin campfires, weekly check-ins and the rest of our program, our goal is that every boy leaves camp more mindful of their own growth, strengths and values. The whole program at camp is set up to make sure that not only do the boys have a blast, but that they are able to grow, learn to overcome obstacles and develop real self-confidence.

Tomorrow the kids will have a busy day as Vickie and our medical team check in the boys. They will take a swim test and find time to play several games of dodgeball. The 8-weekers will he headed out on some great day trips. Evening program will be our first game of All-Camp Capture the Flag. And on Tuesday, we'll be right into regular activities. The boys will have their first three instructional periods that they chose tonight.

Thank you for trusting us with your boys!