North Star Camp for Boys

Thursday, June 28, 2018

The First Cruiser Day

This last Tuesday, we had our first Cruiser Day here at camp this summer, where we stray from our typical routines and each cabin gets together to plan out a whole day. These activities can range from normal camp activities to creative, goofy things our staff thinks of.

In the morning, campers woke up with some glorious doughnuts for breakfast in bed and commenced a grand cabin clean-up, where sheets were changed, the floor was mopped, and laundry was sent out to be washed.

Then started the excitement. While some cabins went tubing on the fine Spider Lake waters or zip-lined off our climbing wall, campers also slip-and-slided on the athletic field on that hot and humid day here in the Northwoods. Others went out to the Musky Run Resort, where they enjoyed some delicious candy and soda. The cabin of I1 decided their theme for this Cruiser Day was Star Wars, so it was quite the sight to see Jake Kraemer looking exactly like Darth Maul.

The Junior Village had their Village Cruiser Day and spent it at the KOA Campground in Hayward, where they went down the waterslide, swam, go-karted, and jumped on the big, inflatable pillow. Afterwards, they headed to West's for ice cream and to the Hayward Beach for a grand cook-out.

To wrap things up, everyone enjoyed the iconic North Star meal, Tin Foil Surprise! This wonderful masterpiece is composed of cheese, potatoes, carrots, and ground beef, all prepared over a campfire. And for dessert, each cabin prepared golden brown marshmallows for some classic s'mores.

We can't wait for next Cruiser Day!

Monday, June 25, 2018

The First Week!

An array of pinks, oranges, and reds painted the back drop at the Council Ring as campers gathered for the opening friendship fire. This annual tradition marks the end of a jam packed first week of the 74th summer at North Star.

After their initial health checks and swim tests were completed on Tuesday, most of the campers transitioned into the daily routine of camp. The cabins of Pine, Manor and McCabin left on Wednesday for their 10 day excursion to Quetico Provincial Park in Canada. These boys are due to return to camp on Friday the 29th. The cabin of S1 also departed for their 5 day expedition on the Superior Hiking trail in northern Minnesota. Unfortunately, due to the unprecedented amount of rainfall we received in the days leading up to the campers' arrival, the rivers in the surrounding area are running dangerously fast. As a result, we have had to postpone and modify S2's and S3's cabin trips. These boys will now be canoeing and portaging in Sylvania Michigan.

Back in camp, activities are in full swing. The boys have been able to enjoy 6 full days of sunshine and seventies. All camp capture the flag, Kings Candy and our first Friday night service are a few of the highlights from this weeks evening programs. The campers also had the opportunity to reflect on their past week and look ahead to the coming week during their cabin campfires.

The annual Green/White Series is also officially underway. Jasper Chazen and Will Garnes were selected as the captains for the Junior Village. Milton Hafron and Ethan Nguyen will be representing the Intermediate Village, and Bodie Florsheim and Jack Foreman are the Senior Village's delegates. For this series of events, all campers are placed on either the Green or White team and compete in different sports or activities and earn points for their respective teams. The Green/White competition culminates with the "Marathon" which will take place on the morning of July 4th!

Finally, in addition to our youngest camper, Anderson Boehm, Avi Rubin, Jayden Cohen, and Jack Sollinger celebrated birthdays this past week!

It's been such a busy week and there is still so much more camping left to do! Stay tuned for more updates from the Northwoods!

Monday, June 18, 2018

North Star Summer of 2018!

North Star’s 74th summer is officially underway! The buses from both Chicago and Minneapolis timed a perfect arrival at 4:00 and each camper passed through a tunnel of excited counselors to see a beautiful 80-degree sunny afternoon. It was a picture perfect start to summer. The energy showed through as we gathered around the flagpole to announce the cabins, and then the boys headed toward their bunks to unpack. The cabin list is attached.

The boys are now unpacking and new campers are receiving a tour of camp. As they walk around camp, they will see many of the improvements from the off-season, including the new baseball batting cage and pitching machine, some remodeled cabins, a new splashmat and water log at swim point, and much more fun to come. 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.

In addition to developing the community, we are working to develop each boy as an individual as well. One of the goals we are working towards this summer is called “the meaningful check in.” Each day, each boy at camp should receive a receive a check in with one of their counselors giving them an opportunity to reflect on their day. While so many boys consider sufficient dialog to be “What’s Up?”, “Nothing, you?”, “Nothing really,” we strive for more than that. Tru relationships and opportunities to grow require more depth than that. Friday Night Services offer the whole camp a time to reflect on our camp values. Sunday Night Campfires offer each cabin the chance to reflect on their growth as a cabin. And the Meaningful Check-Ins will offer each camper a daily opportunity to reflect on their personal goals and development. Our staff have taken this idea to heart, and I look forward to seeing this in action this summer.

Tomorrow the kids will have a busy day as our amazing medical team checks in the boys. The campers will take a swim test 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. Some of our 8th graders (we use the grade they just completed) will leave that day for five days on the Superior Hiking Trail, while other campers will depart straight away on the Brule River or the Flambeau River. Wednesday evening will be the staff show, where our very talented group will be on display.

Thank you for trusting us with your boys!

Sunday, June 3, 2018

2018 Staff Spotlight - Courtney Lyn-Kew

First year counselor Courtney Lyn-Kew joins the NSC staff as a counselor and soccer & fitness training instructor. He grew up in south Florida, playing soccer year round. He got his undergraduate degree from Defiance College in Ohio where he played on the soccer team.

He's now getting a graduate degree from Palm Beach Atlantic University with his Masters in School Counseling. He worked a few summers ago at a camp in Maine and we're excited to have him at NSC this summer!

More about Courtney

How did you learn about North Star and why did you apply?
- I found out about North Star through my own personal research. I was fortunate enough to work at a camp in Maine two years ago and I loved it, through school I wasn’t able to work during the following summers, however with having more flexibility this summer I knew that I had to find another camp to teach at!

If you could be any animal (besides a human), what would you be and why?
- If I could be any animal besides a human, I would choose to be a Koala. They’re very chill animals and basically just want to eat, sleep and hangout in trees, so basically everything I wish I could do now.

What is your guilty pleasure tv show(s):
- Don’t really watch tv at all but some shows that I have always enjoyed are Family Guy, and Stranger Things.

What is your dream Job:
- Growing up my dream was to be a professional soccer player, however I wasn’t able to make it happen. On the positive side I fell in love with school counseling and coaching. So for me, School Counseling and coaching soccer are now my dream jobs and I don’t see them changing anytime soon.

If you could have dinner with any three people, dead or alive, who would they be and why?
- If I could have dinner with three people, I would choose Barack Obama, Martin Luther King Jr, and John Wooden. All three of those men are people I look up to, so to be able to have a meal with them and just pick their brains and take in everything they have to say would be amazing. Hearing their stories and how they found the courage to overcome their struggles and the feelings they all went through would be a dream come true and such a good learning experience.

What is the best Christmas/Hanukkah/holiday present that you've ever gotten:
- The best Christmas gift I have ever gotten would probably be my JBL speaker, I use it everywhere I go. I’m very active, I use it at my soccer practices, at the beach, work (if it’s not busy), in the shower, kayaking, I literally take it everywhere with me and I love it. It’s indestructible.

What are/were your favorite subjects in school:
- For me I always loved P.E., I have always been athletic so it was a natural relationship. I also really liked Geography, I always found learning about different countries very interesting, I also liked simply knowing where the other countries were in relation to me.

What are your top three movies of all time:
- This was by far the hardest question to answer, however “Cool Runnings” is an absolute classic. Then I would have to say “Miracle”, I think the acting is so good and everybody played their roles so well and then all the emotions that were brought out of me, easily had to be in my top 3. With my last and final pick in the top three movie draft, and I know there will be people who disagree, however I personally have to go with “Guardian” with Ashton Kutcher. Now have never been someone who cries easily, in fact I can’t remember the last time I cried, but Guardian had me so close to letting a tear out that I had to put it in my top three.

What sports teams do you root for:
- Basketball- Miami Heat, Futbol- Manchester United and West Bromwich Albion, Tennis- Roger the legend Federer, Golf- Bubba Watson, Hockey- Florida panthers, College football- University of Florida, College soccer- Indiana University, College Hockey- University of Minnesota.

What noteworthy/random/menial jobs have you held?
- I would call it a job but I absolutely love my internship, so it was noteworthy to me. I learned so much and had such a good time working with the kids, I felt I had a really good impact on some students and truly helped them change their live around. A random job I’ve had was working as Door Guy for a Bar in downtown West Palm Beach, I’m 5’10 and about 175 lbs and definitely don’t look intimidating, I originally applied to be a bar back but I guess they saw something in me that I didn’t. A menial job would be working as a busboy when I was younger, however I have always been a fan of people who work hard so to me as long as you’re earning honest money then I don’t really see jobs as being menial.

What did you do last summer?
- Last summer I stayed here in West Palm Beach due to school, however I worked a lot, relaxed, spent a good amount of time getting a nice tan, I grew my beard out (it wasn’t a good look) and basically just hung out with some friends.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

2018 Staff Spotlight - Joey Kaiser

Joey Kaiser returns for his second summer at North Star, after missing the summer of 2017. The Twin Cities native has been working on finishing his degree in electrical engineering at the University of Minnesota Duluth. This upcoming fall will be his senior year during which hr will be tutoring general physics and working as a residential advisor.

As of recently he has also taken up training for a Marathon which he will run this September in the hopes of qualifying for the Boston Marathon. Before camp starts he's planning a trip up the north shore as well as a trip into the Boundary Waters with friends.

More about Joey

What is your favorite camp meal?
- The pizza, the crust is my favorite!

If you could be any animal (besides a human), what would you be and why?
- An owl so I could fly and be able to see at night.

What is your guilty pleasure tv show(s):
- The Office

Where is your favorite spot at camp:
- The bench swing facing the lake by the funbugs.

What is your dream Job:
- Owning my own restaurant.

If you could have dinner with any three people, dead or alive, who would they be and why?:
- John Paul II, CS Lewis , and Tom Petty. I would choose John Paul because I think he was wise, CS Lewis because I think his books are interesting and Tom Petty because I like his music.

What is the best Christmas/Hanukkah present that you've ever gotten:
- I think the Christmas present that I was most excited for is when my uncle bought my siblings and I a gamecube with Mario Kart double Dash when I was 10.

What are/were your favorite subjects in school:
 - I like reading in general so definitely reading class.

What are your top three movies of all time:
Lord of the Rings(The Fellowship of the Ring), Shawshank Redemption, and the Dark Knight

What's your go-to pie at the Norske Nook:
- Banana cream

What sports teams do you root for:
- Occasionally the Minnesota Vikings

Share a random or little known fact about yourself:
- I like reading books that are considered classics.