North Star Camp for Boys

Sunday, August 5, 2018

The North Star Games

Yesterday was the first ever North Star Games, for which all of camp was drafted in to 4 constellation based teams, Hydra, Hercules, Dorado, and Mensa. The event officially kicked off Friday afternoon with the North Star Pow Wow, which celebrated the Native American history of the Northwoods. Educating our campers about Native American history, culture and traditions, and creating a connection with the land has always been a priority throughout camp’s 74-year history, and our campers and staff feel that this new take on a Pow Wow Day is a more empathetic and appropriate way to accomplish those goals.

With the help of a few Pine Manor campers, Andy discussed the history of our Pow Wow Day, how the days traditions have changed it over the years, and the decision to move on to The North Star Games this summer. He also shared the history of local tribes and allowed the campers to see a few native artifacts we have at camp. Eli Gould, Aidan Weinberg and Louis Schienfeld then led the rest of the campers in a few traditional Native American games. A favorite was "The Running Game", which is a distance running race with one major catch, runners need to be screaming at the top of their lungs.

Our Friday Night Service focused on this transition, as well as the importance of conservation and respecting the land. After taking time to learn about some of the first environmentalists, the Chippewa tribe, and their modern counterparts, we held the opening ceremony for The North Star Games. In 1944, Lou and Renee decided to buy the land that became North Star when they saw the Council Ring. They looked to the sky and saw the North Star, and camp had a name. The teams walked from that spot to an athletic field lined with lanterns. Andy told stories about the North Star and what it represents, and the Senior Village captains from each team lit a torch to signify the beginning of the competition. In the morning, opening ceremonies continued with a cheer from each team followed by the launch of their team rocket.

The day itself included many favorite camp events, such as leg wrestling, Polaris Ball (a modified softball game), Canoe Tug of War, and log rolling, water polo, and a variety of swimming events. There were also a few additions, including Stand Up Paddleboarding, rocketry, and a plaque competition.  There was a silent lunch (because there is no sound in space). Despite rain, the enthusiasm around camp was palpable, and we were able to fit most of the scheduled events in. The staff softball game to decide eating order was modified into a dodgeball tournament in the VICtory Fieldhouse, which also hosted Floor Hockey, which was played in lieu of Speedball. The day concluded with a closing ceremony in Mike Hall, highlighted by a performance from The Pinery Boys, who treated camp to a performance of authentic logging era music. The sportsmanship of campers and staff was on display throughout the day, and even though "it just doesn't matter", Hydra ended as champions of the first North Star Games.