North Star Camp for Boys

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Day One Under the Sun

Good evening, folks, good evening, folks…the show is just beginning! Camp is flooded with excitement and laughter – now that we’re all reunited, we’re quickly reminded of why this community is so special and important. Between singing songs at meals, playing cabin games, swimming in the lake, and shower parties in the washhouse, it feels like summer should. 

There are no suspected cases of COVID-19 on camp’s property. The kids have been great about adapting to the new protocols. The main one is to wear their masks unless they are just with their cabin. The boys are continuing to practice sanitizing in and out of meals and activities, and are already doing a great job with masking up at appropriate times. Every camper had an entry physical with our health team today and they look great. They are happy and healthy.

In addition to bringing up the campers from Chicago yesterday, we also picked up a Quidel Sofia 2 Analyzer which gives us the ability to do rapid tests for any suspected cases of Covid-19. This antigen test gives us the ability to receive results on-site at camp in 15 minutes. A big thank you to our friends at PediaTrust for helping facilitate this!

Each boy also took the camp advance swim test today. The swim test included swimming several lengths and treading water. At the waterfront, they were introduced to our water safety rules and got to know some of the lifeguards who will be protecting them this summer. Today was a beautiful, 85-degree, sunny day with a steady breeze, which made it a perfect day for swim tests. The kids were happy to hop in the lake to cool off!

We had our first organized free period of the summer this afternoon, where kids could choose to stay back at the cabin to hang low with a counselor or follow some of their cabinmates and counselors to a specific activity they signed up for as a group earlier today. Some cabin groups played disc golf, some went paddleboarding, some went fishing, some went to riflery, and some even chose to sit in the shade and play chess. Regardless of the activity, it served as yet another opportunity for the kids to continue getting to know each other, especially for the campers who are new to North Star this summer. 

Immediately following organized free, kids gathered at their assigned picnic tables by village to eat spaghetti dinner before heading to the ball field for an epic evening activity: Human Foosball. Cabin groups lined up across the field and tried to pass multiple soccer balls to their teammates outside of their permitted zone to ultimately score goals at each end. This all-camp game was a huge hit because it took strategy, teamwork, and a whole lot of energy from every camper! 

As we remind each other to sanitize hands, wear masks, and keep distance between cabin groups, we are teaching the boys about responsibility and accountability – two qualities that will serve them well far beyond their camp years. Of course, it takes time to create a habit, but our commitment to safety and well-being means we are consistently helping the campers to follow these important procedures and understand why it’s so vital to do so. There’s one thing we already know for sure: this cabin quarantine period certainly won’t stop us from having a blast! 

In case you haven't seen these videos from our awesome media team:

Cabin Staff Introductions:

Arrival Day 2020:

Health Staff Introductions:

And to see pictures of all of the action, you can login to CampInTouch and click "Photos."

Today’s Grace:
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.”
-Charles Darwin

Be Seated,

Arrival Day 2020

Monday, June 29, 2020

Arrival Day...They're Here to Stay

This note has to start with a thank you. We know that in this moment, the camp decision was especially complex and emotional. We are so appreciative of the trust you have in North Star. There is no greater responsibility than taking care of other peoples’ children, and we promise to continue working tirelessly to provide these boys with a safe and fantastic summer. All of the work over the past three and a half months was worth it just to see the boys as they arrived. As soon as they arrived at camp, and even as they just boarded the vans, the tension fell from their shoulders and the smiles showed bright on their faces. And with their arrival around the flagpole, the North Star Summer of 2020, our 76th summer of camp, is officially underway! 

While we wish we could have given you all a big hug this morning, our strict drop-off protocols today were to ensure the safety of our campers and staff, and we are grateful for all of your cooperation. Today began our 14-day cabin quarantine period, during which the boys will participate in many group activities, but will maintain distance and wear masks around the other cabin pods. With each meal, every camper and staff member will have their temperature checked with our facial recognition temperature scanner and we will be closely monitoring the campers throughout for Covid-like symptoms. Our incredible health team is prepared to help any and every child with any medical needs this summer. Meet our incredible health team by video:

It’s quite obvious that campers had an amazing ride up to North Star today. In past years, kids didn’t know who their cabin mates were until gathering around the flagpole at camp, but this year’s strategy provided the unique opportunity for campers to have quality time with some of their cabinmates and counselors before even getting to Hayward. Name games, fun music, and silly stories are just some of the ways that counselors kept their campers entertained throughout the long drive. The kids who were directly dropped off at camp were equally as lucky to get to spend the day with one of their new counselors, who helped them settle in before the vans pulled up with the rest of their new friends.

Tradition has it that dinner on the first night is burgers and fries, accompanied by a salad bar, with brownies and jello for dessert. This year was no different! Of course, we always have vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free, and other allergy-friendly options for those who need them. Campers learned how to gather in their cabin groups for mealtime, wash hands as a pod, head in the lodge to get their temperature taken, and make their way down the serving line with their masks up before taking a seat to begin eating. This is how we will go about every meal this summer – we will eat outside so long as weather permits, and will sit in the lodge over very distanced shifts when it’s raining, though it never rains at North Star. During orientation, our staff really got to enjoy outdoor meals, which created a relaxing feel and allowed the entire camp to eat together while safely distanced. 

On the first night of camp each summer, campers have a candlelight ceremony with their new cabinmates and counselors before heading to bed. During this ceremony, counselors set expectations for the summer, help campers get to know one another, and introduce the importance of reflection and growth. The candle is passed to each camper, who shares their goals for the summer. This ceremony is special because it creates a sense of family and support off the bat – two of North Star’s most salient values. Our expectation is that by the end of the evening, every camper feels connected with at least one counselor who he can wake up in the middle of the night should he need something, and has made at least one friend who he can look forward to hanging with tomorrow morning. 

After a long quarantine, our staff is committed to helping your son make new friends, gain independence, practice teamwork, and try activities that push them out of their comfort zone in a healthy and balanced way. Our staff are also prepared to support the boys with the extra stress and anxieties that many of them have been carrying. We want to empower our boys to have reflective conversations and share ideas about how to make this their best summer yet. As different as these next weeks may seem for returning campers, the most important aspects of camp will remain the same: there will be friendship, there will be engaging activities, there will be adventure, there will be camp traditions, there will be delicious food, and there will certainly be lots of laughs. Seven weeks may sound long, but before you know it, your son will be home again with stories to share, a few mosquito bites that will soon fade, and memories to last a lifetime. Until then, we promise to keep the campers smiling, teach them new skills, and fill their bellies with s’mores every now and then!


From here on out, you can keep up with the NSC summer 2020 fun on our website at We will also be posting updates on Facebook at, on Twitter at, and on Instagram with the handle @northstarcamp.

We will be posting pictures online, 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."

From CampInTouch, you can also access your CampStamps account, which gives you access to one-way email to the boys. Just click “Email” in CampInTouch to purchase and send.

Thank you for your trust as we kick off this incredible and invaluable summer,


Health Staff Introductions--2020

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Bring on the Campers!

The staff have been working extremely hard this pre-camp to prepare for campers to arrive tomorrow! The docks are in the water, the VICtory Fieldhouse is ready for basketball games, the Arm & Hammer is stocked with supplies, and of course, hands are being washed and surfaces are being cleaned more times per day than we can count. Wearing masks when entering buildings has become second nature, and staff are enjoying eating meals outside under the sun. Currently, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at camp, and that’s exactly how we want to keep it!

Throughout pre-camp, there were daily discussions about how we are going to keep every member of our North Star family safe this summer. We have multiple tubs and squirt bottles of hand sanitizer scattered all over the property, which makes it easy to sanitize in and out of every meal and activity. The staff have been quarantining in pods to lower the spread of germs, and we have some really fun plans brewing for how we’re going to make the cabin quarantine period exciting for the kids. With a fun mask and a positive attitude, your camper is ready to have the time of his life this summer – you can leave the rest to us! 

Although Arrival Day will look drastically different this year, we can guarantee a level of excitement that will be unlike any other Arrival Day. Whether your camper is riding in one of our vans or being dropped off at North Star, your son’s counselors can’t wait to welcome him with big smiles and even bigger hugs. Bring on the campers…is it Monday yet?

Thursday, June 11, 2020