North Star Camp for Boys

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,