North Star Camp for Boys

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Lazy Day, Green/White Egg Marathon and The Camp Play

Lazy Day Lazy Day, Oooh Ahhh. After a really fun late night of Espionage last night, today was Lazy Day! And despite what the name implies, it was anything but lazy as it was a jam-packed day filled with the Green/White Egg Marathon, North Star Ball and the camp play!

During each camper’s first summer, they are chosen to be on the green or white team and that team is their team for their life at North Star. One of the biggest events we have for Green/White competition each session is the Green/White Marathon. The marathon is a giant relay race that sweeps throughout camp and over the course of two hours covers paddleboarding, swimming, log rolling, portaging canoes, climbing, stacking chairs, making sandwiches, washing hands, making beds, riflery, archery, slip-and-sliding and finally, BOIL WATER BOIL! The first and second session marathons are almost identical, except that during the second session marathon, each team must carry an egg throughout the race and each activity must be completed without breaking the egg. The egg can be in your pocket, your hand or your sock (which was a new one), but if it breaks at any point, the egg runner for that team must run back to the office porch to retrieve a new one before the team can proceed. 

The highlight of every Green/White Marathon is the final event, Boil Water Boil. Two campers for each team spend most of the race searching for tinder, kindling and firewood. Once all the previous events have been completed, the entire camp gathers around the fire area to cheer their team on. The winner of the entire relay race is the first team that gets their bucket of water to boil over first.  So the two campers who spent the whole race collecting wood now get to see how quickly they can build and execute a fire hot enough to boil a bucket of water. The race was tight throughout and Boil Water Boil was extremely close -- with White narrowly (by 20 seconds) escaping with the win!

During Evening Program, we had the return of our camp play! Due to COVID-19 last year, we did not have a play but one of our CITs, Cole, wrote and directed the entire play and made sure we did not miss another year of such a wonderful tradition. The play was “The Campman”, a parody of the Dark Knight, and featured campers from all villages and even a few campers playing as camp dogs. Some of our Pine Manor guys took the lead roles and showed off some of their acting (and singing!) skills. The show was great and a really fun way to end our Lazy Day.

Tomorrow, the boys are in for a special surprise -- it’s Camper-Counselor Day! Our Senior Village campers will be the cabin counselors for the day and have chosen a staff member to swap personas (and clothing!) with tomorrow. We look forward to reporting on those shenanigans tomorrow!

Goodnight, ya’ll.

Saturday, August 7, 2021

North Star Games and the Big 10!

Today was one of the most anticipated days of the summer: North Star Games! It’s a day where the camp is split into four teams and competes in a variety of sports, swimming, leg wrestling, Tug-Of-War and other events. We started the day with village leg wrestling competitions. When the leg wrestling champions were about to be crowned, the sky opened up and it began to rain (even though it never rains at North Star…). We’ve been fortunate to have really incredible weather thus far this summer but this light rain lasted most of the morning. That said, the rain couldn’t dampen the team spirits and the NSC Games marched on! The boys had a blast playing Ultimate Frisbee, speedball, soccer, 9-Square, dodgeball and Polaris Ball to win points for their teams. 

Tacos were served during lunch but what makes the North Star Games lunch special is that it is completely silent. No cheering, no talking -- complete silence. The team of Capricornus entered lunch with a 20 point lead over Aries, Lacerta and Cetus but it was still a wide open competition. After lunch, the staff competed in a one-pitch softball tournament to determine eating order for dinner. By then, the rain had stopped and we were in the clear for the rest of the day. The afternoon was filled with landsports like speedball, volleyball and disc golf as well as some waterfront events like a canoe race, innertube races, freestyle relays, log-rolling and Senior Village water polo. 

After dinner and ice cream dessert, the entire camp gathered on the terrace to hear the results of North Star games. In 4th place, was the team of Cetus with 211 points.  Third place was team Aries with 219 points.  And in 2nd place....wait…what’s that van doing?...

It might be, it could be....It is!  It’s the BIG TEN!

That’s right - we interrupted the final scores to celebrate the tenth summer for six of our amazing counselors. Jaden B., Louis S., Adam S., Josh R., Bobby B., and Ethan H., have each spent ten summers up in the Northwoods with us and we are incredibly fond of the boys they were and proud of the men they have become. Right before the 2nd place team was announced, one of our vans pulled up in front of the terrace and six counselors spilled out blowing whistles and unfurling a banner reading “It might be, it could be, it is!” To celebrate ten years of camp, each Big 10 guy has a friend or family member tell a funny story about them (even if some of the stories are quite embellished…). We heard about abduction themed surprise parties taken too far, log rolling competitions and even a counselor-turned-Walmart-manager via underground tunnels between North Star and Hayward. After stories were done, everyone at camp dug into some delicious cake to celebrate the milestones.

But then it was back to the day’s results (even though it just doesn’t matter...). In 2nd place, with 222 points was the constellation of Lacerta. Capricornus held onto their lead from lunch and won the day with 242 points! It was a long, busy day and we will sleep a half hour later tomorrow.  Goodnight, ya’ll.

Today's Graces: "Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground." -Theodore Roosevelt. Lunch grace: "Silence Is Golden".

Thursday, August 5, 2021

North Star Field Games

The first three periods today were instructional periods, meaning the boys attended three activities that they elected at the beginning of the week. Sailing was a hit today with some big wind gusts creating large waves across Brewer’s Bay. While many of us might think of capsizing as a downside of sailing, when our boys report back to their counselors what their favorite part of the day sailing was, intentionally capsizing their sail boats comes up quite a bit. The counselors that are instructing sailing have chase boats to follow the sail boats and coach the kids on how to uncapsize their boats when they need to. Afterall, success is not measured by how many times you fall (or capsize), but how many times you right your sailboat and continue on.

One of the highlights of the second session is called North Star Games. It is similar to United Nations Day where the camp is split into four teams and competes in a variety of events. The captains were announced on Sunday evening, teams were drafted on Monday evening and throughout the week we have had practices before the big day on Saturday. The theme of North Star Games is constellations. This year the teams are Lacerta (lizards), Capricornus (horned goats), Aries (from a ram’s horn), and Cetus (often called ‘the whale’ after a sea monster in Greek mythology). While the official opening ceremony is tomorrow evening after the Friday Night Service and the full day of events is on Saturday, this evening began the first official events for these games of astronomical importance. 

Tonight we had our Field Games for North Star Games during evening program. These events counted towards the point total for the big day. Some of the more “traditional” team events this evening included Kickball (for Seniors/Intermediates) and Dodgeball. Then, there were plenty of lawn games including croquet, baggo, Kan-Jam, Bocce Ball, washers and more. One of my favorite events of the night was the croquet match where the kids decided to all go to Mike Hall and pick out a costume to wear for the event. Some of the campers were in one-piece jumpsuits, fancy jackets and even a Scooby Doo costume. That enthusiasm and creativity just perfectly encapsulates what it is to be a North Star camper. And, not to mention, the croquet event was super close too! Over at Bocce Ball, if it ever makes its way into the real Olympics, we may have some worthy participants who got their start here at North Star! If the enthusiasm and sportsmanship I saw tonight is what happens on Saturday as well, we will have an incredibly successful North Star Games.

Tomorrow is a day of activities, a Friday Night Service written and led by our wonderful CITs and our always special opening ceremonies for North Star Games. Chairs up!

Tuesday, August 3, 2021


There was quite a bit of action today in the Northwoods with both our Intermediate and Senior Villages having their own Cruiser Days. Somehow it is already our final Cruiser Day of the summer. On regular Cruiser Days, each cabin will spend the day together and do cabin activities. On Village Cruiser Days, each village will have an activity planned. Today the Intermediate Village headed to Ashland, WI for a day at Maslowski Beach filled with Kan Jam, football, card games, and swimming. The weather was perfect for a day at the beach, and Maslowski Beach is sandy, warm, and waist-level for at least 100 yards out. The beach is also home to an artesian water well, which has become a bit of a tourist attraction for Ashland. Our ridge boys thoroughly enjoyed the “fancy water”, the sand, and the playground. To wrap up the day, the ridge had their own dance party in Mike Hall, complete with tik-tok favorites and some 2010’s classics.

Our senior boys enjoyed a day of disc golf at Fiddler’s Creek followed by pizza and wrapping up their College Days. Their plaques were finalized, with the University of Idaho Vandals doing impressive graffiti art along with a friendly potato. The Kohawks, Raptors, and Skylands each had their own impressive three-dimensional aviators carved out. Jamari closed out the events with a Ted Talk on love languages and how to express appreciation for each other. The Kohawks came in with an enthusiastic fourth place, as one camper put it, “top five!” The Raptors came in third, the Skylanders second, and the Vandals jumped to first after starting in fourth place earlier in the competition.

All of our campers, save those out on trips, will be back in new program activities tomorrow after a three-day period off for our seniors!

Today's Grace:
If you think you are beaten, you are.
If you think you dare not, you don't.
If you'd like to win but think you can't,
It's almost a cinch that you won't.
If you think you'll lose, you've lost.
For out in the world you'll find,
Success begins with a fellow's will --
It's all in the state of mind.
- Walter D. Wintle

Sunday, August 1, 2021

Bringing the Lumberjacks to Us

Every year right here in Hayward, Wisconsin our small town plays host to the Lumberjack World Championships. Oftentimes, we take our boys there and the lumberjacks love the enthusiasm that the North Star cheering section brings. Due to the pandemic, we were not able to attend this summer. But when you can’t go to the lumberjacks, you ask the lumberjacks to come to you. This afternoon we had the pleasure of hosting four of the competitors for our own North Star Lumberjack Championship! The competitors showcased their talents in the various events, explained the history of the sport, gave some demonstrations and riled up our crowd. The first event was axe-throwing into a wooden bullseye 20 yards from the thrower. The professionals went first, but then three of our Pine Manor boys and three counselors got the chance to compete. Palmer L., Cole D, and Gabe A. competed against Erni, Jorge, and Jack R and each had three throws. Tied after the third, Palmer and Erni went throw for throw to break the tie, with the counselors coming out on top. But Palmer may be joining the professional tour after hitting 6 of his 7 throws! Our boys got a kick out of the progressively more powerful saws the lumberjacks demonstrated, and our lodge has a new pine-tree carved directly from a log!

The day continued with the second day of College Days. College Days is an event every second session for the Senior Village. The kids split into teams and chose four colleges to represent. This year's schools are the Coe College Kohawks, Sussex County Community College Skylanders, University of Idaho Vandals, and the Rutgers-Camden Scarlet Raptors. The event started yesterday with bocce ball, archery, riflery and football, with the Raptors pulling ahead early yesterday evening. Our senior boys had taken a more academic route this afternoon with a spelling bee led by Danny L. In a futuristic-themed Shark Tank on the tennis courts, Danny M. and Jack H. pitched the idea of a tennis hitting wall that lights up and returns the ball to you randomly to improve reflexes and coordination. The seniors wrapped up the night with a basketball tournament in the field house followed by a karaoke contest.

More to come on college days…

Today’s Grace:
“Start by doing what’s necessary, then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”
-Francis of Assisi

Friday, July 30, 2021

Be Yourself

The entire camp community drooled again this morning and tonight we received all negative results! While we will continue to remain conservative with our Covid protocols, our testing protocol lets us reasonably assume that our camp bubble is free of Covid-19. I am incredibly grateful for our health team for taking such great care of our whole community and for our program team who have adapted to make this week a huge success in spite of the Covid-related alterations.

We told the campers the news as we gathered around the flagpole tonight for our formal retreat, which precedes our trip to the Council Ring each Friday. While we typically don't cheer on Friday nights, there was a big applause and a hearty roar for this great news. Then we continued on with cabin reports and the flag lowering ceremony before settling in at the Council Ring for a beautiful sunset over Clear Lake.

The theme of tonight's service was Be Yourself. Each week a counselor gives a sermonette relating to the value, and tonight Simon Crane gave a fantastic one. Please read it for yourself:
Hi everyone, for those of you who don’t know me, my name is Simon Crane. I’m currently a counselor in I-5 in my 9th year at North Star.

Tonight I’ve been asked to talk to you all about the special type of person that comes to North Star camp, and the even more special type of person who leaves each summer. We’re all very different people here, no doubt, but there are certain qualities that we all share having the common experience of camp. This is a quality that I’ve seen demonstrated beautifully by those I’ve met here, and that some others outside of camp struggle with. Everyone here has an incredible ability to be themselves in any situation.

I could stand here and give a speech all about how healthy being yourself is for you. I could talk all about how much effort it takes to pretend to be someone you’re not, and the toll that can take on your mental health. I could, and it’s all true. But you’ve heard that a million times. Tonight I want to talk about how being yourself affects those around you. It is nearly impossible to be yourself when you surround yourself with people who are unable to or refuse to be their authentic selves. It is just remarkably difficult.

My friend group for about my first 9 years of school were a ton of fun. I had really great relationships with pretty much everyone individually, but always felt like I was on the outskirts of the group. Some of my best friends one on one were hard to spend time with in the bigger group. They became different people. My friends who I could be crazy and goofy with one on one became serious and self conscious in the larger group. In situations like these, who was I to stand out as myself? It was a really hard situation to be in, but luckily I was able to get on a bus after that school year and come here.

Friends that I’ve never had to worry about, and relationships that have never faltered have all been formed at camp. I hope all of you feel that you are able to be yourself at camp, but why is that true here, and not necessarily outside? While I don’t have a perfect answer, I’ve come to understand that it’s so easy to be yourself because everyone is. Because you’re not alone in being unapologetically you. Camp is a place for everyone to explore their independent interests, to explore different social dynamics, and to form meaningful relationships. Whether you are here for the archery or the climbing, the forest or the waterfront. Whether it’s the friends you hope to make, or the friends you already have, camp is the right place. Whatever your interests may be, North Star is home to an incredible community built around exploring it. This allows for a group of 350 people living in the same place under the same circumstances to be entirely unique, and proud of it. As I got to camp in 2017, I reconnected with cabinmates like Louis, Jaden, and Jared immediately. They were the same people I’d left the previous summer and the same people I’d come to be so close with over my first few years at camp. They were familiar, welcoming, and, once again, constantly themselves. Because of this, I could be myself for what felt like the first time since the previous summer.

A few years ago, I had the chance to get breakfast in Chicago with Byck, Shore, David Cohn, and Ronan O’Byrne, a former counselor from Ireland who was in town for the weekend. Looking back, there was no one in that group who I’d known well for more than 6 months. Because of this, I was concerned about whether they were the same people at home as I’d gotten close with the previous summer at camp. My worries were completely unjustified, as we were able to recreate the carefree, humorous atmosphere of camp effortlessly. It was completely seamless. It worked only because no one here adheres to some fake persona. The people I got to know at camp and the people I had breakfast with were the exact same, regardless of environment, regardless of who they were with. It takes a truly special type of person to refuse to be anything other than their true self in any situation. It takes the kind of person that North Star welcomes in, and, even more so, the kind of person that goes home at the end of the summer.

For the last 9 years, North Star has been a place where I could come and truly explore the person I wanted to be. I could do this without pressure, without a time limit, and without judgement. Not only was this environment encouraging and nurturing, it was full of 200 other campers trying to accomplish the exact same thing. We all work towards a common goal of realizing who we are, and we all get there with help from those around us. As many of you are aware, leaving camp is a surreal experience. You are reexposed to social media, to news, to people who simply don’t understand what goes on past the arches of North Star. As you reacclimate, the pressures and judgement of the outside world begin to creep in. Every summer since I was 10 years old, North Star has been a place for me to ignore that pressure and develop into the person I want to be. I can confidently say that almost all of my progress towards that goal has taken place at North Star, with camp serving as a refresher and reinforcement each summer.

As I move on to the next chapter of my life in college, I’ve been considering the countless social circles I could choose to be a part of. As I’ve gotten closer to the school year and had the chance to explore more options, I realize what I’ve been looking for. I’ve been able to put it into words, but it has taken me until writing this sermonette to figure out what I meant. I want to be part of a group that refuses to be anything but themselves. In my time at camp, learning from all of you, what has become obvious is the importance of surrounding myself with the right people, with the right qualities.

At camp, we can be ourselves because everyone is. There’s no pressure to conform, and there is something to appeal to every possible interest. I implore everyone here to be unapologetically yourself, both in camp and out, and to surround yourself with people who are willing to do the same.
As always, thank you for trusting us with your boys. Not every moment of camp is pure joy; some have Covid-scares, storm potential or just other challenges that life brings; but we know that all of us emerge from camp better for it. 

Today's Grace:
"Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving."
- Albert Einstein

Thursday, July 29, 2021


“It never rains at North Star” is a famous camp saying. That said, you may have heard about the anticipated weather event across Wisconsin and Minnesota last night. We were being told to expect winds of up to 90 miles per hour in the area along with storms. We picked up our trips that were in the backcountry and we held our trips that were supposed to leave. We prepared our storm shelters, and readied the boys for what that might look like. We explained how the bells would ring, and where the boys would go. We closed the windows and doors, tied down the boats and put everything away.

And then it didn’t rain. Not a single drop.

We ate dinner outside. Then the Villa played North Star ball, the Ridge played beach flags and the Juniors played games in the Fieldhouse. And while there was some anxiety about what might come, the boys still had a great night.

But the weather isn’t the only kind of storming that we are focused on at this point in the summer. Conflict is a natural, normal and expected part of cabin life. Living in close quarters with a group of peers for 4-weeks is a ton of fun, and it also has its challenges. The boys learn to share their spaces and they learn to share their lives. The first week of the session is always a honeymoon, and then the realities of communal living set in. Relationships shift. The boys argue. Boundaries get tested. And while feelings may get a little bruised during this part of the summer, so much valuable learning arises from conflict. The boys learn compromise and communication. The boys learn self-awareness and perspective. And the boys get social feedback in an environment in which they feel safe and supported. So much of the real value of the camp experience is learned in these moments, with the our counselors there to coach the boys to become the best version of themselves.

Tomorrow starts with the whole camp drooling! We’ll be in touch tomorrow night with the results of our all-camp COVID-testing.

Today’s Grace: 
“I am more interested in the future than in the past,
For that is where I expect to spend the rest of my life.”
- Charles Franklin Kettering

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Dynasty Day!

Today was a very exciting day in the Northwoods for our boys! We are into our second week of the session, and today was our second Cruiser Day. This Cruiser Day, our Junior Village counselors planned a tournament dubbed “Dynasty Days.” The village was split into four teams, the Romans, the Spartans, the Trojans, and the Mongols, each complete with their own cheers.

The day started off strong with donuts, fruit, and cereal. Dan delivered on the requests for Boston Cream Donuts and they were a hit. Directly after breakfast, our juniors jumped into their competition with an all-village arm-wrestling tournament. Softball, Newcombe, and nine-square followed before the village jumped into their “Academic Hour.” We like to encourage development and success in a variety of activities at camp, so chess, trivia, and essay writing (with such prompts as “Is Da Baby real?”) were weighted as heavily as the athletic events.

The Junior Village could not have lined up a more beautiful day for their Cruiser Day, and the afternoon sun made getting in the lake for water sports a treat. Eight campers competed in log-rolling, with the Mongols coming out on top. 24 campers and eight advisors from each team tried their hand at inner-tube racing, which involves them sitting backwards in an inner-tube and furiously splashing to get to the end of the lane. The final water event was water polo, which our juniors have seen the senior kids play and wanted to try their hand at. Each game was a success with great passes, key saves by the goalies, and good sportsmanship all around.

The day ended with pizza and the final event: jumping over pizza boxes stacked like hurdles. Final results were in before dessert, determining the order for the Junior Village ice cream treat! 24 points separated first from last, making it a very close race. Mongols came in fourth, Romans, Spartans, and the Trojans took home gold with an impressive 109 points!

The Intermediate and Senior Villages also had jam-packed days with activities like water games, slip-and-slides, oreo-ball making, climbing, sailing, paddle-boarding, canoeing, and tubing. We look forward to getting back into the swing of things with our programmed activities tomorrow!

Yesterday’s Grace:
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear. “
- Nelson Mandela

Friday, July 23, 2021

North Star Ball and tonight's Friday Night Service on "Community"

Today was a jam-packed day to end the first three days of activities for second session.  So many campers have already shown progress at their activities after such a short time - whether they have gotten up on waterskis or advanced to intermediate riflery, to name a few. After lunch, we announced the Green-White captains for second session. There are two captains from each village who are nominated by the counselors based on the leadership, sportsmanship and  positive attitude they have exemplified in their cabins and throughout camp. During the session, the captains have the added honor of planning and leading their team in Green-White events.

In the late afternoon, we had our first Green-White event of the second session...North Star Ball! North Star Ball is similar to Capture the Flag. Each team starts with two balls on their side. When the round starts, the team members on offense try to get to the “ball circle” and bring a ball back to their side either by running it across the center line without getting caught or passing it to a teammate who then runs it across the line. The team that gets all four balls to their side first wins the round. Today, the Green team extended their summer lead by winning North Star Ball 4-1.

After North Star Ball, we had our first Friday Night Service of the second session. During Friday nights, we take a more reflective tone during mealtime; meals are quieter and there is no cheering, yelling or singing like normal. We have a delicious meal of roast beef, potato pancakes, applesauce and vegetables before we gather around the flagpole to begin our Friday Night Service.

The Friday Night Service takes place at the Council Ring, one of the most beautiful areas of camp. The Council Ring overlooks Clear Lake and every week we are treated to a beautiful sunset during the service. Every Friday Night Service has a different theme. One of our senior village campers is selected to be the leader of the service, leading the camp in some readings.  One counselor will give a sermonette based on the theme, there will be songs performed by the camper and counselor choruses and, of course, the Keylog Ceremony. This week’s theme was “Community”, a timely topic as over one hundred campers joined the North Star community earlier this week. 

One of our veteran counselors, Noah Byck, gave a sermonette about his own experiences in building friendships at camp and carrying those values out with him the rest of the year. Noah shared how he learned at camp the importance of caring for others and offering a helping hand.  Noah shared a story about how during a lunch period at school a few years ago, he saw a boy he knew sitting alone. Instead of going to the table where his friends were sitting, Noah went to sit with the boy. His “friends” took offense to that and Noah found himself being ostracised by his friend group. The major takeaway from Noah’s sermonette was that while it hurt in the moment, he realized that a true friend supports you in your efforts to do the right thing and that the people he thought were his friends didn’t have the values he holds true to himself. Later that year, he came to camp and felt at home -- in the safe community we have at North Star that encourages doing the right things for the right reason, where everyone should be treated with kindness and respect. 

Tomorrow we start our second set of programs, so our boys will have new activities, new counselors to meet, and new friends to make!

Today's Grace:
"When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on."
- Franklin D. Roosevelt

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Cruiser Day and Activity Choices

When Tuesday comes around at North Star, you can be pretty sure our boys are up to some pretty exciting shenanigans. Tuesday was the first Cruiser Day of the session. Cruiser Days are when the cabins spend the entire day together, often participating in different activities than usual. We started off the morning with our first round of COVID testing, so we had our boys drooling before their breakfast of doughnuts, fruit, and cereal. And shortly after dinner we were able to find out that all of our results were negative! That allowed us to enter the second phase of our covid protocols including individual choice activities, which started today.

The weather was a comfortable 73 degrees, perfect for an assortment of activities ranging from sponge fights on the athletic fields, water games, softball, and constructing delicious “edible cabins.” Edible cabins was an activity out on our picnic tables in which each cabin was given graham crackers, frosting, candy, goldfish, and pretzels and made their own log cabins. Many of our campers made cabins, tents, and other recognizable structures. Many others took creative liberty with their creations, but also ended up with a delicious mess. Another popular activity today was zipline dodgeball. Our boys climbed to the top of the climbing wall and pelted onlookers with dodgeballs as they ziplined down the wall!

We wrapped up a fun-filled Cruiser Day with “tinfoil surprise.” Each cabin has a box filled with hamburger patties, carrots, potatoes, onions, bread, cheese and s’more makings. The boys wrap up their food in tin foil and cook it over a campfire. The boys build their own fire, cut up their own food, cook it, and taste the results of their efforts. They also have a ton of fun making different shapes out of the tin foil!

As we come off of our first few days of camp, today we jumped into the first day of our project areas! Our boys rank their top ten choices out of over 80 choices for activities. Favorite activities include archery, riflery, water games, climbing, soccer, stand-up paddleboarding, tennis, waterskiing, disc golf, and arts and crafts, to name a few. The boys are assigned three instructional activities for a three day period. This gives them the opportunity to work on a skill or project consistently and to improve in measurable ways.

At camp, we have three levels for project areas: beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Each activity has its own milestones for the camper to reach in order for them to progress up a level. For example, in archery, a camper must make a certain score from a certain distance before they can move up. Our objective based programming is a great way for our boys to stay focused and motivated, and to teach them to set goals and work towards them.

This evening was our staff talent show, which is an entertaining way for our campers to meet our counselors and staff. Assistant Directors Robyn, Brian and Kacy sang “Driver’s License” by Olivia Rodrigo, which has been a popular tune here over the summer. Some of our Junior Village counselors gave us a rendition of “Rocky Racoon” by The Beatles, and a few others had an intense rock-paper-scissor tournament. Erni juggled, Sergio solved a rubix cube, and Ari, Jeff, Brittney, and Charlie drank lots of milk. Noah B and associates gave a lecture along with an interpretive skit about the 2008 housing crisis. Talent comes in all forms here at North Star!

Morning Grace:

-Giannis Antetokounmpo

Monday, July 19, 2021

Dodgeball, Swim Tests and Health Checks, Oh My!

Today was the first full day of the second session and what a packed day it was! The weather was perfect for village activities (lots of dodgeball) and swim tests. All of our four-week campers hopped in the lake to swim laps and tread water, the length determined by their age level. Swimming in a lake is always a bit different than swimming in a pool, but our boys did a fantastic job of handling any nerves and were very successful! The unique twist to dodgeball is that everyone had to stop and introduce themselves to the people that they had just eliminated. With the heat of the day, the Junior Village Dodgeball ended early in favor of a big water fight. The campers also had their entry physicals in the Health Center, and had time to continue getting settled, explore camp, catch frogs, play roofball, tetherball and get in a little fishing.

Our 8-week campers and counselors spent time teaching everyone the cheers, songs and camp traditions. One such unique North Star tradition is our birthday song. Today at dinner we celebrated four camper birthdays! Our baker Sandy has done a brilliant job throughout the summer baking cakes that are not only delicious, but are beautiful as well. Birthdays are always exciting over here in the Northwoods because the camper’s entire cabin gets to enjoy the cake, the whole camp sings to them, they get to make a birthday wish, and often they get woken up with a pizza party later that night.

But the fun did not end at dinner. Following dinner, we had our first Wanegan of the session. Wanegan is the Ojibwe word for store, and for our campers it means candy! Campers line up and sing for candy at the porch behind Cabin J-3, and campers go through the Wanegan line to a great deal of excitement and fanfare to choose their candy bar.

We followed up Wanegan with an all-camp game of Capture the Flag. We split into temporary green and white teams and based one team behind the Junior Village and the other on the athletic fields. The flags were flying tonight, with teams opting for quick offense and less defense.

Tomorrow is Cruiser Day and we have a great deal of excitement planned for each cabin all, All, ALL day long!

Today's Grace:
“My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.”
- Desmond Tutu

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Second Session Is Underway

With the arrival of the buses at about 2:45pm, the second session was officially underway! As the second session campers stepped foot on camp grounds, our staff and 8-week campers excitedly jumped and cheered to welcome them to North Star’s 77th summer. We gathered around the flagpole shortly thereafter and announced the cabins. From there the boys went to settle into their cabins, and together with their counselors are setting up their summer home.

We are thrilled to report that 100% of the Covid tests came back negative last night.

Seeing the joy on the faces of so many of our boys who weren’t able to join us last summer filled us up even more than camper arrival usually l does. Whether you visited your 8-weeker via Zoom, or found your way to Schaumburg to drool, we know that making camp work has required an extra level of sacrifice and commitment, and we are so grateful for all of our families. The boys have missed out on so much over the last eighteen months, and we are so thrilled to have everyone back at camp. Our counselors have been reminding the boys how to shake hands, make eye contact, and introduce themselves. We will spend the summer working to teach the boys social skills from refreshers on the basics like learning the names of others to valuable lessons in empathy, teamwork and compassion. And the best part is that we get to have a blast all the while playing in our beautiful slice of the Northwoods.

The boys are now unpacking and new campers will soon be receiving a tour of camp. By the time they go to sleep tonight, they'll have played games with their cabins and met some of the other guys in their age group 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 first three days of activities will be by cabin, and then the boys will have their full slate of elective instructional offerings from there.

Tonight’s 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. Our expectation is that every boy goes to bed tonight knowing that they have at least one counselor that they are already comfortable enough with to wake him up if they need something in the middle of the night and that they have made one new friend that they can play with in the morning. 

Tomorrow the kids will have a busy day as our medical team checks in the boys. They will take a swim test on a nice hot day and find time to play several games of dodgeball. Evening program will be our first game of All-Camp Capture the Flag. And Tuesday will be a modified Cruiser Day, so that the boys can spend one more day in their cabin pod before we hopefully clear our next round of our testing protocols. If everything goes according to plan, the boys will have their first three elective instructional activities, which they chose tonight, starting on Wednesday. From there we will also begin sending out our cabin camping trips to get the boys back out having adventures in nature. The first four weeks of the summer have absolutely flown by, and we’re so excited to have our second session boys at camp for an amazing 4-weeks!

From here on out, you can follow along with the summer of 2021 on our website at We will also be posting updates on Facebook at, on Twitter at , and on Instagram @northstarcamp.
We post pictures online on a regular basis, 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."

Thank you for trusting us with your boys!

Friday, July 16, 2021

The Great & Glorious North Star Party!

Today is a historic day at North Star Camp. The new president and vice president, Alex B and Brandon L were inaugurated at the flagpole with a ceremonial flag lowering before our Friday night service. A debate preceding the election took place yesterday afternoon with a record number of candidates. Jack Yonover facilitated the debate with important questions such as “what is the economy?” and “what will you do regarding the return of camp man?” Popular platforms include “double Wanegan” (double candy), bigger cabins, gatorade in the water fountains, a robot to hang up life vests, and a dog cabin (K-9). Posters were hung around camp in critical locations such as above the hand washing station and each camper filled out a ballot at dinner.

As the night winds down with a Friday night service, so does our first session, and what a successful session it has been. For that, we have so many people to thank, starting with our camper’s parents and guardians. If not for you, we could not have ensured that we were COVID free this session. After the initial quarantine and passing our testing hurdles we were able to open up activities outside with minimal masking. This past year has thrown many challenges in our paths, from health concerns to missing after school programs, and we feel honored that you have trusted us with teaching and growing with your camper.

The theme of tonight’s Friday night service was perseverance, featuring a sermonette by our senior counselor MW Gianini. MW spent six months hiking the Appalachian Trail by himself. MW spoke about how when many people think about perseverance they think about the big stuff, like summiting the mountain, walking across the stage at graduation, or finishing a marathon. What matters, though, are the little things. The bumps and the bruises. The cuts and the scrapes. The things that give you reasons to stop, but each time you choose to carry on. Graduation takes perseverance over four years, but the choice you make to start your homework early or to keep your head up in class are the choices that build on each other and lead to success.

MW’s experience on the Appalachian Trail was a wonderful experience for our boys to hear about as they take on their own physical and mental challenges while being at camp. We hope that as our boys head back home or into the second session, and then get back into school that they take the lessons and experiences they’ve had at camp to heart. The key log ceremony tonight was a long one, with the most campers we’ve had this summer coming up to say what they are grateful for. Some of the most frequent mentions include the friends they’ve made this session, their cabin mates, their counselors, and their families for sending them to camp.

As we send boys off to Minneapolis, Madison, and Chicago tomorrow, we do so looking forward to seeing all that our boys will accomplish this coming year and excited to see the men they return as next summer.

Sunday, July 11, 2021

U.N. Day

Today was one of the most anticipated and spirited days of the summer: United Nations Day! We have been building up to today for the last week by announcing captains, drafting teams, writing cheers and participating in Field Games and the UN Day Summit. UN Day is a day of friendly competition where the camp is split into four teams, represented by countries from the General Assembly of the United Nations. This year’s four nations were Cyprus, Russia, Ukraine, and Canada. We woke up a half hour early this morning so we could have extra time competing in fun and exciting activities. In order to show their team’s spirit, a majority of the campers started the day getting their bodies painted with colors from their country’s flag. Highlights included quite a few maple leafs from Canada, grape vines for Cyprus, “Crimea River” for Ukraine - a pun of the Justin Timberlake song, and Russia painting “Russia” on Boomer, one of the camp dogs. 

The day was split into four event “series” and every camper was assigned by their captains and advisor to at least three events. The day started with some high energy favorites during First Series including flag football (juniors), softball (ridge/villa), a stand up paddleboard relay, and line soccer at the Council Ring. While Second Series included team sports like speedball, kickball and basketball, it also had some more niche activities such as climbing, archery and riflery. It’s a tradition at lunch on UN Day to have tacos and all of the campers are eagerly anticipating what place their team is in at the midway point of the day.  At lunch, only 28 points separated first and last place: Cyprus was in 1st place, followed closely behind by Ukraine, and then Canada was in third with Russia bringing up the rear. 

Before the Third Series, all All ALL staff competed in a game of speedball to determine which team would eat first at dinner. Understandably, the campers were quite invested in the results too. Russia ended up winning the speedball tournament, so their team was able to eat first later that evening. Third Series kicked off with running relays on the athletic fields and then perhaps the most intense ten minutes of the day: Tug-Of-War.  Campers and counselors alike got loud cheering on their teammates during the frenzy of the competition. Third Series continued with some camp classics including soccer, dodgeball, steal the bacon, gaga and a canoe relay.

With such beautiful weather all day (80s and sunny), it was only fitting that our Fourth Series took place at Swim Point for all of our water events. The Fourth Series events included a medley relay, freestyle relay, individual 25m and 75m races, and a 10 person inner tube relay race. Each team was given an inner tube and had to kick, paddle and flail themselves to the other end of the dock and then roll off the tube so the next person could jump in. It is always very entertaining to watch and this year’s inner tube relay did not disappoint!

UN Day dinner is one of the best meals of the summer: a smorgasbord of food from around the world including spaghetti and meatballs, egg rolls, deviled eggs, mozzarella sticks, onion rings and chocolate milk.  

The night ended with an extended closing ceremony featuring multiple village cheers, a Big 10 fake and multiple major league sports score reports before finally announcing our UN Day final results. Each team did one final group cheer as a team.  Cyprus’s closing cheer was to the tune of “Imagine” by John Lennon. It was a perfect end to UN Day, a nod back to our Friday Night Service from two nights prior where we discussed why we participate in UN Day: to better ourselves as friends, cabin mates, global citizens and the North Star community.

UN Day Results (even though it just doesn’t matter):

Cyprus - 236

Ukraine - 220

Russia - 211

Canada - 207

Morning Grace:

"The important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win, but to take part; the important thing in life is not triumph, but the struggle; the essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well." - Pierre de Coubertin

Saturday, July 10, 2021

One World

One of the pinnacle events of first session is our United Nations Day. UN Day is an all camp event in which the camp is split into four nations, each represented by a country. Our philosophy on competition here at North Star is built on friendship before, during, and after the game. UN Day is an opportunity for us to practice this philosophy and discuss the many nations and backgrounds our staff and campers come from.

The theme of last night’s Friday night service was One World. Charlie J. led the service. Our Camper – Counselor Choir sang Imagine by John Lennon and our Counselor Chorus sang Peace Train by Cat Stephens. Our international staff each gave an anecdote that represented something unique about their home country, and Ernesto Gavier gave sermonette. Ernie is from Argentina and spoke beautifully about camp being his first time in the United States, the inclusive environment at North Star, and told us stories of finding kindness wherever he has traveled throughout the world.

In normal years we often have counselors from Australia, Mexico, South Africa, New Zealand, England, Jamaica, and Scotland to name a few. This year our international staff is more limited, but we still strive to emphasize the importance of cultural exchange between our campers and staff.

Tonight’s evening program was our United Nations Day Summit. The senior captains of each country made presentations about their countries, explaining their geography, history, and some interesting facts that make each nation unique. Each team presented its mascot, as well as a song or cheer. Cypress arranged a parody of House of the Rising Sun with Bennett C on guitar, Teddy S on keyboard, Zac D on saxophone and Sam G on Trumpet. On a more serious note, Ethan A. talked about the lessons of cultural exchange living as a Mexican-American in Saudi Arabia.

As we move towards UN Day, a full day of fun and competition, we keep in mind the importance of unity, sportsmanship, cultural appreciation and kindness that lie at the heart of our community.

Morning Grace:
“Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.”
- Oprah Winfrey

Thursday, July 8, 2021

We've Got Spirit, Yes We Do

Tonight’s Evening Program was the beginning of our annual U.N. Day competition, with our Field Games competition getting us started. Before talking about the games themselves, we have to start by talking about the sunset that provided such a beautiful backdrop to tonight’s events. I honestly think all the campers stopped their games at one point or another to take a look at this one tonight.

You’ll hear much more about U.N. Day in the coming days as it ramps up, but suffice to say, it is one of the biggest days of the camp calendar. The camp is divided into 4 “nations” joining in the spirit of healthy competition, but also togetherness and sportsmanship, for a full day of competition across the full spectrum of events that camp has to offer. This year’s event features the countries of Canada, Cypress, Russia and Ukraine. The “day” has gotten so big that we can’t even fit it all in one day anymore! So tonight kicked things off with our first official competitions: cornhole, Kan-Jam, bocce ball, croquet, distance running, and a giant 60 person game of Continuous Dodgeball. While these simple games might be fun enough themselves, the spirit of the campers makes the night. Some campers came in costume, others just brought their voices, but I assure you that you’ve never seen so much cheering for bocce ball and croquet.

And that same kind of spirit of togetherness was shining from other camp programming today too. Today the cabins of J-6 and S-3 returned from their camping trips, and yesterday J-5 returned from their canoe trip on the Upper Namekagon. All three of these trips, as well as S-4 which will return tomorrow, endured a cold and rainy day on Tuesday. And all of these cabins returned joyous and proud. While we know from their trip leaders that parts of the day on Tuesday were rough, the campers got out of the van telling triumphant stories of making fires with wet wood, paddling the rapids in the rain, using warm water bottles to heat their sleeping bags, and having completed their first portages. You can feel the tremendous satisfaction from the campers in the realization that they completed tasks that they previously thought themselves incapable of. There is a great concept called Type II fun, which refers to experiences that aren’t necessarily fun in the moment, but are fun in retrospect and fulfilling experiences. These moments teach all of us, especially kids, how to manage discomfort, adapt to change, find new solutions and take action - all core skills of building resilience. While they may have been challenged both physically and emotionally, they will long tell the stories of cutting up extra garbage bags to form new rain shelters, paddling directly into a headwind during the rain, singing songs to pass the time, and growing closer to their cabinmates and counselors while doing all that. When your boys get home and they tell you of their trials and tribulations in the backcountry, make sure to ask them what they learned about themselves, what they accomplished, and how they can use those skills in the future.

Morning Grace:
“Keep your face toward the sunshine and the shadows will fall behind you.”
- Walt Whitman

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Wet & Wild Cruiser Day

Happy Cruiser Day from the Northwoods! As we mentioned last week, each Tuesday here is a bit different from the rest of the week and serves as a cabin day. But once per session, each village has a Village Cruiser Day. Today was the Intermediate Village. These days are so special because they allow the whole village to spend a full day together. The Intermediate Village (also known as “The Ridge”) was able to do things they would not normally do at camp and make incredible memories along the way. Despite a not-so sunny day, The Ridge kicked off the morning with a full water balloon fight on the athletic fields. Whether it was the rain or the water balloons, or the buckets of water that followed the water balloons, everyone was soaked by the end!

Next, everyone attended the first ever intermediate village carnival. The carnival had a bouncy castle, snow cone and popcorn machines, carnival games, and a dunk tank. Many of the campers particularly enjoyed making their counselors fall in at the dunk tank. The campers also had so much fun eating lots of sweets and winning lots of prizes made up of candy and small toys. We finished out the carnival with musical chairs and Bingo.

Finally, we ended the day with pizza from Coop’s Pizza in Hayward and a full scale all village dance party. Between glow sticks and costumes, the dance party had it all. That includes music too. The village danced to Tiktok songs and “Don’t Stop Believing” alike. Campers and counselors had so much fun today making amazing memories today. Their remarkable attitudes and wonderful enthusiasm made the whole day what it was.

While we say “It Never Rains at North Star,” the precipitation fell throughout the day. What it revealed was that the enthusiasm and the positivity of our amazing staff can bring fun and excitement to any situation. These guys are incredible role models for our boys, and teach them so much each day.

Sunday, July 4, 2021

The 4th of July

A very happy 4th of July from the Northwoods! Today has been full of patriotic music, healthy competition, goofy body paint, and very enthusiastic chanting. We started the morning with a reflection on what Independence Day means to us here at North Star. As a community centered around inclusivity, accountability, and kindness we want to celebrate our country in a way that is befitting of our North Star values. As we discussed prior to breakfast, our preamble states “in order to form a more perfect union,” but that takes constant work. The celebration takes on different meaning at camp as we also celebrate the 4th of July with campers and staff who come from other countries, and sharing in that process of cultural exchange is a unique part of our holiday.

The energy on the 4th of July is always fantastic. Breakfast comes with sparklers, whipped cream and a lot of music - Born in the USA, Party in the USA, Chicken Fried, and more. The boys come in their red, white and blue outfits and they are ready to dance.

After breakfast we spent the morning on the water, beginning with joining in for the Spider Lake Boat Parade and concluding with an Organized Free period. The afternoon was our Green-White Marathon, which is one of our most anticipated and exciting events of the summer. It is a relay race that includes nearly every event in camp. It starts with a running race and includes fun-bugging, swimming, canoeing, climbing, archery, riflery, biking, skipping, tent building, tennis volleying, bed making, basketball shooting, bucket filling, singing, and more, before leading to Boil Water Boil. In this final event, the whole camp gathers around as the two teams compete to build a fire that can boil a tin can full of water over the top first. It was a very close race with the Green team narrowly winning out at Boil Water Boil to win the Marathon.

For our evening program, counselors and campers played a game called Space Invaders where one counselor from every cabin was asked to pretend to be an alien and hide around camp’s property. The other counselor stayed with their cabin group to find the hiding aliens. As an alien, they could only make sounds, but did not speak or understand English. When the boys found and chased down each alien, they had to find a way to communicate with them and do a silly task in order to be released to find the other aliens. The counselors had just as great of a time as the campers, and this game got the campers running around camp once more before the final exciting event of the evening.

And finally, the right way to end the 4th of July is with fireworks! We all gathered on the tennis courts and watched a fantastic show out over the athletic fields.

Happy 4th of July!

Saturday, July 3, 2021

Pine Manor Goes West

We wanted to start by letting you know that our last round of 1st session Covid testing came back with all negative results!

Every year our oldest campers of Pine Manor embark on a nine day backcountry trip through Quetico Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada. This year, with the US-Canada border still closed, Pine Manor’s Canadian became the Pine Manor Western. Our amazing trip staff worked tirelessly in the weeks leading up to camp to put this trip together to ensure that our oldest boys had a capstone camping trip to remember for a lifetime.

The group left camp at 5:00am on June 23 on their charter bus and journeyed west to the Badlands in South Dakota. On they went to the Tetons in Wyoming, where they split into three groups for three days and took different routes on their backcountry hikes. Group came close to summiting Fremont Peak at 13,000 foot peak in Wyoming before turning around to get back to the campsite on time. Groups 2 and 3 hiked through a chain of beautiful lakes including Miller Lake, Eklund Lake, Hobbs Lake, and Barbara Lake. All of the campers, counselors, and trippers came back in awe of the wildlife and scenery they had experienced. “It was the hardest hiking I’ve ever done, but the best views I’ve ever seen,” said Ronan Schmidt.

The highlight for many Pine Manor campers was the second to last day of their trip. After hiking many miles over the past week and a half, the group did a white-water rafting trip in Wind River Canyon. Chase Anders and Zach Green noted that the white-water rafting trip was “immaculate” and was a welcome relief after 10 days without a shower. Other highlights included a moose “50 feet from our tent,” sleeping under the milky-way, hiking 18 miles in a day, Mount Rushmore, and a giant McDonald’s meal to close out the trip. They returned home late last night to a great welcoming from the rest of the campers as the left the bus and erupted in cheering V-I-L-L-A, Villa, Villa, All the Way.

The Pine Manor dinner table tonight was a popular attraction for our other campers as they regaled them with stories of their trip. Other snippets of their incredibly wise and intellectual camp conversations include “it felt like climbing Mt. Everest...but in my mind!” and “it was tremendously immaculate and exquisite.”

With cabin I-2 back from their trip this afternoon, we now have all, All, ALL of our campers back together at camp. We’re excited for a great 4th of July including the boat parade, the Green-White Marathon and Fireworks!

Today’s Grace:
“Good morning, Mister Zip-Zip-Zip,
With your hair cut just as short as mine,
Good morning, Mister Zip-Zip-Zip,
You're surely looking fine!
Ashes to ashes, and dust to dust,
If the bell doesn’t wake you then,
The counselors must,
Good morning, Mister Zip-Zip-Zip,
With your hair cut just as short as,
your hair cut just as short as,
your hair cut just as short as mine.”

Friday, July 2, 2021

Attitude & Gratitude

During staff training we were lucky to host Dr. Deborah Gilboa (, resilience expert and family physician. She had a line that continues to stand out:
“You can’t control your emotions, but you can control your attitude, behavior and your purpose.”
Tonight’s Friday Night Service was entitled Positive Attitude, and as we gathered at the Council Ring on a beautiful summer evening our focus was discussing the impact a positive attitude can make on both the individual and the community. We had some great readings, poems, and a fantastic sermonette by Hayley Kretchmer. The music tonight featured the Camper Chorus singing Put a Little Love in Your Heart, the Counselor Chorus performed I Can See Clearly Now, and the musical selection was Keep On The Sunny Side which was a popular song from the late 1800s long before it was a cheer at camp responding to corny jokes. The service was built to teach that even though we will all feel negative emotions, we can choose to respond with a positive attitude.

One thing that helps maintain a positive attitude is gratitude. The staple of our Friday Night Services is called the Keylog Ceremony, and it is an opportunity to throw a stick into the fire that represents something that you are thankful for. While it is totally optional, the overwhelming majority of our campers and staff elect to go up in front of the whole camp and express their appreciation. Many of our youngest campers threw in keylogs for all of their new friends, their fantastic counselors, and even expressed their gratitude for their families back home for making it possible for them to come to camp. One of our first-time campers thanked his cabinmates and the whole staff for “making a place so far away feel like home.” Another first-time camper said that even though he had felt homesick, his keylog was for his “new friends and his counselors for being so supportive.” Taking this time to consider all that we have to be grateful for helps our whole community maintain a positive attitude, and is a practice that we hope our boys take with them wherever they go.

We were also grateful to see our Pine Manor campers return late this evening after their 10-day trip out West. More to come on that tomorrow…

Today’s Grace:
“The objective of cleaning is not just to clean, but to feel happiness in living within that environment”
- Marie Kondo


Thursday, July 1, 2021

All-Camp Games

It was another beautiful day here in the Northwoods! Our second week of activities is in full swing, and our boys have settled into their camp routines. And while the boys love their having their independence to choose their own activities throughout the day, they always relish the opportunities to come together for our campwide evening programs.

Today for our evening program we played Predator-Prey. Predator-Prey is an all-camp game where each cabin is assigned to play the role of either an herbivore, omnivore, or carnivore. The theme this year is coral reef, so teams included the sea slugs, swordfish, seagulls, reef sharks, moon jellies, and clown fish. The teams need to collect a certain amount of resources (food, water, and shelter) based on their place in the food chain. When a team gets close enough to another group, the “instinct,” or team leader, blows a whistle and a 20 second game of tag ensues. Players move up and down the food chain based on whether they were “eaten” during tag. Players can also gather resources by finding signs around camp and singing a song about recycling when they get there.

If it sounds confusing, that is because it is. It’s some combination of capture the flag, dodgeball, hide and seek and an environmental education game. But it is a camper favorite at North Star. One of the things that the boys love so much is the opportunity to play across the age groups. Last night’s evening program was a similar style game called Infection. One person starts out as the infection and a game of blob tag erupts all over camp. The youngest campers chase down the oldest boys, and the oldest boys join the youngest campers in their excitement. That camaraderie builds throughout the summer and helps create our close-knit community.

We followed Predator-Prey with a debrief on our own Northwoods’ ecosystem and our role in upholding environmental stewardship. North Star is incredibly lucky to have two bald eagle nests in camp. Our fisherman witnessed a bald eagle swoop down just feet from their boat, pluck a fish out of the water, and fly off.

Bears, deer, mice, snakes, foxes, and eagles roam these woods and turtles, musky, and bluegills swim the lake. We are incredibly blessed to be located on our peninsula and Brewers Bay with hiking trails and rapids within an hour from us. We are even more blessed to have a group of staff and campers that appreciate the value of our environment and who responded with such enthusiasm to our environmental debrief.

Today’s Grace:
“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on this earth.”
- Muhammad Ali