North Star Camp for Boys

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Building Resilience

 As we work to prepare our fantastic staff for the arrival of the boys, we wanted to pay special attention to the unique needs that come with the Summer of 2021. Under normal circumstances, our campers arrive after a year in a classroom, sprinkled with extracurriculars and other opportunities, and a year spent learning and socializing in conventional ways. This year is different. Many of our boys have not been in classrooms, cafeterias, soccer fields, after school programs or their friends' houses. We don’t pretend to know everything else your family has experienced in the past 15 months, but we are working hard to ensure that our 110 acres are the active, positive, nurturing and fun environment that will allow our campers to thrive. 

Because we know the campers' education (social, emotional and academic) has been disrupted this past year, we invited Dr. Deborah Gilboa, M.D., an expert in child development, parenting, and resilience, to speak to our staff. She joined us for breakfast by the lake and presented about stress, why it is necessary, and how campers will experience it over the summer. Our boys will experience stress this summer, whether it be nerves about getting up the climbing wall, trying a new food, learning how to portage a canoe, or simply making a new friend. 

Dr. Gilboa explained to our staff the eight skills of resilience and our staff participated in parallel activities that encouraged vulnerability, team work, communication, creative problem solving, and a little bit of roof ball. When reacting to a difficult situation, your camper might be frustrated with their tennis stroke, feel cheated in a game of Euchre, or feel upset with a person in their cabin, Dr. G stressed three things that you always have control over: behavior, attitude, and purpose. Regardless of the situation, these three things are always in your control and we’re going to work to work to teach each camper how to do these things.

Dr. Gilboa and our staff were troopers through the heat wave, but Dr. G, putting her resilience training and creative problem solving into action, surprised our sweaty staff with the last lesson in the water at Swim Point. While the camp dogs were less attentive listeners than our staff, they too participated in many of our activities and are looking forward to an active, exciting summer with our boys. 

Ultimately, we want your campers to grow as problem solvers, friends, cabinmates, and caring, confident individuals. For the next 11 days until camp, our staff are training, bonding, and practicing skills to help your children bounce back from failure, feel comfortable to make mistakes, make friends and have fun.

Today's Grace:

"If we have our own 'why' in life, we shall shall get along with almost any how."

-Fredrich Nietzsche