North Star Camp for Boys

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