Fall Camp

Our fall camp program will facilitate campers completing their remote schoolwork, and build a camp program around their school commitments. The aim is to provide a developmental social and emotional learning experience around their academic requirements that their regular schools will continue to provide. We believe that Fall Camp at North Star provides a unique opportunity to allow kids to both grow and enjoy themselves as we continue to navigate the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dates:
Saturday, September 5 – Sunday, October 25
Ages:
  • 5th – 10th Graders
  • Previous North Star Campers entering 3rd & 4th grade
  • 11th & 12th graders may apply to be Assistant Counselors
Schedule:
7:45 – 8:30 AM Breakfast
8:30 AM – 3:30 PM Remote Learning: breaks for snacks and lunch as school schedule allows, and optional activities for boys as they complete their schooling
3:30 – 4:30 PM Instructional Period / Village Activities
4:45 – 5:45 PM Organized Free / Homework time
6:00 – 7:00 PM Dinner
7:00 – 7:30 PM Homework time
7:30 – 8:45 PM Evening Program

Philosophy
After three months of quarantine and virtual schooling this spring, summer at camp has proven to be exactly what the kids needed. Everyone is learning new skills, growing as individuals, making new friends, and will leave camp with memories that will last a lifetime. Camp has been the perfect antidote to being quarantined at home for the months prior.

With many school systems heading towards remote learning in the fall, I’ve thought back to a question I’m routinely asked every August: “Why don’t you run school up at camp? Can you keep the boys for longer?” Usually I shrug it off because school wouldn’t be like camp. But after seeing how beneficial camp has been for 170 campers this summer, and realizing Coronavirus is going to lead to many a lot of remote learning again in the fall, we believe that a Fall Camp program would allow the boys to continue to have the social interaction, physical activity, and adventure education to facilitate their continued growth and development.

School Overview:
Scheduling
We will work hard to create a daily schedule that allows for flexibility for classroom time, meal times and breaks as each camper’s school schedule allows, including taking into account time zone differences. In late August, we will ask that all fall campers’ parents email us their daily school schedule so we can begin to create a school schedule plan at camp for the fall. Rest assured, all fall campers will attend their full day of classes and need to complete school work before participating in any fall camp activities. Additionally, counselors and program staff will help ensure that campers are attending their classes, doing homework themselves, and meeting with advisors, social workers, and other specialists as scheduled.

Fall campers must have their work completed in order to participate in camp activities (evening programs, organized frees, village activities). A counselor or program staff member assigned to that grade level will confirm completion of that day’s homework before allowing campers to participate in camp activities.

Technology
In order to make sure that everyone has consistent access to the internet, each camper is required to come with their own WiFi hotspot device (Google Fi, TMobile and Sprint are the only services that we know to have LTE service on camp property). We have tested WiFi hotspots this summer to ensure they work and have internet speeds that will be sufficient to use for virtual learning. A hotspot uses a cellular network connection to create a wifi signal for other devices. Campers may use their cellphone as their hotspot for their computers or tablets, or the campers can bring a hotspot device.

Campers will also need to bring their own laptop computer and/or tablet to do their schoolwork on.

Level of Support
North Star will assist the students to the same level that a parent would help, but our staff are not necessarily teachers or tutors. Essentially, our staff will be playing the same role as parents do in remote schooling. Our staff will be providing social and emotional support, helping ensure the boys are fulfilling their commitments, but leaving the teaching to the campers’ school teachers.

Parent Involvement
Every week the parents will need to submit a school schedule or synchronous learning schedule for their camper. Each camper will have a specific staff member who will ensure that they know their schedule and attend their classes, take quizzes and tests, participate in group projects, etc.

Classroom Space
We will be using some cabins as classrooms, with each class cabin assigned to a grade level to use as quiet space to do school work. Each of the class cabins will be set up with tables and chairs to give the feel of being in a classroom. Besides the classroom cabins, campers will be encouraged to utilize any outdoor area around camp as a classroom if the camper likes. Picnic tables and adirondack chairs may be a preferred workspace for some. We recommend bringing a lap desk and crazy creek to make outdoor classrooms more comfortable and efficient for doing work.

Camp Overview:
Cabins
We anticipate bunking fall campers by grade level. All cabins in that grade level will form a “pod” for quarantine. We anticipate having 1 counselor per every 5 campers. Campers cabins will serve as their primary home base, but they will also have dedicated desk space in another cabin. The pods will be by grade level. The J-Village Washhouse will be utilized the same as this summer while we were in quarantine, with showers and toilets allocated by pods.

Programs
Afternoons and evenings would offer the boys opportunities to participate in our regular camp programming. We will offer instructional periods, group games, Organized Free Periods and more to ensure that the boys are living active, engaged, outdoor, healthy lifestyles, even after being stuck in front of a computer for virtual schooling much of the day.

On weekends, we will be able to run a regular full day camp schedule with instructional periods, Green/White competitions, Village Activities, and Organized Frees. We would plan on doing special programming, day trips, a Halloween bash (on actual Halloween), and even having UN Day style events. Holidays, 3-day weekends, and teacher in-services days would be opportunities for camping trips into the great Northwoods. It’d be camp, but during fall in the Northwoods when the leaves are changing color!

Supervision
In addition to their roles as camp counselors, many of our instructors will be tasked with helping to facilitate and coordinate the virtual schooling for the boys. These counselors will still be in charge of the care of your boys. They will be looking to ensure that Fall Camp is safe, fun and challenging for all of our boys, with the extra component of making sure that they do their schoolwork.

Food & Snacks
Meal time will be a little bit different than during summer camp so we are flexible and able to accommodate varying school lunch schedules and different school time zones. We envision breakfast to be a Continental-style breakfast with cereal, fruit, bagels, toast, and more. Lunches will be “grab and go” with pre-packaged sandwiches (turkey, ham), bags of chips, fruit, cookies. Dinners will be family style since they will not interfere with school.

Campers will be able to grab snacks for the day at breakfast in the morning.

Whenever possible, we will be eating outdoors. In the event of inclement weather or temperatures below 50 degrees, we will eat indoors, distanced by pod.

On weekends and holidays when the campers are not in school, we will have regular delicious breakfasts and lunches that they have become accustomed to over the summer.

Communication
Unlike summer camp, we will allow the campers to use their cell phones, except during meal times and fall camp activities. The boys would be able to call home every day, but we would keep the streaming and gaming to a minimum, and ensure that the boys are living active, engaged, outdoor, healthy lifestyles. That said, to ensure every camper gets a sufficient night’s sleep for school, campers will not be allowed to use their phones after lights out.

Packing List
In addition to our normal camp packing list, we recommend the following:
  • Laptop + chargers
  • Cell phone + charger
  • Hotspot + charger (Google Fi, Sprint, TMobile — not Verizon)
  • School supplies needed — pencils, notebooks, highlighters, calculator, etc.
  • Lap desk or clipboard
  • 2 sets of headphones (noise cancelling suggested)
  • Down comforter / heavy blankets
  • Sweatshirts, Warm Jackets, and Pants
  • Winter Gear: Snow boots, rain boots, 2 winter hats, 2 sets of gloves, snow pants, Winter Coat, long underwear
  • Buffs / Face Mask
  • Halloween Costume
  • Good disposition
Covid-19 Plan:
We will be adapting our Covid-19 plan from this summer to use for Fall Camp. You can view our Covid-19 Playbook here.

Healthcare
Just like during the summer, we will have our Health Team here on site to care for the campers. We will also use CampMeds to distribute daily pill medications, just as we do during the summer.

Registration and Fees
Even though we remain in the “yellow-light” phase of our Fall Camp plan, we are excited to now be accepting applications. At this time, we will be collecting a fully refundable $500 deposit. Once we know that we have sufficient interest in the program, we will move forward with processing the registrations and confirming placements.

To reserve your spot, click on “Registration” in the upper right hand corner of the website.

Cost: Same as 2020 7-week price for camp
$10,950 by check or ACH
$11,350 by credit card
** 15% discount for 2020 7-Week Session Campers

FAQs

My child is at North Star right now for summer camp. We’re not sure we’re ready to send him back for another 7 weeks so quickly after being gone for 7 weeks over the summer. We totally understand – 14 weeks over the course of 5 months is a long time to be away from home. We believe that the social and emotional value of being up at camp, learning new skills, growing as individuals, and spending time with peers is more important than ever during the time of Covid-19. Schools are often broken up into quarters, so they’ll be spending their first school quarter at camp. The campers will spend their school hours just as they would at home, but after school work is completed, they’ll have the advantage of being at camp with friends, participating in activities, and doing tons of fun activities that are camp staples over the summer. That experience, even for a few more additional weeks away from home, will be invaluable by the time winter comes around.

Why are the campers returning home after summer camp and coming back a few weeks later?
After seven weeks away, the boys will be ready for some time with their families. It’s important to have that time to decompress from the summer because fall camp will be much different from summer camp. Depending on school schedules, we also would prefer the campers to begin remote schooling at home, so they can get used to how different it is from in-person school. That will help make the transition to fall camp even smoother. Plus, campers will need to re-pack for fall camp as the weather is colder at camp in September/October (they’ll need more long sleeve/fall gear) and they’ll need to bring whatever school supplies they will need which they don’t currently have at camp. Lastly, there may be some campers that attend fall camp that did not attend camp over the summer, so our bubble will need to re-start at the beginning of fall camp anyways, so this gives a fresh start.

In addition to the campers, our summer camp staff who are staying for fall camp will need a short break to refresh after a summer of fun. We’ll also have some staff training the two weeks prior to fall camp to ensure our staff have the tools they need to succeed, and we’ll be making some upgrades to the bunks and program areas so that they are well suited for the fall camp setup.

Chairs up, pencils down,

-Andy