At North Star we honor those people who are at camp for their tenth summer. We do this by inviting their family as well as friends from camp summers past, we tell embarrassing stories (all of which are 100% real), and then we eat some cake. The Big Ten, as we call it, is meant to be a surprise and throughout the summer we have “fake” Big Tens as we try to psych out the honorees. When the Big Ten happens is supposed to be a surprise to everyone except the planners.
Last night was the Big Ten for two camp veterans, Mandy Stanek and Ben Mizel. Mandy has been on staff for the last ten years, starting out as Sue’s assistant and has worked the last several years as Waterfront Director. Ben started out as a camper, rose through the ranks as a CIT, cabin counselor and now is one of our Senior Village Directors.
The planning started early in the summer as we considered dates and ultimately we’d settle on July 30th. The weekend worked our perfectly as we had a large group of alumni who wanted to come in on this weekend and we set things in motion. A small group of us worked on the details and when the day got closer, we tried figuring out how we’d get things going. Typically we have a van drive in with counselors jumping out in costume, going crazy.
Friday night is also our Campfire Service, which is a quieter, reflective program. At the end of that service, Leb calls down all those who have been at camp for ten years or longer to sing our camp song “Forest Green”. Well, eight of our visitors were ten year folks, so we figured that when Leb called us down to help sing, there would be a few extras to lend their voice. As our guests filed down to the surprise of Ben and Mandy, as well as Sue and pretty much the rest of camp, the reactions were priceless. You can see the group picture with Leb explaining to Sue why there were a few unexpected individuals down to help us sing.
The Big Ten was a great time for all. Thanks to all of our visitors who traveled across the country to be at camp for the weekend.