One of my favorite nights of the summer is when Sue and I host the 2nd generation party at our house. At the conclusion of this evening’s Friday night service we had 40 kids over for ice cream sundaes. The kids represented hundreds of years at North Star. Even more impressive was the 3rd generation campers and 1 4th generation camper. These guys had grandfathers that camped at North Star! It’s really fun as the kids never tire of hearing stories about their dads. And do I have the stories!!
Tradition is huge around camp and there are so many symbolic programs that carry on from one generation to the next. For example, when kids go home and tell their dad (or grandfather) that they threw a key log into the fire on Friday night each generation will know exactly what is going on at camp. Talk about UN Day, Wanagan, Pow Wow Day, Challenge Games, camper counselor day, cruiser days, half-hour later, lazy day, the Guten Gallop, Bi-camp meet, organized free periods, save your forks, one day projects, etc, etc, etc and generations can talk together for, well… generations. And that’s one of the beauties of camp. It’s timeless.
Sue and I are committed to insuring that future generations will have the opportunity to talk about North Star. The campers were told tonight that Andy Shlensky was being named co-director. It’s no secret that since Andy was 12 years old and a camper at North Star that he had the goal of directing a summer camp. His preference was always North Star. We began talking about making that a reality when he began working for us several years ago. He has been the primary contact for the majority of our new campers and has communicated with most of you over the past year. He will continue assuming more and more responsibility.
At this moment no formal discussions have taken place regarding a transfer of ownership. They will begin in the near future. So, why are we telling you this now? It’s consistent with our policy of always letting you know when important issues are taking place at North Star. And naming Andy co-director with the intention of having he and his wife Vickie responsible for future generations is an important issue!
Without question, Sue and I will be at camp for the foreseeable future. It is probable that I will spend more time on the athletic fields teaching baseball, football and golf. I might even have time to pull out the guitar and rock and roll on the porch with the kids. I will, of course, continue to cut the grass on the riding mower. Sue will continue to inspect cabins, monitor cabin meetings, supervise the health center and kitchen, expand the camp garden and be resident mom to all the kids. You’ve got it correct. Sue will be as busy as ever and “Old Man Lebby” will be playing with the kids. Sounds like a great deal to me!
As I was writing this letter a young woman who was vacationing in the area came into the office. She said that she had a strange request. She explained that she just started a new job and her boss was a camper at North Star in the 70’s and 80’s. She wanted to buy a tee shirt or something to give to him. I asked her bosses name. She was amazed when I told her that I not only knew her boss, where he grew up but I also knew his brother and parents as well. I also explained that he started our rocketry program and that he was editor in chief of our camp newspaper, The Siren. I showed off pictures of her very young boss at camp. On a regular basis Sue and I are reminded of the wonderful community that was created by Lou and Renee Rosenblum in 1945 and we have always been conscious of the need to protect the legacy that is represented in the North Star name. Andy gets it as well.
I’m excited to continue my rein as “Old Man Lebby” and I’m looking forward to telling more stories to future generations of campers.
I’m even more excited for the future of North Star!