The Summer of 2021 Has Begun!
Let us begin with a note of gratitude for our incredible camp families. North Star has always been the camp known for having nice boys from nice families, and that has been on full display as we’ve navigated the last 15 months. I don’t think anyone ever intended for camp to unofficially begin with the boys drooling in Schaumburg, and we are so appreciative of you for dealing with the inconveniences and sacrifices required to help camp operate safely. Whether you are a longtime North Star parent or 2021 is your first summer, we are thankful that you have chosen to trust us with your boys, for your commitment to the camp family, and for working with us to provide a fun, meaningful and developmental camp experience for your sons. And, we are thrilled to report that 100% of the Covid tests came back negative by midnight last night.
And now it’s on to the fun and excitement of camp! By 3pm, we were gathered around the flagpole to announce the cabins in full with all campers and staff in attendance. The big hugs and village cheers were a reminder of the pure joy that camp gives every one of our campers. And as the boys headed off toward their cabins, North Star’s 77th summer was officially underway. The cabin list is attached.
The boys are now unpacking and new campers are receiving a tour of camp. By the time they go to sleep tonight, they’ll have played games with their cabins and met some of the other guys in their age group age as well.
Dinner this evening will be burgers, fries and jello, plus the ever present salad bar and Sun Butter and jelly. There will be vegetarian burgers available for those that prefer, and Gluten free options for those that need it. And of course brownies for dessert. Immediately following dinner, the campers will choose their first week’s activities. The first three days of activities will be by cabin, and then the boys will have their full slate of elective instructional offerings from there.
Tonight’s evening activities will be followed by the candlelight ceremonies, where each cabin will have a meeting led by their counselors. They will share their goals and expectations for the summer, while continuing to get to know one another. This will be the first of many cabin discussions that are an important part of the team-building goals that we have for each cabin group, and helps develop the strong sense of community that we strive for at camp. Our expectation is that every boy goes to bed tonight knowing that they have at least one counselor that they are already comfortable enough with to wake him up if they need something in the middle of the night and that they have made one new friend that they can play with in the morning.
The pandemic has left the boys missing opportunities for socialization. Not only will camp provide that in spades, but we are determined to work actively and intentionally with the campers to coach them up to age appropriate levels of social and emotional intelligence. During orientation we worked with Dr. Deborah Gilboa, a physician and resilience expert, to learn the ways in which campers can be taught the skills that make them resilient. We worked with specialists in Arts Integrated Education from Bubbles Academy who taught our counselors how to use art, comedy, and improv to teach social skills. When we send the boys back home to you at the end of the summer, we know that you will see a difference in their social skills and their emotional intelligence.
Tomorrow the kids will have a busy day as our amazing medical team checks in the boys. The campers will take a swim test either tomorrow or Wednesday, and we’ll find time to play several games of dodgeball. Evening program tomorrow will be our first game of All-Camp Capture the Flag, with a new twist there as well. First thing on Wednesday morning the boys will begin their first week of regular activities. Wednesday morning our oldest campers will leave for their National Park adventure, where they will spend 10 days visiting the Grand Tetons, Badlands, Custer State Park, Mount Rushmore, Whitewater rafting and more. While our oldest boys usually do a 10-day Canadian trip where they canoe and portage through Quetico Provincial Park, the pandemic has taught us how to adapt. Some of our 8th graders (we use the grade they just completed) will leave Thursday for their trip on the Superior Hiking Trail. Wednesday evening will be the staff show, where our very talented group will be on display.
FOLLOW CAMP ONLINE
From here on out, you can follow along with the summer of 2021 on our website at www.NorthStarCamp.com/blog. We will also be posting updates on Facebook at www.facebook.com/northstarcampforboys, on Twitter at www.twitter.com/northstarcamp , and on Instagram @northstarcamp.
We post pictures online on a regular basis, and you can access those directly from your CampInTouch page. To access your CampInTouch page, go to www.northstarcamp.com and click “login” in the upper right hand corner. From there you can click on “Photos” to see those smiling faces. If you’d like to set up guest accounts for friends or family you can do that from your landing page by clicking on “Guest Accounts.”
Thank you for trusting us with your boys!