It was easy to see as the campers boarded the buses, so excited to get up to camp. It was easy to hear on the buses as the returning campers told tales of camp to the new guys, and then they all joined in singing all of the words to Frozen. And it was easy to feel with the welcome the campers received from the staff as they jumped and cheered to build the excitement.
The staff have been arriving over the course of the last few weeks to help get camp looking beautiful, receive their various specialty trainings, and undergo our counselor orientation. This staff is our biggest ever and loaded with a great deal of experience. We have 25 people who have been at camp for ten years or longer. That group includes nine guys celebrating their Big 10s this years, Dan commemorating his 30th summer, and Leb and Sue who have each been at camp for more than forty years.
We’ve spent orientation working with them on turning each cabin into its own family where the boys can feel physically and emotionally safe, and have a blast at the same time. What has impressed me most about this group has been their desire to really comprehend what it takes to take great care of our campers. They ask meaningful questions, dig deeper into the why, and carry themselves with a true passion for child development. These guys are going to be great role models for your boys, and they showed everyone right away that they are going to be a ton of fun!
Straight off the bus we gathered around the flagpole, and as we announced the cabins, the staff and campers went crazy. High fives, chest bumps and prepared shenanigans put a smile on everybody’s face. The cabin list is attached. The kids have now unpacked and new campers have been given 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 their age as well.
Dinner this evening will be burgers, fries, jello, salad and the ever present 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. Their counselors will be encouraging them not only to participate in the activities that they are already familiar with, but also to try out some new ones as well. They’ll find some new things on that list this year, as we will officially be offering guitar lessons as an instructional activity. They will find a new ski boat at waterskiing, a new splashmat at swim point, and new canoes, tents and backpacks for their camping trips. The 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.
Tomorrow the kids will have a busy day as they get checked out by the medical staff, take a swim test, and find time to play several games of dodgeball. Evening program tomorrow will be our first game of All-Camp Capture the Flag. First thing on Wednesday morning the boys will begin their first week of regular activities. Wednesdaymorning our oldest campers will leave for their Canadian adventure, where they will spend 10 days in the Canadian wilderness in Quetico Provincial Park. Our 8th graders (we use the grade they just completed) will leave that day for five days 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 2014 on our website atwww.NorthStarCamp.com/blog. We will also be posting updates on Facebook at www.facebook.com/
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. We can’t wait for the rest of a great Summer of 2014!