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Overnight Camps

200pixpic064The Older Camper Program (“OCP”) offers teens the opportunity to participate at camp while experiencing greater choice and a more relaxed structure in their daily program. While enjoying the outdoors and still receiving the individualized support Camp Starfish is known for, teens in the OCP build the independence, social competencies and coping skills that they will need to successfully navigate their upper school years.

Teens who enjoy the camaraderie of making friends, spending time with staff, and in general participating in “camp life” will benefit from the enhanced privileges and freedom of OCP, provided that they can show daily effort in the areas of maturity, decision-making, safety, and respectfulness towards themselves, other campers, and staff. Choosing activities that appeal to them in the moment, earning a later bedtime, having access to their headphones and music during downtime, and the ability to pursue individual areas of enrichment are all part of the OCP curriculum.

Each day, the OCP teens are scheduled to participate in a "Chat" during one activity period. Chats allow teens to discuss and gain confidence in areas relevant to their lives outside camp, including school pressures, social networking, bullying, and more. Previous topics have included bullying, how to know when to follow peers, future careers, school challenges, standing up for what's right, and determining if someone is a "friend" or a "crush."  

Throughout the session, staff help teens navigate the co-ed social experience safely and appropriately while maintaining a focus on personal growth.  Staff-led nightly cabin meetings also focus on the specific needs and interests of teenagers at this confusing and socially complex age - this time in a single-gender environment. All OCP teens earn priveleges based on a level system - the more they participate, show an effort towards maturity, and focus on their Tools and Keys, the more priveleges they earn.

Younger teens who are chronologically old enough for OCP, but for whom the Chat is not a component of interest in their summer program should consider additional time in the Navigators program. 

200pixpic100This entry-level leadership development program provides Starfish teens the chance to build self-and peer-leadership skills, with a focus on teambuilding, communication and group dynamics. In addition to participating in activities similar to the Older Camper Program, l.e.a.d.e.r.s. teens live together in a bunk with other teens and are seen as role models in daily camp life, including helping to lead all-camp Gatherings, organizing service projects and helping new campers to get acquainted with camp.

L.e.a.d.e.r.s. help out with our youngest campers, organizing (with staff support) games for our 5-12 year old campers or reading to them at the start of rest hour. Each day, the teens participate in a l.e.a.d.e.r.s. Forum discussion about a different topic of leadership and complete a page of their Goals Journal explaining how they have exemplified the l.e.a.d.e.r.s. characteristics of leadership, enthusiasm, achievement, determination, enrichment, responsibility and service during the day. By showing staff that they are actively working on their skills, teens earn extra time to play board games, listen to music, and relax with friends in their own space, the “Leaders’ Lounge.” In addition, they are able to earn the priveleges that OCP teens do.

Towards the end of the session, teens participate in a special event to celebrate their achievements. This program, which challenges teens safely alongside the individualized support Starfish is known for, is a great introduction to leadership.

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   We encourage you to review the Teen Programs Guide to Entry to learn more about the expectations,
   opportunities and details of the l.e.a.d.e.r.s. program. If you have further questions about your teen's
   readiness for participation in l.e.a.d.e.r.s., please don't hesitate to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

PS: Definitely check out our Staff Guide to Summer @ Starfish! Hear from staff alumni where their Starfish summer led, and learn more about what a Starfish summer can do for you while you're busy at camp changing lives. Click the image to open a FlipGorilla interactive flipbook

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