Camp Starfish was developed to provide highly individualized attention to children who, in many cases, would otherwise not be able to access these crucial services. As such, the organization was named after a widely-known adaptation of The Star Thrower, originally by Loren Eiseley, inspired by the vision that individualized attention can help children to begin to see themselves as valued and valuable members of the community. Though throughout time there have been countless versions and adaptations from the original tale of The Starfish Thrower, the version below is the first page of our Staff Training Guidebook and is well-known by staff at camp as they, too, try to make a difference for one child at a time.
Making A Difference: “The Starfish Story”
A young man was picking up objects off the beach and tossing them out into the sea. Another man approached him and saw that the objects were starfish.
“Why in the world are you throwing starfish into the water?” he asked, looking oddly at the younger man.
“If the starfish are still on the beach when the tide goes out and the sun rises in the sky, they will die,” replied the young man solemnly, picking up another and gently moving it into the outgoing tides.
“That’s ridiculous. There are thousands of miles of beach and millions of starfish. You can’t really believe that what you’re doing could possibly make a difference!” scoffed the older man.
The young man picked up another starfish, paused, and remarked thoughtfully as he tossed it out into the waves, “Well, it made a difference to this one.”
Adapted from The Star Thrower By Loren Eiseley