Specialty & Respite Programs

Campers smiling at Camp Starfish

In September of 2017, Starfish completed brand-new construction of a retreat & conference center-style lodge, “Crescent Lodge”, which has led to an expansion in specialty and respite program offerings on the “Crescent half” of our campgrounds.

Crescent Lodge overlooks a swim/boating beach and houses up to 40 individuals in modern dorm-style accommodations with indoor bathrooms, electricity, and air conditioning.

During the summer, it is “home base” for most of our short-term specialty camps (with the exception of the BeachCombers Grove), and during the year it houses our respite programming.

The staff ratio and age groups within these programs vary.

Smiling Camp Counselor and camper teen at Camp Starfish
Smiling Camp Counselor and camper teen at Camp Starfish


Ages 17-22

The TIDES Vista program has been specifically designed to address areas of transitional planning for young adults including independent living, community participation, interpersonal interactions and self-advocacy.

The program is aptly named as participants are looking out at the view of their future and setting their sights on new horizons.


Ages 14-16

Is your teen ready to experience the great outdoors in the Beachcombers Grove?

Beachcombers is about being willing to try new things, working together on camp life (wood collecting, food prep, fire building, etc.), and engaging in outdoor pursuits including canoeing, hiking, camping and whitewater rafting.

Campers gazing out thoughtfully
Campers and counselors White water rafting
Sibling Camp
Camper boy playing in the sand
Camper girl smiling at camera at camp starfish

Sibling Camp

Ages 6-14

As the brother, sister, cousin, or relative of a Starfish camper (or someone who could be a Starfish camper!), siblings might sometimes feel left out or different themselves.

Making friends who can relate to what they’re going through allows siblings to feel less “alone” or different from their peers. Sibling Camp emphasizes that every child is a valuable member of the community, and celebrates campers for who they are individually, without comparing them to others.


Ages 6-14

With specific grant funding through Philanthropy MA’s Summer Fund, paired with Starfish camperships, we are able to offer camp free of charge to youth who are experiencing housing or food instability, who are living in a shelter, have been or are about to be geographically displaced, or who are in similar crisis situations.

Counselor and camper smiling at camera at Camp Starfish
Group of teens playing dodgeball at Camp Starfish
Summer camp girl smiling and holding a bag of apples she picked at Camp Starfish
Three summer camp kids building a snowman during a winter week at Camp Starfish


Ages 13+

The Weekenders program offers a chance for campers to reconnect with camp and change their scenery for a few days during the school year, and gives parents/guardians much needed respite.

Participants register for a series of weekends during each season: Fall or Winter/Spring. Weekends occur during September, October, November, and January, February, March, April.

Teen Adventure Week

Ages 13-19

Teen adventure week is an opportunity for teen-aged campers to experience all of the fun of a traditional Starfish experience in addition to daily offsite adventures!

Teen Adventure Week
Three teens at Teen Adventure Week playing mini golf
A camper at Teen Adventure Week riding a go cart
August Bonus Week
Smiling young girl who is a camper at Camp Starfish
Two summer camp teens smiling at the camera holding a box that says “you are unforgettable” at Camp Starfish

August Bonus Week

Ages 6-15+

Looking for some extra camp at the end of the summer? Our August Bonus Week is a great chance to have s’more fun with the summer staff and friends from summer sessions!

Bonus week is chock full of activities, fun and friends. We maintain our focus on using the Tools and Keys, and our staff-to-camper ratio remains 1:1, though our structure is slightly more relaxed compared with our typical summer camp day.

Family Camp

Returning Camper Families

Family Camp is designed to provide a weekend of fun for all ages! Stay in a Camp Starfish cabin with your family, experience meals in the Dining Hall, sing our traditional campfire songs around our Gathering stage, and participate in all that camp has to offer alongside your camper. It’s sure to be a weekend to remember!

Family Camp
Campers watching a show at Camp Starfish
Camper girl smiling while asking bracelets at Camp Starfish
Group of boys in a group huddle at Camp Starfish
Camper smiling at Camp Starfish


Ages 13+

Larp Week is a 5-day, 4-night program designed to unlock the inner adventurer in each campers. Participants take part in daily live-action-role-plays (LARPs) during activity blocks in addition to daily time at the waterfront, campfires, and peer connection. 


Campers do not need to have previous LARP experience to participate in LARP week; part of the program is meeting children at their current experience level and incorporating them into the story however they come!

Photo of Danielle Lubbers

Danielle Lubbers

Danielle joined Camp Starfish in the spring of 2023 as Camp Director. Originally working with the Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay, Danielle has ten years of experience providing programming to children, outdoor skills training for adults, and directing overnight summer camp experiences.

In her spare time, Danielle enjoys spending time with her two-year old Dalmatian, Mia. Danielle’s favorite activity at camp is raft building, as she enjoys seeing campers and staff work together to complete a team goal. Her favorite Camp Starfish Tool is “We are here to learn, grow, and have fun!”

Staff photo of David

David Mahnken

David Mahnken is Camp Starfish’s Mental Health Consultant. He provides staff training each summer on topics such as self-care, trauma-informed care practices, and health & wellness. David also provides support and consultation to the organization throughout the year. David holds a BA from St. Olaf College and an MSW from Simmons University. David is a LICSW who works in emergency services in addition to his own private practice in Massachusetts.

Prior to becoming a social worker, David’s first experience at camp was as a counselor in the early 2000s before becoming an administrator and member of the year-round team. His favorite camp activity is swim-I (swim instruction), and his favorite Camp Starfish Tool is: “We make camp a safe place.”

Staff photo of Joe

Joe Clark

As the Assistant Director at Camp Starfish, Joe is a seasoned professional who is well-versed in all aspects of camp life. With five years of summer work at Starfish, he brings extensive experience and expertise to the camp year-round. Joe is from the UK, and holds a degree from Keele University. Joe works as a support worker in the UK, providing care to individuals with disabilities, since 2019. Joe also engages in volunteer work, including spending three months in Abrobiano, Ghana.

Joe is known at camp for his charming English accent, which campers often try to replicate! His favorite camp activity is playing soccer (football) on the field, and his favorite Camp Starfish Tool is: “I take responsibility for my actions.”

Staff photo of Rachel

Rachel Roberts

Rachel Roberts is the Director of Staff Experience at Camp Starfish, responsible for all things staffing and groups. With a degree in Anthropology, and a Certificate in Global Citizenship from Franklin Pierce University, Rachel brings a unique perspective to her role. She oversees hiring, onboarding, retention, and staff appreciation for the 100+ seasonal staff at Camp Starfish each summer. Rachel has been a part of the Starfish team since 2016, working in various seasonal roles. She joined the Year-Round Team full-time in 2022.

As a lifelong New Hampshire resident, Rachel enjoys hiking in the woods with her dog, Clover. Her favorite camp activity is Free Play, and her favorite Camp Starfish Tool is: “We respect each other’s differences.”

Staff photo of Kristie

Kristie Martin

Kristie Martin is Camp Starfish’s Program Director, responsible for ensuring that each camper receives a structured, supportive, and fun program during both summer and year-round weekends. With her degree in Applied Psychology & Human Development from the Lynch School of Education at Boston College, Kristie has a deep understanding of child development and uses this knowledge to create a nurturing environment for all campers.

Kristie grew up in the Monadnock region and takes pride in being a local. Kristie’s favorite camp activity is the Camper Talent Show, which she believes is the perfect opportunity for campers to showcase their skills and feel comfortable sharing with the community. Her favorite Camp Starfish Tool is, “I try my best, I do not have to be the best.”

Staff photo of Sarah

Sarah York

Sarah York is the Director of Operations at Camp Starfish, joining the team in the Spring of 2022. She brings with her a wealth of professional experience working in both mental health and human resources. Sarah’s role at Camp Starfish is crucial in ensuring that camp runs smoothly, and she is available to assist families every step of the way through the registration process. If you call the Starfish office, Sarah will likely be who you speak with first!

With her dedication to helping others and her commitment to creating a positive camp experience for every child, it’s no wonder that her favorite Camp Starfish Tool is: “We are members of a team.”

Staff photo of Jamie

Jamie Mahnken

Jamie Mahnken is Camp Starfish’s Executive Director, and has been an integral part of the Camp Starfish community since 2010, serving in a variety of roles. With a degree in Business Administration and Organizational Leadership from Southern New Hampshire University, Jamie is committed to creating a safe and positive environment for every camper, staff member, and volunteer.

As a North Carolina native, Jamie enjoys spending time outdoors with her family. Her favorite camp activity is kayaking to Blueberry Island, which is a meaningful and memorable experience for many campers, as well. Jamie’s favorite Camp Starfish Tool is: “I am flexible and open to change.”