Where is Camp Starlight Located?
Camp Starlight is a premier summer camp located in the "endless mountain" region of northeastern Pennsylvania, approximately 2.5 hours from New York City and Philadelphia, in the heart of Wayne County. It is unique in that it is entirely separated from the "outside world" by its mile-long private road, two private lakes, mountainside views and 385 acres of woodlands.
Who are the Directors of Camp Starlight?
David and Allison Millerhave been the Owners/Directors of Camp Starlight since 1999. David, a native of Newton, Massachusetts grew up as a camper in Maine, where he spent 12 summers as a camper, camp counselor, Hockey Specialist, and Division Head. He graduated from New York University and, prior to entering the camping industry, worked in the entertainment industry as a casting director, talent manager, and independent film producer. His lifelong dream to be a director of a summer camp became a reality in 1999 when he purchased Camp Starlight. He currently resides in Florida with his wife Allison and his two children Hayley and Griffin.
Allison, originally from Old Westbury, New York, focuses on camp operations and administration as well as camp staff and camper relations. She graduated from New York University and then earned a law degree from Cardozo School of Law. She spent her legal career in New York City as an associate at a prestigious national law firm and served as in-house counsel at a major auction house. She later became Vice President, Head of Human Resources for that same company, where she was responsible for the hiring, training, and development of the North and South American staff. However, she sees her role as the mother of two children, Hayley and Griffin, as the most valuable experience she brings to Camp Starlight.
What is a brother/sister camp?
Our brother/sister camp programs allow girls and boys to enjoy separate activities during the day with all the elements of a single sex summer camp, yet have the advantages of being together for meals, many evening camp programs, and special events. Siblings can see each other at line up in the mornings and evenings, meals, free-play following dinner, and all-camp evening activities such as theatrical productions. Our camper population is generally divided equally between girls and boys. The living accommodations for the boys and girls are located on opposite sides of the campus.
What are the campers like?
The majority of our campers come from the Northeast including New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Maryland. We also have a number of campers from others areas of the United States such as Florida and California.
Our brother/sister adjoining campuses accommodate 250 boys and 250 girls ages 7 to 15 years old. There are approximately 8-10 campers and 2-3 counselors in each bunk. There are eight divisions of campers broken down by age groups.
Nearly 95% of our campers return summer after summer, with many going on to enter our Counselor Assistant (CA) Program after their last summer as campers.
What are the camp counselors like?
Our highly qualified camp staff of 200+ individuals is comprised of upper level undergraduate as well as graduate students, educators, and camping professionals from all over the world.
Who is Camp Starlight for?
Our camp is the ideal summer camp home for children who are willing to try, experience, and learn new things while making friends, growing as individuals, and achieving goals. Camp Starlight campers are “doers” and “participators”. They are encouraged to try everything and often discover that they like some new activities in addition to their current favorites.
Do you have camp programs for new campers/families?
We maintain close communication with our new families all year, talking them through the process and acclimating them to summer camp. In June, two weeks before summer camp begins, we hold a New Camper Open House for all new families, during which parents and campers alike get a fun filled sample of what the summer holds.
How do the children get to camp?
We provide chartered bus transportation from the New York, Long Island, Westchester, Northern and Southern New Jersey, Philadelphia, and Baltimore areas. We also arrange a chaperoned flight for all children flying from Florida. For campers flying into the New York Metropolitan area from overseas or other U.S. cities, we can work with you to arrange all the details.
What is the first day like?
The first day at Camp Starlight actually begins months before, with the placement of each camper into a bunk. During this process, we give careful consideration to all aspects of each child’s personality and interests. Those campers in Lower Camp are unpacked and their assigned beds prepared before summer camp begins so their bunks will feel like home from the moment they arrive. David and Allison greet each chaperoned bus upon arrival, and camp counselors welcome campers to their bunks with signs, group games, and lots of fun stuff. The rest of the day is filled with cheering in the Dining Hall, time for the bunks to bond, and the annual opening night show.
What are the living arrangements like?
Camp Starlight offers cabins or "bunks" that incorporate the comforts of home with the rustic nature of camping. Each bunk houses 8-10 campers along with 2-3 camp counselors, and features front and back entrances, plenty of windows, a carbon monoxide and smoke detectors, electric outlets, a hot water heater, beds, cubbies, storage space, two sinks, two toilets, and two showers. To promote cohesiveness among divisions, the front of each bunk faces inward towards a semi-circle with a view of the lake.
How does the camp program work?
Camp Starlight is a traditional seven week youth camp. Each camp program day is comprised of six scheduled activity periods and divisional or all camp evening activities. Younger campers choose their own activities for two of the daily periods while older campers have more opportunities to make personal choices about their daily schedules.
In order to insure that the level of instruction and competition is age and skill appropriate, all campers are scheduled into camp program activities based on gender and division. Our Programming Department works diligently to maintain a balance between sports, hobbies, and the arts when creating each daily schedule.
Do you specialize in anything?
We specialize in caring for children and making Camp Starlight a summer home for everyone. We personally get to know each of our campers and strive to make them feel special. Parents can always be assured that they’re talking to someone who knows and understands their child.
The best way to describe a camper’s summer at Starlight is to emphasize that Athletics, Outdoor Adventure, Fine Arts and Crafts, Performing Arts, and Water sports camp programs all combine to provide a well-rounded experience.
We do not focus exclusively on a specific sport or hobby. Rather, each camp program activity at Camp Starlight is valued equally so that athletes and artists alike may find an area in which they can shine while also exploring new interests.
Tell me about a typical day at Starlight.
A great day at Starlight begins with reveille at 7:55 a.m. Our older campers sleep until 8:20 a.m. We believe a good night’s sleep is essential for children to experience daily camp program activities to the fullest. Mornings begin with lineup around the flagpole, where David makes announcements and we celebrate daily achievements as a camp family.
After breakfast, there is scheduled time for bunk cleanup. Each bunk works as a team by sharing the cleaning responsibilities.
There are three camp program activity periods in the morning, including the Option period. Options are selected by campers for three or more days so that they may immerse themselves in an activity that they love. Lunch, a buffet picnic outside where siblings can dine together, is followed by rest hour. During this time, campers recharge for the three afternoon periods, which include Super Sixth, a daily option intended for campers to utilize in improving their athletic skills, finishing projects, trying-out for or practicing with athletic teams or taking a dip in the lake.
At the end of the day, there is formal time built into the schedule for showering. Free play and incredible evening activities follow dinner each evening before we say goodnight with Taps.
Is Starlight a competitive camp?
We provide top-notch instruction on par with that provided at sports camps and intended to improve campers’ skills and encourage our athletic teams to do their best. However, we do not make this the focus of our summer. At Starlight, campers are placed on college league teams as part of the regular program. For campers who want more competition, we participate in Wayne County and Invitational Tournaments, and everyone who wishes to take part is placed on at least one team.
What can you tell us about your camp staff?
Our camp staff is comprised of professional educators, coaches, and upper level undergraduate/graduate students. We maintain a 3:1 camp staff to camper ratio. Most of our camp staff members are at least twenty years of age or have completed their sophomore year of college prior to coming to work at summer camp. Our Athletic, Water, Outdoor Adventure, and Arts camp programs are all headed by professionals in their fields. We travel to college campuses all over the country and overseas each year to select the best, most qualified camp staff. The majority of our camp staff is interviewed in person by a Director during one of these trips. When a candidate is identified as a prospective camp staff member from the interview process, personal and professional references are verified and a background check is performed before employment is finalized.
How is food served and what choices will my child have?
Camp Starlight’s Dining Hall is situated in the center of camp overlooking the first lake and separates the two campuses. It is also home to thousands of bunk plaques, the first of which dates back to 1947. Boys and girls are seated by bunk and eat on separate sides of the Dining Hall. We have two seatings for breakfast and dinner for our Lower and Upper Camps respectively. Our kosher kitchen serves a family style breakfast complimented by a cereal and bagel bar complete with yogurt, cheese, and fruit. We have a Buffet Lunch station everyday, with the entire camp eating at the same time. Campers may eat lunch in or outside at our picnic area. This is a wonderful time of day when our campers may enjoy meals with their siblings and friends. There is a mid-afternoon "fruit break". An extensive salad bar and daily soup selection are available for lunch and dinner, along with a pasta station, at our family style dinner. Once a week, we have a cookout for the entire camp on the hill overlooking the mountains. The outdoor barbeque is also the location for our breakfast cookouts, which rotate from division to division throughout the summer. Candy and other light snacks are available from the canteen during the day or evenings as scheduled by division.
Is Starlight a uniform summer camp?
No. However, we work very hard at Starlight to de-emphasize the importance placed on clothing brands or costs. The dress code is very casual. Most of our campers wear tank tops or t-shirts, athletic shorts, socks, and sneakers during the day and dress slightly nicer for dinner and evening activities, though the focus is still very much on the activities and not what people are wearing. We provide a suggested clothing and equipment list to help you in your packing. There is a nominal amount of required uniform for sports games, trips, special events, etc. We also take a somewhat modest approach to swimwear. Only one piece bathing suits may be worn. Bikinis, tankinis, and cutouts are not permitted.
Is Starlight affiliated with a certain religion?
The majority of our campers are from Jewish families, but Camp Starlight welcomes children of all religions. All campers and camp staff members attend a Friday night service.