Friday, November 6, 2009

Camp Program

Northstar is an adventure lodge that attracts many different kinds of people and groups and for the past month campers have been mainly high schoolers from around Japan. Schools come to Northstar for a unique experience of studying English in the midst of an "extreme" environment. The environment we create is a unique one to Japan and brings about an "aloha" community as service is blended with outdoor activities and fun.

Campers arrive by bus and after an energetic greeting by our staff, initiative games commence. Games include; four point tag, tank commander, mine field, human knot and lots lots more. These games are aimed at teaching lessons of communication and teamwork while simply having a blast with friends. Following initiative games, Kayo (our resident chef) whips up a delicious meal with international flavor. At night, campers enjoy jumping on the trampoline in the main lobby, playing ping-pong or fuse-ball in our game room or catching the latest snowboarding movie in the lounge. Kids usually play into the night and their voices can be heard long after the call for mandatory lights out at 10:30pm.

The following day the schedule is as follows; breakfast, adventure activity, lunch, adventure activity, free time, dinner and then s'mores and bonfire. It is a full day of fun. Adventure activities are led by the Northstar staff and include mountain biking, river hiking, hiking, rock climbing, tyrollean traversing and rogaining. Kids choose two activities and then are lead on the three hour adventure by us (adventure staff).

Days are long and filled with nonstop movement of serving, playing, cleaning, instructing and hanging out with our newly made friends. Days are 12 hours plus but the reward is great and worth it. The reward is smiling faces as kids leave and exclamations of having had the best couple of days of their lives are heard. God is moving here at Northstar and is at the heart of everything we do. The amazing attitudes and service shown in the face of "lost in translation" type situations and endless service are all testaments to God at work in all the N* Staff's lives.

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