Author Archives: campbluestar
The Hamilton Township Community Education Department’s summer day camp program entitled “Camp Blue Star” is gearing up for it’s return to the Hess school this summer. This will be the fifteenth season of the camp started by Community Education Director, Cliff Melder. Melder stated “It is the goal of the camp to provide a stimulating, creative, and educational program for the children of this community in a safe and controlled setting. We want every child to be challenged, both physically and mentally, and to excel to their greatest potential. This program has become extremely popular. Last year we had to turn away over 50 campers. It is my goal this year to try and accommodate every child that wishes to attend Camp Blue Star.”
Camp Blue Star will run for 8 weeks starting June 27th. The camp is housed at the Hess Educational Complex where campers will be utilizing this state of the art facility. The athletic fields, gymnasium, rock climbing wall, aquatic center, auditorium, classrooms and computer lab of the Hess Complex insures that even in the event of inclement weather, the children’s camp experience will not be put on hold.
– Camp Blue Star is designed to provide children with a unique recreational and learning experience. The camp will offer for all campers a wide array of activities and challenges. The themed based programs will focus on fun and interesting educational activities in the academic areas of science, computers, language arts, math and art. Recreational activities will include Swimming, Rock Climbing, Basketball, Soccer, Volleyball, Softball, Jump Rope, and Socially Interactive Games.
There will be an information and registration meeting on April 21st, From 11 AM to 2:00PM pm in the rear of the Hess School Interested parents and children will be able to tour the facilities, meet the staff, and have all questions answered. Additional information is available by visiting www.campbluestar.org or by calling the Community Education camp line at 476-6261.
Watching Star Trek, both as a kid and an adult what Captains Kirk and Jean- Luc Picard both had at their disposal was the use of the futuristic contraption they called the replicator. Able to assemble atoms into molecules, and thereby able to create anything from gourmet meals to engine parts. Now the existence of machines like the” replicator” are only found in science fiction, but the science, the software, and the machines themselves, on a much smaller scale are showing up at universities, laboratories, and leading design and manufacturing firms. I’m talking about 3D printers. These machines , like standard printers, take the images on a computer screen and print them out. Instead of using ink, 3D printers use ABS plastic to make a dimensional version of what is on the computer screen. These machines are revolutionizing the way things are engineered, designed and manufactured, and Camp Blue Star has one.
Our 5th generation Makerbot 3D printer has been set up in my office since it arrived 3 weeks ago. I have been playing and printing items, and I have to say, it is really cool. To watch the print head move around, spitting out tiny strands of plastic a layer at a time, watching the image on my computer screen literally form in front of me, instantly teleports my mind into the future. But being able to expose children to this kind of technology at a young age give them the chance to experience and contemplate the possibilities. I want campers to be able to see how it these machines work, to play with the design software (CAD), and to research some of the amazing things that businesses, designers, and kid’s are already doing with these futuristic machines.
In March I attended the American Camping Associations, camp conference in Atlantic City. On the second day of the conference, seated at my dinner table, were mother and daughter Abby and Judy Hoeschler, two members of a world champion family in the competitive world of log rolling. Now if you’re like me and have fallen asleep in front of the TV while watching ESPN you may have awakened at 3AM to a screen featuring the lumberjack world series. Now most of the events in lumberjacking, (I may have just made that word up), feature large hairy men using tools that could easily turn a righty into a lefty, but among the exhaust fumes and the sharp edges of competition, the only event that looked like fun was log rolling. It is on these mammoth cedar logs, that male and female participants combine strength, speed , agility and an incredible sense of balance while cleverly competing in what can best be described as a cylindrical form of king of the hill.
The next day I spoke with Abbey and viewed the video’s of kid’s log rolling. I always search for out of the ordinary items that will provide campers with a truly unique summertime experience. I instantly saw how this would be a really cool addition to camp, and the pool. An activity that would combine a physical challenge, increase balance, improve posture, build core strength and be fun: it was a no brainer for me. ” I’ll take two.” I told her. The Key Log rolling system comes with trainers (strap on paddle wheels) that slow the rotation of the log, making if friendly for all ages and ability levels.
As this is being posted somewhere in the mid west two Key Logs are being loaded on a truck and are making their way east to Camp Blue Star. I can’t wait to play in the pool.
Everyone knows that the Hess school is large, but when you look at the footprint of the entire complex it is huge. The playgrounds, the athletic fields, the parking lots cover almost 100 acres and during the course of the summer camp blue star does its best to use all the space available. The best part of summer is the weather, and the only way to enjoy the weather is to get outside, but taking campers outside presents its on challenges. If it’s for and activity there is equipment that needs to be set up and taken down. When it’s hot water jugs need to be refilled, when a camper falls and twists an ankle there needs to be an efficient way of providing aid. It is with these concerns in mind that Camp Blue Star has added some really amazing modes of transportation. The CBS carts, one gas powered and one electric, will enable the staff to use all the outside areas yet be only minutes from essential services. Now most golf carts, by design, are bland and boring, but Mr. Cliff had the new rides pimped out, Camp Blue Star style. The over sized wheels, aluminum rims, flip seating, lights- front and rear add a little bling to the custom paint and graphic designs that make these carts awesome.
The new rides were featured last year with the first ever Camp Blue Star float in the Mays Landing Halloween Parade. Our pirate ship float was a lot of fun and it was great to get many of the summer staff together again. The staff was very excited to see so many campers both watching and participating in the parade. We all hope to make this an annual tradition.
The new CBS Carts are just the first arrivals of many new additions to Camp Blue Star. I will keep followers of this feed updated as the new toys arrive. I know that some of us can’t wait till camp starts.
Have Fun! Mr. Cliff
This winter has been one for the books, snow and cold followed by cold and snow followed by snow and cold; enough already. I do not wish to bemoan the weather since there is little we can do about it , but this past winter season has increased my level of anticipation to a new high. I am longing to put on my shorts to come to work, to jump in the pool or just go outside. But mostly I’m looking forward to the return of Summer Camp. The staff and the campers are what summer is all about.
Last week I attended the American Camping Association’s conference in Atlantic City. This is the largest camping conference in the country; four days of seminars and a vendor’s exhibit area featuring some new toys for camp. Every year I get new ideas and buy some really cool toys for camp. In future posts I will talk about some of these purchases as they are delivered, but for now let me say I’m really excited about the items I ordered and really, really looking forward to Summer.
There will be an information and registration meeting on Saturday, April 26th, from 11:00AM to 2:00PM in the rear of the Hess School. Interested parents and children will able to tour the facilities, meet the staff, participate in games, and have all questions answered. Everyone is invited to stop by and join in the fun. The grill will be fired up and free hot dogs and snacks will be provided.