Local teens host star-studded day camp. Camp Star put cash in the pockets and the entrepreneurial bug in the hearts of three Dunwoody teens, but it might have been the 18 attendees with the top gains.
“This is my favorite camp ever,” said Jaye Leiberman, 8, a student at Austin Elementary.
The five-day Camp Star wrapped up Friday with a fashion show by the 18 campers — all girls ages 4 to 8. Leiberman brought a favorite sparkly skirt from home for the show. Other campers pulled costumes from the Camp Star dress-up box. Most donned pink streaks in their hair or face paint. They all had big smiles as they walked the red carpet fashioned from a roll of plastic liner that extended from side-by-side canopy tents with fabric drapes on the driveway of Anna Dolder’s home on Meadowlake Lane.
Now in its second year, Camp Star is the brainchild of Dolder, Sarah Carter and Hannah Buechter. All 15 and all students at Dunwoody High School, the trio have been buddies since they were younger than most of their campers.
After months of planning each day’s theme and activity, creating marketing materials and a website to introduce the camp, budgeting and buying favors, snacks and craft supplies, setting up activity stations throughout the lawn and basement of Dolder’s home and hiring camp assistants, the second annual Camp Star went off without a hitch.
The trio hired three more teens to assist with the camp — Dolder’s twin brother Trey and Carter’s siblings Kelly and Joe. The camp counselors wore matching Camp Star T-shirts they had decorated with puff paint on Monday and Friday. The rest of the week they dressed with the day’s theme. Monday began with meet and greet activities. The campers rotated from activity circle to activity circle following a carefully crafted plan of games, songs and crafts that kept them moving all morning long.
“We had a list of back-up activities that we would do if the timing we’d planned didn’t work,” said Dolder, “but we really didn’t need to tap into it. The girls stayed busy and our time schedule worked really well.”
Campers arrived on Tuesday morning for “Western Day” and found their counselors in cowboy hats and boots standing next to a big cactus and a front yard of hay. The day’s crafts, activities and snacks all centered around the theme including a scavenger hunt through the hay.
Wednesday brought “Spy Academy” day. The girls practiced their agility with an obstacle course, their aim by throwing water balloons at a life-sized cutout of Trey (the pretend bandit), and painted their hands to make fingerprints. But, just as they were wrapping up the day’s activities, a bandit (Joe) snuck into the activity circle and stole the box of camp prizes.
Well equipped with their day’s lessons of spying and solving mysteries, the girls and counselors devised a plan to find the prizes and capture the criminal. Sure enough, the crime stoppers found the bandit: he’d fallen asleep in the backyard hammock clutching the prizes. They captured the bandit, returned the prizes and breathed relief as they left Camp Star with anticipation of Thursday’s luau-themed fun.
“I like the skits best of all,” said Layton McIntosh, 7, and a student at Dunwoody Elementary School and a second-year veteran of the camp. “Camp Star is so much fun.”
At $90 per camper for the half-day camp, the Camp Star trio gained some summer spending money as well as a start-to-finish lesson in business. Now it’s time to make plans for next season’s camp.