YMCA Storer Camps – After Dark Edition

YMCA Storer Camps – After Dark Edition

“After Dark Edition” Sounds risqué. However, for the miscreants out there (and I love you) this entry points us to the celestial skies, nothing tawdry- shame on you! 😉 for thinking I’d write about such theoretical things! Let’s think of those wonderful skies at night on the shores of Stony Lake and see what’s in storer for our viewing pleasure around the 100th Celebration ‘A Hundred Years of Campfire Stories’ on June 30th.



What does the title of this article ‘YMCA Storer Camps After Dark’ conjure up for you? I’ve always found that at Storer, amidst such natural magnificence, it doesn’t matter if it is day or night, there are unique discoveries to be made. It could be educational, like learning how to identify specific planets and constellations. It could go deep in philosophical musings, pondering the universe as we gaze at the same. It could provide cover for staff pranks or quiet conversations. It could be a moment of zen, a stolen instant, just take a beat. Or the night sky could only provide enough light to navigate without the need for blinding flashlights. And on those moon-less nights, the inky sky enhances what you hear -or thought you heard- in the still of the night.



Because of some excellent Storer staff when I was a child, I grew to love the night sky for it was a reminder that we are not alone, and something else must be at work. As an adult, I now realize such teachings go back to camps inception 100 years ago. Deep sentiments for the night’s sky are shared on Doc Miller’s grave, memorialized in Sarah William’s poem ‘The Old Astronomer.’ We all learned to love the skies above from dusk until dawn, for it was not something to fear, but appreciate. The same lovely poem ends with the line “God will mercifully guide me on my way amongst the stars.”. No wonder as campers and staff, we learned never to fear the night.



I have a hunch many people will be looking to the skies on the night of June 30th as we celebrate ‘100Years of Campfire Stories”. I predict many discussions of camp will continue in the still of the night, long after the last note of taps, once again sitting near Stony Lake and watching the sky grow dense with stars.

And for those who cannot attend, let’s all appreciate the same view, wherever you are, and take a moment to say a quiet hello as you look up at your night’s moon.  If you can’t join us physically at the reunion, take a moment and know we are thinking of you, and take solace in knowing you are not alone and to ‘Never fear the night”.



For those at the reunion, without curfew, it will be up to you to make it in before dawn! Unless Abimbola is roving the darkness on a bicycle without a light, we should all be safe! (If you see a glowing cross approach, don’t fear it this night!*). I’ll call dibs on one of the towers-or both. (For any attorneys or insurance agents out there, I mean this figuratively, as we all know nocturnal roving at the waterfront can be a risky proposition, Caveot dramatis personae 😉 ).

So what will the night skies have in store for us June 30th? 

Dust off your Golden Guide’s Sky Observers Guide, and be prepared for some celestial happenings on the banks of Ol’ Stoney.



According to Seasky.org, the following celestial happenings will occur near our upcoming 100th celebration on June 30th.  Please note that the sun sets around  9:15 PM this time of year in Michigan.

  • June 21 – June Solstice. The June solstice occurs at 10:07 UTC. The North Pole of the earth will be tilted toward the Sun, which will have reached its northernmost position in the sky and will be directly over the Tropic of Cancer at 23.44 degrees north latitude. This is the first day of summer (summer solstice) in the Northern Hemisphere and the first day of winter (winter solstice) in the Southern Hemisphere.



  • June 27 – Saturn at Opposition. The ringed planet will be at its closest approach to Earth, and its face will be fully illuminated by the Sun. It will be brighter than any other time of the year and will be visible all night long. This is the best time to view and photograph Saturn and its moons. A medium-sized or larger telescope will allow you to see Saturn’s rings and a few of its brightest moons.



  • June 28Full Moon.  The Moon will be located on the opposite side of the Earth as the Sun, and its face will be will be fully illuminated. This phase occurs at 04:53 UTC. This full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Full Strawberry Moon because it signaled the time of year to gather ripening fruit. It also coincides with the peak of the strawberry harvesting season. This moon has also been known as the Full Rose Moon and the Full Honey Moon. At Stoney Lake Reflections, we’re partial to this phenomena! 




*For those who were staff in the 90’s under Abimbola watchful eye, he had a propensity to emerge from the shadows, usually on a ten-speed bike, sans flashlight to politely remind his staff that curfew was approaching. At times, this happened after curfew had passed. The author of this blog has no general or specific recollection of that occurring and will not indemnify myself or any secondary party, thereof. However, One lasting lesson from ‘Storer After Dark’: wintergreen breathsavers DO sparkle when crunched, but that’s all I can confirm or deny…


Available in the Trading Post!



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  • David 'Stoney' Stoneberg

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Storer's 100th CelebrationJune 30, 2018
The big day is here.

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