To find Camp Starlight, take Route 17 to Hancock, New York, near where the state’s southern border bends down toward New York City. Cross into Pennsylvania and follow Route 370 for a few miles. Look for the stone pillars that mark the entrance to the camp, which opened in 1947. Drive down a dirt road through a tunnel of trees until you emerge into sunlight and what appears to be the summer camp of dreams.
There is a timeless quality about the place, which is being readied for the arrival of the first group of campers. It must have seemed this idyllic in 1959, when a music counselor named Paul Simon was recording songs as Jerry Landis. Songs like “When You Come Back to School.”
This is also where you would have found Scott Beigel for the past 28 summers. He first came to Starlight as a reluctant camper whose mother, Linda, gave him prepared fill-in-the-bubble notes to send home to Long Island. He returned, year after year, until he became a beloved staff member. Photos on the camp’s Facebook page show his growth over the years — and the constant sense of fun that made him so popular.