Color War: Day 2

July 11, 2008

10:10 am

So it’s the most beautiful day I’ve seen at camp so far. Yesterday was warm and breezy, and as soon as the sun went down it got cool enough to curl up in a blanket and sit on the office porch. This morning I rolled out of bed to do yoga, only to find Billy Mathis’ Pearly White Smile (aka the white team) practicing their team song on the gym mats. Frankly, I was feeling lazy, and happy that I could go sit on Nurse Sue’s porch and drink coffee and have a chat instead – the air was so cool and the sun was shining and it felt so nice.  We used a clothes hanger to retrieve Sue’s keys from under the porch, where she’d dropped them a couple of days ago, then we sat and watched Glenn playing tennis with his kids, Mason and Riley.  I thought about my little apartment in D.C. and how, when I go back, I won’t wake up to porch-sitting and birds chirping. I read something last night about some summers being so long and lovely they fool you into forgetting there’s a winter, and I could definitely see that happening here.

So, on to bigger things. Yesterday, the early afternoon was taken up by team competitions like Keepy-Uppies (bouncing balls on your head), Dodge Ball, and water sports. Those of you who read my blog last year will know of my deep love for synchronized swimming, and the teams did not disappoint this year.  Things then progressed to the bigger, more elemental Color War competitions: Tug-O-War and the Apache Relay. Admin’er Mark stopped me in the middle of what I was doing and told me I was not going to want to miss the Tug-O-War. When I got up to the top of the hill I got why. Each team arrives ceremonially, taking it’s turn to walk up the hill in a procession, chanting.

The white team had a drum. The Blues — The Magnificent Participants — ended up dominating that part of the war – winning every time. But The Pearly Whites turned it around at the Apache Relay. Rodrigo (the guy who came to help with the boys from Spain) and I were playing tennis when the first racers shot past. Over the course of the relay they went by us a couple more times- skipping, biking — and each time Rodrigo and I shot to the fence and rooted for our teams. One of the things that’s so cool about the relay is that each kid volunteers to do something they think they can do (hoola hoop, volley ball, skipping,…), and for that bit of time, the whole race depends on them. So when they are racing up the hill or in some remote part of the relay (it goes all the way through the back trail through camp, by the lake), it’s cool to be able to shout them on. I didn’t see one camper not giving it their all. Color War always surprises me that way. Everyone — everyone – really cares about their team.  In the end, it was the Pearly Whites who made it up the last hill and to the bell.

The judges – counselors Mike Hertlein, Jane, and Ricky –are being massaged, fed, and flattered at all meals Today, Mike Conti even rubbed Mike Hertlein’s calves, and when the judges made announcements and asked if there were any questions, Brownie asked why the judges were so good looking.

For the first time, I didn’t go to Initiation, but instead sat on the office porch to watch all the experienced campers trail out onto the lawn in their togas so they could lead the newbies down into the woods for the secret ceremony. Everyone is included in initiation- our new cooks, the admin’ers….so the whole camp disappeared down the trail with their torches and I just enjoyed the beautiful night and practiced my star navigating skills.

When I moved up to my own porch, and the campers had all finally returned and settled for the night, admin’er Lynne and I sat for just a few minutes and talked about how camp makes you forget there’s anything going on anywhere else, and what a nice change that is from normal life. Anyway, some of the older campers stayed up to work on their banners until about 11:30, when everything finally got really quiet.

Waiting to see how the day unfolds…only a few more activities until a winner is announced!

12:05 pm:

So the winner of Color War has been decided! Wait for it, wait for it…

This morning we had camp clean-up, and then the teams gathered to practice one last time for their skits and songs, while others gathered in the art shack to finish their team banners. At the bell, we gathered on the rec. hall porch to watch each team’s performance.

The Pearly Whites did a skit in which they enacted many of the amazing feats of former counselor Billy Mathis (but not all, because there are too many to count), reminding everyone that on top of being many wonderful things, Billy was also accomplished in origami and loved the rodeo. The Magnificent Particpants did a skit about Magpar Bars, which do amazing things for the people who eat them. Each team revealed a banner: they were both gorgeous, and Nurse Sue and I just looked at each other and then talked about how we couldn’t believe how elaborate and impressive they are, session after session. Then each team did a song. The judges disappeared into the rec. hall for what seemed like ages, while the Pearly Whites corraled themselves behind the closed doors of the gym and the Magpars huddled on the porch to wai, each team gathered in a knot for pep talks. Finally, the judges came out, and Mike announced the winner: The Pearly Whites!

The Pearly Whites went crazy of course, and then a pool peace party was announced. On the way down the hill, I heard a lot of the white team campers complimenting the blue team campers on their banners and songs, and vice versa – it was really sweet.

Well, I guess you first session families will see your campers tomorrow. I know everyone’s excited to see their loved ones! I will blog one more time tomorrow about our last night together…

xo

J

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