Saturday, August 4, 2012

Bleeding Blue & Gold

Color War…..
Mind you, this isn’t the Olympics. It’s bigger.
London can keep the games, but we’ve got the 4-day show-down of competition at the end of every summer.
We divide into 2 teams, the Blue & the Gold, and it’s everything.
Several sleep-away camps claim to have invented Color War, said Leslie Paris, an associate history professor at the University of British Columbia who spent years investigating the matter while writing “Children’s Nature: The Rise of the American Summer Camp.” The earliest reference she found: “Red and Gray Week” in 1916 at Schroon Lake Camp, a Jewish boys’ camp in the Adirondacks. By the 1920s, Dr. Paris said, Color Wars composed of a series of small contests, from checkers to swimming races, were a staple of the camp experience.
Color War has changed a bit. Long-gone are the checkers contests, but we still have Swimming Races.
First, the much-anticipated “Break”, where the 4 Counselor Judges are revealed, and the Team Lists are announced.  Then the competition begins. From land sports, to water-sports to the highlight of the competition, “The Apache Relay”…it’s everything most of the kids have been waiting for. (you can tell that, because there’s lots of screaming!)  But, Color War isn’t just about the athletic competition and tallying up the points. It’s about that team, and friendship, and caring about each other.
And, after “The Sing”, when the scores are finally announced, and a lot of tears are being shed, something happens. We’re one again. No more Blue Team & Gold Team.  We become One Team. We all sing the Alma Mater together, and the counting begins, until next summer.

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