Of all the special events at camp Placement Director Josh’s favourite is Color War! If you want to find out about the Apache Relay, closing ceremony and sing off then read on…
Camp is packed full with activities and events that are very difficult, if not impossible, to properly explain and justify how much fun they are to people that have never been and experienced summer camp in America.
One of these events is Color War (yes that is how the word Colour is spelt in America!). Color War is an event that usually takes place towards the end of the summer which involves the whole camp, counselors included! At my camp we split each camper and counselor into two teams, the red and the gray (yes, spelling is different here too), and we compete in lots of different sports and events. Picture hundreds of kids and staff, half wearing red and half in gray, yelling and cheering for their team, it’s crazy!
Over the course of 3 or 4 days the campers will compete in every sport offered at camp with points of the winners going towards a running score that adds up. Color War isn’t just an event for the sporty campers though; it also involves some other crazy events such as Fireman’s Haul, Sing, Marathon and the Apache Relay. You are probably wondering what all of these activities are. Well, there is only one way to find out but I will try to explain the Apache Relay. This is the premier event of Color War, and one that everyone looks forward to each summer. Essentially it is a huge relay race involving every single camper and counselor from both teams. There are 180 individual challenges, and each challenge has to be completed before the baton can be passed to the next person. The challenges include things such as chugging a bottle of Gatorade, making a bed, hammering 2 nails into wood, kayaking around the inflatables on the lake, blowing a ping pong ball to the flag pole, pitch a baseball into a trash can, make a 5 ring coil with clay and so many more! Once all of these challenges have been completed and each person has contributed to at least one of them, the winner is the team that does it in the fastest time. The whole camp is literally taking part in one huge challenge, and it’s so much fun watching the campers try their hardest to win and cheering on their teammates.
At the end of the 4 day Color War event a winner is crowned. Each team gets together, arm around arm in a big circle. The closing ceremony takes place, the announcement of a truce is called and the winner is declared. One team win and erupts in joy, whilst the other team are disappointed but not disheartened. In my 6 years at camp, I am sad to say that I have lost every single Color War that I have taken part in, so the campers seem to think I’m an unlucky omen!
For me, the best part about Color War is seeing the counselors fully embrace everything that camp is all about. Of course they would like to win, but at the end of the day the counselors would prefer that their campers had a fun time, played hard, won and lost gracefully. The counselors are the spirit of camp, and they are the ones that encourage the campers, cheer them on, make them feel invincible when they win and appreciated when they lose. Camp is all about personal growth for both the campers and the counselors, and Color War is virtually impossible to describe to your friends when you get home.
The only way to realise how much fun you will have at all the amazing events that camp put on is to find out for yourself!