Category: General News

Late Night With Leahy – A Camp Fav!!!!

Today was the last official day of regular activities and we enjoyed every single minute. Camp was full of happy campers. Our fields & courts were full of campers playing on them. We all knew that this is it and everyone was getting it all in before we load those buses on Saturday. Reality is setting in and the end is in sight for everyone here and we just don’t want this feeling to end.

Center camp looked like a movie set with kids having a catch together, throwing the Frisbee to one another and swinging on swings without a care in the world. Can you imagine a world where there is just no pressure and good feelings surround you? Your children are in that world for at least the next 2 days!!

It was time for the last Kind Camper Awards for summer 2015 and the kids were excited to see who received this new camp favorite award. Congratulations to our kind campers. We could’t be more proud of your kindness: Devin Chen, Alex Brandoff, Alexa Selter, Ben Selter, Ben Yatch, Sarah Haber, Hannah Nissenbaum, Sabrina Marpet, Jacob Pinsk, Olivoa Metzger, Noah Marcus, Lexi Tave, Jake Berlin, Dylan Grabow, Talia Kaplan, Cole Sussman, Jordana Deandrea, Sydney Rosenberg, Jack Santoro, Hailey Wolff, Matty Kellner, Drew Sandler, Lily Glickman, Mack Schnell, Mychael Schnell and Julia Bromley

The night was all about Late Night with Leahy and this is by far the most anticipated show of the entire summer delivered by our truly remarkably talented Associate Director Brian Leahy. Brian produces the most hilarious and relevant array of great videos and presentations that leave us in stitches. It was hilarious and referenced everything funny about camp this summer. Every camper and staff member laughed till it hurt. It’s our very own late night show with comedy sketches, TV commercial spoofs, head staff mean tweets and a Top 10 List. This evening’s activity is a camp favorite and even our counselors that were off duty, stayed in to see tonight’s show because it’s just that entertaining. Campers absolutely went crazy for the hilarity of what they witnessed. It was a perfect way to end a perfect day.

Everyone is looking forward to banquet tomorrow night. It is an incredible evening to celebrate the summer we all had and we do it in style. We dine on amazing cuisine in the Lodge, which will be transformed to our theme of off to College!! Then we all head into Shields Hall for our big end of the year Awards ceremony and honor our campers and counselors that have shined this summer.  After awards, it’s back to the bunk to get on comfortable clothes and shoes for one amazing night of dancing and celebrating. Best night of Chenny is just around the corner. It’s one big party and everyone looks forward to this night all summer long. It’s hard to believe it’s actually here as it feels like we just rolled into camp but 48 days have passed and here we sit at the end. Just a few more days to go and we plan on cherishing every single moment we still have together. Going the distance with all these amazing people makes it so difficult to say goodbye.

Chenny Out.

 

Red Cowboys Win Color War!!!

With the last day of Color War upon us, everyone was working hard, having fun and giving it every ounce of effort they had. It meant that much to all of us. Win or loose, each team put their heart on the line and played hard. Each field and court was full of Red and Gold spirit, chants and cheers. The feeling on camp is just plain inspirational. To see groups of kids rally around one another in the true sprit of competition and do it in a way that is uplifting and encouraging is awe-inspiring. It’s the way it should be and it exists here at camp.

Tonight was a silent meal and never was The Lodge so quiet. It was oddly silent as this is the place where we dance and sing but tonight in Color War tradition, we ate silently.  The campers wanted more than anything to talk but knew that every word spoken would loose points for their team. Try and visualize The Lodge full of campers and counselors that just don’t speak. It was a sight to see and a hilarious buzz of silence.

As both teams entered into Shields Hall dressed as Cowboys and Indians, there was a sense of elation and true Color War pride. This was it, and everyone knew it. Each team presented their plaque and banner and they were truly works of art. Masterpieces if you will. It was time for Sing and both were ready to perform the songs they worked so hard on and had so much meaning in every verse. There were tears as Red Cowboys sang their Alma Mater and included beautiful lyrics that embodied the feelings they have as their summer comes to an end:

We stand here, looking at the faces around

At this amazing place and friendships  we’ve found

I have been changed because of you Even when I didn’t know, I need you

But in these next few days, we’ll go our separate ways

Tears fall from our eyes as we start to say goodbye

It was emotional and everyone knew that the end of Color War signifies the end of camp. What we have all gone through will be with us forever but for now is ending and the last five days as two teams are now back together as one amazing unified camp.  Gold Indians so poetically conveyed in their Alma Mater:

Chenny’s far from ordinary, nothing can compare

‘Cause this isn’t the end of our story, I’ll leave a page for you so don’t worry

I’m telling you to take one look at what we’ve been through

Just keep in mind, that a piece of you will always remain here cause going on without you will always be my fear

In a Chenny tradition of musical chairs, the last Judge to grab his seat was Red and that relayed the winner of Color War 2015. This years Color War was so close, a mere 21 points separated these two incredible teams. There was joyous elation throughout the Red team but just for a moment until they realized that their fallen Gold comrades suffered feelings of defeat. What amazed me in Shields Hall tonight was to see the empathy and compassion of the Red team embracing their friends on the Gold team. There was that moment beyond the win, it was true friendship and respect. There was honor and good will, there was pride and compassion. We all put into practice what we learned all summer long. That kindness matters more that winning and true friendship is more important than competition. This is the essence of Camp Chen-A-Wanda.  There were so many tears tonight. Some were of joy from winning this 5 day battle, some were of loosing and the heartache of defeat but regardless of why we all began to cry we all ended in tears because we know the end to summer 2015 is near.

We walked into Shields Hall tonight as two very separate teams, dressed head to toe in costumes representing our separateness but we all walked out back together as one camp. Sad tears quickly turned into tears of joy as everyone held onto one another and walked back to their bunks and cherished the night being together. We have three more days and much more fun to be had here at Chenny. Though the end is near, Life is still so great at Camp Chen-A-Wanda.

Chenny out

 

Nothing Beats Apache

It was an absolutely perfect day for an Apache Relay. This race includes every single player on both teams and everyone matters in the Apache Relay. No matter if you are doing the elephant walk, diving to the bottom of the pool to pick up 8 spoons or assigned for infamous “unknown”, you count. There are 56 events that make up the Apache and each one of them are essential to the integrity of the race. It is a 3-hour event that utilizes the entire camp and being a part of it is just plain insane fun. To run the Apache is like nothing you have ever done before and after you have done it, you can’t wait to do it again. The race was close the whole way through with lead changes happening at every turn. You could hear the cheers from each team that took the lead but in the last few challenges Gold Indians crossed that finish line only to beat the Red Cowboys by a mere few minutes. It was so close and a race well run. Apache 2015 is in the books as one of the most exciting races ever run at Camp Chen-A-Wanda. So close and so much fun. Your kids are having an absolute ball.

Before each breakfast and dinner during Color War the Captains and Lieutenants give psych speeches that will inspire and motivate their teams. A speech that stood out tonight was given by a Lieutenant on the Red Cowboy team, Jason Levine. He spoke from the heart about how important being on a team is supporting your teammates help define your charter. He shared how he grew up as a camper here at Chenny and he wasn’t the most athletic or the loudest camper by any means but he always loved the Apache Relay because his contribution mattered and it played a part in the outcome to a team he was committed to. Jason is no longer a camper but a tall, smart, confident leader who spoke words that resonated with every camper listening tonight. He told them how it feels to be part of something bigger than themselves and to give their all and some day those of you who may not be the best athlete on the field or those who may be quiet and shy will lead their team as he is as a Lieutenant in a Color War. You could hear a pin drop as he inspired everyone at line up tonight.

It was skit night tonight and it was hilarious. Each team created creative and brilliant skits that told the story of their journey through Color War 2015. Red Cowboys got all countryfied while Gold Indians shared their stories and the Camp Chen-A-Wanda ancestry and how it camp about. Both were fantastic but the overall winner of skit night went to the Gold Indians. At the conclusion of skit night the scores were read only 31 points separate both teams right now as the Red Cowboys are in the lead. Tomorrow is our last day of Color War and like we alway say…..IT ALL COMES DOWN TO SING!!!!

Chenny out.

 

Game Changing Moments

Boy’s side had their track meet today and girls side battled in the pool with their swim meet. The kids had so much fun as they relayed to their finish lines getting cheers, praise and encouragement for their hard work and effort. To sit back and watch the encouragement we all give one another here is really life changing. It starts from our staff as they jump up and down cheering for the campers and that is infectious and it just catches on from there. There is so much positive energy in this camp, it feels as if there is a constant stream of encouragement all around us.

When we sit back and watch what Color War means to our campers, it is apparent that they all believe in it with their heart and soul. Every single camper is an integral piece to the whole and they each matter to the outcome. They wear their colors with pride and everyone on camp is putting  their heart into every match, game and meet. You can see it on their faces and feel it in their effort and hard work. Your kids are digging down deep and giving it all they got. You would be so proud of them, we sure are! The cheers of victory are deafening and the anguish of defeat is real. This War matters to each of us and it is providing meaningful competition and pushing ourselves when we think we can’t, we are being encouraged knowing that we can. When we think we’re tired, we get up and push harder. This ability to find that fire inside each one of us is an experience that will be with us forever. It changes who we are and how we see ourselves.

I had the privilege of watching a softball game between the Senior girls and a very special camper had a moment that will forever stay with me. I saw this camper, who is certainly not the most athletic, she hit a home run with such fury and passion, it went way beyond the center fielder. Something she had never ever done before. She ran around those bases as her team was chanting her name, and  I saw the look of pride she felt bringing in those runs for her team. Hitting that homerun would have been a great moment for her, something she had never done before but in the last inning with her team up by only one run and the opposing team had a player on first base, this same camper made the play of the game by catching a line drive and making a double play to end the game and cinch the win. It was incredible to watch as this feeling she felt went way beyond a softball game for her. She found a confidence that she didn’t know she had during that game. I know how much this meant to her as this camper is my daughter and I saw something magical on that field today happen with her. She walked over to me after her game and whispered in my ear, “I didn’t know that I could do that mom.” She smiled a smile I hadn’t seen before and ran off with her friends. As a Camp Director, I see this everyday with your children and today I was just a mom, watching my own daughter find something inside of herself she never knew was there. A moment, I will forever cherish.

This Color War is so close and the teams are within a mere 54 points of each other. Red Cowboys have earned 2271 points with the Gold Indians close behind with 2212 points. It is anyones war as these teams head into Quiz night tonight. Tonight was all mental as campers and staff had to answer questions about anything and everything from pop culture to math equations to Camp Chen-A-Wanda facts and anything in between. All day, our bodies were challenged and tonight we stretched our brains.  It was such a great night and we are all giving everything we have into this Color War. It’s not over yet and we have more to give to our team and of ourselves. It just keep getting better here at Camp Chen-A-Wanda. Life is GREAT.

Chenny out.

Burn Baby Burn

The day belonged to color war games and we were all outside playing all day long. There were basketball games, softball, volleyball, BBG & soccer bouts being played all day long. Campers were pushing themselves and so committed to their teams. They laid it all on the fields and courts. You have to see an intense wiffle ball game of girls wearing tutus and face paint. Red Cowboys & Gold Indians where everywhere today. It is the best part of Color War that we can play hard and continue to have the most amazing time with a sense of spirit that is infectious. You can’t watch any one of these games without watching everyone on the sidelines cheer on their team with undeniable support and camp spirit. It is the essence of what these games are about. Play hard, cheer harder and have the best time of your life!!! After every goal there is a high five, after each basket there is a “way to go” and even after an intense game of BBG, there is a giant group hug. It is awesome to watch our kids truly enjoy themselves and embrace their last week of camp.

The scores were read at dinner and the entire camp gasped as they were read. Red Cowboys had earned 1610 and the Gold Indians had secured 1609. Only 1 point had separated these two battling teams. It has been an incredible Color War so far as we headed into rope burning with a mere one point difference.

The night belonged to rope burning. We all watched with great anticipation as Gary Shields counted down and rope burning/water boiling officially began. Gold Indians got off to an early start with a Camp Chen-A-Wanda  record breaker – the girls started their fire and boiled their water in 8min and 41 seconds. This has never is the history of Camp Chen-A-Wanda happened and it happened tonight. Within minutes of the Gold teams water boiling, the Gold Team boys had started their fire and it was taking shape. Their fire grew fast and furious and their rope burned quickly. All of the gold team jumped up with excitement and elation and they took all the points in tonights competition. Red Cowboys didn’t slow down or quit. You never quit, you dig down deep and finish what you start. They worked as a team and built a fire tonight and they too burned their rope. It was a celebration for everyone tonight regardless of the outcome. There is more Color War to get to tomorrow with the track and swim meets. Will be another incredible day of Chenny fun. These unforgettable moments we share with our summer family create a world that is hard to explain but incredible to experience.

Life is so great at Camp Chen-A-Wanda.

Chenny Out