Chen-A-Wanda News

Burn That Rope

It was a glorious morning and a perfect day for more color war games and contests. Everyone was feeling the spirit with their faces painted and their hair sprayed with their team colors. Spirit and team pride runs deep here and everyone feels the excitement. There is nothing quite like Color War and it’s hard to explain but living it is dream like. The competition, the spirit and the fun makes this week the absolute BEST!

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 for their hard work and effort. To sit back and watch the encouragement we all give one another here is life changing. There was a little girl who was lagging far behind in her event and she was getting discouraged.. Her teammates started to chant her and name and then within moments the kids and staff on the other team joined in and soon every single female in and around the the pool was chanting her name.. This little girl finished her event with a crowd cheering her on. She got out of the pool and was jumping up and down with excitement even though she lost her race, she won!

Tonight was a great event as we all headed to see the long-standing camp tradition of Rope Burning and Water Boiling. Counselors for both teams have been collecting wood and preparing for tonight. Their faces are painted with zinc to protect them from the burning fire that they have created and the entire camp, watches with great anticipation as to which team while burn the rope and boil the water first. It is a race to build the perfect fire and Gold Sci-Fi Fantasy’s fire went up first. They crowd went nuts but just 2 minutes later Red Medieval Madness’s fire was blazing. The lead went back and forth 7 times tonight. The tiniest shift in wood placement changed the direction of the fire. The crowd would go bananas each time their teams fire looked as if it was going to burn that rope. Reds rope burned first followed by Golds within minutes. Then it was Reds water that boiled over and just moments later Gold’s water boiled. It was an incredible Rope Burn and a perfect Color War Night. There are only 11 points that separate Red & Gold. It’s anyones War but we everyone knows, It ALL Comes Down To Sing!!!

Life is so Great at Camp Chen-A-Wanda!

Chenny out.

Color War Spirit is Contagious

Every summer is different and each Color War has it’s own character and feeling as well. The only way to fully describe what is happening here at camp is INSANE SPIRIT & ENERGY and It’s CONTAGIOUS. The campers are 100% into it and the staff has enough energy to power up an entire city. The feeling is fun not fierceness, camaraderie not cut throat competition and spirit prevails over all. It is palpable and you can’t walk 10 feet  without seeing the energy and feeling the fun. Teams are cheering on one another and encouraging everyone around them to be involved and be a part of something pretty special. Everyone matters in Color War. Every at bat, every catch, every basket counts. You are part of something bigger than yourself and that is why Color War is so special to each and every one of us. It is why we come together and have each others back during Color War. It is how we bond and how we play that defines the brilliance of Color War. No matter a win or a loss, we keep going and do our part for the greater good.

The Senior girls were at Wiffle Ball and as I walked up to watch their game, I couldn’t quite tell if it was a game or a dance party. The fun all of these girls were having was the story of the day. The girls were dancing in between each at bat and even the batter got in a few moves before she swung the bat. It was a party up at Wiffle Ball with one of the kids saying to me, “I had no idea Wiffle Ball was this much fun.” You just couldn’t help but smile and nor could they. It was contagious and what this War is all about. Our kids are loving life and feeling free. They are experiencing intense fun and joy. It is why we send them to camp and they are at the pinnacle of happiness. If we could bottle up the spirit and energy here at camp it could move mountains. What is happening here at camp is what we all want and desire for our kids – to feel joy, to have purpose and to be surrounded by the most supportive and energetic community. There is nothing quite like the feeling of Color War and we have 3 more days of pure joy.

This Color War is so close and the teams are within a mere 31 points of each other. Red Medieval Madness has earned 1396 points with Gold Sci-Fi Fantasy  just in their rear view mirror with 1365 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 everything in between. All day, our bodies were challenged and tonight we stretched and challenged our minds.  There isn’t a camper or staff who isn’t giving it their all and pushing it to the limit. It is an outstanding Color War and with just 3 more days to go and the scores so close, it is anyones game. So here is to 3 more amazing days of exhaustion, exhilaration, competition and meaningful moments. Bring it on!

Chenny out.

The Axe Was Found

Everyone woke up ready for our first day of Color War insanity. The weather could not have been more ideal for our first event of Tugs of War. Seeing the campers march up the hill with faces painted, hair sprayed red or gold, tutus, mohawk’s and every red and gold spirit wear you can think of. It is just so obvious that our kids are feeling that color war pride from head to toe. The competition was fierce as tugs of war started. It’s actually quite an amazing site to see our entire camp on one field cheering on their friends, siblings, and counselors. It’s extraordinary to hear that whistle blow and to watch both teams pull as hard as they can, and in the blink of an eye it is over. One team prevails, and then like clockwork, the teams come together an erupt with high fives, cheers, and song, as if they weren’t competing against those very same people only seconds ago. The faces of pure grit and determination are front and center with our first event. It set the stage for on off the charts, high energy Day 1 of Color War.

The action packed morning was followed by an afternoon full of games. The sun was shining, the music was playing, and our kids were just having the most amazing time on the fields with every swing of the bat, throw of the ball, and touchdown scored. There was fierce competition but throughout each game was sportsmanship and spirit. We play hard but we play fair and most importantly we play FUN!

There were so many stories of today but one that stood out as the most memorable was the axe being found in only 8 minutes and 4 seconds. That is a Chen-A-Wanda record and in my 13 years here, is the first time any CIT found the axe on day 1. The axe hunt is a long standing Chenny tradition during color that is only for CIT’s. They are given a clue at beginning of lunch and at dinner each day during Color War and have a set amount of time to find the hidden axe. There are 2 CIT’s from each team that are allowed to hunt for it and are followed by judges. This typically takes the full 5 days for the kids to locate this very well hidden axe. But today there was a new camp record as Ben Kimmelman and Natalie Blee will go down in Chen-A-Wanda history as they found the axe in only 8 minutes and 4 seconds. The Lodge was still packed with campers eating lunch as Ben and Natalie ran into the Lodge holding the axe high and proud. It was a moment everyone in lodge will never forget. The Red team erupted with cheers of elation and pride as finding the axe is a huge accomplishment and needless to say on day is next to impossible. The joy and pride on Ben and Natalies faces were something you can only imagine as they literally brought down the house. They will never ever forget that moment or feeling of accomplishment. The confidence they felt, the support they received and the pride it brought them is something that will live in their hearts forever. It was pure magic.

After an amazing afternoon, the evenings event was Contest Night.  The weather perfect for Contest Night. Freshman – Inters were inside Shields Hall and teh energy was INCREDIBLE. It was less of a contest night and more of a party!!! The campers raced in relays, flying turtles, tunnels races, balloon pops and hippity hops but with the music blasting, it was a GIANt dance party.  Even if you were not competing you got into the groove and danced your tush off and sang at the top of your lungs. .  There were Conga Lines that went all through the Hall. No matter what song played, the kids went nuts. Camp inspires us to let go and have fun and it was contagious. The same vibe was happening outside Shields Hall on the court with Collegiates – CIT’S and ended with a huge Zumba party. I could never do justice with explaining how high the energy was at camp tonight but trust us –  It felt great to be a part of the party tonight. Pure electricity.

It was a great day 1 of Color War ’19. This is by far the best part of camp. Color War embodies every important part of our incredible journey through the seven beautiful weeks we live at Camp Chen-A-Wanda. Day 1 is in the books and there is so much more to go. It just keeps getting better and better.


Chenny Out.

Color War Fake…Then…A Color War Break

It was a regular kind of day, sorta..The sun was shining, activities were poppin’ but all chatter was about Color War. Fields were full, zumba was packed, lake was the place to be but you just couldn’t escape color war talk. Rumors went flying from “I hear there will be a marching band coming through camp tomorrow.” to “I heard they may cancel Color War this year.” Regardless, the talk was all about it today and you could feel the energy. It was as if every bugle that rang and every song that came on in center of camp was a clue. The tension was real and excitement was growing. The day was coming to an end with nothing yet. Dinner came and nothing yet was out of the ordinary until….dessert was called and like normal, the Division Heads headed back into the kitchen to bring it out. Just then in the middle of a huge sing-a-long party to Build Me Up Buttercup, the music stopped and out came each Division Head sporting a Krispy Kreme hat carrying boxes and boxes of hot and fresh donuts. The kids went nuts and a video played on the giant screen of krispy kreme vs. Dunkin Donuts. The Lodge erupted as everyone enjoyed their donuts. Just as the video ended, it #fakeout! There wasn’t a staff or camper who didn’t absolutely go gaga for this fakeout. This is what Color War is all about and why our summers are spectacular. Color War is coming but not just yet.

It was time for Chenny Globes, which is a camp favorite award show. Not your typical awards but the ones that living here for 6 weeks makes total sense to us. Most likely to be a Head Staff Member or Camp Comedian or even Most Likely to Win the XGames. So many categories and just so much fun. The kids love this evening activity and so do the staff. We even have some fun categories just for them, Most Likely to have their own reality show and Most likely to survive a zombie apocalypse to name a few.  It was a night of laughs and fun and when the show was over and Brian Leahy was dismissing the campers, the lights turned off and the siren alarmed. There was a mission impossible style note going across the screen directing everyone to center camp. That was all that was needed for the kids stampede of happy excited campers to run to center camp. The music started and the firework show began. It was like those fireworks were right above our heads so close we could touch them. With each new song that played, out came a character. There was Darth Vader and Obe One and some dressed as Game of Thrones Favorites. There was even William Wallace from Braveheart and as the finale of our firework show ended music from Back to the Future started and in rolled the Delorean, flux capacitor and all. The kids went crazy for this crazy cool car and out camp Mart McFly. The stage was set with all the characters and our 2019 Color War was officially underway. Red Medieval Madness vs. Gold Sci-Fi Fantasy is set to be one incredible War! Lets GO!!!

Chenny out

Campers of Week 5

Totally forgot to add this to last nights Blog – A huge congratulations to this weeks Campers of the Week!!! They earned it, they deserve it and we are oh so proud of them!!

Freshman – Emerson Shulman & Zach Lederman

Juniors – Alexis Burbank & Mason Slater

Middies – Lindsay Gelfman & Max Schwartzberg

Inters – Jordyn Hansel & Jake Seilback

Collegiates – Addie Rubovitz & Jack Wellikoff

Seniors – Sydney Garfield & Drew Schimer

Supers – Lexi Tantleff & Seth Haber

GC’s – Evie Glickman & Matthew Kellner

CIT’s – Maddy Marcus & Parker Schnell

Way to go to our amazing Chenny kids!!!!!!