Chen-A-Wanda News

Color War Day 3

Boy’s side had their track meet today and girls side battled in the pool at 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. The spirit was high and heat was on.  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 is infectious, it is contagious and it is everywhere.

Not a day goes by where I don’t witness a moment that tells a story of why this experience is so profound. In Color War, there is ample opportunity to bear witness to greatness, strength, grit, determination, sportsmanship and selflessness. Today was no different and I was blown away at one of these many moments. It happened at the pool where the girls were competing in a swim meet and one camper was a bit panicked and nervous for her portion of the relay. She didn’t want to let anyone down but was so fearful she would be the reason her team wouldn’t win the race. I overheard her telling her friend how nervous she was and what her friend said back was just beautiful. She said, “The most important thing is that you try, that’s it. You will be so mad at yourself if you don’t get in the pool & at the end of the day, you cant let your fear stand in your way of being great.” These moments our kids are motivating one another is just so powerful, even if they don’t recognize it, its happening. I watched that camper jump in the pool and finish her race. She paused for a brief moment, doubting herself until that friend lifted her up and nudged her forward.

Knowing what Color War means to our campers, makes these 5 days not only emotional but significant in the entire summer journey they have been on. 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 beyond proud of them. The cheers of victory are deafening and the anguish of defeat is real. This Color 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. Crazy to think about the impact this Color War has on each and every one of us. It inspires us, it motivates us, and teaches us that we are stringer than we think.

This Color War is so close and the teams are within a mere 3 points of each other. Yes, only 3 POINTS – That is INSANITY. It is anyones game  as these teams head into Quiz night. 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 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 2 more days to go and the scores so close, it is anyones game. So here is to 2 more amazing days of exhaustion, exhilaration, competition and meaningful moments. We are making every single moment count until we get on those buses next Saturday and all head home. The end is nearing but there is two much more to do.




Color War Delivers

It has been 2 days since our epic laser show break and we have been busy having the absolute best time with Color War. 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.

A moment I was fortunate enough to be a part of today came from two adorbale freshman girls who were on opposite teams, one on Red and the other on Gold. I sat with one at lunch and when I asked her how her first color was going she replied, “It’s fun but I miss my best friend Mackenzie. Can you tell her how much I miss her.” My answer was, of course I will tell her so I walked over two tables away and plopped down with Mackenzie and relayed Talia’s message. Mackenzie was so happy to get her message, she asked me tell Talia that she cant wait for rest hour so they can be together again in their bunk. So of course I walked back over to Talia who smiled so big as I gave her that message. Talia then asked me to tell her friend one more message which went straight to my heart. Talia said, ” Tell Mackenzie that I hope she wins Color War and that would make me happy because she’s my best friend and when she is happy so am I.”  These two little girls met just six weeks and in that short of time, this happened. The best parts of ourselves come out and the is exactly what happened with Talia and Mackenzie.

Tonight was Rope burn and this long standing camp tradition didn’t disappoint. The campers were watching and cheering while the counselors burned the rope and boiled the water. It was female domination as the Gold StarWars team boiled their water first followed by the female team of Red Harry Potter. Then the men of the Gold Team burned their rope followed by the Red team within minutes. It was a great night and this Color War has been so much fun. The spirit is high and this is what camp is all about!!!



Circus Came To Town

This is time of the summer when the days are on hyper speed and what we we do to make time slow down. With Girls Sing behind us and only a week and a half to go that only means one thing – Color War is approaching and you can feel the excitement building. There was a plane that passed over camp and that sparked the color war fever, wondering if it’s today. There is an anticipation that keeps you on the edge of your seat. The plane wasn’t for us, not today at least. Everyone will have to wait just a bit longer until our color war breaks out. But that doest stop the insane anticipation for what is the best part of camp, COLOR WAR!!!

A huge congratulations to our Champions. Their game today vs. Wayne was a nail biter and our girls prevailed with the win!

GC CIT Girls Softball wins Championship!! –  CAW 11 @ Wayne 10

All eyes were on our amazing Circus show tonight. That was the highlight of art entire day. The campers who performed in tonights show worked so hard all summer long and it showed. It was incredible. It defied gravity and these campers who performed were fearless. The campers went crazy for this unique circus show that included several of our campers who dazzled us with their trapeze and gymnastic abilities. The rig was lit and the performances were out of this world. As the show ended, all you heard was how everyone wants to sign up for circus tomorrow for their hobby and learn how to do what they did in the show tonight. Standing ovation to a fabulous show. One that we will never forget. We had our own Cirque de Soleil here at CAW!!!

It was another perfect day in paradise



Trip Day Finale

This is it, our last trip day for Summer 2022. Crazy to think that there are only 11 days left to our magical summer at Camp Chen-A-Wanda.

Our Freshman, Juniors and Middies had the most fun filled packed trip day of the summer. They started their day at Leahy’s fun park where they played in the coolest arcade, zipped around in go-karts and had a ball in the bumper water boats. The fun just continued as the kids went ice skating. It was so much fun and a highlight for the kids was when the Zamboni cleaned the ice. The kids started cheering with excitement. The Chenny spirit was flying high today. After the took of their skates, it was off to the movies to catch the latest summer blockbusters. The kids munched on popcorn and relaxed in their seats. The day was long and so much was packed into their last trip day of the summer. Our little ones had the greatest day. Where do you get to play in an arcade and go-karting, ice skate followed by a movie??? Chenny is where!!

The Inters, Collegiate’s, Seniors, Supers & GC’s loved their day spent at Dorney Park and LOVED it. Nothing is better than amusement parks in the summer with your best friends. It was a day full of roller coasters, log rides, park food, belly laughs and memories that will last forever. What could be better than that? The kids rolled into camp late tonight and got off the buses with huge smiles and even bigger stuffed animals they won at the park. There are some things that truly define our summers and experiencing amusement parks with your campies is one of them.

The CIT’s had their last trip spent  all together at Hershey Park. What could possibly be better than spending a day at Hershey with your camp besties. It was rollercoasters and chocolate. This group went on this trip when they were Seniors and now as they face the last 11 days of their camper career, it was back to a place they loved when they were 13 years old. As their bus rolled into camp tonight, they all knew that was the last time they would do this as a division.

There is a feeling here this summer unlike other summers. Maybe it was the desire to get back to normal. Maybe it was the feeling of freedom without thinking about covid all the time. Maybe it was having an incredible staff that included all our international friends that couldn’t come for the past 2 years. Maybe it was having trips again and inter camp tournaments. And maybe it was combination of all of the above but whatever it was, it was incredible. We have 11 more days and lots more to do. But tonight all the kids are safely back from their trips, exhausted from a day spent well and excited for what’s around the corner. 1…2…3…4.. they want color war 🙂

Life is so GREAT at Camp Chen-A-Wanda


Girls Sing Delivered

There is nothing quite like camp traditions and this one is on the top of the list. Girls Sing is the ultimate camp tradition on girls side. Girls have been practicing for days and the pride each division has for making it great is unreal. For days now, you see groups of girls rehearsing their dance, perfecting their moves and memorizing their almas and cheers. It defines Chenny and there isn’t a girl on campus that isn’t fully engaged with this event. The big night is tonight and from what we see, the show will be a night to remember. We love everything about Girls Sing!!!

The night was all about Girls Sing and it was INCREDIBLE. It is a summer favorite and defines our camp tradition and spirit. Each division worked so hard on their dances and songs and it showed. When boys side can sit and support girls side for 2 hours, you know something special is happening. The support boys side gives girls side is just breathtaking. From our adorable freshmen all the way through our  beautifully talented CIT’s, they all brought the house down. I could never bring justice to describing the bonds these girls have with one another but watching them up on stage perform together allows us all to witness it for ourselves.  It is a true sisterhood that will stay with each and every one of them throughout their lives.  Each division picked a theme, danced and sang from their heart and soul. The emotion that was felt by every single camper and staff inside Shield’s Hall could have moved mountains. There were chills upon chills as each division wrote and sang their alma to an audience that listened to every single word.  They held hands and did it together and this is why the bonds are so tight. This shared tradition creates memories that will never fade. They will sing their songs for years to come and will never forget a word.

Congratulations goes out to the Inter girls for winning lower camp Sing this year. It was Inter the Woods  Land and our Inter girls were over the top fabulous. The costumes, the dances, the confidence and the showmanship were on display tonight from our Inter Girls. The emotions that happened as the CIT’s took the stage tonight  was unreal. From the first dance to their alma as they sat side by side tonight holding hands knowing that after all these summers spent together this was their last Girls Sing. The emotions ran high and the feelings ran deep. The CIT’s  won for upper camp as they performed CIT’s of the Caribbean. Their connection to each other, the beautiful friendships that they have nurtured and the respect and love they have for one another was center stage tonight. As we all watched this unfold in front of our eyes, you couldn’t help get emotional and cry with joy to watch these amazing young women perform together for the last time on our stage. What a night it was and to bear witness to this long standing camp tradition of Girls Sing was a highlight of our summer.

Now matter where each girl will go in their life, being a part of Girls Sing defines their youth. They wont forget the theme they chose, the songs they sang or dances they made. No matter how much time passes and how many years go by, Girls Sing will always stay forever in their hearts and will be a thread that connects them all. Oh what a night.