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. Everyone was giving it their all. 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 always be and it exists here at camp.
The CITS’s gave their psych speech before breakfast and shared feelings on this being the last and final Color War day they will ever have as a camper. They spoke from the heart and spoke of no regrets and embrace every event because in a blink of an eye, it ends. This group amazing CIT’s have left their mark and today marks the beginning of their finale.
There is a long standing Color War event called the axe hunt. A wooden axe was hidden on day one and at the beginning of each lunch 2 CIT’s from each team are given a clue to where it is. They have a timed 15 minutes to look for the axe. To this point in the competition, it has yet to be found. If it was not found today, this would be the very first time it had not been located. There was intense pressure for both teams to find the axe. Some were convinced it was nowhere on this camp, but oh it was. Hidden somewhere they hadn’t yet looked and it was waiting for them to find it. This was the last race and the entire camp was waiting in the Lodge, just waiting for the runners to appear holding the axe. Today, the last day of the axe hunt. There was a certain CIT girl that was running the hunt today and she was nervous and actually asked her Captain if they would swap her out and pick a faster runner. I saw her right before lunch and she was terrified she wouldn’t be able to keep up. Every doubt she had about herself rose to the top and her fears almost over took her courage. Regardless of her fears, she stayed in the race. This event was timed for 15 minutes and with just 3 minutes to go, still nobody found the axe. With only 60 seconds left, I saw that same CIT running down the hill with her teammates next to her and that girl was waving that axe high in the air. That girl was my daughter Maddy and she found it with only 1 minute to go. Her face was pure joy and she did something she really thought she couldn’t. She found her courage today when she committed to finding that axe. Nobody before her in the past 5 days could find that axe but she did. Her worry , doubt and fear was replaced by pure joy that translated into confidence and a belief in herself. It was a moment that Jon and I will never forget and she certainly won’t either. A lesson she lived to never doubt herself and believe that what you feel is impossible may just be within your reach. She whispered in my ear, “I did it Mom, I found the axe.” and I whispered back, “You didn’t just find the axe Maddy, you found something way bigger.” We couldn’t have been more proud, not that she found the axe but that she never gave up.
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.
As both teams entered into Shields Hall dressed as characters from Trolls and Shrek, the Incredibles, Up and so many other amazing costumes, there was a sense of elation and true Color War pride. This was it, and everyone knew it. The scores were so close it was all coming down to SING. Each team presented their plaque and banner and they were truly works of art. True art master pieces that took our breath away. 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 Pixar sang their Alma Mater and included beautiful lyrics that embodied the feelings they have as their summer comes to an end:
Spent all this time here with you
Don’t know how Ill make it through
Winter Nights alone
This place will always be our home
Friendships different over the phone
But I’m just a call away
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 three days as two teams are now back together as one amazing camp. Gold Dreamworks so poetically conveyed in their Alma Mater:
5 days have flown by
Fearing our last goodbye
My summer home, my sweet escape
A Legacy lives on at Fiddle Lake
The Bonds you’ll find here are so rare
Nothing can compare
All the love behind these gates, is something the we can’t explain
In a Chenny tradition of musical chairs, the last Judge to grab his/her seat was GOLD and that relayed the winner of Color War 2018. There was joyous elation throughout the Gold team but just for a moment as we hugged our friends and then busted out in a giant dance party. Joys of winning Color War and tears from defeat were replaced by intense and over the top energy that literally was explosive and electric. We could have moved a mountain with all that energy and then the realization that camp is nearing its end – the tears started to flow. So many feelings flooded us all and now with Color War behind us, summer 2018 is just about done.
We walked into Shields Hall tonight as two very separate teams but came out as One! The love we all feel and the connection we have formed is transformative and experiencing Color War 2018 was icing on the cake. When you think it just can’t get better, it does. Now we down shift to the final 3 days here and we won’t wast a moment.