Today, I was lucky enough to walk by a game of Newcombe between the Inter boys and what I saw defined what Color War is all about. The game was mid way through and gold was dominating this match. One by one, the Gold team picked off all the Red players except one, Jake Zamkoff  who stood solo on his side of the net and looked determined to survive. Odds were most definitely against Jake as he was facing 7 gold opponents. But there was something inside Jake that just wouldn’t quit. Every serve, every catch and every throw was going his way and one by one Jake was defeating the gold team until there was just one single player left standing in front of him. The crowd grew bigger with every opponent Jake took down and it was becoming obvious that this game was one to watch.  It was Jake vs. Cade Modica, his best friend btw. They went back and forth and each camper was giving their absolute all but in the last play Cade threw the ball in the perfect corner spot and  took Jake out for win. Jake fell to ground in exhaustion and the crowd went nuts as everyone was chanting “MVP”to Jake even though he didn’t bring home the win. What he did bring, was pure heart. Jake never gave up, not for minute and everyone wanted to celebrate his effort. The entire Gold team showed respect and shook his hand and told him how incredible his game was. It was Color War perfection right in front of me. Everything we want from our kids was displayed in that Newcombe match and it was incredible to see. Every camper recognized Jakes effort first and foremost regardless of getting a win. A true Chenny win for everyone who was at that game of Newcombe.

There was a freshman boy who was having a bit of a struggle at dinner and when I asked him what was wrong, he replied “I don’t know if my friends like me.” My heart hurt to hear that he felt this way, even for a minute. I walked over to the red  kid captain, Caleb Gene who is in his division and I asked for his help. I explained that his friend was feeling a but down and Caleb  immediately found his friend and what happened next took my breath away. Caleb marched directly to his teammate and friend, put his hand on his shoulder and said, “I want you to feel safe here and camp is better because you are here. The Red team is better because you are on it.” That sweet boy made his friend smile and feel not alone. This is what camp does to our kids, they step up, show up and help one another when needed. There is no mystery to why Caleb was chosen as a kid captain.

This Color War is so close and the teams are within a mere of each other.  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 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. We are making every single moment count until we get on those buses next Saturday and all head home. The end is near but not a day will be taken for granted. There is bit more to do.