Red Cameroon Wins Olympics

I remember the exact day I stopped telling my kids to not jump in puddles after or during a rainstorm. I was worried about them having cold feet, getting dirty and ruining their shoes. Then a conversation I had with a camper about ten years ago changed everything. As I watched a camper run and jump into a puddle on the way to The Lodge, I stopped him and told not to do that because of all the excuses I had in my mind and the ones I would repeat to my own kids. He looked at me and said, “my mom says it’s ok to jump in puddles and it’s a kids job to not worry about dirty shoes. Once I start to worry, that means I’ve lost the special magic of what makes a kid a kid.” That moment changed my perspective and I called his mom and thanked her for teaching her son such an incredible lesson. He allowed me to worry less and play more. Now, that mom knew her son and packed a bunch of sneakers that summer. We washed his dirty ones and all worked out. So today, the rain came and yes your kids jumped in puddles. Yes, clothes were wet and yes, they got a bit dirty and yes they had the absolute best time. Not a worry in the world and our campers definitely still have that magic of being kids. 

Talk about twists and turns and lead changes by the minute. This Olympics was beyond unexpected and who was leading in the morning dropped by lunch. There was so much movement with the leader board, we couldn’t keep up and the anticipation was just so much. Olympics is tradition and it is something that campers did here decades ago and still do today. Traditions are what connects us all to this place and to one another. Camp traditions are bigger than each of us but has become the thread to our shared experiences here. To go through an Olympics together bonds us to one another. For the past 3 days, every camper dug deep and gave it everything they had.  New friendships were made and connections deepened. To think that a kickball game or a waterpolo match brings so many people closer together is why we love these Olympics games.

The Olympic games ended as all three teams presented their songs, banner and plaque inside Shields Hall. Each team presented their Cheer, March and their Alma Mater and the words of Red Cameroon said it so beautifully in their Alma Mater…. “ Cherish your time – Cherish your time before it’s gone. Moments together – Can we just hold each other , don’t let go. Can we just stay, right here – Can we just stay right here.”  These words are from the heart and everyone feels it. It is why this experience means so much to us all. When you let camp in, it overtakes your heart and changes who you are.

Now it was in the hands of judges as the decision who would win Olympics 2023. Shields Hall was packed with our campers dressed head to toe in their team colors waiting to see the winning team revealed. The time had come and the judges raced on turtle scooters. The team to win 2 races was crowned our Olympic Champion and a  huge congratulations to RED CAMEROON who brought home the gold.

  • Red Cameroon –  1,819
  • Gold Ecuador –  1,804
  • Blue Iceland  – 1,792

What we learned from these games were that we all played hard, respected the game, supported each other and believed that in the end it wasn’t just about getting the win but being there for one another. Two and half days ago, we began as Red Cameroon, Gold Ecuador and Blue Iceland and tonight we are back to One Camp Chenny Family.