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.