The End of Kenwood’s Color War as We Inch Towards the Close of the SummerAugust 13, 2015
We woke up this morning with Evergreen having completed their Color War, and Kenwood in the final day of its tournament. Our Evergreen girls woke up late and came to breakfast at a leisurely pace in their pajamas.
In Evergreen this day is referred to as “Juniper Day”. Our oldest Evergreen campers elect to spend the day in Camp, participating in all of their favorite aspects of Camp one last time: they spent the day doing basic activities like Arts & Crafts, Ceramics, Film and just enjoying one more regular day as Evergreen campers. Sadly, we had some rain so it wasn’t the gorgeous day on the lake that they hoped for, but it only seemed to bring them closer. I love that after all of these years, with days left in their camper careers, what they most want is just a little bit more time to be campers and with their camp friends.
In Kenwood it was the final day of Color War. In the morning the boys participated in their final team sports, including football, baseball, hockey and ultimate frisbee. In the afternoon, as the last sporting event of 2015 Maroon and Grey, we had our track meet. Campers were running long and short distances, throwin the shot put, and trying their best at the long and high jumps. It was great to sit and watch how hard our boys will push themselves in a special event like this.
And then after dinner came Song & Cheer. After 4 days of practice and preparation both teams were ready to show us what they could do. With great focus they walked into the theater and took their places. Their songs were at times fierce and funny and rousing and poignant. They employed complex foot stomping patterns and dance choreography and so many other clever ideas. And as they each sang their final song about their love of Camp, one by one, so many of our boys welled up with tears. The realization that we would soon be leaving this place for almost a whole year was very emotional for all of us. With the final songs sung the boys put their arms around each other for solace. It was very moving to watch.
The judges left to deliberate, and then we returned with our verdict. Scott stood at the foot of the stage and read off the winner of each song. Grey needed very few points to win this evening, and in the end they won a couple of big songs. This meant that they also won this year’s Color War. There was pandemonium in the theater for about 30 seconds as their team rejoiced. Then, as it always does, it became much more about us coming together as one big community. Counselors and older campers found their younger friends to hug and comfort and celebrate the start of the end of this glorious summer.
It is Kenwood tradition that immediately after Song & Cheer we bury a ceremonial antique hatchet. The hatchet is our symbol of Color War, and by placing it in the ground we acknowledge the end of this fabulous event, and our return to focusing on being one big camp of friends. Tonight the summer’s leaders were called up to prepare the ground: the Color War Senior Captains, the Head Coaches, our Unit Leaders, and then our Administrators. Standing in the dark, lit only by torchlight, we then put our arms around each other and quietly sang Taps. Afterwards, the Kenwood Big Brothers took their Little Brothers back to the bunks to help put them to bed.
The Kenwood Seniors then headed off to the Gym to play bombardment, and the administrators went straight to the dining hall. As is Kenwood tradition, Bob, Walshy, Scott, Tex and I fired up the grills, put on our aprons, and cooked hot dogs and hamburgers for all of our senior boys. We all really like spending time together, and it was fun to slice some tomatoes, fry up some French fries, and dance around as we blasted classic rock tunes. This year I put together an eclectic mix of songs from the last 4 decades, including a few more recent choice tracks. With all of my free time these last few days I spent a few hours working on selecting the right tunes for tonight’s list.
The file is somewhat large, but by downloading it you’ll have all of the songs we enjoyed tonight. If you enjoy the mix please let me know, and I hope it gets used at many BBQ’s during this coming post-Camp time. After about a half hour of playing bombardment the boys joined us for a big post-Color War celebrating. A very good time was had by all.
This is also a night that we remember Dr. Randy Margolis, our good friend and beloved, long-time Camp Doctor. Standing behind the grill after Color War was his favorite moment of every summer. He has been gone for 8 years now, but as his good friends we still put up a copy of his picture on this night to help remind us all of our dear, departed brother. Camp friends are forever.
Tonight was a very special night in Camp Kenwood. We are proud of our boys for how hard they worked this past week. We are proud that they gave their all in every game and in every event. And we are most proud that throughout the tournament they never lost sight of what we believe to be most important: that above all else we are friends and brothers, even in a time of competition.
Camps Kenwood and Evergreen is a 7-week summer camp located in Wilmot, NH. We offer campers more than 35 different exciting activities each week as part of our innovative program.