Color War!The first session campers had left, and the camp was quieter than usual. The campers were relaxing on the front lawn, and WOOSH! There were fireworks exploding all around! Nobody knew what was happening! A parade of all terrain vehicles and an ambulance came parading down the dirt road. There was music playing over our PA system. Everyone gathered at the new gazebo, and war was declared. A Color War!
For the first time in Camp Matoaka history, the full-session campers were split into two teams, Pink and Purple, and engaged in a 24-hour competition of spirit, strength, and intelligence. It was the perfect way to transition from first session to second session.
The Pink team’s color signifies compassion, love, and companionship, and they represent the Army. The Purple team’s color signifies responsibility, loyalty, and courage, and they represent the Air Force. A War Council served as the governing body that kept the games fair and orderly.
This new tradition comes with a new set of regulations to follow in future years. Siblings will always be on the same team, and each camper is a lifelong member of their team. These stipulations will create a sense of ownership of a team, and a sense of family over the years.
Their first challenge was a “Chaos Course” a two hour long obstacle course with games, puzzles, and physical challenges along the way. Competitors were required to unravel a ball of yarn, pitch a tent, drop ice cream on a counselors’ face, and many other hilarious tasks. It certainly lived up to it’s name, and it was chaotic! Everyone had a blast! The Purple team got off to a HUGE lead, and Pink made an amazing comeback. It was a close battle for the rest of the race, with the lead flip-flopping back and forth between the two teams, and ultimately it came down to the final task- the “cup parade”. Both teams lined up at the lake and had to pass cups up and down their line to fill a bucket. In the end, it was the Pink Army that won the “Chaos Course”.
That evening, and the following morning, we had “Silent Meals”. The teams ate on their designated sides of the Dining Hall, and had to be completely silent. The War Council monitored the scene, attempting to provoke the competitors into speaking. The teams were exceptional at this task! The Matoaka Dining Hall has never been so quiet before.
After dinner on Wednesday, the two teams competed in a Rope Burning contest. Each team’s counselor leaders had to construct a fire that was big enough to burn through two ropes suspended at 5 and 6 feet above. Again, it was a back-and-forth battle, and ultimately Pink was victorious again.
Teams were also graded on cabin cleanliness. The War Council patrolled the bunkline and inspected each cabin. The Purple team was superior at this task, as well as a contest to decorate the Dining Hall.
Thursday morning there were two more competitions, the “Principle Pursuit” and the “Matoaka Mission”. In the “Principle Pursuit” competitors had to solve a series of puzzles and challenges in order to uncover a list of words, all of which were Principles that Matoaka values greatly. Integrity, compassion, caring, and kindness are just a few. The Pink team got off to an early lead in this event, and although the Purple team made a spectacular comeback, Pink was victorious in the end.
In the “Matoaka Mission” the teams raced against each other in a relay race. This was a straightforward test of speed. This relay encircled the entire camp, and finished at the lake. Upon completion, the results of this event, and the overall Color War winner was announced. In the end, the Purple Team earned 449 points, and the Pink team scored 857. So despite some very close calls, the Pink Team earned the honor of being Matoaka’s VERY FIRST Color War champion. Congratulations Pink team!
One thing was obvious at Camp Matoaka, everyone bleeds pink and purple!