Purple Redemption!Everyone loves a good underdog story. In fact, most Disney movies are based on that very concept. We love rooting for the little guy to overtake the unbeatable foe. That was the situation at this year’s Camp Matoaka Color War. Last year, the Pink team wiped out the Purple team, going undefeated in all events. This year, Purple demanded redemption. The War began late in the morning on Wednesday. Fireworks announced the start of the event and the whole camp gathered along the lake. Canoes paddled from across the shore revealing this year’s officers. Then, a sea-plane emerged on the horizon gracefully landing on the lake just before our eyes. This year’s Generals were revealed when they disembarked the plane and made their way to shore. Jason Kauffin would be leading the Pink team and Mike Strahan would be leading Purple. War Council leader, Jason Silberman gave a rousing speech that had the entire camp on edge, the anticipation was palpable. Then each General read a list of the names of all of their teammates. The teams united and the screams and cheers of pure thrill were carried across the shores of East Pond. They were no longer campers, they were cadets. There was a quick team meeting to pass out our new team uniforms and get ready for the first event: The Chaos Course! This relay race across camp required campers to complete ridiculous tasks along the way. Some competitors stacked cups, some fired water guns, and staff members had to consume baby food! Purple took an early lead in the Chaos Course, but Pink made their presence known and stole that lead about halfway through the event. It remained like that for a considerable amount of time, but Purple was determined. They persevered, reclaimed their lead, and remained in first until they crossed the finish line. Purple won their very first Color War event! Dinner was declared a “Silent Meal”. The teams sat on their respective sides of the Dining Hall, and were instructed to not speak for the entire meal’s duration. War Council members roamed around trying to get the cadets to react. The War Council cheered, popped balloons, cracked jokes and were as goofy as possible. Cadets buried their faces in their hands and did everything possible to not react, for if they did, points were deducted. After dinner we gathered on the soccer field for an intense Tug-of-War match between the two teams. This is the event where the teams were most evenly matched. Pink and Purple both won several face-offs. The Juniors, Inters, Seniors, Counselors and Officers each had one round of tugging. Purple won three heats and Pink won two! It was intense! From there, the teams lined up and marched in file up the dirt road hill to the gates of the camp. Along the way, War Council members judged them on their silence and marching formations. Any mis-step could garner a point deduction. They marched until they reached the grassy hill by the fountain just past our gates. The teams assembled along a hillside and watched the Rope Burning ceremony. Their team’s officers worked together to construct a campfire. Whichever team burned through two ropes suspended horizontally over the fires would win. It was an extremely close battle, in fact, the first ropes for each team burned through at exactly the same time. Eventually, the Purple team walked away victorious, yet again. Day Two began with another silent meal. The cadets remained silent as they ate their omelets and cereal. Then they returned to their bunks for a half hour of cleanup. Each bunk was inspected afterwards by the War Council who deducted points for any imperfection. After that, it was time for the Principle Pursuit. This race requires campers to solve a series of puzzles and bring the answer back to their team before advancing to the next puzzle. Whichever team solves the same sequence of tasks first, wins. Purple was persistent and won the event by a landslide. They remained at least three puzzles ahead of Pink for most of the race. The final event was entitled the “Matoaka Mission”. This relay race was much simpler than the others, it only required speed. Campers raced from point to point all across camp. Some cadets swam, some canoed most just ran. The first team to have their Officers plunge into the lake to mark the end of the race was the Pink team! They were determined to not lose in a clean sweep, and remind Purple of their prior success. Right as the race concluded, our Commander –in-Chief, Molly, announced the combined point totals for the events, and Purple had redeemed themselves from last year’s devastating loss, and beat Pink by over 200 points! Purple earned a whopping 745 points over Pink’s 524. Way to go Purple!
With each team having a well-deserved win under their belts, it’ll be interesting to see what Color War 2014 will bring!