For three days toward the end of the summer, the entire camp is divided into two teams and compete in various sporting events and other activities. I always had mixed feeling about color war. It’s fun, it’s a little bit crazy and it can bring out the best and worst in people. You’re essentially take kids who had been good friends throughout the summer and often splitting them up and pitting them against each other. It’s highly competitive and the three day long competition often takes its toll on everyone. There’s singing events, skits, posters and alma maters. There’s the apache relay, swim and track meets and nightime game shows. Everything is turned into a competition and in the end you have only one winner which of course results in a good amount of crying for the team that comes out on the losing end. Personally, I say if you’re going to have color war why not have it at the beginning of camp instead of the end. Why go home with those hurt feelings?
Well anyway, after color war we had judgment night where kids who had misbehaved in one way or another during the summer are carried on stage before the entire camp and dunked into a giant barrel of freezing cold water. The campers in the audience yell out HALLELUJA!!!! and the camper being dunked repents before he is permitted back to his seat and next criminal is brought up. Finally, on the last night of camp after the elaborate banquet dinner and dancing, the camp walks down to the waterfront and each camper places a floating candle onto the lake and makes a secret wish. There is a lot of hugging and crying and in the morning the giant silver buses carry the kids back home.