1, 2, 3, 4…We Want Color War!

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…Or should we say: We’re IN Color War!

Color War 2015 broke on Wednesday night, and already camp is overflowing with spirit, friendly competition, and intense Green and Gold pride. For our Bunk One campers, Color War is the culmination of all the leadership skills they’ve been learning during their years at camp; and for every camper and staff member, it’s a chance to celebrate the summer through fun, games, and lots and lots of cheering!

Each year, our Color War “break” — the event that signals the beginning of Color War — is more creative and spectacular than the last. Our top-secret Color War planning team seems to have a bottomless bag of break ideas, and we never know what they’re going to dream up next. Even Dan and Jane are surprised every year by the way Color War arrives!

This year’s Color War break had a “Night at the Museum” theme based on a mystical Lake Bryn Mawr Camp legend. In the Fieldhouse and the Dining Hall, where the backdrops from Color Wars past are displayed throughout the summer, something magical happens every night after Taps: Powered by the spirit of the Color War hatchets buried on camp, the characters pictured in the backdrops come to life. Should the hatchets be removed from their proper place, the backdrops would lose their ability to come to life, and the spirit of Bryn Mawr would be trapped for the rest of time.

Over the last week, the characters from past Color War themes began to reveal themselves, telling campers that they needed more spirit, more songs and more cheers to survive because it seemed like some of the characters were losing their power — and some had even disappeared completely! Led by Captain Hook (from the Notorious Villains backdrop), a series of characters such as Pippi Longstocking (Unaccompanied Minors), Winnie the Pooh (Bedtime Buddies), Rainbow Brite and Doc from “Back to the Future” made appearances as the problem became clear: Someone was trying to steal the hatchets.

More clues were revealed that a group of undercover operatives were trying to steal the hatchets for someone known only as “Command.” The villains schemed to unbury the hatchets and get them off camp. In a series of fake breaks, they made various attempts to escape camp with the hatchets, but the campers rallied together in spirit and trapped the bad guys inside a backdrop!

Last night, the operatives escaped from their captors and headed to the lake, where they attempted to get away on Captain Hook’s stolen pirate ship. Everyone in camp followed them down to the lake, where the Bunk One campers had to quickly assemble a catapult. Using the catapult, Captain Hook managed to catch the ship on fire, and the bad guys swam to shore, where they were vanquished by the group of Color War backdrop characters.

With the hatchets restored, who should appear but the mysterious “Command”… Jane?! Jane revealed to camp that stealing the hatchets was her plan to see how far campers would go to protect the values and spirit we hold so dear. With that, the giant letters G&G to represent Green and Gold were illuminated, and a surprise fireworks display lit up the sky — Color War 2015 had broken out!

In the days to come, there will be sports and games, treasured traditions like Apache Relay and Bucket Brigade, and intense preparations for Sing, the culminating event of Color War at which a new pair of backdrops, Green and Gold, will be revealed. We love this exciting time of summer — and we especially love the sense of magic and surprise that is woven throughout the buildup to Color War. Camp is a place where even the most sophisticated teenager can believe in magic, that paintings can come to life and a pirate ship can sail across the lake and songs and cheers have the power to protect the place you love.

Three cheers for Color War!

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