Color War’s tradition of spirit and surprise…

“G-R-E-E-N! We’re 11 on a scale of 10!”

“G-O-L-D! 14-carat victory!”

Is it the world’s wackiest spelling bee? No, it’s time for Color War!

An epic competition between two teams represented by different colors, Color War is a tradition at many summer camps, including Bryn Mawr. While the basic premise is generally consistent from camp to camp, each community puts its own spin on Color War with unique traditions and individual approaches to the competition.

At LBMC, there are a few things that make our annual Color War really special. One is the leadership role played by our Bunk One campers. After waiting anywhere from three to nine summers to take the mantle of camp leadership, our oldest campers can’t wait to captain their Color War teams. They’ve been officially preparing for Color War since their March meeting at camp, when they selected team themes and started working on songs, cheers, and plans for the backdrops, costumes and stage movements they’ll present at Sing on the last night of Color War… but we know that the dreaming and planning has been going on unofficially for years as they’ve imagined what their Bunk One Color War experience will be like. Color War is a legacy each Bunk One leaves behind for future generations of Bryn Mawr Angels who will sing their songs and cheers in the dining hall, gaze up at their backdrops on display, and reminisce about their leadership.

Another thing that makes our Color War special is something that happens before it even starts: the “break” that officially begins Color War and the clues, skits, fake breaks and spirit chains that lead up to the big night. Each year the run-up to LBMC Color War is built around a different theme, and all the events, props, costumes and skits are dreamed up and executed by our own staff. While other camps favor celebrity appearances or other flashy ways of kicking off their Color War competitions, our campers look forward each summer to a series of clues and surprise events concocted and constructed right here at camp.

Each summer our special events staff makes their own job harder by having to top the break from the year before, and they always rise to the occasion. This summer is no exception! Over the course of the last week, strange things have started to happen around camp — flickering lights, weird weather, and an odd green substance appearing on campus. After dinner on Friday, Jane announced to camp that she had decided to bring in some experts to get to the bottom of things. Who’s she gonna call? Ghostbusters! Each year’s Color War break is inspired by a theme from movies, books or pop culture, and this year our creative team took their inspiration from the rebooted team of tough female foes of the supernatural.

Summoned by Jane, the Ghostbusters, played by members of the LBMC staff, showed up and started “investigating” paranormal activity at camp, inspecting cabins and confronting “ghosts” at all-camp events who have possessed other staff members. Each new encounter has built excitement leading up to the much-anticipated final showdown that will require Bunk One to muster all their camp spirit to defeat the baddies bringing ghosts to camp and reveal the Green and Gold lights that signal the start of Color War!

If that sounds complex… well, it’s all part of the magic of Color War, and to some extent, you have to witness it to really appreciate the wonder and mystery of the break. In a world of complex questions, rapidly evolving technology and instant answers, we love that camp gives our Angels an opportunity to experience a little bit of magic and true surprise!

Once Color War has broken out, the rest of the summer is dedicated to the spirited games, traditional competitions and new challenges that face the teams of Gold and Green. From wacky games to serious athletics, Color War gives campers of every ability the chance to shine as they support their teams and the spirit of sportsmanship.

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