A Band of Brothers: "Commando Day"

35 g0081255.jpg?ixlib=rails 2.1

Campers returned to camp on the 19th of July, with most of our groups paddling right up to the docks. That of course creates a rowdy atmosphere, as kids really open up on their first round of trips. In fact, that’s the first thing we notice when they come back; they’re MUCH louder.

Getting no more than a day to catch up from their wilderness adventures, several big events took place, which I will go on to explain in some detail. The first event occurred on what will probably be one of the hottest days of this summer, and thankfully, that activity involved getting wet. Behold, the Cardboard Boat Regatta!

 dsc1278 58.jpg?ixlib=rails 2.1

Lead by Captain “Bush Beard,” the premise of this regatta was to build a boat for the captain that was fast, durable, and of course stylish… using only cardboard and duct tape. No paint, no waterproofing. Just cardboard. As you may be surprised to learn, these things do in fact float quite well. They just don’t float for very long!

That evening was the camper-counselor hunt, where campers and counselors played a peninsula-wide game of hide and seek. Things get more interesting as the sun sets and as campers make use of the environment they’ve come to know so well these past few weeks. The campers that successfully hid the closest to the basketball court (the center of the peninsula) won each round. As the staff are reminded each time we play, preteens and teens are very good at hiding…

 dsc1230 47.jpg?ixlib=rails 2.1

If these two events weren’t enough, then surely “Commando Day” completely exhausted them. Commando Day is a tradition at camp with a very simple, powerful theory behind it: if you split camp into two teams, give each team a couple hundred balloons and buckets of water, and let them build and fortify a base and then attack one another, you’re going to have, as one camper put it, “several hours of adrenaline rushes.”

 dsc1305 4.jpg?ixlib=rails 2.1

To say we simply split camp in half greatly simplifies the actual premise of the war. What actually happened is that two generals happened to lay claim to the entire peninsula with some vague notion that they had purchased it all… even though it wasn’t for sale. Well, these generals had a scuffle in front of the Mess Hall right before dinner, and decided then and their to settle their differences the only way the knew how… WAR!!!

Of course the campers immediately bought into the generals’ causes. They were immediately split and sat on opposite sides of the Mess Hall, fueling the feud throughout the course of dinner. Things escalated quickly as campers got dressed into red and blue clothing to signify their respective teams. Each general then took their teams into their headquarters, moving Risk board pieces on a map of the camp peninsula and having intense discussions of strategy.

I could delve further into the details of the battle that ensued, but why bother when we had our war photographer Joe Baumann film and edit the whole thing! Watch it directly at our photo gallery!