August 14, 2013

Colour War Day Two

This morning was my favourite game: The Land and Sea Game. This is the 2nd biggest event of Colour War…..

The goal is simple: Each team must find (hidden on land) wooden blocks in their team’s colour. To get points, those blocks need to get to the Voyageur canoe. Sounds simple. But the Voyageur canoe is anchored on the far side of the lake, and there are multiple challenges to get each block from its hiding spot on the land out to the Voyageur canoe. It goes like this: When a team’s runner finds a block, they run it to their team’s dock depot. They must then complete an obstacle course. Only then can the runner deliver the block to the end of the dock. There, two of their team members in a canoe or kayak are now allowed to pick up that block. They then paddle out into the lake. They must deliver that block to a sailboat or windsurfer being sailed/surfed by their team members. The sailors/surfers must then get the block to the far side of the lake, but they’re not allowed to approach the Voyageur canoe. They must give the block to a canoe or kayak from their team – and finally THAT boat takes the block to the Voyageur canoe and gets points for it… To complicate matters, there are “Bag Guys” staff (dressed in black cloaks) in canoes and on windsurfers who throw tennis balls at every watercraft.If they hit a watercraft, those people forfeit the block they’re carrying…. We play this game every year at Colour War. I love it because it’s such a fun game, but even more because there are SO many campers on the water and they are SO competent at paddling, windsurfing and sailing- competent enough to play the game and have the watercraft skills be second nature. Today there were 25 canoes (2 campers each, so 50 campers in canoes), 17 sailboats (40 people sailing), 18 kayaks and 14 windsurfers… Which adds up to a lot of campers with impressive water skills. Fun and learning, a magical combo!

Then came the triathlon – swimming, canoeing and running, with a photo finish in front of the Main Lodge.

Then this afternoon was the Marathon, a giant relay involving every activity in camp and lots more. It starts with the whole team lining up (there are four teams) and filling a big garbage can with water from the lake. As soon as the water overflows, the team can rub to Event # 2. Every camper does at least one event – swimming, sailing, riding, putting up a tent, taking it down, etc. etc.  And lie all relays, the way the Marathon works is that each camper must be tagged by the camper doing the previous event before they may do their event.  The Marathon climaxes in front of the Main Lodge – with all the staff watching and cheering on their campers. The third last event is a senior windsurfing from the surf dock to the sail dock. Then another senior swims (with a safety canoe) from the sail dock to the main dock. Then the co-captain of the team lights a candle and runs it from the main dock to the front of the Main Lodge. There the captains must build a fire to burn a rope that’s stretched between two chairs– they finish the Marathon when their fire burns the rope – to wild team cheers.

And now we’re just about to go into the Main Lodge to hear the four team’s alma maters –written and sung by them…. As I write this (7:30 pm) the Voyageur canoe has just left the dock with 20 staff in in it to paddle to Little Doe Lake where all our junior canoe trips are camped for tonight (They come home tomorrow afternoon). The staff, led by Andre, our wonderful Trip Director, are bound for Little Doe with candy tuck and plans to do a magical campfire for the juniors.

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