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Divided but unified. Two words that have completely opposing meanings that somehow are capable of describing Camp Seneca Lake for the past 48 hours. This period of time is known here at CSL as “Color War.” The general gist of this program can be inferred from its namesake. Basically, the entire camp (both staff and campers alike) are split up into opposing teams (blue and red). Each summer for the past 11 years, these two teams have battled against one another in creative, intellectual, and athletic events in order to inevitably “win the war.” Campers and staff participate throughout these two days in events such as LTPs (Long Term Programs), smaller events aimed at certain athletic, creative, and intellectual abilities known as Compendiums, as well as all-camp Signature Programs.

One example of a Long Term Program is the Showdown at the O-Rec. The Showdown at the O-Rec is an event where a small group of campers are selected to display their musical and artistic talents by dancing and singing in a 12-minute long performance. These performances truly move and inspire all of camp by allowing us to see the creativity that these talented individuals possess. Along with the LTPs that enable campers to truly display their personal abilities, the Compendium events also allow campers to focus on their own skills. A few Compendium events where things like a game of Scrabble, a slam poetry battle, and flag football games. With these events, each camper can feel as though at least one contest during Color War fits with their self-interests. While Color War focuses on people’s individual strengths, it also provides the opportunity for camp to come together as a whole to work toward a common goal. This teamwork is incorporated in Signature events where all of camp participates in one competition against the other team. A Signature event that took place this summer was the “Chain Link.” The Chain Link required all staff and campers to form a “chain link” with their arms in order to move toward a flag to capture it and win it for that respective team. With this wide variety of competitions and contests that took place throughout Color War, every camper was able to feel like this Color War was designed for them.

Despite spending two days competing against one another, the CSL community has come back together stronger than ever. New friendships with formed and old friendships continued to bond due to the teamwork that was used throughout this program. Although Color War is an exciting time, I know everyone here at camp is glad to no longer be the “Blue” and the “Red” team but the “Purple” team.  

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