Earlier this week campers chose their classes for first term and have since been making their daily activity rounds with passion and glee! I love the buzz, bounce, hum and BANG of these classes as I make my own rounds around the camp.
And I literally mean buzz, bounce, hum and BANG because those are the sounds of songs being sung in the distance, chatterboxes exchanging ideas in arts and crafts, tennis balls thwapping on the courts, canoes paddling through the water, arrows whizzing through the air and shots blasting out at the firing range! All music to my ears.
The blue and the gray
What was just as fun were the cheers and chants and welcome cries as girls were sorted Harry Potter style (only we beat Hogwarts to it by about 100 years) into the Blue and the Gray teams. When we know a camper is a “legacy” (a camper whose sisters, mother, grandmother, or aunts came to Camp Alleghany) she goes to her home family’s team. But for any newbies it’s a total surprise.
During the course of the summer Blues and Grays battle it out to see who will win highest points for that summer. It’s an intense (but friendly) rivalry in the tradition of all good and sporting rivalries. But we don’t make it easy, let me tell you. Points are “lost” for whacky little infractions like singing a beloved but forbidden song outside of campfire. We’re tricky that way which keeps everyone on their toes in a most spirited fashion.
But Blue and Gray are not just sides, they’re actual colors. ‘Ghany Girls go wild with imagination donning wigs, scarves, glasses, make-up, clothing items and sometimes even outrageous costumes all to revel in their places on their teams and to send a visual message to the other side of team unity. This year we had counselors dress up looking a lot like they were from…well, Blue Man Group…only they were Blue Girl Group and Gray Girl Group. You know, full body suits in one sleek color. Very cutting edge I have to say!
And then there’s the sporting and game battles in the Blue v. Gray showdowns. Teamwork, strategy, spirit and winning points in any given event keep the race alive all term long, until that summer’s winning team is added to the banner of winners we’ve kept since 1922! I’m sure your daughter will be excited to tell you about her team and the tight battle to the finish!
Of course, in the end, we’re all on the same team, the ‘Ghany Girls, united one and all. So don’t let all this rivalry talk fool you. Blue and Gray events are only at certain specially scheduled times. It’s just a little tradition that’s dear to us all, part of the total camp experience here at Camp Alleghany.
–Elizabeth Shreckhise, Assistant Director