Among one of the beloved long-standing traditions at Camp Alleghany is that of Blue vs. Gray.
The legend of the rivalry can only be justly described as being as fierce as that of Coke vs. Pepsi, Cowboys vs. Redskins, Hamilton vs. Jefferson, Good vs. Evil.
Although the competition is fierce, the beauty of it is that after singing “Come Play the Game,” thus ending whatever event may have been taking place, individuals from both teams can forget the rivalry and revert to being dear friends.
One of the greatest parts of the Blue/Gray summer-long competition are the games and activities that come with it. Here are explanations and reviews of the greatest Blue/Gray events of all time — some of you may remember them from your time at ‘Ghany.
Every Summer, Blue/Gray Gold Rush is perhaps the activity that is most anticipated.
First, the Blue and Gray teams are divided into several smaller teams, still comprised of only one color each. From there, the object is to collect small gold rocks that have been strewn all over camp.
Some of the rocks are simply laying in plain sight, others are hidden, but some are guarded by counselors. Those counselors who are guarding the rocks often assign tasks to the campers before they may have the rock. Examples of such tasks may be to answer a riddle, beat the counselor in a game of tetherball, or create a choreographed dance routine.
If this doesn’t seem complicated enough, the game still has a significant twist; some of the counselors are “good” while others are “bad.” This means that even after, say, beating a counselor in a dance-off, she might still withhold the rock and tag the camper, meaning the camper’s team must relinquish any rocks they have in their possession.
The only way to be sure that your rocks are safe is by staying on the paths and sidewalks that wind through Camp, as this is the only place where the counselors may not tag you. At the end of the night, a winner is named by counting the rocks each team has collected. It is a game of trickery, bravery, cunning, strategy, and sacrifice. Gold Rush is where girls become heroes.
Rough stuff, huh?
Counselor Hunt is another fan-favorite.
In Counselor Hunt, Counselors hide all over camp, and when it comes to finding a hiding place, no holds are barred. Popular hiding places include: the branches of trees, rooftops, the rafters of the Play Hall, bathroom stalls, and some too secretive to speak of.
In summary, the first object of the game is to find the counselors, and upon finding them the teams receive points based on how many years the Counselor has been at Camp.
But this would be too simple; like all great Camp games, there’s a twist.
The teams are given a list of fun facts submitted anonymously by the Counselors, and in order to receive points for finding each counselor, they must first guess their fact.
Now, when you hear the phrase “fun fact,” your mind might go to things like “I have an older brother” or “My favorite food is Mac & Cheese,” but the fun facts given by the Counselors are so random and obscure that the only people I’d trust to definitively identify to whom each fact belonged would be the Counselors’ own mothers.
The winner is determined by counting the scant points both hard-laboring but ill-fated teams collected.
Rounding out the list of the Best Blue/Gray Events of All Time is Encore.
In Encore, Blue and Gray are again divided into smaller sub-teams which are all competing against one another.
In each round of the game, the campers are given a category, and they must then choose a song that fits within that category. For example, if the category was Rain, a group might choose to sing a selection from “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music, and highlight the line “raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens.”
In order to receive points for your selection, however, no other group may sing the song or neither group will get points.
There are many strategies involved in this game. Some groups focus on singing the least known songs in the hopes that no one else would even have heard of it, others depend on clever word play, for example, using “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” for the aforementioned category. And some groups choose to take risks and sing the categories most obvious song in the hopes that no other group would be daring enough to do so. Points are tallied to decide the winner.
To the victor go the spoils
As you can see, the Blue/Gray games are demanding to both body and mind, to individuals and teamwork, to thinking quickly and acting quicker.
But we love it. The longstanding tradition of both the competition itself and specific games is a treasured part of every year, at once a rivalry and a form of camaraderie. And every ‘Ghany Girl loves it!
— Kate Snyder, Counselor, Camp Alleghany for Girls