FLC COLOR WARS, what are they, how can we explain them to those who haven’t experienced them? Well it is hard as the tradition of color wars at FLC is incredibly unique and filled with much mystique. We have asked our head of ceremonies, Bob Duffy to describe the spirit of our Color Wars, he has (in Bob Duffy style) offered us a poem.
Continue reading on to hear a few reflections of what Color War means to our campers and alumni.
Color War Poem
There’s a battle ongoing with catching and throwing in the Adirondacks for nigh 90 years
It’s a battle that features strength, wits and strange creatures at a place where you conquer your fears
Competitions are rife in this blessing called life and good things are usually earned
Togetherness, pride and working side by side are taught, and certainly are learned
It starts with loud dancing, wild music, mad prancing drawing new campers down to the beach
As those without colors combine fate, sisters and brothers to determine which team they reach
From the forest’s green feast steps a strange looking beast, is it man or spirit or tree?
Festooned with leaves, a few campers he heaves and then tells color war’s strange history
The ancient tale is told of original campers born bold, highlighting their loves and regrets
The story of color wars forming from human frailty and longing is not one the campers forget
Even the fish swim ashore, hoping to hear more and wondering what all of this means
As names are called out, amidst loud, raucous shouts, new families form red, blue, white and green
Hugs are the norm before the gathering storm of competitions held in the night
New lineages of color, lifetime’s love for each other, form to the camper’s delight
Races and chores involving brains and sweat pores, cement the four colors new family bonds
Good friends hear the cheer, brand new siblings are here, blessed by the moon’s magic wand
Whilst sweat trickles down, there is nary a frown and efforts are never for naught
“Try, try, try” goes the cry, winners smile, losers sigh heralding the camp’s ancient lesson, still taught
All campers now know as through life they do go, no one “always” brings home the gold
The “effort’s” the thing as their young lives take wing, fun and friendships the main story told
Counselors call to all teams, “up the hill, to your dreams, for tomorrow is another day”
And what games will that bring, what new songs will you sing as you climb and swim and play?
Marathons through camp, determining new champs, competitions on air, sea and land
Lip synching and stolen bases, both have their places, and color scores are kept close at hand
At banquets champs crowned, to worldwide renown, as teammates come from around the whole earth
“Victory is sweet” the winning campers all tweet, some brag of their color’s great worth
But when camp’s embers die, on a hillside some cry for they’re now all homeward bound
But inside there is joy, for each girl and boy as they know a great lesson’s been found
Green, white, red and blue have learned something so true, camp’s theme throughout all the fun
Though we fought for our teams under sun and moonbeams, at FLC we are truly all one!
A few reflections about Color War from Campers and Alumni
Being a past member / captain on the White team really made my camp experience more fun and exciting. Color War activities are some of my favorite memories from camp! It taught me how to communicate and collaborate with people, and in addition it enhanced my leadership skills and my passionate competitive side. Also, when the White and Blue came together to try and defeat Green and Red, it was always a great time uniting as one with the Boys and Girls Camps!! -Alexis Klein (Camper/LIT alum)
Color war is one of the most exciting parts of summer camp. It is the perfect mix of friendly competition, which taught me many things about being a leader, as well as a team player. For my first few years at camp, I got to witness the captains coordinate to find the best solution, and further saw the team as a whole come together, regardless of age, and work hard to come out with a victory. My LIT year at camp was the best yet for color war. I was the co-captain with one of my best friend’s, and together we lead our team to a Green Team win. Color War is full of passion, dedication, and competition, but also lots of laughter, friendship, and heart. Its rather difficult to hold a grudge on some of your closest friends, despite their participation on the rival team. It is something I will never forget about my summers here at FLC, and I can’t wait to see what the Green Team holds for the future! -Sam Alleva (Camper/LIT alum)
For me, color was all encompassing. It brought laughter, tears, and excitement. I fondly remember losing my voice from cheering and strengthening my relationship with friends on both teams. Being a captain taught me how to play hard, demonstrate leadership skills, but most importantly, it taught me that winning isn’t the most important thing – it’s about the unity and strength you feel participating all together. -Emma Settlemyre (Camper/Staff alum)
Color War is one of the most exciting things that happens at FLC. Color Wars always managed to bring out the competitor in me. No mater if it was my first or last year at camp, when I participated in a Color War event I always brought my best. One thing Color War taught me is the importance of competing hard but while also having strong friendships with the people you are competing against. Most of the cabins on boys’ camp have an even number of red and blue members in each cabin. You often end up competing against a bunkmate during Color War games throughout the summer. Though in that moment of competition they are your enemy and you do your best to beat them, through Color Wars I learned the importance of being able to go back to my cabin and still be best friends and to not hold grudges against the cabin mate and friend you were just competing against. -Skyeler Devlin (Camper/ LIT alum)