Tonight was the 6th Anything Can Happen Thursday of the summer, and BOY did we have a lot planned. Our campers walked into the dining hall wondering if Kenwood or Evergreen's color war would be breaking out tonight. In the end both did, but not at the same time, and in very different ways.
Just as people were leaving dinner this sound appeared off in the distance. It started off as a low hum and suddenly got a whole lot louder as an airplane buzzed overhead. As soon as it did a siren went off in the dining hall, and Evergreen's Head Counselor announced for everyone to run to our soccer field we call "The Field of Dreams". Here's a video of what happened after that:
But what about Kenwood and it's Color War breakout? That takes a little bit more explanation.
Our Maintenance Team had been working on a big side project. Tonight, after weeks of covert preparations it was finally time for the big reveal. Pete and Tex drove an old SUV to the other side of the lake and pushed two inflatable devices through its windows. Then they slowly rolled it into the water...and Billy pulled it across the lake with the help of one of our water ski boats.
Upper left to right: Pete showing the storyboards he drew for the breakout; Tex and Pete and the car they modified; Pete and Tex working to get the car fully submerged in our lake; Some of the safety gear they installed for the Color War Breakout
For about an hour they worked getting it exactly into the right position. First, they had to release the air from the bladders in the windows. Then, they stood on the hood to help it fully sink into the water, all the while expertly maneuvering it so that it pointed in exactly the right direction. Once it was in place, I jumped into the water with Pete and connected myself to a SCUBA rig he had secured into the rear of the vehicle. After I got into vehicle I helped one of our Kenwood Color War Head Coaches find his way into the backseat of the car, and made sure he was properly connected to a SCUBA regulator. Then Tex got into the front seat and assisted our other Head Coach. Mind you, we were all 8 feet below the water's surface -- and in total darkness -- during this entire process, and sitting inside a car!
That's our Maintenance Director Pete, in the lake, wearing SCUBA gear, setting up his actual working cannon with Travis
Once we got ourselves settled we sat quietly and waited. And waited. After the longest 10 minutes any of us can remember a massive BOOM rang above us. Scott was on the beach, linked to everyone on land by walkie talky, and was coordinating the whole event. Pete shot off a real life cannon, which was our signal to turn on the blinking red and white LED lights that looped around the vehicle. At that moment the four of us in the car counted to five and then squeezed the handles of the fire extinguishers mounted below us, sending CO2 pluming out from the water's depth. Pete and our friend T had arranged a fireworks display on the docks with the help of Billy, Courtney, Hugo and Fedde, and they immediately launched into the air all around us. This was when a theatrical spotlight shot a beam of light from the back of the dining hall onto dark water...AND THE CAR BEGAN TO DRIVE OUT OF THE LAKE!
Technically, the car didn't actually drive out of the lake. In order to make all of this happen Pete and the team removed the engine and most of the inner workings of the SUV weeks earlier. As it was sinking to the bottom they attached a wire cable to the front, and then ran that through a series of pulleys, ultimately connecting it to the rear of our dump truck. When it was time the truck moved forward, which in turn pulled the SUV out of the lake, making it look like it had propelled itself, seemingly out of nowhere.
Once out of the water our two Head Coaches stepped out of the car and onto the beach. As you can imagine the boys and their counselors were in utter disbelief. Most screamed at the top of their lungs in excitement, while a few just stared, seemingly unable to process what they had just witnessed. Pausing for a moment, they then ripped off their diving masks and ran into the cheering crowd. And from there began the start of Kenwood's Color War.
Because almost all of this took place in darkness our efforts to film it were not successful. Suffice it to say none of us will be forgetting this incredible Color War breakout created by Pete, Tex, Billy, and the rest of our incredible Maintenance Team anytime soon. I don't even know how to quantify the amount of time that they put into this special event. The love and care that each of them feels for our camp community is beyond words. Here's to each and every one of them for what they did to make tonight so amazing!
For the next few days our campers will be participating in all of the sports that they have been practicing throughout these last 6 weeks. The passion and Camp spirit will be turned up to 11, and yet we also know that everyone will be doing their best to demonstrate the values of our community -- sportsmanship, teamwork, friendship -- that we have focused on all summer long. Even in the midst of this amazing competition we will do our best to always remember that being a good friend is the most important attribute of a member of the Kenwood and Evergreen community.