Wow! Yet another exciting week at Camp Agudas Eizov! How surprising! With the Nine Days fast approaching (ouch), we really tried to pack in the activities this week:
Early this week, we finally started teaching everyone the camp song!
It was raining.
Yes, Agudas Eizov has a song. There’s nothing like a song to bring the camp together in perfect harmony, at least until the next major war.
In fact, we believe that schools should have songs, too. Seriously, what are they teaching them over there?
Swimming in Lost Items
For the time being, we will continue to swim at the Y, mostly due to our host school’s reluctance to put in a pool.
As explained in another note that we gave your kid that never made it home because we gave it out before swimming, after we hit the world record on the first day of camp for most items lost in a single day, we decided that from now on we’re changing into our bathing suits in camp, before lunch. And then eating lunch in our bathing suits, which are waterproof anyway, so that’s great for spills.
Here’s Your Prize. Deal with It.
On Monday, we played Deal or No Deal, which is a psychological game of negotiation, decision-making, and yelling over loud music. And the bunks won some great prizes!
Bunk Alef: Italian ices for the entire bunk!
Bunk Beis: Warm soda for the bunk!
Bunk Gimmel: One camper won the right to raid the canteen for six whole seconds! He came out with two ounces of cherry slush.
Bunk Daled: Hot dogs without buns!
Bunk Hei: A prize called “Torture Your Counselor!” (Some rules may apply.)
Bunk Vav: A jar of herring! Don’t worry; everyone does not get his own jar. They have to share. Maybe next time they’ll win forks!
Guess what! We played Guess Who! Guess how!
We all went into the gym and turned out the lights. Rabbi Schrier hung his guest bedsheets over one of the doors to block the light from the hallway. Then, one at a time, various members of the staff stood in front of the doorway so that all we could see was their shadows. We had to guess which staff member it was. It wasn’t easy.
But if you think it was hard for us in the gym, think about how hard it was for the counselors, standing in a lit hallway and trying to guess which campers were behind the curtain in the dark gym.
“Is that my bunk?”
“No, your bunk’s swimming.”
And Now for Sports!
Teams W L T Pct
Ketchup 8 2 0 0.80
Mustard 5 1 4 0.70
Mayonnaise 5 2 3 0.65
Pickle Relish 6 1 0 0.60
BBQ Sauce 4 4 2 0.50
Corn 3 6 1 0.35
These are the stats going into the finals. We had a few exciting playoff games this week, culminating in one last championship game on Friday between the Ketchups and the Mustards to see, one last time, who’s better at Football / Baseball / Hockey / Soccer / Basketball / Punch ball / Kickball / Slap ball / Complaining about whatever sports we picked.
And the winner of that game was: The __________!
Congratulations, ___________! We knew you could do it!
(Please fill this in yourself, because we don’t actually know who did it. We write this thing on Thursdays.)
Old War Stories
This week we had Color War, in the age-old camp tradition of people going to war over what color outfit everyone’s wearing. It’s like a wedding. We decided to do it during the first half of the summer, because whenever anything ever goes wrong in camp, everyone starts yelling, “Color War Breakout!” and it does not help the situation. So we wanted to get it out of the way.
This war, like many historical wars before it, was fought mainly through sports and swimming races.
And, of course, everyone always wants to know how Color War broke out. Do people ask this with other wars?
The teams were red and blue, of course, with red representing Torah and blue representing tefillah.
The way to remember is to tell yourself:
- “I “red” the Torah.”
- “The chazzan just “blue” through Shacharis.”
There was no team of gemilus chasadim (white), but everyone had א-ח-ד-ו-ת, which, according to the sound logic that they expressed numerous times, was more than enough.
We Put the “Col” in Color War!
The first activity of Color War was a debate, expressed in repetitive chants, during which several good points were raised. Team Red gave the age-old argument that Red was hot and ready to roll. They kept expressing this point the entire week, sometimes just to fill the silences. Meanwhile, Blue gave the counterargument that B-L-U-E would go “all the way to victory,” evidently because it rhymes, which is sound logic if we ever heard it. On the other hand, R-E-D rhymes, too. No one heard us asking that, though, because of the chanting. The two teams kept making these points over and over, loudly, even though, according to their earlier point, you wouldn’t think they’d bother, because supposedly achdus is more than enough. But a little extra never hurt anyone.
Tuesday was all about the traditional Color War races—running, hopping, walking in a pool with an egg balanced on a spoon—just like they did in the Hundred Years War!
On Wednesday, each team presented a poster board and gave a little speech about it, just like they did in World War I.
Wednesday was also a day of skits. Color War skits are a grand tradition, dating back to the American Revolution between England (red, Torah) and America (blue, Tefillah).
We also had something called an “Achdus Play,” which is a major timesaver (you’re welcome, parents!) in which staff from both teams act in one play that encompasses both themes. An Achdus Play! Like in the Civil War.
The play, in the tradition of all camp plays, was of course about a guy who becomes frum at the end. Also, there’s a king who has a son, and the son needs a job, and all he has is half a necklace. And someone has to learn how to daven Shemoneh Esrei without falling.
Songs of Torah and Tefillah
Over the course of Color War, each team had to sing three songs (just like in the French and Indian War), most of which we’ve printed in a separate song booklet, which you can feel free to read now or after the Nine Days, if you are so machmir.
The third song was an alma mater song, which had the following requirements:
- It had to be a slow song with a tune at least 75 years old.
- It had to be about how much we’re going to miss camp when we leave it in four weeks.
- It had to mention Mashiach.
A Bowl of Torah
On Thursday morning, both teams competed in a Torah Bowl—a Torah-knowledge competition hosted by the rebbeim. This was exactly what they did in the Korean War, which, historians agree, was about 50% Torah Bowl.
In the end, the Red Team won the Torah Bowl. But in retrospect, of course they did. They’re the team of Torah. Who did we think would win a Torah Bowl? That would be like calling the teams Aish and Mayim and then having a water fight.
Color War Winner!
Color War ended on Thursday amid cheers and excitement when Red beat Blue with a score of 2294–2189, just like in the War of 1812–1813, when 1813 won.
At that point, red once again announced, in song, that they were ready to roll.
We’re Dyeing to Do This
This coming week, all the campers will be doing a tie-dye project with our arts-and-crafts teacher, Mrs. Winter. We’ve been doing tie-dye projects every year since camp started, and who can’t use extra clothes in the Nine Days? We’ve done T-shirts, undershirts, pillowcases…What will we tie-dye this year?
Hint: It’s gonna be ties.
Tie-Dye Washing Instructions. The first time you wash your tie-dye project, wash it in cold water with nothing else. Because you have nothing better to do the day after Tisha B’Av other than wash neckties individually.
Brick by Brick!
This Tuesday, Bunks Alef and Beis will be going to Legoland! Legoland is an indoor amusement park/play area featuring rides, a factory tour, a climbing area, and more Lego pieces than you’ve ever seen in your life! Wear shoes.
You should also wear your camp T-shirts, which we understand might put a strain on your laundry schedule, and we apologize. Maybe wash it with your tie-dye ties.*
*(Note from Mrs. Winter: Don’t.)
There’s Another Session?!
Session II of camp begins this Monday. So act accordingly, we guess. Take whatever steps you would take. We just thought you should know. Also, we’re going to be getting a few new boys in the camp! (Well, new to us.) So we’re very excited.
If you signed your son up for only the first half of the summer, and you’re like, “Hey, you know what? He’s been having fun, and he hasn’t sustained any major injuries yet, despite all the waivers!” why not sign him up for a second half and press your luck!
We’ll try not to break out any more wars.
Mordechai Schmutter is a weekly humor columnist for Hamodia and is the author of five books, published by Israel Book Shop. He also does freelance writing for hire. You can send any questions, comments, or ideas to MSchmutter@gmail.com. Read more of Mordechai Schmutter’s articles at 5TJT.com.