After an intense and close competition, Paranormal Green ended up winning our color war! It was an incredible war with the lead switching throughout, and the sportsmanship that was displayed was unprecedented.
Nothing can tell us more about the impact of camp and color war than the words directly from our four captains themselves. Attached you will find their speeches, presented to the whole camp before the culmination of Green and White.
DC, Woody, Members of the Brass, Most Honorable Judges, members of the mighty white tribe, and members of the great paranormal green:
Each person in this room understands how difficult it is to articulate what draws each of us back to camp summer after summer. In 2013, I struggled to find an answer to this question powerful enough to bring me back for my first year aid summer, so I got on a plane and spent part of the summer trolling the camp website from Petrozavodsk, Russia, knowing that I had made a huge mistake. Initially, I believed that seeing my camp friends outside of the realm would suffice, however I realized that camp had more to offer than lifelong friendships, and I committed to returning for the next summer.
Outsiders have questioned my decision to spend my free time as a camp counselor for the past three years, and I’ve never been able to convince them that I’m making the right choice. It wasn’t that they dismissed my explanations; it was that I could not explain it. Only this summer did I understand why I do it. During a botched period of bocce, the Arrows and I took a break and sat down in the waterfront gazebo. We spoke openly about how despite being only thirteen years old, they’re expected to treat people with the respect and compassion that adults strive to do. I listened as they justified themselves and saw myself at thirteen years old in each one of them. I said the same things to my sister seven years prior after spending the afternoon in the back office with Michelle Brockmann as she made clear that I needed to change my behavior because it negatively effected other people’s days. I told Jill that I came to camp to be with my friends and have fun, which sounds harmless, but sitting there in the gazebo with the arrows, it finally clicked.
Camp is about more than having fun and making friends. No other place in the world allots you seven weeks to become the best version of yourself. We learn that a gesture as simple as putting your arm around someone’s shoulder could make their day. Though the small and deliberate actions do not come naturally to all, I’ve found that camp brings it out in people. With time and thoughtfulness, these actions turn to habits, and we bring these habits into the outside world, hoping to rub off on those around us. Camp has and continues to make me the person that I am today, as it has and will do for all of you. Camp teaches you how to treat the people around you in a way that makes them want to be around you. This isn’t something we learn in one summer, and it isn’t something that is ever finished, so we have to keep coming back to be the best people we can be.
DC, Woody, members of the Brass, most honorable judges, members of the great Paranormal Green, and Members of the mighty White Tribe. Year after year, I’ve claimed that Green and White is my favorite five days of the whole year. There’s a sort of delightful frustration when I try to explain it to someone who doesn’t go here. It’s proof that some things really are indescribable, and that you just have to experience them. This is my 12th summer experiencing it, and it’s taken me this long, 60 days of color war, to realize what makes it so special to me.
Everyone has their “thing.” If you’ve seen me in the courts or on the fields these past five days, you’d know that sports really aren’t my thing. I put my heart and soul into them anyway, and don’t worry, I have my thing. As a camper it was the talent show dances, as a staff member it’s been song writing. Whether it’s soccer, cracker eat, or the spelling bee, green and white gives everyone their moment to shine.
The element of tradition. I’ve been going here since 2005, and although I came in as a nine-year-old thumb sucking bed wetter, I can assure you, a lot about camp has changed since then. For the most part, color war has been a staple from summer to summer that reminds me that there is no spirit stronger than camp spirit, which brings me to my last point.
Camp spirit. Beyond green and white, in life, everyone has their thing. In my life, this is it. You can ask anyone I know; I eat, sleep, breathe, and live for this place. Of course, I was excited when my high school football team had victories, and beyond thrilled when the cavs took home the NBA championship, but for me, there is a different kind of passion that goes into this. This passion is bold, fierce, and completely whole hearted. It’s a passion that is incredibly difficult to put into words. It can be seen though, and it can be felt because it’s a passion that radiates. Green and White is my thing because it allows me to reach my deepest pit of anger, and in that same hour, I could be crying tears of joy. It’s crazy to think I might never feel a passion such as this again, so this is to everyone out there who still has time left: do NOT waste it.
DC, Woody, members of the Brass, members of the great Paranormal Green, and members of the mighty White Tribe. I could go on for hours about how my Camp Robin Hood experience went, remember whens, and many other memorable experiences, but that is not who I am and I only want to tell you the effect camp has on all of us.
Camp is a place where you meet your best friends in the whole world and remember the experiences you share with them while at home during the rough patches. Camp is a place to escape reality and avoid the terrifying fear our world is facing today. Camp is not only a place where you can be yourself, but also where you can find yourself and what your passions are. Camp is a place where you can be comfortable when opening up to your group members or even a place where you can dance in front of a crowd of 300 plus and not be judged. Camp is a place where you can laugh hysterically at one moment with the people you WANT to be around but also cry and console each other when one member is down. Camp is a place where you can be an individual and pursue you’re dreams, and also be an integral and beneficial part of a group where your purpose is to look after one another. Camp is a place where you can learn the history and the impact that your counselors have had on you and use it to make a lasting impression on future generations. Camp is a place where you can do something dumb and simple like killing spiders with toothpaste or running around in your underwear in the rain and as long as it is with your group, it could be one of the most fun times in your life. Camp is a place where you can just sit, relax, reflect, and slow down, in this fast-paced world we have today. Camp is a place where you can learn to start functioning without your parents like buying food out of camp and even help impact a child’s life as a counselor like a mother or father. Camp however is a place where we can appreciate our parents and see the lasting and positive impact they have on our lives during our time away from them. Camp is a place where we learn how to be selfless, caring, and learn how to love. Camp is a place where you have the best group of people ever who are willing to do whatever it takes to win a war and be the ideal team for any captain like the White Tribe. Camp is a place where you get an unbelievable captain on your side like Jamie Levine who one couldn’t only dream to spend the best five days of your lives with. Camp is a place where you get people like Chuck who I will never forget as he gave me the Sandlot Yaya (lip Noise) as I got off the New York bus and someone who can kid around with me but also can be serious and keep me in check and always remind me how important camp is to all of us. Camp is a place where you have someone like Michelle Brockmann who can be your second mom away from home and have your back no matter what and care for you like her own child. Camp is a place where you get members of a crew who will be there for you no matter the time of day to support you no matter the circumstance, love you. Camp is a place where you can get a friend like Jake Meister who can be nothing like you but can become your inseparable and put up an unbelievable fight in this intense color war. Camp is a place where you get a kid like Matthew Schriebman who is just the goofball you are but can pick you up at anytime of the day no matter the scenario, a best friend that everyone needs to have, and someone you can’t not be around all the time. Camp is a place where you get people like John Flaschner, my father aka Big Chief who has made me the person I am today and who I strive to be half the man he is on a daily basis. Camp is a place that needs me and all of you, and most importantly myself and all of you need camp. Thank you.
DC, Woody, members of the brass, members of the paranormal green and members of the white tribe-
It seems nearly impossible that 3 short years ago, I was presenting my Saxon speech to boys’ camp as I ended my camper career. However, I’m not on this stage to reflect about my days as a camper. This speech is intended to tell how Robin Hood has affected me as a person, and not me telling you the story of how I went from the little quiet TPJ to a Counselor Captain.
I have no doubt in my mind that without camp, I would be such a different kind of person. Typically, I come off as the quiet and relaxed individual, which is more or less true. However, camp has allowed me to be more than that. The skills that I have acquired over my eleven years in the realm have made me into a leader.
I really am forever indebted to camp for making me a leader. Some day, I will have to say goodbye to this place and figure my life out. As DC says, one of the main reasons why we do Green and White is because camp wants you to understand that the real world is competitive. Typically, those that possess leadership skills are the ones that make it out of the mess that is the real world.
Throughout these past five days as I have led half of the camp, one of my favorite things that I will remember from my captaincy is that everyone wants to be around me. Win or lose, these five days have made me realize how cool it is to be in charge of kids. There really is nothing better than having a TPJ or a Tumbler come sprinting up to you with a massive smile on their face. People like to be around leaders, because leaders know how to make good decisions, and also know when to have some fun.