Color War vs. Snowball Fight
Summer camp has an undeniable impact on those who are fortunate enough to experience it. There is always great anticipation leading up to the first day of camp; a palpable excitement for an experience that goes by much faster than any camper or staff member would like. The days between the end of camp and the beginning of school are often spent reminiscing about the lasting memories that were created. Bittersweet emotions abound as the 10-month countdown to camp begins. As time passes, the longing for days gone by gradually subsides as we settle back into our regular lives.
Although not nearly as exciting as camp, kids living in cold-weather climates tend to look forward to the phone call from their school giving them an unexpected day off because of snow.
As kids, we all longed for snow days, but as parents, they are nothing more than an inconvenient interruption of our normal routines. The only positive for parents is seeing the unbridled joy on children’s faces as they enjoy romping in the snow, sledding, building snowmen, making snow angels and the time-honored tradition of the snowball fight.
One thing that makes camp so special is that you are always left wanting more. Most winters, snow days are special because they offer an unexpected day off. This winter, however, the abundance of snow and biting temperatures has caused even the most enthusiastic kid to bemoan the 5:00am phone call cancelling school. Sadly, these days are no longer special.
On a recent snow day, I asked my kids if they wanted to go out and play in the snow while I shoveled the walkway. Unlike most snowy days where they are begging me to go out and play with them, they had no interest in going outside.
The novelty of playing in the snow is gone, at least for this winter. As I got to the end of the walkway near the front door while shoveling, I heard a joy in their voices that I hadn’t heard in a long time. Much to my surprise, my kids, who had been at each other’s throats due to cabin fever, were singing Color War songs in unison at the top of their lungs.
Five months have passed since camp ended, and there are nearly five months to go until camp begins again. With a landscape of unadulterated snow as far as the eye can see, my kids chose to stay inside and sing Color War songs rather than have a snowball fight, build a snowman or go sledding. It was, by far, the happiest moment that they’ve shared together throughout their numerous snow days this winter. The power of the summer camp experience!
Written by Adam Waldman