Color Wars That Really Count, By Avi Aaron

color war camp blev echodThe summer is beginning to wind down. The days are getting shorter and the country nights, colder. It could mean only one thing: Color War. For those of you who never experienced a Color War as a staff member, it is probably the most fun and intensely crazy three days of your summer. It is a three day frenzy of sleepless nights, gallons of caffeinated drinks, endless meetings with lots of onion ring and laffy taffy induced adrenalin. The meetings are the most fun, there could be outbursts of laughter for no apparent reason followed by fanatical shouting by the General (who is absolutely freaking out) who screams something like “if we don’t stop this silliness we are going to lose and lose big” or “I don’t know why I even picked you guys.” And we’d all burst out laughing again. So like I said it was lots of fun (General excluded), but eventually we’d get things done.

There’s one Color War that stands out more than others in my mind. It was the year that the guy in charge of plays for the red team decided to make Toots the main star of the grand play. Toots, that was his nickname, was this short and shy, reserved guy. He had a lot of personal family problems and wasn’t too sociable. He was probably the last guy on the Earth that you would dream of putting in a play let alone starring as the main actor.

It was a pretty close Color War and the grand plays were going to make a big difference. The other staff members were going berserk. “How could you put Toots in?” they demanded to know, with a couple of guys deciding to boycott the play. But Eli, the scriptwriter held his ground and insisted, “Toots is perfect for the part.”

Grand play night came and Toots really shined. He was great and charmed the crowd. All those pent up tears were put to good use as he played on people’s emotion and they were literally eating out of his hand. Believe it or not, there were a couple of guys even wiping away a tear or two. When the play was over the applause was deafening and I’ll bet the angels joined in as well.

Toots wasn’t Toots anymore. Now he was Yisroel Aaron and he was one of the gang. The play was like a life raft scooping him up and breathing new life into him. It suddenly gave him a sense of self worth and purpose in life. You saw it in his walk and it was reflected in his smile.

I don’t remember who actually won Color War that year and I don’t think it matters much; what does, is the amazing fact that a little confidence combined with a touch of responsibility can make a giant out of any person.

How did you boost your child’s confidence today?

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  1. I look fwd to color war for the entire year! In my eyes its worth it to pay the camp to be part of staff member just for color war (I actually did pay one year but don’t tell anybody) try out and you will understand what I’m talking about !

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