North Star Camp for Boys

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Everybody Pow Wow!

Its hard to believe that we're entering the last week of our summer. As we do so, we really get rolling with our special programs. Over the last week we've had our Green-White Egg Marathon the Lumberjack World Championship were just a few of the great all-camp activities that have pushed us towards what is a grand finale. As we come down the stretch, we go into overdrive with special events, with Pow Wow Day being a camp staple.

This year's Pow Wow Day was no exception. On Sunday, after returning from the Lumberjack Championships we announced the captains who would lead their teams. The captains are charged with lots of responsibilities as they assemble their teams, assign the members and work to ensure that everyone has a great day. They help to build the spirit and sportsmanship that is vital to a great Pow Wow Day.

Our tribes this year were Cocopah, Pomo, Totonac and Wallawalla. As the day approached, each team had to show their creative sides, performing cheers on the two days prior to Pow Wow Day. What was once simple songs and rhyming verses have been transformed into elaborate song parodies that would make Wierd Al proud. We have begun to afford each team some time ahead of the cheers to teach them to their entire team, ensuring top notch (or near top notch) performance. 

Each Pow Wow Day we wake up half an hour early to make sure that we can get all the days events in. The teams choose colors, so we give everyone time to get painted for the day, and then we go into opening ceremonies. On horseback, Leb led the four tribes silently towards Lou's Diamond, with each tribe forming a line between the bases in one large square. This is a camp tradition, but this year's opening saw him hand off his head dress and the Pow Wow Day Peace Pipe to Andy, who was also on horseback.
After our opening, under some light drizzle, each village went into their leg wrestling matches. Its hard to beat the energy and enthusiasm of this. With their teammates cheering them on, the wrestlers work to flip their opponents, with a handshake after the match, regardless of the outcome. The rest of our morning events went off without a hitch. 

Lunch is another great camp tradition... the silent meal. Everyone enters the lodge, and after grace, there is to be no talking as everyone enjoys their meals. Scores at lunch were tremendously close, with only ten points separating the 1st and 3rd place teams.

The afternoon began with our staff 1-pitch softball game. Not only is honor on the line in this game, but so is food. The outcome of the games determines the eating order for dinner. Running relays and tug-o-wars followed lunch ahead of the third and fourth series. Third series has lots of water event. There are several canoe events and the fishing contest. Fourth series sees the entire camp head down to swim point for swim races, log rolling and water polo. One big change to Pow Wow Day this year was with log rolling. In past years, each tribe had two log rollers that hopped onto the log solo and we timed how long they could roll. This year we've had members to the Hoeschler family at camp teach our campers how to log roll. They have won several log rolling contests and have done a great job teaching our campers the sport. The change to this year's contest saw log rollers going at it with an opponent on the other end of the log, and the first to fall twice was out. 

Following a great dinner we have go into the announcements of the scores (It Just Doesn't Matter!). Campers are eager to know how their team did, and often they just can't contain their excitement. Somehow a 5 minute announcement is strung into an hour long stall, with our campers as willing accomplices. Campers spent at least ten minutes giving Andy and Vickie many recommendations for baby names. In the end Totonac, who had been in second place at midday had a great afternoon to win the day.

While we are in the home stretch of the summer, about 20% remains for our second session campers. We've got espionage, camper counselor day, casino night and several other highlights ahead!