It’s the kind of election this country needs. Each candidate fully qualified, ethical, intelligent. An even playing field, without PAC money, lawn signs, or media bias. It’s a popular vote, majority wins, and you simply cast a ballot for two candidates who you believe will be excellent leaders.
In the world of Skylemar, tonight is monumental. The decisions made this evening will affect the next five days, which in the Skycalendar, equals a year. Luckily, there are no wrong decisions. Every choice is excellent.
IT’S THE 2017 COLOR WAR ELECTION!
The vibe was one of brotherhood and celebration, as Sky II enjoyed their traditional Election Day Lobster Lunch. Following the meal, it was sports as usual for them, followed by Happy Hour for hanging out with friends. Wearing their customary “lucky jerseys”, the Ballot Bunks of 27, 28 and 29 posed for their Leslie Fink photo session. With arms linked in friendship, they headed to the Rec Hall.
In the Rec Hall, the audience was attentive and focused. Proudly sitting on the stage were the 19 fine young men, every one of them with the potential to be an excellent leader.
“Welcome to Skylemar’s oldest tradition”, Shep said. “Participants will decide who leads our two teams.”
He went on to explain how the spirit of Color War is based on everything that Lee and Herb laid as a foundation. Compete hard and play your best, but don’t over-react, win or lose. Competition is only on the fields, courts, lake and stage – never in the bunk. Play hard, respect the officials and shake hands like you mean it when the game’s over.
Because the teams are chosen in a secret draft by the Captains, it is very possible that there could be one person in the cabin on Gray, and everyone else could be Red (or vice versa). Brothers and cousins may be on separate teams as well. That’s what it takes for good competition. It’s also one of the reasons why we keep Color War out of the cabin.
Many guests were in the Rec Hall tonight. Former campers and counselors who came back to be a part of this special night.
Shep asked all former Captains to step forward. Perhaps six or seven did so. “Now check this out”, Shep said. “If you were on the ballot but weren’t elected Captain, please come now to the red carpet.”
Standing on the carpet were far more guys than even possible to fit. Perhaps 35 or so. Shep said, “These are the real Skylemar heroes!"
After each candidate was introduced, they cast their votes, and headed to the Staff Lounge while waiting for the ballots to be counted.
One more than half is the magic number needed for election, and every boy’s vote is counted, one at a time.
As one candidate's vote tally got closer, the crowd counted down ...5...4...3 more to go, 'til finally ....
“SHUEY! SHUEY! SHUEY!”, the crowd erupted.
Jack Shuster was mobbed at the door by dozens of campers. "He won! He won!"
Shep continued to count ballots. And then…the pickle pail (ballot box) was empty. No one else got to the magic number, so it was time to vote again... only this time for just one candidate.
Once again, every camper voted. Once again, every ballot was read...until one more reached the magic number...
“BELLO! BELLO! BELLO!”, the crowd screamed.
Max Bello was next to be mobbed at the door. Yeah, Max!
Next, Shep brought the two Captains together in front of the entire excited camp. He turned the floor over to them as each made a short speech filled with appreciation. We were especially proud when Max made a point of thanking Julie the Nurse, and when Shuey encouraged everyone to enjoy every single minute of camp.
Then, for their first official "duty" ...the coin toss to determine which color each would represent as two have done for the past 68 years. The coin was flipped and Max got choice of color. “Gray!” Max proudly announced. “The Mighty Red!” Shuey declared.
The Star Lieutenants were selected. Dash Sachs and Sasha Gannon for Gray; Blake Shepherd and Logan Unger for Red.
As the audience stood clapping and cheering, Shep proclaimed, “These are your leaders for Color War 2017!”