It may seem that the Presidential election is top priority when it comes to the news. But at Camp Skylemar, there’s a race far more important. 2016 Color War Captain Elections!
America,take note: This is a much better system. Take 29 of the greatest men in the world. Give each voter the opportunity to get to know them for six weeks, or possibly six years. Then every “resident” gets two votes for who of the "seniors" they believe will be the best two leaders. No need to vote for “the lesser of two evils”, for each is a man of integrity, intelligence and ability. No party affiliation and all have plenty of experience.
Can the voters get it wrong? Sure. Sometimes votes are cast for the wrong reason. Occasionally, “electioneering” steers a decision. But this is democracy in the purest form. In this pool of excellent candidates there is no wrong decision, and each young man has an equal chance.
Here’s tonight’s timeline:
7:45 PM: The Skylemar family gathers in the Rec Hall - campers, counselors, alum.
7:55 PM: All rise for the “Pledge of Allegiance”
8:00 PM: Shep welcomes all to one of Skylemar’s oldest traditions, started by Lee and Herb. “You, the participants in Color War, will decide who will lead the camp in a positive way.”
He explains that Skylemar’s Color War is guided by fair play and friendship. This might be the only time we will compete with and against people we care about. Bunkmates and brothers could very well be on opposing teams. All competition must take place outside the cabin.
It’s fine to play hard and want to win. That is, as long as you don’t overreact. It’s reasonable to be happy or sad, but overreacting means that your affecting someone else.
He instructs that at the end of each game, we’ll shake hands. Not as a token, but instead a real look-him-in-the-eyes handshake, because we care.
“Will all former Color War Captains in the room please stand?” Shep requests. Six stand and the camp applauds loudly.
“Now watch this,” he continues. “Will all former candidates who did not win please stand?” 30+ men rise proudly to a rousing standing ovation. "These are your Skylemar stars!", he says.
The candidates sit on stage, wearing the traditional “lucky jersey” of choice. Each is introduced individually, and then the whole group rises. “Camp Skylemar!” Shep says. “This is your 2016 Color War Ballot.” Once again, another standing ovation.
The Seniors vote first and then leave the building. The first to 106 votes will win. That’s one more than half the total participants in this year's Cor War - a simple majority needed to win.
8:15 PM: Each camper comes to the stage and casts a vote for two people.
8:40 PM: Every vote is read by Shep, and tallied by George who announces updated count totals to the group throughout the night.
9:10 PM: As one candidate approaches the magic number, the boys rise with hands in the air. “Ten”, they cry. “Nine!” “Eight!” until…Shep reads the final…. “DAVID RENBAUM!!!!”
The crowd screams wildly!! Former Captain Kappy runs over to bring back DAVID! He’s mobbed at the Rec Hall door by admiring fans.
9:20 PM: Shep continues to read out votes for the second captain. However, no other candidate reaches 106 votes. Thus, a second ballot is necessary, and the process starts again. Each camper now must vote for one candidate.
9:40 PM: Again, the votes are read, one at a time, until there are 106 votes for…BLAKE SHEP!!!!
Former Captain Josh runs to get Blake and another mob of excitement at the door!
9:50 PM: Captain Rems addresses the camp. He thanks his parents, his Bunk 27, and the entire camp “for trusting me to be Captain.” Blake also thanks this family, his Bunk 28 and says to the camp, “Thanks to all in the room for keeping the love at Skylemar alive.”
Tosses of a coin determine team color and order of picks for the Stars Division Lieutenants. David chose Red, then selected Shopo and Kappy to help lead his team, while Blake chose Gavyn and Luke to do the same for the Gray.
10:00 PM: All rise and sing "Taps". As they exit, campers are welcome to shake hands with the leaders.
Stay tuned for Part II tomorrow!