olympic torch lighting

It is Olympics Week at Sewataro. The three colors this year, as you may already know, are Lime, Violet, and Turquoise. What odd choices, you say. Well, we are trying not to repeat the colors of recent years as many parents have suggested. Tuesday was our opening ceremony replete with procession, the singing of the Olympic anthem by Jen Barsamian, and the lighting of the Olympic Torch. Wednesday we kicked off actual competitions with an over-the-head water bucket relay for counselors. Never have we heard so much cheering at a Sewataro event as the campers were fully committed to their colors and let their counselors know about it. The first color to fill their pail with water was the Violet (100 points) followed closely thereafter by Turquoise (75) and Lime (50). Points are accumulated all week for inter-tribe competitions in soccer, kickball, basketball, capture the flag, and softball. In all competitions, points are awarded both for outcomes and for spirit (i.e. good sportsmanship, teamwork, and respect). And, since no one loses at Sewataro, points are given to both winners and runners-up.

olympic bucket relay

Here are some of the inter-tribe games we’ve seen. On Wednesday morning the Cayuga (Violet) and the Mohawk (Turquoise) squared off in a spirited game of Crazy Ball, led by sports counselors Kate and Alex. In Crazy Ball the ball must be kicked as in soccer if it’s on the ground but may be caught and thrown if it’s in the air. As in soccer, each team has a goalie. Wow, what a close game they had, with the Cayuga emerging scoring winner with 60 points and the Mohawk runner-up with 40. For spirit, each tribe was exceptional, no doubt splitting the points, cheering their own players on, passing the ball, and staying positive throughout the game. Afterwards, each tribe exchanged handshakes and even an occasional hug. And as they left the field for lunch, we heard such wonderful mutual words, “Good job Cayuga,” yelled one of the Mohawk, and the echo came back from the other tribe, “Good job Mohawk.” After lunch on Wednesday, we caught the end of an exciting kickball contest between the Choctaw and the Zuni/Hopi that counselor Pete described as the best single contest of Sewataro Olympics he has witnessed in his five years here. Although the Senior Campers pulled this one out with a late comeback 12-7, the spirit of the two was so awesome that Pete had to divide them right down the middle. The Zupi, as Pete calls them, formed a tunnel of appreciation after the game for their competitors to run through.

Thursday brought more contests, starting off with the 3-way counselor basketball tussle. It went right down to the wire between the Lime and the Violet, with the Violet’s Alex, Brittany, Tyler, Kate, and Malcolm finally getting the victory on a rebound and lay-in by Alex. Talent ran deep, however, and given a break or two, the Lime Lazers or the Turquoise Tornadoes might have won it all. Campers carried their cheering for their counselors right over to their own inter-tribe play. Even the youngest groups caught the Olympic spirit as the Ponca and the Pima vied in a relay race. Led by Jillian and Ian, the competition involved hopping through a series of hula hoops, pretend swimming to the cone, and kicking a kickball into the net before running back to high five the next tribe member in line. In what was almost a dead heat, the Ponca nosed out the Pima, but the spirit points went the other way, eventuating in a virtual tie.