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With three-quarters of the Sewataro summer now history, we bid farewell to many of you until next year. We hope your camp experience has been terrific, and we wish you a school year full of discovery and learning. Be on the lookout for information about our 2017 application, which will be available soon on our website.

The Sewataro Olympics, a journey of athletic prowess, mental strength, and team spirit, was launched on Tuesday with our Opening Ceremony. We divided the camp into three teams (and colors) for our competitions, which began on Wednesday with a counselor Over(-the-head)/Under(-the-legs) bucket relay. The first team to fill their pail with water was the Blue (for 100 points), followed closely by the Red (75) and the White (50). Throughout the week, tribes played one another in various contests. For example, in Wednesday’s first period, the Iroquois (White) and the Delaware (Blue) squared off in a Kickball match. There are two sets of points awarded for the inter-tribe competitions. In this case, the Iroquois won the game and received 60 points, and the Delaware received 40 points for second place. The Spirit points, however, were reversed, with the Delaware getting 60 and the Iroquois receiving 40. The Yuma (Red) and (Yakima) Blue competed in a relay race that ended in a dead head, both in outcome and spirit. And in a hotly contested game of Capture the Flag, the Apache (White) came out on top over the Seminole (Red), but the Seminole spirit was so strong that it carried them to a tie in overall points!

Tennis racket relay

The Greeks, originators of the Olympics, believed that athletic competition featured two elements, aethlos, the nobility of the contest or struggle in itself, and arete, the skill or excellence that wins the prize. While competition is generally de-emphasized at Sewataro, we see value in these ideals and embrace our own version of the Greek model during our Olympic week. The Spirit Points are our way of emphasizing the nobility of the contest itself, thus our encouragement that each side show appreciation for the struggle and efforts of the other side. The counselors model this behavior in their own camp-wide competitions: the Over/Under Bucket Relay, Basketball (Blue won the game), and 3-Way Tug-of-War (Red won), with each color cheering on their competition, as well as their own team. The campers are amazing too in their cheering and sportsmanship.

Water Bucket Relay

No game this week showed the Olympic ideals better than Friday morning’s Street Hockey contest between the Choctaw (White) and Chickasaw (Blue), which was refereed by sports counselor Alex, with each team changing lines at 5-minute intervals. The game began with an all-out assault on goal by the Choctaw, with shot after shot being rejected by Chickasaw goalie Jacob, until a screamer from Austin slipped into goal for a 1-0 Choctaw lead. Undaunted, the outgunned Chickasaw continued their rhythmic chant, “Let’s go Blue and White, let’s go Blue and White…” until their forward Andrew took aim with a slap shot from the left wing and rifled it into the net, tying the score 1-1. The game was on, and the intensity grew as the lines switched, the counselors of the two sides (Hunter and Ben for the Chickasaw, and BK and Austin for the Choctaw) playing side-by-side with their campers, and many shots on goal being routinely repelled by the excellent goal-tending of Josh (Choctaw) and Jacob (Chickasaw). With time nearly out, the only way to break the tie was a shootout, with each side sending five players to the line. The Chickasaw won the toss-up and chose to shoot last. The suspense mounted as each of the first four players had their point-blank shots rejected by the two goalies. One shooter remained for each team. The Choctaw shooter took the puck to the left, then the right, before releasing a blistering shot that bounced off the right goal post. No score. The last shooter for the Chickasaw was Reggie, who had not played in the game because of an injured right arm, but was selected to go last in the shootout. Reggie calmly moved toward the goal and flicked a quick bullet just into the corner of the net for an improbable Chickasaw victory of 2-1. Although crushed, the Choctaw bench showed their class, telling their goalie what a great job he had done, and congratulating the Chickasaw on their victory in the ritual hockey handshakes. Throughout the shootout, Choctaw and Chickasaw alike were cheering in unison, “Let’s go both teams, let’s go both teams…” Now that’s showing Sewataro Spirit!

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