After breakfast, campers stepped out of the dining hall and over a fire hose, which was being uncoiled from the glass case in the wall and dragged into the plaza outside. Something was going on… but presumably if it were a fire, someone would let us know? Minutes later, we emerged from the morning meeting in the auditorium to discover the gazebo thigh deep in foam.
Kids were too busy frolicking in foam, searching for the Frisbees and tennis balls that were concealed underneath it and giving each other Fu Manchu beards, to wonder how and when and why an industrial strength foam machine had materialized on campus. Who cared! Chocolate Float’s coach Moshe and Floater Nadeem from Buena Nujidat had a foamy pull-up contest. Nadeem won 30-10. “He’s in good shape,” said Moshe.
But to the coaches, who have a hard enough time getting less exotic items like Frisbee golf baskets to make their appearance, this was one more notch in the collective CIT belt. Unbeknownst to most of us, the local CITs had been working all year on this event.
The foam-filled gazebo was just one of six stations that the CITs had set up for the morning. Aside from scavenging in foam, kids scored points for hitting the pink-wigged, eye-shadowed balloon fairy (Zolo) with water balloons; scavenging (on land) for items worth various points according to their rarity, like a blue flower, a feather, sunglasses, an orange Frisbee, an umbrella, and Linda, who probably didn’t get much work done over the course of the morning; and getting golf discs in baskets after jumping rope and spinning around. Team Frostbite erupted when Achmad, a diminutive teammate from Jericho, scored the maximum 200 points at the buzzer by hitting two in a row arcing 25-foot putts from the long range cone.
The first day that naptime is a scheduled activity is always a big day at Ultimate Peace. In past years, I recall that the coaches were the ones tearfully grateful, while the kids – well, I don’t know what they did during naptime because I was asleep, but it was clear afterwards that whatever they’d done had not involved REM. This time, the announcement of naptime was greeted with cheers. American camper Elijah Levine, 11, said, “Who doesn’t like naptime? If you don’t want to sleep you can just lie down and rest!” My thoughts exactly.
After naptime, Slip n Slide, the last of the team practices, and dinner, a highly anticipated tradition: the coaches versus the CITs on the field under the lights. Despite the CITs’ catchier and more oft-chanted chant, when Barkan polled the auditorium, it looked like the crowd was about split on who they thought would win. There were some counterintuitive but perfect matchups, like Barkan manhandling 16-year old Itai Semo from Raanana, who is probably half his weight. In the end, the coaches gave the youngins a sound 10-2 drubbing. “I think we all learned that it’s not all speed and strength, experience is usually gonna win. See you next time, Punks,” said Barkan in his post-game interview.