July 4th Traditions
We had a great day yesterday! We hope you enjoy this update from guest blogger Danny Alonso, counselor in the Cardinals cabin.
Having been here eight summers, I know no other way to celebrate the Fourth of July than the Timanous way. The handful of traditions that define a Timanous Fourth of July have existed for at least as long as Consulting Director Dave Suitor (a camper here in the fifties and sixties) has been at camp.
One of these traditions is a capture-the-flag game in which the whole camp–campers and counselors–participates. While we don’t always play this game on July Fourth, we often do. C-flag is one of the most popular things we do all summer, evidenced by the thirty seconds of roaring applause and excitement following the announcement of the game (this is typical). Every camper and counselor in camp is a member of either the green or gray team for life, and families stay together. Both my brother and I are on the gray team, just like our uncle who attended Timanous in the seventies. Gray all the way! We take the games seriously, but the games are always followed by a friendly cheer to the other team with sportsmanlike high-fives
The second activity I would like to highlight is the singing of the National Anthem. As the resident pianist at camp, I sometimes accompany the camp in singing songs, so during lunch today it felt suitable for me to play the national anthem while the whole camp sang along.
And finally, by far the most famous Timanous Independence-Day tradition is the bonfire. A few days in advance of July 4th, campers and counselors work together to collect wood all over camp to burn in one huge communal bonfire. People collected wood in every way imaginable, whether it be one guy carrying a handful of wood to the fire, two older campers lifting a heavy log, or a huge stretcher of wood manned by ten or twenty campers. The end result was a huge stack of wood three times my height, and the fire will be three times taller than that! Normally, we would burn the bonfire on July 4th, but unfortunately the fire warden declared it too dry to burn a bonfire on July 4th (dry weather can cause ashes from the fire to start a more serious fire). As this has happened before, I look forward to us burning the fire soon. Having seen seven Timanous bonfires now, I can tell you with absolute certainty that it is a marvel to the eyes to see a fire as spectacular as ours, both because of how big and beautiful the fire is and because of the feeling of satisfaction knowing that we built it together.
In the least corny way possible, community and tradition are the two words that come to my mind when we have the Fourth of July at camp. We as a camp work hard together towards a goal and then enjoying the reward of that goal. We’re having fun together and building memories, and these traditions are uniquely shared by every Timanous camper or counselor. Whether you came to Timanous in the thirties, the eighties, or the 2020s, you have the common experience and shared stories of Fourth of July at Timanous.
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