Blog  Color War Series, Day 1: Tug & Chop

Color War Series, Day 1: Tug & Chop

By Jake Rudolph, Director of Digital Media

A morning and afternoon full of various games and sports supplements two of the summer’s most important events during Color War: Chop and Tug. To win, either Blue or White must chop through a sizable piece of wood with a hatchet, or win the majority of a Tug-o-War series. These physically grueling competitions challenge the new generals and captains to step up to the chopping block and assert their competence in new roles. They are camp’s leaders for the last week of the summer and their goal is to strive for greatness in many different forms. For Tug and Chop, success means attaining perfect organization and wisely utilizing your team’s strength

The order in which captains and generals line up their team could mean the difference between a win or a loss. A typical strategy for Chop – a ‘captains only’ event – would be following a boy-girl order where the beginning of the line is packed with campers who have experienced chopping wood. They are known as “shavers”: campers responsible for creating a smooth and level surface by strategically removing bark and making the log optimal for chopping . Shaving the log too wide or too narrow is inefficient can will waste time. Thus, shavers must find the perfect balance to put their team ahead. The rest of the line is compiled of your hardest hitters. These are your go to’s for chopping straight through the wood.

Efficiency in Tug is controlled by three important factors: 1)”down-up”, 2) The Lead, and 3) The Anchor. For years, “down”, followed by a short pause and then, “up” has been the go to incantation necessary for getting tuggers in unison. The Lead heads the front of the line closest to the other team and is responsible for controlling the down-up rhythm and getting the first pull the instant a judge blows his or her whistle. The Anchor acts as a compliment to the Lead as they are in charge of the back of the line and are the quintessential piece for keeping the line moving backwards and straight. Any kink in the system will result in a team being tugged to the ground, hard and fast.