Here at Hi-Hills sportsmanship is of the utmost importance. It is for that reason that we devote an entire week to it and its principles in the attempt to teach and encourage using sportsmanship in all facets of life. The goal of sportsmanship week is to build a sense of teamwork and cooperation between campers and staff through fun games and competitions. While there is a point system for the competitions this week there will be just as many points distributed for proper sportsmanship as there will be for actually winning thus showing that how you play the game is just as if not more important than what the scoreboard says.
At the beginning of camp today, the campers were split into two separate teams, the Somerset Sharks and the Morris Manatees. The Sharks are captained by counselor Brian Trapani and Jen Monto while the Manatees are captained by counselors Guillermo Gonzalez and Catherine Sharretts. This morning as the teams met for the first time they began to create team cheers as well as started to design their flags for their respective teams.
Today we had five competitions including two games of kickball, a game of hockey, Gaga, and Nuke ‘Em. For parents unfamiliar with GaGa and Nuke ‘Em, their rules are fairly simple. GaGa is essentially a small court (octagon) version of dodgeball where campers cannot catch the ball, there are no lines, and they are out if they are hit on the legs; while Nuke ‘Em is volleyball but the campers can catch the ball instead of having to hit it.
Every single game was unbelievably close as no game was won by more than five points. The Somerset Sharks won the first kickball games by the slimmest of margins narrowly edging out the Morris Manatees 6-5 and in game two scored 7 straight in the final inning to win 13-8. The hockey game went down to the wire as the Manatees scored three quick goals at the end which proved to be the difference maker in a 9-6 victory. After hockey I managed to catch the end of the third GaGa game. The first game was swept by the Manatees winning the top 4 spots. Not to be outdone the Sharks came back and did the same in game two. In the pivotal game three, Sharks occupied fourth, third, and second while the Manatees managed to notch First place. The final competition Nuke ‘Em saw the Sharks’ amazing comeback come up short as time ran out on the Manatees’ thrilling 15-12 victory.
All the teams played their hearts out as is clear from the closeness of the scores. To show that winning isn’t everything even though the Manatees won four of the five events, yet the final score on the day was 1154 to 976 in favor of the Sharks. At the end of the day I managed to sit down with the Director of this week’s Sportsmanship Program Mike Trapani. “At the end of the day it isn’t about who won or who lost; it’s just as easy to be a sore winner as it is a sore loser. What we try to do here is teach campers how to play fair and have fun. As long as those two things are accomplished it really doesn’t matter what a scoreboard says because in the game of life, as long as the game is played just and fair, everyone is a winner.”