As long as I can remember, generations of campers have entered the Equinunk Social Hall and have been immediately drawn to the Color War plaques mounted on the walls surrounding the “Bernie Strauss” basketball court.
The plaques begin to tell a story of Camp Equinunk… The folklore of the Red and Gray, Color War, The Upper Senior Basketball Game, lovingly known as “The Game”, the names of the teams, the Seniors, the scores of the “game” and of the “war”. The real story behind the plaques is the lifelong Legacy of Brotherhood, Tradition and Family that Seniors and all of the campers, staff and parents have embraced throughout the ages.
The plaques are Equinunk national treasures, yet only this week I believe I have uncovered an answer to a question or should I say a mystery that has perplexed me and perhaps you as well. We all know that Camp Equinunk was founded in 1920, so why no plaque until ’42? Early yearbooks dating back to the ’20s reference “the game”, list the teams, players, scores and totals. So why no plaque until 22 years later?
My story begins with the early pioneer leaders, Seniors and other campers. These Camp Equinunk visionaries anticipated that someone or something so extraordinary would come along in the future that would be worthy of commemoration in a Senior plaque, a symbol of profound excellence. Their patience and wisdom was rewarded as number 42 was worn by Jackie Robinson, as he became the first “Negro” to cross the color line and integrate the sport five years later.
His number “42”, the title of a recent movie, depicts Robinson’s courage, intelligence and greatness in making his teammates and everyone around him more understanding and compassionate in a time when ignorance and bigotry often was the norm.
It’s no small wonder that “42” is the first plaque that adorns the walls of the CE Social Hall and that Major League Baseball followed our lead at camp and placed “42” plaques on the outfield walls of every big league stadium.
Just as early CE leaders and campers anticipated that greatness was coming in ’42, our current leadership and campers are expecting greatness in all of you this summer. We are so excited and sure that your friendship and kindness will continue to enrich the Camp Equinunk legacy in 2013.