It’s a night that defines a summer. From Juniors to Seniors, all enjoy the most intense night of Camp Starlight Olympics: Rope Burn. Here, the oldest division in the camp throw themselves into a fire, working vigorously to take down the three ropes that bring the glory of a victory. The pristine Perch Pond will feel the best it’s ever felt when that third and thickest rope is burnt down. For either the victor or loser, Rope Burn will forever be engrained in the memories of all the campers’ summers.
The night begins with a single blow of a whistle signifying the start of the gathering. In this moment, the Lower Seniors as well as some willing Upper Seniors sprint into the woods looking for the driest sticks that will help raise the picturesque fires to take down the brutally difficult ropes. As the “gatherers” run back down the hill with piles of sticks and hay twice as high as their own height, their respective teams ignite with cheer, encouraging them to gather even more from their next run.
When time comes for those who will be building the fire, the true unification of each team begins. Chants and screams toward specific Upper Seniors “in the pit” rapidly increase their perseverance and motivation to burn down the ropes. Whether one is an introverted lower Junior or a timid Plebe counselor, they understand the intensity and seriousness of the night, screaming their heads off, as well as maintaining a positive attitude even if their team falls behind.
Rope Burn is one of the most pivotal events of the summer, and its impact prevails for the cold brutal winters, only to remind the “campsick” children and counselors the true beauty of Camp Starlight.