And that’s a wrap: Mo & Din 2020

Written By Camp Modin

The Break Sunday night the entire camp loaded into the Modin Commons for a new and exiting evening activity: an interactive musical bingo game! Every camper got a bingo board where each slot was a song instead of a number. The DJ would play a song and if you had that song, you could check […]

Modin Blog

Snapshots from unforgettable summers at Camp Modin.

The Break

Sunday night the entire camp loaded into the Modin Commons for a new and exiting evening activity: an interactive musical bingo game! Every camper got a bingo board where each slot was a song instead of a number. The DJ would play a song and if you had that song, you could check it off your bingo board, with the first person to fill their entire board being the winner. We all sang and danced our way through what we thought was one of the best evening activities Camp Modin has seen in recent years. Throughout the game, there were other mini games such as guess the song, guess the movie, guess the picture, etc. all of which were projected onto the ceiling of the tent. After boatloads of fun, someone finally screamed out “BINGO” and ran to the front of the room. All of sudden the projections on the ceiling changed and a whole crazy slew of lights and graphics were displayed all over the tent. Then, our color war break song “Eye of the Tiger” started playing, the lights turned red and blue, smoke machines fired off, and the whole room lit up with “GO MO” and “WIN DIN”. Color war 2020 had begun.

Lucky for you, all four of today’s bloggers happen to be on the color war leadership team. Rose Kesselman and Harrison Israel were announced as your 2020 Head Honchos!! Meanwhile Sarah Wilner was a Mo counselor captain and Molly Wilson was a Din counselor captain! Below is a list of the entire team!

Head Honchos: Rose Kesselman (Apes Counselor) and Harrison Israel (Wolves Counselors)

Din Captains: Molly Wilson (Haven 2 Counselor), Henry Shuster (Foxes Counselor), Sydney Weiner (Ape), Alex Benarroch (Ape), Mira Nederlander (Bunk 4), Alex Fagell (T-Bird)

Mo Captains: Sarah Wilner (Haven 1 counselor), Aaron Silverstein (Eagles Counselor), Victoria Khaghan (Ape), Judah Klingsberg (Ape), Abby Kidd (Bunk 4), Gideon Kaplan (T-Bird)

Neutral Captains: Campbell Ross (Pios Counselor) and Chacha Ripley (Pios Counselor)

Day 1

The first day of Mo & Din begins with bunk activities where the teams with in one or two bunks compete against each other. Common activities include dodgeball, soccer, volleyball, waterpolo, basketball, and steal the kosher chicken (a personal favorite). The morning was filled with friendly competition, cheering, and tons of excitement. After two periods of bunk activities, the entire camp gathered in the rec center for the Big Challenge! Each team selects five counselors to participate in eating competitions. While they often are not the most appetizing dishes, everyone loves to cheer on their counselors and watch them devour some interesting creations. At this year’s big challenge, the Din team took home the win!

In the afternoon there were two more periods of bunk activities followed by dinner and shower hour. After dinner, the teams gathered together in the friendship circle to watch Rope Burn! The objective of Rope Burn is to build a fire that can burn through three pieces of rope. The first piece is the thickest and is lowest to the fire and the third piece is the thinnest and is furthest from the fire. Each team selects a number of older campers to be the runners (who run around camp and gather wood). There are also three fire builders per team who were (as always) chosen from the senior unit. The team to burn through all three ropes first wins! This year’s rope burn was particularly intense; the Mo team burned through their first two ropes before the Din team burned through any. All of the sudden, the Din team them burned through their two ropes, leaving both teams competing to break the final rope. In the closest Rope Burn that anyone can remember (dating all the way back to when the event started in the 90s) the Din team burned through their third rope first, winning the event! There were approximately 3 seconds between when Din’s third rope broke and when Mo’s third rope broke. For the first time ever, we actually had to rewatch video footage of the event to confirm the winner! It was such a crazy and exciting moment for all involved!

Din’s fire builder Gabe Knopf works to build up the fire and burn through the bottom rope.

Day 2

Day two of Mo & Din features only two huge events: Treasure Hunt in the morning and Creativity Night in the afternoon. In 2017, a third event was added at night called The Hunt (a super fun activity where each bunk has to try to ‘hunt down’ a neutral team member somewhere on camp). However, due to some heavy rain on the tail end of Tropical Storm Isaias, The Hunt was cancelled this year. As for Treasure Hunt in the morning, we were fortunate enough to have beautiful weather! For the event, each team is broken down into 5 smaller groups. Three of those groups started out with clues that led them to run somewhere on camp, one group had a clue that led them off camp (to Giffords!) in vans, and the final group had a clue that led them to a spot on the lake to which they canoed to! One of the first clues was a line from the song “Strawberry Fields Forever” by the Beatles, that led the teams to the entrance of the next door property we call Strawberry Fields. Another clue was “Abandoned peaceful second planet”. While at first that seems totally impossible to solve, when you break the clue down it makes more sense. The second planet is Venus and Serene is another word for peaceful. Venus and Serena Williams both play tennis, leading the teams to two tennis courts closer to the entrance of camp that are not used often.

Each group then receives half of a clue that they then need to combine with another group in order to get the entire clue which they use to determine the next destination. Two of the running groups combine to go to another spot on camp, and then they merge again with the van group for a third location. The other running group and the canoeing group merged together and had another canoeing location. Their clue was a list of years. Those years all happened to be years when wars started, leading the groups to the starting point of our third day War Canoe race across the lake. Each of these two larger groups then merged to find the final location: The Quarantine Tent. The clue for the tent was “Unnecessary Necessity”, because the quarantine tent was necessary to have in case we had Covid-19, but since we had no cases, we didn’t need to use it! A special shoutout to all of the admin members and neutral staff who had to read names at each location to ensure that everyone was making it to their locations (and a big special shoutout to Molly Lynch and Sammi Maza, two of our admin members, who had the pressure of reading the entire team’s names at the final location).

The team that reaches the final destination in its entirety first, wins treasure hunt. This year, the Mo team pulled ahead and took the win for Treasure Hunt 2020!

Some of the Mo and Din team members during Day 1 of color war

In the afternoon, the teams begin preparations for their Creativity Night skit and plaque. The skits must be under 45 minutes long, include two songs and a chant, and must include everyone on the team. The skits need to based off of one of the two themes given to the teams. This year’s themes were “The New Normal” and “Socially Distant”. The Mo team opted for the latter of the two, and set their skit in a restaurant called “Social Le Distant√©”. The restaurant owner, Howard Salzberg, was searching for new management and throughout the skit he imagined what the restaurant would look like under the leadership of different people. For example, he imagined what Wendy, the camp social worker and mother of the house, would do, and also pictured how Molly Lynch, the camp programming director, would treat the place. The Din team picked the other theme, “The New Normal,” and centered their skit around what would happen if Modin needed to merge with another camp. They had different camps present “shark tank” style pitches to Howie, Lisa, and Samara, before deciding that they didn’t need to merge camp after all and that Modin was perfect the way it was.

Each team also needs to create a plaque that will hang on the wall of the rec center for years to come (see our July 14, 2020 post for more on the Mo and Din plaques!). The teams have more freedom with their plaque ideas, but they often reflect either the break, the plot of the Creativity Night Skit, or both! Below are pictures of both team’s plaques!

The Din team’s plaque
The Mo team’s plaque.

Both teams did extremely well during Creativity Night and had hilarious skits that had us all falling out of our chairs! To decide the winner of Creativity Night, each member of the Neutral Team, as well as each member of Admin, fills out a ballot casting a vote for one of the teams. However, we don’t announce the creativity night winner because so many people put lots of work into their skits and we want everyone to be proud of their performances regardless of the results.

Day 3

Day three of Mo and Din runs similar to a field day. Upper and lower unit are split up during the day, and each unit spends half of the day competing in water-based relays and races and the other half of the day competing in land-based relays and races. Upper unit spent Wednesday morning at the waterfront enjoying canoe races, doggy-paddle relays, and freestyle sprints, while lower unit spent the morning on our fields competing in potato-sack relays, a 60-yard dash, and backwards-running relays. Some fan favorite track and field events include the bucket brigade (the entire lower unit team lines up and passes pitchers of water down the line, attempting to fill a bucket at the end the fastest) and the blob (an upper unit event where everyone links arms in a huge circle and has to walk across the soccer field without breaking). Each camper participates in several competitions, and while they wait for their next event they cheer on their teammates! At the end of the day the entire camp comes together for the final event of Mo and Din: the war canoe race! Each team puts forth a group of 14 paddlers from the senior unit bunks (Mots, Pios, and Apes) who paddle out into the middle of the lake (approximately 0.5 miles from camp). After waterfront-director Bob Morrison announces the start, each team paddles in one large canoe back to camp as fast as they can. Meanwhile, the rest of camp sits by team on the waterfront and cheers on the paddlers. This year, Din took the win, but only by a very small margin, keeping us all on our toes through the end of the race. The Din team was awarded 75 points for their first-place finish! Of all the events in Mo and Din, war canoe has the most points on the table, and the hype and excitement around war canoe is greater than for any other Mo and Din event. Following the end of the canoe race, the apprentices all assembled on the waterfront dock for the traditional post-war-canoe ape cheer followed by a momentous jump into Salmon Lake. As the apprentices returned to land and rejoined their teams, our Head Honchos came forward to announce the winners of this year’s Mo and Din.

And the winner was…


The point differential of this year’s color war was unusually close, with Mo winning by only 23 points (often teams will win by over 200 points)! As always, no one was caught up over the winner of Mo and Din, and campers were eager to rejoin their bunks as one united whole on Wednesday night! All in all, Mo and Din 2020 was a raging success, and our love for Modin and friendly competition was revived all over again.

We wish you all a restful shabbat and there will be more to come next week!

All our love,

Molly, Sarah, Harrison, and Rose

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