Diaries of a Special Day Villain: Jumanji Day

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Last summer our campers thwarted my plans to take over Colvig Silver Camps. Each Special Day, my attempt to rid the Red Creek Valley of fun was stamped out. I schemed every night over the year in my lair and my resolve strengthened with the 2017 summer growing near. My pride dictated I must once again try to destroy camp on special day. Sure, my plan might not have worked four times in a row last summer, but there’s no room for flexibility in the midst of an evil vendetta.

Eli Beck poured creativity into his special day, reimagining a classic and important document in film history: Jumanji. Mack, our Art-Barn Coordinator, painted staff’s faces to represent various menacing animals from the 1995 film. This was my chance. I chose face paint to match the mischievous monkeys that torture Jumanji’s main characters whenever possible. My faithful assistant counselors joined me and I declared myself the Monkey King.

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Alan and Sarah reading rhymes from the Jumanji Board!

The campers and staff found the Jumanji board in the lodge. Alan (Eli, Spruce Coordinator) and Sarah (Lizzie, Saddle Coordinator) took turns rolling the dice. Sarah rolled the first turn and a rhyme appeared:

“At night they fly, you better run, these winged things are not much fun.”

To everyone’s astonishment five bats (dolls) flew from the AC lounge into the Lodge. Now it was young Alan’s turn to play. He rolled the dice and the board pieces moved, and a rhyme appeared for Alan, too:

“In the jungle you must wait, until the dice read five or eight!”

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The Monkey King and a few of his AC comrades!

A mysterious force took hold of Alan and pulled him into the game, shocking the lodge. A great deal of time passed before the game was rediscovered(a staff member walked in front of the lodge with a sign indicating 26 years had passed). Judy (Zoe, Expo) and Peter (Bram, AC) found the Jumanji board and began to play. Much to their dismay each turn brought grave horrors. First came a giant mosquito, then a deranged hunter, and then a lion entered the lodge. Finally, I, the monkey king, came with my band of AC monkeys and stole the dice from Judy and Peter. Alan would never be rescued. Such a blow would surely be devastating to the camp community. My monkeys and I fled the lodge to celebrate victory.

Judy and Peter were overcome with grief. The dangers unleashed by Jumanji threatened to run through camp forever. Pleading, they called upon the campers to help bring back the dice, and finish the game. The campers split into groups and toured camp, partaking in activities to retrieve dice and bring Alan back.

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They practiced their jungle projectile skills with Van Pelt at the archery range. Then they wrestled with crocodiles in the Outpost Lake. In the Art-Barn, they painted their faces to resemble jungle animals. Lions were tamed at the campfire ring. Monkeys led tag games in the Art-Barn field. Campers battled a mosquito with water balloons on a giant slip n’ slide. At each activity station the campers collected dice for the game.

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A break from the fun to take a Father's Day photo!

The campers returned to the Lodge to continue playing Jumanji. They entertained themselves with drum circles, and fun tasks to perform. Then Sarah (now recast by Pippa, Witch Doctor) returned after 26 years to continue the game and save Alan.

This simply would not do! I pounded my fists in anger and realized my error. Dice can be replaced, but the Jumanji board cannot be. I summoned my ACs and we stormed the deck where the game had been set up. We stole the board game and made off with it. My ACs and I brought it to the tower in the middle of the lake where we could keep it safe from the daring campers.

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The Monkey King and his ACs stealing the Jumanji board!

Sarah brought the campers to the lake and surrounded it. They called upon us to return the Jumanji board and we laughed in triumph. Then the campers threw fistfuls of bananas into the lake! Before I knew it my ACs were abandoning me. They jumped right into the lake, for I’d forgotten to feed them throughout the day. It was just me now, defending the board from being used for purposes of fun.

A curious look came across Sarah’s face as all my ACs swam away with bananas in hand.

“Why didn’t you jump?” She asked.

“I didn’t want to get wet!” I replied.

“Al…Alan?” She inquired.

“I know no Alan,” I shouted, “I am the monkey king!”

Sarah told me everything was going to be okay. I’d been trapped in the game for so long I’d forgotten who I was. She told me she understood the pain I felt, how I’d been fighting to survive for a long time. That the game hadn’t been fun for me so I’d taken it upon myself to ruin the fun for everyone else.

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A feeling I had not felt in a long time came back to me. I did not cry. I had gotten something in my eye around the same moment I realized the truth. I AM ALAN! I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN ALAN! I’ve been trapped in my quest to destroy fun the same way Alan was trapped in Jumanji. I allowed Sarah to cross to my island. She convinced me to take my turn in the game. The dye was cast and landed on five. I was free.

“JUMANJI!” The campers yelled in triumph. And the game was over.

After a long day braving the dangers of the jungle, our campers settled in the lodge to witness the classic film. They celebrated a day well-spent rescuing an old friend.

But I would return to my villainous ways very, very soon…

For more excellent videos of the 2017 summer experience head to the Colvig Silver Camps YouTube Channel and subscribe to experience the upcoming 2018 summer!

About Sean Spencer

Sean spent his first summer at CSC in 2000 as a camper in our Homestead program. After many years as a camper all the way through Pathfinding, he worked as a Head Counselor and Coordinator in our Silver Spruce program. Sean joined the administrative team as Program Director in 2015. He graduated from the University of Arizona in 2013 with a degree in Creative Writing. Sean enjoys reading, writing, being outdoors, snowboarding, and skateboarding in his free time.

Sean Spencer