Friday, August 29, 2008

"We've got spirit, yes we do....."

Back in the early - mid 90's I spent several years working at Christian camps. One of the things I enjoyed most was the cheering.....we would always try to get our team to drown out the sound that the other team was making by utilizing high-octane, loud, annoying screaming.....we had words and rhythm to go along with the screaming and that was enough to allow us to call it cheering!

Now I was a natural for this. As a matter of fact, most of the pictures of me during those three years managed to capture me with my mouth wide-open as I was doing my part to keep the intensity surging through our team. It was great fun and it was very important to me that my team was louder than the other team. If the other team was creaming us, we didn't take it for long! We would find some creative way to take the wind out of their sails.

For instance, during my first summer as a camp counselor at a camp in southern Wisconsin, our team was getting "out cheered" during the first two days of the week. So I came up with a brilliant idea to get us in front of the other team. I put my plan in motion on that Wednesday at lunch. Every day at lunch there would be announcements made and videos shown of the cleanest and dirtiest cabins for both boys and girls. There would also be some points awarded for various other things. After the scoring was announced both teams would simultaneously jump up and launch into loud team cheering. I told my team to just keep sitting down and listen to the other team for a while....The other team came out loud and strong.....and then they started to quiet down a bit. I let it go on for 3 or 4 minutes and then I stood up and motioned upwards like a choir director. The entire team stood in unison and then, on my queue, we launched into the loudest version of "Go Bananas" that you've ever heard! We went on to blow the other team out of the water as far as volume was concerned for the rest of the week!

I haven't thought of that story and my various "gimmickry" for a number of years. But for some reason the news coming out of the GOP today regarding the VP selection brought back a flood of those memories. I hope this is more than a gimmick.....

By the way, sometime this weekend I'm going to get an article posted about the Democratic National Convention as well as a few thoughts about the upcoming Republican National Convention. As a teaser, I will say that I thought the DNC was a pretty decent Convention that had an incredible level of "showmanship" to it. Some of the speeches were absolutely terrific and I thought that some of the points made were very good.

Now, for those of you who think I've finally gone to the other side....check back later this weekend!

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