Color War: Rope Burn

The awaited trials of strength, agility, intelligence, and teamwork…it’s time to talk about COLOR WAR! Each summer hundreds of camps across vast trails, sports fields, waterfronts, gymnasiums, and amphitheaters, have teams compete within their own grounds on a variety of games, events, challenges, and sports. Teams of two or four colors compete anywhere from a single day to an entire week as a team. So grab your face paint, tie that bandana tight, wave that flag proudly, and get ready to lose your voice cheering on the mighty grey or blue, the competitive green or white, or the courageous orange and purple!

Focusing solely on a popular color war event, the rope burn is a challenge where competing teams create a fire from gathered wood, kindling, and sometimes even…pizza boxes? A rope is fastened to steel poles usually 3′, 6′, 10′, 12′ sometimes even 16′ above the ground! The objective? Burn the rope, easy enough…right? Not exactly. Most competitors create a plan days before the event itself, from what is to be gathered to how the wood should be piled.

Camp Echo

Rope Burn during the 2017 Camp Echo Olympic Games (Above)

Here’s some popular techniques your team may have tried:

Log Cabin with Kindling Inside

Tepee Layered with Kindling

Log Cabin Filled with Kindling Under a Tepee

Blue Star Camps

Blue Star Camps example of the tepee with kindling layered within technique. (Above.)

We reached out to General Sandoval, undefeated Color War General of Camp Cobbossee, for his expertise on the rope burn event. Camp Cobbossees rope burn has participants gather materials for almost a week before their event takes place giving plenty of time to prepare and plan, however “rope burn is one of those things where you can go in and have an idea, but you have to always be prepared for the worst. ” General Sandoval states. “I always tell my teams that everything always comes down to mental toughness.”

“For somebody that was competing in their first rope burn. I would say stay level minded, take your time and be patient. Don’t rush. And the final thing would be don’t touch anything besides the wood.” Each time a participant touches the rope or one of the steel poles a time penalty is added to their team, so even if their rope breaks first…the other team may still be victorious. Thank you General Sandoval for these wise words and congratulations on your victory this past summer leading the Grey Dementors against General Burrell’s Blue Vipers. Your 4-0 color war record will not be overlooked and definitely seems like a force not to be reckoned with.


What’s your color war team? Comment below and we’ll see you next time!

Your unofficial co-counselor,

J. Humble

Trail's End Camp

Trail’s End Camp Rope Burn Event 2017 (Above.)





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