Nurturing Leadership

Planning Color War Brings School Peace

♦ by Herzl/RMHA

One usually associates “Color War” with sports competition. A few students are captains and as a leadership opportunity, it is quite limited. However, at Herzl/RMHA in Denver, Color War has evolved into a multifaceted leadership opportunity, a cross-grade group bonding experience, and a program that draws alumni, former students who did not stay on through 12th grade, and the community in general to the final event.

Color War is four days of diverse competitions ranging from the sublime (Judaic Challenge) to the ridiculous (peanut butter facials); from the intellectual (solving an engineering problem) to the artistic (original song and dance); from the traditional (dvar Torah) to the secular (lip sync dramatization). These are just a few of the competitions, in addition to the usual sports one expects in a color war.

The program is massively complex and entirely student-run. This results in the emergence of various levels of leadership from the team captains down to the leadership of particular teams for particular competitions. Most competitions bring together students from multiple grades, and some are specifically designed to bring the youngest students into high profile roles with the oldest students.

The final night is a community wide event that showcases what students can do with youthful energy in a very tight time frame on little sleep. ♦

HaYidion: Cover of the Nurturing Leadership issue

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