The GOAT and Rock-Paper-Scissors!!



There has been a lot of talk lately about The GOAT – meaning the greatest of all times. Bill Belichick and Tom Brady have been tagged with the acronym, while my first memory of its use was by Muhammad Ali about himself!

For camp, perhaps it stands for Greatest of all Tournaments! There are many optional competitions at camp, providing an opportunity for campers to compete. From running and swimming, in team sports and individual, across a whole range of activities.

The common theme, though, is peer. Whether it’s the Golden Bow in archery, or Carter’s Challenge (a decathlon-styled endurance event) – the events are open to everyone, but campers compete against others in their age group and gender.

And this is true for every event on camp that is based on skill…except one.



I know, I know – your initial reaction may be that this is all about luck. Read on! This tournament has grown into one of the highlights of the summer with over 100 participants, from Junior campers all the way up through staff.

The ‘luck’ is greatly reduced because each round is played ‘First to ten and must win by two’. As Wesley Snipes said in a movie years ago “Anybody can win the lottery!” In Rock Paper Scissors, the skill factor in the first 3 or 4 goes, is minimal. But then the better players start noticing patterns and often reel off 4, 5, 6 ‘wins’ in a row, leaving their opponent bemused by what happened and with an odd smile of “How did that happen?” on their face. I should know! I am hopeless at this game!

An interim round (contested by the oldest players left in) brings us down to the final sixteen and those remaining players acquire huge cheering sections!

We have not yet had a girl win the tournament –Lauren Snerson made the final – though that is surely just a matter of time as more and more are taking part each year. Junior campers have won twice in the last eight years, while Middle Camper Jake Braunhut made it all the way to the finals in 2016 before going down in a close battle to staff member Chris Reilly – PBJ’s stare downs of his older opponent would have made Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson proud!

Back to The GOAT. No, not the tournament: to the Greatest of All Times. To all the skeptics out there who think this is a bunch of baloney, and who think that winning a 100-person tournament is a 1/100 proposition, how do you explain Evan Snerson?

He has contested seven tournaments since he was a Junior camper in 2009 – and he has won it four times! Four! When ‘his camper’, Gabe Lunin-Pack, beat him in the final in 2015, I could swear I heard Al Michaels shouting “Do you believe in miracles? YES!”

It clearly isn’t luck, but maybe the skill level is catching up to Evan, as he was a Round of 16 exit last summer. Is he too old? Is it impossible to keep playing at such a high level? Have his opponents figured him out? Maybe! But then they were saying the same things about Tom Brady too!


The twelfth Rock Paper Scissors tournament – July 28th , 2017