Beach day was the brilliant idea of one of Birch Rock's best modern day heroes, one Peter Haas. In summer of '76, Pete proposed an all camp trip to the beach, which was of course huge hit. When they first arrived at the beach, Pete drew a long line in the sand with his foot and called the entire camp to the line. Then on the count of three it was a mass rush for the water. Usually there was some feeling of glory if you were one of the first guys in.
There were and always will be the sand castle building, Frisbee and football and strolls on the beach, but back then Pete had organized events. One of the most memorable was the storming of Normandy. Pete would organize the campers into two groups the Germans and Americans. He would then give the Germans time to dig and build bunkers and arm themselves with sticks and driftwood. The Americans would also gather sticks (guns) and would usually help the Germans with bunker building. Once they were ready, the Americans would go out into the water and "storm Normandy". It was all about imagination and fun.
Another tradition that Pete can claim that is closely linked to Beach Day is the Strut Contest. Pete's plan was that there would be a mass camp general swim when we returned to camp from Beach Day, primarily to get all the sand and such off the campers without having to do showers. Pete planned a contest of the campers each individually strutting down the catwalks and ending in a funky jump or dive. The boys each get a nickname of sorts written on their fingers during dinner. In earlier years, nicknames were given out on the bus on the way to the beach. After dinner it was down to the waterfront for the Strut Contest. They each individually step onto the main dock with their nickname showing. The staff would chant their name while they strut down the catwalks in a way that usually pertains to their nickname. Often in the past there are attempts to push staff members in, who are lined up on either side of the catwalks to make a tunnel.