Deep Childhood Joy

Let’s talk about a shaving cream fight. This is a special event that brings all the campers together, no matter what their age. It’s equally popular with all age groups too. So when we announced that there would be a shaving cream fight tonight during our “twilight” time, the girls roared with excitement. At the sound of the camp bell, everyone interested in joining in the messy fun would meet down at the landsports field dressed in their swimsuits.

We were ready when the girls started to arrive— about 150 cans of plain shaving cream, a couple of water hoses, some fun pop music pumping, and a big sheet of plastic for a slip-n-slide (because that’s fun too when you’re already slippery!).

The point of a shaving cream fight is not complicated, and the girls somehow know instinctively how to go— spray the contents of your can of the white slippery foam both on others and on yourself. Then race around smearing, wiping, splattering and rubbing the shaving cream into everyone’s hair, on their backs, and ultimately everywhere. Beyond that, the goal is to have fun, be silly and enjoy the wild mess of it all. It’s as simple as that.

There are no teams, and this is not a competition where we pick a winner at the end like some games. So it’s not much of a “fight” really. It’s more of a group event, almost like a dance, since it’s just as much fun to be attacked as it is to splatter others. Part of the fun is surprising someone, sneaking up to them and planting a blob right on their back, shoulder or leg… as you race away grinning, and secretly hoping, but also looking out for, someone who will do the same to you. There’s no score: just the fun of playing the game.

By the way, have you ever noticed how not keeping score makes playing a game more fun. That matches up perfectly with our camp philosophy.

The whole event is absolutely hilarious! Once the spraying begins, you can’t hear anything except shrieks of delight and laughter. We all (yes, counselors and directors too!) quickly begin to look pretty funny, our hair sticking up, with white beards and mustaches, if not completely foamy. There was one little Junior tonight whose entire head was one blob of shaving cream!

camp shaving cream play

A shaving cream fight feels liberating too. It’s a little mischievous and outrageous, but still sanctioned, even celebrated at camp. It’s a harmless way to go a little crazy, while at the same time laugh and play with your friends. Outside of camp, you’ll never see girls having this kind of deep, affirming fun, the kind of laughter that makes you pause to take a breath. A shaving cream fight like this taps into the deepest kind of childhood joy. Among friends, there’s nothing like it. Just ask your camper when you get a chance.

Is there something to learn from a shaving cream fight? Perhaps. It’s certainly proof that letting loose with your friends feels really good— laughing with abandon, not caring how silly you look, embracing the energy of it all.

Here we know each other so well, it’s easy for these Rockbrook girls to relax into who they really are. This community of support and encouragement opens up a quality of experience that’s hard to match. Even in something as simple as a shaving cream fight, that connection makes a real difference. No wonder this feels so great.

shaving cream fight at summer camp


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