Camp Traditions - The Cosmic Chicken

Posted by: Ken Kaus on Friday, February 24, 2012 at 12:00:00 am


If you've been to camp, you know that every camp has its own unique traditions and history. One of our traditions here at Camp Ruach is called the cosmic chicken.

Begun in 2001, the cosmic chicken is a rubber chicken that gets secretly passed from counselor bag to counselor bag in the Gadol Unit during the course of every day at camp. Getting caught with the chicken can be tragic, that is why the counselors go to great lengths to avoid getting caught with the chicken, even using campers as a diversion to aid their espionage as they pass the fowl.

Higgins holding a rubber chicken

You may be asking yourself why is getting caught with the chicken so devastating? Itís not really. Itís all about fun.  You see each morning the counselor who had the chicken the previous morning stands up in front of the unit and tells everyone who he or she passed the chicken.  What follows is the story of the travels of the chicken as counselors who received the chicken stand up and recount to whom they passed it, until ultimately it is revealed who is in possession of the bird on that morning.  If you are the lucky staff to be holding the chicken at the end of the line, you must stand in front of the unit and serenade everyone with the song of choice being selected by the counselor who started the process the morning prior.

The campers love when their favorite counselors win the lottery by getting caught with the chicken and cheer for encore song performances. Of course, some staffers are more difficult to fool than others.  At flagpole each morning looking around you will discover any number of counselors wearing backpacks on their stomachs so as not to get distracted enough to have the chicken passed to them. The ultimate prize is slipping the chicken to your unit head or even Paige, the Camp Director. If you are able to accomplish that feat, you can be regaled as a hero, at least for a day.

And that is the story of the Cosmic Chicken, one of our favorite traditions. What traditions do you love at camp? What traditions do you remember from your camp growing up?



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