« Home | Girls Camp: Simply Entertaining or Horrifically Tr... » | The Clothes Make the (Wo)Man » | Jeans and T-Shirt, would make the world a better ... » | Sorry Folks » | I Used To Wear Penny Loafers... » | Judge Not » | The Way You Look Tonight » | Do I dress in a manner that would make a Mormon mo... » | I Blog, Therefore I Am » | Why I blog, a look into the somewhat normal life o... » 

Tuesday, January 18, 2005 

The Song Remembers When

Like Rebecca I went to girls camp for seven consecutive years. While I can't say I enjoyed every moment, there were many that I will cherish forever. I have so many stories from girls camp in fact that I think I could probably eat up most of our webspace with my tales of treks, mud, sisterhood and slander. But I won't... because it will bore you senseless. Instead I wish to chat about the songs that can bring the memories flooding back.

I'm not too sure how it is at Scout Camp (Cam, I can't wait to hear about that from you) but Girl's camp is all about the music. I still have a couple of Camp songbooks in a box somewhere in my garage, and I'm telling ya, if I picked on of them up right now and flipped through it, I can promise you each one would have a different memory attatched to it.

The songs we sang at Girl's Camp weren't especially uplifting all of the time (Anyone remember "I Stuck My Head In A Little Skunks Hole"????... I didn't think so) but there was something magically about EVERYONE knowing them, and singing them at top volume day and night. I can still remember learning all the words to "The Princess Pat" and "Honey, You Can't Love One" but it is also because of Girls Camp that I know all the words to "A Child's Prayer" (and girls camp is also the reason I sing it in my head EVERY SINGLE DAY before I say my prayers... wierd, but true fact.) I can remember sitting in the ampatheater and Camp Bountiful listening to the amazing voices of so many young women rising through the trees and into the heavens. It was a pretty powerful thing for me, to think that my voice could be a part of that. I loved the singing that happened at camp. It brought us together, gave us a commonality and really, sometimes all you need is just a LITTLE something in common.

Of all the songs that girls camp has given me, there is one that has the most memories attatched to it; there is one that means the most to me. After your 4th year at camp, and the completion of a rather difficult hike (JP, I would have NEVER made it through that hike without you and your dad sticking in the back with me the WHOLE FREAKING WAY! Seriously... you should get a medal or something for that.) you are given your completion certificate and go from the relm of "Camper" to the amazing world of "Big Sister." Being a "Big Sister" at Girls Camp is a HUGE deal. You assist the younger girls, you prepare spiritual thoughts for them, you are a prime example of what girls camp can turn you into. You have your own tables in the mess hall, your own seating at the ampatheater, being a "Big Sister" has perks as well as responcibilies (JP, Kaycee... you remember the McDonald's and Godfather's on the other side of the hill right?) For me though, the best part of being a "Big Sister" was the song we sang together each night as we circled the campfire arm in arm. We would stand there, the lights in the amaptheatre would go off and somehow, as we swayed back and forth, someone amoung us would begin

No man is an island, no man stands alone
Each man's joy is joy to me
Each man's grief is my own
We need one another, so I will defend
Each man as my brother
Each man as my friend

No man is an island far out in the blue
We all look to God above
For our strength to renew
When I help my brother
Then I know that I plant the seeds
Of friendship that will never die

I saw the people gather
I heard the music start
The song that they were singing
Is ringing in my heart

No man is an island, no man stands alone
Each man's joy is joy to me
Each man's grief is my own
We need one another, so I will defend
Each man as my brother
Each man as my friend

I know that it sounds terribly cheesy, but there was something about being in that circle. There was something about singing that song made up of a dozen voices that sounded as one. I wish I could better explain it, but it was just this mix of all the right things that make a moment unforgetable. No matter where I go, no matter what I do the smell of pine trees and red dirt bring that song into my mind. And I like that very, very much.

I am sitting here covetting Rebecca's and Sarah's memories of camp! I am so glad your experiences were so uplifting and inspiring for you!

It could be that I attended 3 different camps within three consecutive years (we moved around quite a bit), or that Hurrican "Bob" wiped out camp that one year just days before we went and we ended up "camping" in an open field next door to the trash dump, or that my very first camping experience was at "6th grade camp"(a very lonely and often painful time)and not with young women at church.

But, the camp songs were always special because they encouraged unity, they invited the Spirit (mostly!), and they were just plain fun to sing and often beautiful. Favorite camp song memory: One of the first nights there it starts to pour down rain and we couldn't get a fire started to get warm (this was a "tent" camp, not a "cabin" camp). We stood huddled in a circle around the fire pit while some of us labored away with the damp matches. A spontaneous chorus of "The Spirit of God like a fire is burning" is all it took and TA-DA: there was the miracle-fire! That was a cool memory.

Here is something that really bugs me: my husband HATES camp songs. This was made known to me early in our courtship (is that word used anymore?) when he and I and my little sister got stuck in traffic up behind the temple in Provo on the 4th of July. We could have walked home quicker - if you've ever been up there to see the fireworks, you know what I mean. But instead of sitting there all bored-like, my little sis and I tried to entertain ourselves (and my boyfriend) with a few jovial girls camp songs. He had this immediate, horrible, almost alarming (considering his even temperment) reaction which I never forgot.

He claims he hated the endless hours of repetitive songs when his sisters would come home from camp for weeks afterward. It still burns me that he STILL feels this way. Sour grapes, I say! He must not have had good camping/camp song experiences. We must solicate the male/boy scout perspective on camp songs to clear this up.

There are very few subjects that bug my mellow man, but to this day he gets all annoyed. What IS his problem? I feel like he's snatching away what good memories of camp I have!  

Posted by Suzie Petunia

Since I went to the same camp as Sarah, every song she brought up put a melody and a memory in my head... and they're happy ones.

I loved Big Sister-hood (especially the McD benefits) and that song. That song is all about unity and that's what camp was to me.  

Posted by Kaycee

I was one of those naive girls who truly believed that fast food resided at the top of big sister hill. Why would a big sister lie to me?
Truth be told, our camp is so desolate, so In-the-Middle-of-Nowhere that the nearest grocery store is about an hour away. 

Posted by Jess

Sarah I am glad you included that song, I love Simon and Garfunkel. I am kind of like Suzie P’s hubby, I HATE CAMP SONGS! Nothing against those who like them, but I just could not stand singing songs about sitting on lillypads like flies on dog poo.


Posted by Cameron

The songs are the glue to girl's camp. It's amazing to me that each region of the country has its own versions of the same song. Having attended girl's camp in 3 states, I had to relearn certain songs each time. And I'm bummed that no one here knows MY camp songs. I am a lonely camp song singer until I reunite with my sisters! "The cannibal king with the big nose ring fell in love with the dusty maid...." Ring any bells? 

Posted by Carrie Ann

CA: no bells rang, sorry.

I don't know about your stakes, but our BOYscout camp is much more relaxed compard to girls camp.
Talk about your double standard.:)
But it appears that they incorporate music, too.
I wish I could have been a fly on the wall when they had my brother bring along his electric guitar to play along with other boys. I am especially bummed to have missed Jordan's solo of the National Anthem. 

Posted by Jess

Carrie Ann -

... and every night by the pale moon light it sounded like this to me-e-e..Boom boom chick chick... boom boom chick chick 

Posted by Rebecca

.. under the bamboo tree-e-e 

Posted by Rebecca

I have chills. Seriously. You described this perfectly...Thursday is coming very fast. ;) 

Posted by JP

Oh, I love this game!!

I actually am a tad irritated that I now have Princess Pat stuck in my head...

And all of a sudden I have the urge to ask if you speak French (in French)...and pass cups around the table...and sing louder...and then speed up the song and the passing of cups. Ahhhh...Girls Camp. 

Posted by JP

HOORAY! People that understand my camp songs!... 

Posted by Carrie Ann

Take it out! Take it out! Remoooooooove it! 

Posted by Star

Nothing cheesy...I loved to sing camp songs...sounds like we had a few songs in common. 

Posted by EJ

Post a Comment

This Week's Topic:

  • The Sabbath Day

Various Authors

  • Monday:
    Kaycee opted out of Mormondom 4 years ago. She calls herself agnostic.
  • Tuesday:
    Sarah is not your average Gospel Doctrine Teacher.
  • Wednesday:
    Carrie Ann comes from pioneer stock, and lives in Provo, but is open minded and fair.
  • Thursday:
    Ned Flanders hasn't been to church in a while, but maintains an interest in all things Mormon.
  • Friday:
    John C. is an academic with a sense of humor and a testimony.
  • Saturday:
    JP's not going to church and feeling okay about it.

Various Links

Powered by Blogger
and Blogger Templates