Singing at the Summer Camp Campfire

on June 9, 2006 in Activity, summer camp

summercamp19811I think it all began during the troop’s first week of summer camp at Crow Wing Scout Reservation in 1981. “When all what began?” you ask. When the Scouts of Melrose Troop 68 became known for performing at campfire programs, that’s what.
I can I can take some of the blame for getting things started. I was the assistant scoutmaster at the time and I had taken my tenor guitar to summer camp. There was an afternoon in the middle of the week that we did not have much to do so we started singing some songs around the campfire.
We started changing the words to some songs, you know, just playing around with them. One song, a country song called Running Bear, was a song about two Native Americans who fell in love. Unfortunately, they were part of two tribes who did not get along well. We changed a few words to the song and suddenly it was about two members of the camp staff falling in love.
I think it was sometime during the week that we performed the new Running Bear song to a couple of staff members. Before we knew it, we were asked to perform it during the Friday night closing campfire program.
The whole troop marched down to the front of the campfire circle when it was out turn to sing. The two members of the staff, who we were about to sing about, were in attendance. I do not think they knew what we were about to sing about. By the end of the song the male staff member was blushing and hiding in the trees. The female staff member thought it was funny and was laughing with the rest of the staff and campers.
Thus, the Scouts of Troop 68 and myself discovered the joy of performing for an audience, and the thrill of the audience enjoying a good performance.
Since that first campfire the Scouts of Troop 68 have performed in many summer camp and camporee campfire programs. We have even hosted a couple of them. The troop has also done ten yearly campfire-style programs for our community. (More about this in another article.)
We have had a lot of fun hamming it for the crowds over the years. I would suggest that all troops give it a try and enjoy the trill that comes with entertaining other Scouts and leaders.

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