Thursday, May 28, 2009

Nature Camp Songs

I've been a camp counselor, a camp instructor, and a camp director, but I must confess that I've never been a camper. All the camp songs that I know I learned from Michelle Balfe Keefer, who taught them to me in preparation for the camp we co-directed in 2001.

I followed her example and included the lyrics to several camp songs (that I deemed to be appropriate for a nature-oriented camp) for my counselors at Earth Camp. But I couldn't get her on the phone to sing the songs to me, and if I can't sing them, I can't expect the counselors to, so I've been scouring the internet for AUDIO files of camp songs.

First of all, the Ultimate Camp Resource pages are certainly enough to keep a camp planner busy, and they have thousands of song lyrics (no audio).

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences has an extensive collection of children's songs - WITH AUDIO - several are 'camp songs' and the rest are Old MacDonald kind of stuff. It's been an invaluable resource for me for years, since I didn't really know that many children's songs either (I was able to solve the mystery of the tune of the beeping crib toy that was driving me crazy by going one-by-one through the list. Luckily, the NIEHS list is in alphabetical order and the song was Animal Fair, because it's a really big list.)

The song Gray Squirrel or Brown Squirrel or Squirrel Squirrel is performed on You Tube here - hillarious!

The song Acorn Brown or I'm a Nut is demonstrated on You Tube by Cullen's ABCs, which I just discovered. It appears to be a how-to for parents and teachers of preschoolers. (Kind of wish I'd found that sooner.) But I couldn't help but think I'd heard that tune somewhere before...

The National Wildlife Federation has a page of camp songs WITH AUDIO (you can tell I find that to be an important detail). Specifically, it has Mmm Mmm Went the Little Green Frog One Day.

Then there's the Girl Scout Music site with The Frogs, The Bear Song, Ants Go Marching, and Lion Hunt (I'm hesitant to include that one in a nature camp), and the Latter Day Saints Girls Camp Songs - some of which work for nature camp.

And, if you want to dust off your bell bottoms, tie-dyed shirts, and tambourines, Ally Ally Oxen Free may just be the song for you. I, personally, can't stop laughing through it, so I'm crossing that one off my list.

The Birdie Song is sung on the Camp Sea Gull and Camp Seafarer page. If you've got a coastal site, then the other songs may be of interest to you, as well.

I've found a few versions of Peanut Butter (And Jelly), but none quite so funky as the one sampled here.

Now I'm off to practice so I'll be in tune for my staff training tomorrow morning. Happy Camping!

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