A key part of summer camp, and something that you are sure never to forget after working here, is the songs. We sing at every opportunity we have – meal times, sports, evening entertainments, excursions, even just walking from one place to another. We also sing a great variety of songs – so many that being only a week into camp you’ll find yourself impressed by your ability to remember so many lyrics, and having learnt them all so quickly! But why do we use camp songs, and why are they so important for monitors, teachers, and of course the campers?
Songs distract homesick or sad campers
It is part and parcel of summer camp that there will be some campers who are homesick, and also those who just have moments of feeling a bit sad – maybe they’ve fallen and hurt themselves, or lost a football match, and are feeling a bit down. But, when a staff member gets up and starts singing and dancing like a crazy person, all of a sudden the camper is distracted! Their focus completely changes, and by the end of the song they are struggling to remember that they were even sad beforehand.
They take the focus away from the food
One of the main times that we sing songs is during meal times. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacktime are all filled to the brim with staff members standing up and yelling ‘This is a repeat after me song!’. Mealtimes can be difficult for a lot of campers – not only does this time remind them of their family, but they may not like some of the food, as it may be different to what they are used to at home. However, when you introduce songs, the campers get caught up in the singing and dancing, and these issues become less important.
They control the campers
Managing a group of campers – be it your class, leader group or sports group – can be challenging at times. Each group will have a wide range of personalities and characters, and you’ve got to keep them all together, and listening to what you say, at all times. A great way to do this is singing songs with them. You wouldn’t believe how much easier it is to get the campers walking in a line, without messing, when they are all singing a song together.
They let us be silly
Perhaps the most important reason – songs let us have a lot of fun, and show the campers how silly we can be! Summer camp is all about making a fool of yourself, and songs allow us to do just that. Not many jobs allow you to have fun, be as silly as you can be and help give campers the best summer of their lives, but working with TECS allows you to do just that 🙂