Every Sunday afternoon at camp we have “free activities.” Once upon a time, there was just free swim, but then other activities were added that campers are free to come and go from at will. We have free art, free riflery, free archery, free soccer, free dodgeball, and so forth.
So many people, especially former campers who have babies and young children, request a copy of our songbook. Some need help remembering the exact tune of one song or another.
So, one Sunday in July, we decided to have a “free sing.” The goal was to sing through the camp songbook, with an open mic, in order to have a recording of the tunes we love singing to.
Right away it became clear that this was going to take a while! So as we worked our way through the book, I selected songs that are our favorites, or that I’ve only ever heard here at Heart O’ the Hills. We are offering a passel of them now on our website, 53 to be exact! They are nowhere close to being professional recordings. You can hear “free riflery” in the background, and places where we slide around from key to key, and of course we tend to sing everything way too fast! Nothing overly musical or polished, but just an effort to share these as memories to old campers, or reminders to present-day campers. Maybe even a nod to posterity.
Studies have shown that group singing lifts the spirits and builds a sense of togetherness and belonging. “The elation may come from endorphins, a hormone released by singing, which is associated with feelings of pleasure. … The benefits of singing regularly seem to be cumulative. In one study, singers were found to have lower levels of cortisol, indicating lower stress” (ideas.time.com/2013/08/16/singing-changes-your-brain/).
I can’t take credit for the studies but I bet there’s not a camper out there that wouldn’t say, “Duh. I knew that already! They could’ve asked me!” Am I right?
So, here they are! If you click on the full-Screen icon on the lower right hand side (looks like four little arrows pointing out), you will see the lyrics large enough for middle-aged eyes. If you click on the song title (upper left), you will be sent to our Vimeo page (a different website).
Now, everybody, stand up! This is a repeat-after-me song! Grab your marshmallow stick and move toward the fire…