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  • Camp fire songs

    So on the thread about lights out someone said that their troop didn't do singing as the SM didn't hold with it. I'm curious, is that common in the USA? Or is that simply an exception?

    Assuming you do like a good sing song, what songs are popular? Does it vary across the country? Has it changed over time? I'm really curious!

  • #2
    Our Troop just doesn't do it. We might just sit around a campfire and chat. We had a couple of cross-over Dad's with guitars try to strat stuff up but the boys just thought it interfered with the conversation. But then 1/2 mile a way is another Troop and they so sing along, contests, shows the whole deal. I thing it really varies by Troop...


    • #3
      It's troop by troop, SPL by SPL, SM by SM. Our Troop was doing it when my oldest was SPL, they didn't with the next SPL, and I will see what happens now with my youngest was SPL. Our previous SM didn't care for it. The current one likes it. We'll see what happens.


      • #4
        It does vary quite widely.

        With our troop, we encourage the boys to mix it up. Some nights a lot of effort simply goes into cooking an awesome dessert. Other nights, we introduce the O/A and if there are younger scouts that takes time. Some nights a few boys with guitar/ukelele will take requests. Other nights it's silly songs like "Grey Squirrel", "Froggy" (my favorite), "Singing in the Rain" or "Buttercup". One night the boys hacked their various phones and electronic devices and sang along with well-timed "beeps" and "bops".

        In our crew, typically everyone sits around and does their own thing. One time a couple of girl scouts spent an hour providing background happily singing to each other all the songs they learned since first grade, while everyone chatted, listened to the waves hitting the beach, or counted the stars.

        One time, while backpacking in Dolly Sods, WV the boys contented themselves with the smallest of fires in an open hillside meadow just pondering the Milky Way from horizon to horizon. That's my profile picture. I'd like to think if you looked closely enough in the darkest region of the image (from NASA, taken on that date), you'd see one tiny pixel and me and the boys around it looking back at you! Well you know that singing is just not appropriate when you're getting your picture taken.


        • #5
          Not sure what my son's troop does, but in Cub Scouts, the boys preferred to sit around the campfire and tell scary stories.


          • #6
            No singing with our pack. Kids usually are playing man hunter and will come up with a skit or two.


            • #7
              Songs and skits at the campfire are de rigeur. Traditional scout songs, patriotic songs, funny songs, religious songs, etc. We like to mix it up.


              • #8
                I've never seen my troop naturally sing around the campfire (or anywhere) in 20 years. We sometimes sing Scout Vespers as we put out the fire. Sometimes a scout shows up with a guitar and knowledge amounting to 3 chords, and that doesn't get too far.
                No skits, either.

                I think it's a casualty of the culture wars. Singing boy scouts are super gay.


                • #9
                  We never did songs in my Troop, but it's a common occurrence in Venturing.


                  • #10
                    If the guitar is pulled out the boys will call out songs that can be played. Then they'll do songs not known to one up and inspire.

                    Not talking lots of songs maybe 4 or 5 and then the chaplain aide usually asks for amazing grace. And since no one does the bugle taps is done on the guitar and still sounds good enough.

                    This isn't any every campout thing. Just when warm enough to play guitar and enough room in vehicles to squeeze it in.


                    • #11
                      That is really interesting to read how it is your side of the pond. Over here a noisy camp fire sing song is just part of the culture . Most scout campsites will have a specially created camp fire circle which can get hundreds and in some cases thousands around a fire in some kind of bowl or amphitheatre. During spring and summer the site will often organise a central camp fire on a Saturday evening. Most songs are quite light hearted with things like "you'll never get to heaven" and "40,000 feet". Typically it finishes with something traditional like "Go well and safely" or "Kum by ah". Genuinely interesting how things vary across the world.


                      • qwazse
                        qwazse commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Oh, we have the "bought and paid for" summer camp staff fires. Usually they are held three nights of the week, our troop prefers to only attend the opening one.

                      • perdidochas
                        perdidochas commented
                        Editing a comment
                        It is much more common on multi-troop campfires to do things like that. usually it's a more theatrical troop trying to one up the other troops. We have a few "hams" that love to do that sort of thing. it's why our troop won the "spirit stick" at summer camp last summer.