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Ok, I don't get it. What is it with LEADERS and their fear of singing? I have seen at numerous campfires and assemblies the leaders are there of course...in the back...hiding...shuffling their feet...while I end up doing a solo on the guitar. I exaggerate of course, but not much. My question to you all is how can we encourage singing/music elements at activities?


Was considering proposing a "Campfires 101" training through our District with emphasis on music storytelling and campfire dynamics. This would be an opportunity for leaders to learn simple tunes, basic music theroy, instruments, characterizations for storytelling, and resources such as Scouter.com for more a vareity of skits. I realize this is an element of other leader training courses but my experience is locally it gets glossed over.


(This message has been edited by Loki)

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You can come to our troop events anytime!


We also just started trying to re-introduce "entertainment" at our campfires and evenings - the boys are REALLY enjoying doing skits and jokes, (they grumbled a bit at first, but we insisted - now they're into it!) and some are singing some (rather rowdy) songs, too.


This last campout the boys planned the activities and truly worked in patrols for the first time - and for the evenings entertainment? They decided that each patrol had to do a skit or teach a song - and they insisted the "Adult patrol" come up with one, too!


I brought out my guitar, (which I haven't had out in years) and we got to singing - found another adult who could play better than me, and yet another adult who could harmonize and a few boys who like to sing , and we stayed up late, seranading the rest.


But it is hard to get some to sing - they are shy, or embarrassed, or afraid of looking silly. And if they don't know the songs - it's doubly hard to get them to join in.


Problem with learning songs at JLT and Adult leadership training is that only a few learn them, most people don't naturally remember them and then when they try to teach them, it without much enthusiam behind it, because they don't feel secure.


Try picking up a few favorites that everybody already knows - old Beatles songs, and folk music. Then introduce 1 or two new songs and teach them - but bring written lyric sheets to pass out. Keep these as a troop songbook and build on it.


Hopefully the other adults will join you, and may even have suggestions of songs they remember from their scout days and can add to the "book". the boys will probably join in easily - and can probably teach YOU some new songs (usually a little goofy or naughty - but it'ws all in fun.) It shouldn't take long before you get 'em ALL singing, and the "books" will just be for the benifit of visitors and new scouts.


Happy Campfires!

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I too like the idea of skits and singing etc. However, remember there are adults like me that are tenors (best heard ten or twenty valleys away) and need a bucket to carry a tune.

Last time I was singing to myself of a hike, other troop members rushed to my aid thinking I was in need of help.



Keep up the good fight.



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OK, I confess Loki, I don't like to sing. I'll do all the motions (with enthusiasm), and mouth the words (when I can figure them out), but I don't sing. Yes, when I was a Scout I sang (if you can call it that).


There are many things that I do that others cannot,will not, or do not; singing is not one of them. I have no problem with public speaking in front of large groups, I have no problem with being in front of a TV camera, I have no problem reading to kids in an animated fashion, I involve myself in (sometimes silly) skits, I have been Santa Claus, I have even whistled an entire tune in front of a group, etc. I don't sing.


What bothers me most is the in-your-face, let's see if we can embarass him into singing so everyone can hear, commotion that happens oh so frequently. Not just to me, but to some poor kid. This may have been what turned me off to the singing thing in the first place. I watched some poor kid put in the spotlight because he wasn't singing. He was singing very quietly and doing the motions, but it wasn't good enough. He was thoroughly embarassed and I was embarassed for him. To me it was tantamount to "hazing."


Sing if you will; enjoy it! I derive great pleasure from hearing you sing. But please don't force me to sing.

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Speaking from experience, most of it bad ;-}

To instill a lively crowd, the leader at times will be the solitary salmon swimming upstream. However, if you keep at, the group will eventually join in. Singing loud is great, especially if like me, you cannot carry the proverbial tune in a bucket. I always tell the group this and direct them to outsing my poor voice. Over the course of my first year as CM (moons ago) I started alone and with the boys all trying, but no adults. Then, DL took mercy on me and joined in, if only to keep me on/in tune. Then, choir members from the church whose children where in the pack, actually came up front to help. Seems I had picked a really rousing song they all knew and thought it a travesty if I had to sing it alone.

Today, I get all the help I need to sing a song.

I especially love it when we hold joint boyscout/cubscout RT's (every so often) because I get the SM to sing. And since it is an adult event, I have no problem stopping a song, pointing out the area of the room that is not singing and starting over (and over and over again) until all have joined in. Nice, maybe not, but in the scouting spirit, we should never ask boys to do what we are not prepared to do ourselves, through example.

Keeping singing (or warbling in my case)


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I love to sing but the problem is that I can't carry a tune. However, I have no problem singing with gusto as part of a group. If compelled, I will sing solo but the audience will usually tell me to shut up. :-)


It takes a bit for an adult to get into the spirit of skits and singing unless they are a ham like I am. I love to sing and perform, I'm just no good at it. You need a Pontius Pilate, I'm your guy. Someone to do "Who's on first?" call me. Heck, I even played Yorick once.

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I understand there are a few Scouters that feel they should sing so-low (so low no one hears them) but given some basic training they could step up and still perform. Heck, use a kazoo or a cowbell. Point is the kids will be more enthusiastic if we are enthusiastic.


LauraT7 had a great suggestion about familiar tunes. Practice? Maybe even a rehersal before hand?

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I love to sing! The problem is I really stand out when I do, and I am kind of shy in front of strangers. Everyone else could set off seismographers with their deep voices - I sing soprano (and therefore usually harmony). It's either get over it and sing, or blush and hide.

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Leading a group in singing can be tough if you make it so. A couple of tips:


1) Use well known tunes, someone will always jump in.


2) Use enthusism! It is hard to frown at a smiling face leading a song with gusto.


3) Relax! Nobody expects you to be an opera singer, unless you are one of course! If you can't carry a tune in a bucket, but are excited to get the song underway, all will be well.


4) Have fun!!!


5) Believe in your enthusism! Your attitude will make you a fantastic song leader, or some nut making noise. The choice is yours.


I have to admit that although I have a descent voice, I still get somewhat nervous singing solo, but by following this advise, I get through.

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Do you know of any websites that list songbooks, lyrics and

E-A-S-Y guitar chords (my fingers never were strong enough to do bar chords and I'm WAY out of practice)


But a few adults and some boys in my troop are starting to really get into campfire singing - and we have made lots of new friends in other troops with our music, too!


Problem is, I have limited skill and repertoire on my guitar -


i need commonly known folk songs, 60's and 70's tunes (can you tell the age of our scouters? ;-) )

and as i am female and don't know the old "boy scout" songs - any sites with music clips for melodies would be great, too. ( I can't read music, but can sort-of follow along)


Anybody have any good sources?


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Enthusiasm counts.


Voice quality does not. For a leader, it IS somewhat helpful if you are able to end a song in the same key in which you started it. But if you can't, oh, well, sing anyway. Your fearless example will inspire the weak and shy (heck, I know I can do better than THAT).


In the absence of an instrument, most adults and some children will be helped by hearing and repeating the first few notes of a given song before beginning in earnest. Helps 'em get off to a good start.


Do not underestimate the power of a repetition song done in leader/response format. You can get almost anyone singing with these.



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Laura, I cant beleive I havent sent you these links as yet,





The Mudcat link has a pretty good search engine, Note, not all songs may be suitable for scouts.


The Macscouter of course is wonderful. I know I have some links with chords listed, will find them later.


Put me in the category of an enthusiastic singer, but also one who has been accused of inflicting crewel and unusual punishment on those close by.


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