Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Girls Camp and Campfire Songs


Going to Girls Camp each summer, from age 12 years - 17 years old, was one of the biggest highlights of my teenage life.  I loved the mountains and sleeping over in the cabins with my friends.  We would plan all year for what we would bring, wear, do, etc.   It was the innocent life of a "camper".

However, one of the main reasons I loved Camp was the singing.  We never had a guitar, but the several hundred girls singing together in harmony, led by the older girls, was a unbelievable sound.  Because there was no guitar, the harmonies took on a life of their own, changing and twisting in unexpected and delicious ways.

I also really looked up to the older girls, or "counselors".  I wanted to be like them so much.  They were  so beautiful and grown up compared to me.  They each had a green sweatshirt, with their "camp name" written on the back.  They would get up in front of the entire camp of several hundred "campers", put their arms loosely around each other's back/arms, and sway the tempo, leading us without any "director".  The feeling of unity and love was great, and always made me feel so safe, and that I was in the right place.

Getting my camp name was a very special event.  The grown-up leaders took all of my age group on a hike a long way up the mountain, and then the campfire in the dark with all the favorite songs.  After we were all in a calm and anticipating place, they would read us our poem, which told us why we had been given our "name".   I will never forget getting my name.  It is "Slingshot".  (More to come on my camp name).  

I remember when I became a camp counselor.  I was given my green sweatshirt with my name on it.  I was so full of excitement and anticipation, to be like all those I had looked up to for so long.

Because I was so "responsible", I skipped being a co-counsler, and they started me as a regular counselor, with a co-counselor my same age.  I felt all important about this.  The sad part is that I really wasn't ready, and I'm afraid my "campers" were let down.  I really didn't know how to lead. I was not so grown up as they thought I would be and only did a marginal job.

One day at camp, I talked my "campers" into a joke by me acting like I was really sick and dying (I was a pretty good actor I guess).  I upset everyone so much, that one of my campers became distraught, was crying, and didn't really want to be in our cabin anymore.  I still remember the chilling look on one of the adult leader's face, and her sad voice, when she saw what I had done, and the disappointment on her face.  Definitely a lesson to learn, and a story I am not proud to tell. (Maybe you are getting an idea why my name was Slingshot?)

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I'd love you to send me a video of you singing this song.