Camp Songwriting 101

It was an instant success. We traveled to over 30 schools talking to the kids about our summer camp programs. As a part of these presentations we taught the kids this song. They were into it. It was a modern, fun, catchy and upbeat song about all the activities you get to do while at camp. In the summer we sang it at campfires along with another awesome song the male counselors wrote called Trumpet of the Swan (see sidebar for lyrics or visit to listen). The counselors’ song had four chords repeated over and over. Guess what? The kids didn’t even notice. What they did notice was the melody, funny words and a catchy chorus about all the animals at camp.

The Fun Factor

This brings me to the last ingredient — FUN!

The easiest way to do this is to break down the walls of “I’m too afraid to be embarrassed” and let yourself act silly. Kids like funny rhymes, exaggerations, talking animals, and goofy sounds. And, don’t forget actions.

Actions not only add a huge fun factor, but also help campers remember the words to the song. And that makes singing the songs easy – which means more fun!

The bottom line is camp songwriting is not as difficult as you may think. You don’t need to be classically trained. You don’t need to have gobs of talent. You simply need to have the desire to write a song.

Find someone who plays guitar, someone who sings and someone who writes poetry and team them together. Or maybe give it a shot for yourself. How about introducing a songwriting time as a camp activity?

Maybe your campers could write a cabin cheer or a camp grace? Remember a remake or an original song works just fine. Some of our best campfire songs and graces came out of a year filled with creativity and the courage to give songwriting a try. How about I end with a poem about songwriting.

I wrote about camp songs today!

I wrote about guitars we play!

I wrote about the words we sing!

I wrote about the smiles we bring!

Jason Taylor is the Program Manager for Camp Brébeuf in Rockwood, Onatario, Canada. You can contact him via e-mail at Or, you can listen to recordings of his attached songs by calling 866-444-4216 and asking to be put on hold.

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Related posts:

  1. Camp Rocks & Trumpet of the Swan (Lyrics & Chords)
  2. Songs Of The Summer
  3. Camp Song Madness!
  4. Campfire Songs
  5. What’s All This Noise?

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