This weekend is the Girl Scout campout, and I am in charge of music. I'm playing for our Mass, but I'm also the person who's leading all the rest of the music.
Leading music for Girl Scout campers used to be my Thing. When I applied to college in the winter of 1987, the essay I used most often was one that talked about the experience of coaxing girls to sing until they discovered how much fun it could be.
Thirty years later I remember a lot of the songs we used to sing, but lots of them have faded too. And some of them don't hold up very well. I can still recite the words to On My Honor; I just don't want to.
So I'm trying to plan: I need a list of upbeat songs and a list of mellower songs. For upbeat songs it will be easiest to do call-and-response or highly repetitive songs, like Princess Pat and The Bear Song (the other day / I met a bear / a great big bear / away out there) and An Austrian Went Yodeling. Do girls still sing Sipping Cider? Accidental kissing leading to 49 children seems like a suboptimal message here in 2017. And I used to love the song Dem Bones (The Lord, he thought he'd make a man / took a little water and he took a little sand), but I am worried that the chorus sounds racist. That d/ð substitution is pretty specific to African-American English, is it not?
Some of the songs I loved most as a girl were songs with complicated lyrics, like Green Grow The Rushes, Ho. I'm not sure that one would fly at the campout, but it is SUCH a fun song.
I really don't know about the mellow songs. We used to sing Today, and I loved it, and we used to sing Girl Scouts Together, which I think is a dreadful song, and we used to sing On The Loose, which has a whole lot of lyrics. I am not excited about making song sheets.
I guess I am not sure how much patience the girls will have with unfamiliar songs, or whether they will be able to sing rounds, or how to balance repetition versus variety in a campout that will span less than 24 hours. It was different when camp lasted for a week. I'd love some input if you have thoughts to spare.