What could possibly be better than sitting around a campfire belting out school camp songs? No experience required – you don’t even need a good voice. Follow these simple tips to weave the magic of music into your school camp.
Oldies but goodies
Teaching a few classics before camp really helps motivate students to sing loudly.
- This is certainly not an exhaustive list, but here are a few tried and tested folk tunes to commit to memory and have up your sleeve:
- The Wheels On The Bus (lyrics here)
- She’ll Be Coming Round The Mountain (lyrics here)
- Row Row Row Your Boat (lyrics here)
- Kumbaya (lyrics here)
- Kookaburra Sits In The Old Gum Tree (lyrics here)
- We’re Going On A Bear Hunt (lyrics here)
- The Meatball Song (lyrics here)
- Camp Granada Song (lyrics here – gets a laugh every time!)
- There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly (lyrics here)
Music in the round
- Once your students have the basic songs under control, it’s time to introduce singing school camp songs in a round.
- Spilt the students into three fairly even groups.
- Select a song that everyone knows – Row Row Row Your Boat or Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree work well.
- Start one group off singing the first couple of lines e.g. Row row row your boat, gently down the stream…
- The second group then starts while the first groups continues singing.
- Once the second group gets to the same spot, introduce the third group.
- Continue until everyone sings through the song several times.
- Your accidental choir will sound amazing even without any formal training.
Music is a great motivator for movement.
Here are some school camp songs that are fun to sing and can include great actions:
- The Birdie Dance
- The Hokey Pokey
- If You’re Happy And You Know It
- Boom Chicka Boom
- The Grand Old Duke Of York
Tap into the Aboriginal culture of the Coffs Coast’s Gumbayniggir people. Here are some ideas:
- Share time around the campfire with a Gumbayniggir elder and discover their music and stories.
- Visit the Giingan Gumbaynggir Cultural Experience walk at Korora Lookout which tells a local dreaming story. Ask students to compose a song that tells the story.
Nursery rhyme rap
This is a plan ahead activity that is useful for downtime or wet weather.
- Working in pairs or small groups, students select a well known nursery rhyme.
- Using the beat of rap music, students break the words of the song into a performance using their voices and dance moves.
- Arrange a nursery rhyme rap concert where each group performs.
Create your own camp song
Choose a familiar tune to create a camp song that becomes ‘the’ musical memory of the camp. Work with students to brainstorm ideas to include a line about each person or each activity at camp. Concentrate only on positive statements.
The Quartermaster’s Store tune works well as a basis for creating stories about your camp experience.
There was Jack, Jack
Running down the track
At the camp
At the camp
There was Jack, Jack
Running down the track at the Coff’s Adventure Camp.
My eyes are dim, I cannot see.
I have not brought my specs with me etc.
At Coffs Coast Adventure Centre, we love music and are happy to help your students discover the joy of school camp songs while on camp. Shannon, our Camp Concierge, and our entire team of Activities Leaders are here to assist with your program.