Camp Stepping Stones 2012
This is Part Three.
Read Part One: Camp Stepping Stones 2010 HERE!
Read Part Two: Camp Stepping Stones 2011 HERE!
After the campers’ lyrical contributions on Friday night, these words had to be put to music… late Friday night into Saturday morning. The first year, this was done solely by me. In subsequent years it was truly a collaborative experience with all of the volunteers – one person contributing verse chords, one figuring out a lyric melody, one writing a chorus, etc. We not only had to create a song, but also get it down well enough to teach it to the group the very next day.
On Saturday evening we presented the song to the campers. Following an initial performance, the lyrics were read one line at a time and the kids were given the opportunity to publicly claim ownership of the words they had written – if they chose to do so. This gave an opportunity for campers of different cabins to identify (and hopefully later connect with) others who shared similar experiences. We had about a half-hour to teach the kids the song well enough to help us perform it for their families at a closing ceremony on Sunday afternoon. The trick was to get enough repetition in without it becoming boring. This was accomplished by mixing up instrumentation each run through and with some friendly competition – seeing which cabin could sing the loudest. A wireless microphone came in handy; every kid loves yelling into a microphone. Campers also helped to make practice time less tedious. One year, a couple of girls made up a choreographed dance to accompany the song lyrics. Another year, one boy objected to the acoustic/folksy genre of the song and demanded a rap. So, with the rest of the campers contributing table percussion, that boy rapped his way through the entire song.
Camp ended on Sunday with a beautiful closing ceremony… and the song was the finale. After our performance, many campers and their families came up to thank us before leaving Camp Stepping Stones. It felt good to be able to contribute to the healing process. It felt good to help.