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Introduction to Campfire Songs

Getting the most out of your campfire singing
The Best Camping Songs
Song List

Dynamic Trio of a Successful Singalong

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Church Camp Songs 

 

I've been to a lot of church sponsored camps. They mostly like to sing pretty much what everybody else likes to sing: silly songs, folk songs, old time songs, gross songs, traditional campfire songs and maybe a few religious or inspirational songs.

In The Great American Campfire Songbook, I have included several songs about Bible characters and African American spirituals.

I have also found that usually they like to be more organized, so as to have a successful and memorable campfire experience. The best church campfires I have been to included several church camp songs interspersed with stories; some funny and some on a more spiritual note. Oftentimes, the campfire would end with a minister, bishop, priest or other church leader teaching one of the stories, parables or attributes of Christ. Of course, if you practice another religion other than Christian, you could teach about your prophet or religious beliefs.

Here are some of my favorite church camp songs:

  • Amazing Grace:
    This is a beautiful song. It is simple with just three chords. The melody is one of the most recognized melodies. This song means even more if you know the story of where it came from. The story of John Newton is very inspiring. You can 'google' it and find several web pages about it. There is also a movie about John Newton called Amazing Grace.

  • Down by the Riverside:
    This is an African American spiritual. Like most spirituals, the words to this song repeat, so once you learn a couple of lines, you have the whole verse learned.

  • Peace Like a River:
    Again, this is a spiritual that is easy to learn because the words are repeated over and over again.

  • I Love the Mountains:
    Although this song never mentions God, or anything about religion, it is a good church camp song. This is very popular among girl scouts. It tells of many of the beauties of nature that God has created. I don't think you can sing this song without feeling joy and gratitude for the many wonderful things that God has given to us.

  • The Happy Wanderer:
    This is very similar to the previous song. You can't sing it without feeling happiness and a closeness to God and nature.

  • Kumbaya:
    You can't leave out Kumbaya! This is probably the most popular church camp song ever. Everyone knows it and it's easy to sing.

  • He's Got the Whole World:
    This is another African American spiritual that is almost as popular at campfires as Kumbaya.

  • You Can't Get to Heaven:
    It doesn't really teach the truth on how to get to heaven, but it's fun to sing. If your kids take it seriously, you might want to tell them that if they die with roller skates on or in a rocking chair, they can still go to heaven. Who knows; if they believe they can't get to heaven with roller skates, maybe they'll be more careful! You could also make up your own verses on this song.

  • Peace Like a River:
    Another favorite of mine. Easy to learn, easy to teach and easy to play on the guitar. It is also a very peaceful song if it's done right.

If these aren't the types of church camp songs you're looking for, you can probably find songs from your pastor, priest, etc. that are suited more for your denomination. There are some hymns that can be done fairly easy on guitar, but somebody might have to put them in an easier key for guitar. Many hymns are written in flat keys, which are not easy to play on the guitar.

If you know of any church camp songs or scout songs that should be on this list, or included in The Great American Campfire Songbook, please email me and let me know.

Good luck with your campfire singing. Remember to have fun!

Copyright 2009 Roger Turner- All Rights Reserved

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