Posts Tagged ‘Camp songs’

Natural Rhythms: The Timeless Traditions that make Camp Special!

Tuesday, September 27th, 2016

Camp is super-duper fun… but every summer camper (or camp counselor) knows that with the fun comes a dash of craziness!


The days are packed with activities, and among those activities are tons of quirky camp traditions.


One of the most special things about summer camp is how traditions are passed on through returning campers and counselors.


Here are a few of our favorite classic camp traditions!

Flag Ceremonies


No morning is complete without the traditional Camp Starlight flag ceremony! Like the traditional evening campfire, flag-raising is a time for everyone at camp to gather together and remember that we’re all in it together. (And of course, double-check that no one overslept!)


Like with everything at camp, there is always time to be a little goofy, and flag ceremonies are no exception. From spontaneous camp songs to call-and-response games, you never know what the counselor’s are going to pull out of their sleeves!



Ah, the sweet smell of soot and s’mores…


No camp would be complete without a campfire. Community campfires are a time for the entire group to come together for songs, dance, theater, and of course the infamous talent shows.


Usually the campfire starts with fast, silly songs and a few games to get everyone grounded and relaxed. As the night progresses, slower songs and fun stories are shared around the fire until it’s finally time to say goodnight and return to the cabins. (And brush our teeth! That means you!)

Mealtime songs



Mmm, lunchtime — everyone’s favorite activity of the day!


(Aside from breakfast and dinner, that is.)


Feeding dozens of campers at the same time would be chaotic if there were no traditions to make mealtime run smoothly. Everyone has to “sing for their supper,” so it’s no surprise that so many camp songs center around food. “Heeeey burrito!”


Camp songs may be one of the strangest traditions to those who have never been to camp — but these ridiculous jingles are something that campers everywhere have in common!

Traditions that keep on giving

Summer camp is an integral part of American life, and the rhythm of day-to-day life lets everyone play their part in the story.


From all-camp events like dances, talent shows, and barbecues, to specific hiking songs, camp life has something for everybody. Trust us, you’ll get into the swing of things before you know it.


…And before long, you’ll be ready to participate in the best camp tradition of all — making your own!

Soundtrack of Camp Starlight Summer 2014

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

It’s our favorite time of the year-SUMMER! The time when school is out, the nights are long and  the sun is hot and more importantly camp is in full swing! At Camp Starlight,  we find ourselves turning up the volume and dancing a little more when these songs are played in the bunks during clean up, over the PA system and in the Dining Hall.

Top 10 summer camp songs

  1. “Camp Starlight Alma-Mater”

  2. “Summer” – Calvin Harris

  3. “Sing” – Ed Sheeran

  4. “Friends, Friends, Friends”

  5. “Love Never Felt So Good” -Michael Jackson

  6. “Can’t Smile Without You” –  Barry Manilow

  7. “Singin’ In the Rain”

  8. “Fancy” – Iggy Azalea featuring Charli XCX

  9. “Sweet Caroline” – Barry Manilow

  10. “Happy” – Pharrell Williams

10 Camp Things for Which We’re Thankful All Year Long

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

The holidays are upon us and ‘tis the season to ponder those things for which we’re truly thankful. For those of us who are fortunate enough to eat, sleep, and breathe camp 24/7, 365 days a year, it’s hard not to make an exclusive “Camp Starlight” list. After all, Camp Starlight is just as much a part of our lives in November as it is in June. So we figured we’d share some camp things for which we are thankful all year.

1.)    Our campers. Each and every one of our campers brings something unique to camp that makes our camp family complete. Getting emails and phone calls about our campers’ accomplishments throughout the winter makes the memories we have of the summer that much more special and makes us even more excited for next summer to get here.

2.)    Our camp parents. We feel pretty lucky to have so many parents who are as enthusiastic about camp as their children and who keep in touch throughout the winter, providing us with fun and interesting updates.

3.)    Our staff. Finding a staff of talented people who are willing to leave their first homes and make summer camp their second home for several weeks each summer in order to literally live their jobs day and night is no easy feat. That we’re able to put together a staff each summer who is so vested in creating an amazing summer for all of our campers is truly a blessing.

4.)    Alumni. It’s always a special treat when our alumni share their favorite camp memories and reiterate how great their camp years were. The fact that so many of our alumni are still in touch and/or are active within our community says a lot to us about just how special camp is and motivates us to continue to strive to make camp a lifetime worth of memories.

5.)    A beautiful campus. That first drive into camp each summer is always so special. No matter how many times we’ve been there, that first up the camp road and glance at alumni field, the bunks/cabins, the dining hall, the courts, and the waterfront each summer is something we anticipate all year long.

6.)    Memories. Memories are what makes each summer different than the last. We find ourselves asking each other, “Remember when…?” and laughing over our favorite camp moments throughout the year.

7.)    Camp Songs. We often find ourselves turning up the volume whenever a song that proved popular the summer before plays on the radio or humming the alma mater or a favorite dining room tune while we’re busy planning for next summer.

8.)    Camp friends. It’s so nice to have someone with whom we can remember those special moments from previous summers and with whom we can have a hearty laugh about those inside moments that only our camp friends can understand. It’s also nice to be able to re-experience camp through meetups throughout the winter and makes us even that much more excited about next summer.

9.)    The camp tradition. It sounds pretty obvious, but just the fact that we’re able to carry on such a beloved tradition is a privilege. Summer camps have been around for more than a hundred years and are such an iconic part of our culture that movies and television shows have been made and books have been written about summer camp. Not to mention, without summer camp, we’re not quite sure what we’d be doing. We certainly can’t imagine doing anything else.

10.) The promise of next summer. We’ve said it a million times, but we start anticipating the next summer as soon as the buses pull away. That ten month wait each year seems like forever, but it proves to be just enough time to plan another summer that promises to be even better than the last. The anticipation drives us all year long as we plan and makes us thankful to be part of camp all year.

Stop! Now You Do It…

Sunday, October 20th, 2013

Being a few months removed from camp I can look back and truly appreciate all we have while we are at our summer home, Camp Starlight. We all remember the big moments and the nights of evening activities, but I think my truly favorite part of camp is the dining hall experience. It’s one we never think of when we are there, but did you know we spend about three FULL days a summer in the dining hall? Crazy!

Our camp literally comes alive at breakfast, whether it’s from a bunk-to-bunk chant or an “attention” to a birthday! We get excited for the day’s activities, recap last night’s evening, and sometimes even have to stack…..5 (clap)!

Dinner is really where we come together as a camp and where the life of Starlight shines out. We sing, dance, and occasionally spill our way through the main course. The camp songs bounce of the walls as we rehash our days and I believe it is in these moments that we store the memories of camp we will never forget.

These are the times we remember, and I hope they are the times to which you look forward. Should you have a free moment, try putting in a little thought to the things you miss from camp that you may not realize while there; I guarantee it will be worth it. Do IT!

–Kyle Hudson

Songs of Summer

Tuesday, January 1st, 2013

What do Bruce Springsteen, Nicki Minaj, One Direction, Katy Perry, Neon Trees, Carly Rae Jepsen, and Flo-Rida all have in common? Well, in the outside world all of them are musicians.  But that’s about the only thing collective about them. This past summer, however, each musician had what we call a “Song of the Summer.”

These Camp Starlight Songs of Summer are the songs that you hear on the radio in the car, during a television commercial, or simply shuffling through you iPod. Once the music starts, wherever you are, you’re instantly taken back to the great memories of camp. You might be in the car driving to school, sitting in class, or hanging out with friends.  Wherever you might be, you’re instantly transported back to those defining moments of camp.

It could be the moment when you stepped off the bus and heard One Direction, or every time you sat down for a meal in the dining room everyone went crazy for “Starships” (even if it wasn’t your song).  It could even be the songs you heard during clean up or heard in the Camp Starlight Week in Review slideshow.  We love to hear our favorite tunes, over and over again.

Music has such a presence at camp that some songs are engraved in our camp memories.  How can we forget “We Take Care of Our Own” and its existence as not only a song of the summer, but the theme for 2012? Every year, we have an amazing time listening, singing, and dancing to the “Songs of the Summer” and it’s truly an awesome feeling when you hear certain songs and they take you back to camp. The memories instantly come back like a flash back and we recall how much fun we had in the Summer of 2012!

What will be the Camp Starlight songs of the summer for 2013?


Bazooka Bubble Gum

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

At the end of every summer, once you have returned home, there is always one song or tune that you simply cannot forget or erase from your mind, thanks to Camp Starlight. I am not talking about the traditional songs like, “I Can’t Smile Without You”, “Singing in the Rain”, “Sweet Caroline”, or “Friends,” but the songs you grow to love. These songs somehow become some of our favorite camp memories and have created new Camp Starlight traditions.

Two summers ago, we were introduced to a song that focused on one’s facial hair; and things got kind of hairy. This summer, thanks to Girls Bunk 11 and their divisional award winning MTV night performance, we now have the “Bazooka Bubble Gum” song imprinted in our minds (and hearts). If you wish to find an easy way to return to the summer of 2011, listen to the song and fondly think of your Camp Starlight summer home and family. Just in case you need a refresher, here are the lyrics…

My mom gave me a penny,
She said to buy a henny,
But I didn’t buy a penny,
Instead I bought bubblegum,

My mom gave me a nickel,
She said to buy a pickle,
But I didn’t buy a pickle,
Instead I bought bubblegum,

My mom gave me a dime,
She said to buy a lime,
But I didn’t buy a lime,
Instead I bought bubblegum,

My mom gave me a quarter,
She said to buy a porter,
But I didn’t buy a porter,
Instead I bought bubblegum,

My mom gave me a dollar,
She said to buy a collar,
But I didn’t buy a collar,
Instead I bought bubblegum,

My mom gave me a five,
She said to stay alive,
But I didn’t stay alive,
Instead I choked on,

Forgot the tune? Watch the video…

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Radio Reminiscing

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

The other day as I was listening to the radio while driving down the road, in the blink of an eye, I was back in the Dining Room surrounded by the voices, noises, and even the smells of Camp Starlight. I love it when those moments happen. Something as simple as one song can transform your mood, surroundings, and energy. Not only do we come across unexpected moments that return us to our summer home away from home, but it creates an excitement, buzz, and energy that I know I can’t shake. When times like that happen, I’ll find myself on the phone or computer reconnected to a long lost camp friend.

More importantly, those quick, unexpected instances make me want to return to camp as soon as I possibly can. I am reminded each time those moments happen why I fell in love with Camp Starlight, its campers, and staff twelve years ago.  I feel I am one of the fortunate; I have had the opportunity to experience Camp Starlight, and I look forward to the next time I hear a song on the radio that sends me back to camp.

What brings you back?