Some of my most significant memories as a scout and a person were around a campfire with my friends and fellow summer camp staff singing songs as campers left our campfire program for the evening.
Softly falls the light of day
As our campfire fades away
Silently each scout should ask
Have I done my daily task . . .
We sang the same songs each week each of the seven summers I worked there, with only minor changes. We always started with “Scout Vespers” followed by “On My Honor,” “This Is My Country,” “I Love the Mountains,” “Ging Gang Gooli,” “Rose, Love, America,” and others (including an irreverent version of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”).
Songs are important because they transcend time, connecting us to the scouts who have come before us and those who will come after us.
When I started an OSG group, I discovered at a BTC in the Pacific Northwest that Otters sing “Scout Vespers” to close out every meeting in the nation.
Or when Shane Heroux, hailing from the east, knew “Ging Gang Gooli,” the international song of scouting, which he sang when he worked at summer camp is sung by scouts throughout the world, both when they come together to a Jamboree and when they are apart.
Songs are important because they transcend distance. They connect us to scouts all over the globe, who we may never meet face to face, but sing the same songs together.
At summer camp (and at OSG campouts this past weekend), we got youth and teens to enthusiastically sing “Baby Shark,” “Little Red Wagon,” and “Waddely Ah Cha,” songs you might hear on toddler-aged PBS programs. But because older scouts get excited about them, the younger scouts do too. Songs create enthusiasm and energy at meetings, flag ceremonies, and campfires. As a scout, I earned a shotgun shooting merit badge. I wouldn’t know how to shoot a shotgun today. But I can remember every word of every song we sang around a campfire. Scouting builds character through outdoor adventure. But it builds memories to last a lifetime too. ~Ben Bleckley, 72nd Aspen OSG Group, Colorado, 2023
Ben Bleckley and Shane Heroux have worked hard on a Rover project to create a book of songs to use for Outdoor Service Guides Groups. This book is a living document, and you can email them to have your favorite songs added to the book at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can download the songbook here.
You can find the songs sung at the PNW BTC here.
We are also working on featuring songs sung by our OSG groups here on the page. If you would like to have a link added to this page of your group singing, please message Laura at email@example.com.