This past Sunday, Mommy Poppins had a great review of a new family-friendly show playing in New York, and this one is all about CAMP! Playing at the Linda Gross Theater on W. 20th Street is Camp Kappawanna, a new musical written by the phenomenal Lisa Loeb that follows her 12-year-old alter ego Jenny Jenkins as she leaves home for the first time and finds herself (and her guitar!) at camp. It sounds like so much fun, and reminded me of Loeb’s love letter to summer camp from a few years back – her album Camp Lisa. (Have you heard it? It’s so cute! Preview the songs here)
Turns out, Loeb is a big proponent of summer camp – she even started the Camp Lisa Foundation to help kids go to summer camp who wouldn’t normally have the chance. Back when it was released, Loeb did an interview with Babble, and I just have to share this quote – this is what we always say!
“I loved … sleep-a-way camp because it was the first time to be in a safe place but have a lot of independence. I loved the arts and crafts and singing. I loved learning and school was really important but I liked the idea of learning in a situation where it was not about doing homework. You learn about respecting other people and you have your own second life away from your normal days.”
Listening to “Peanut Butter and Jelly” and her ode to the “Best Friend” made me think about the role of music at summer camp, and what a huge part it plays in all our summers. So I reached out to some of our Maine Camp Experience camp directors and experts for the skinny – what makes summer camp sing?
Ask any camper or staff member, and they’ll tell you that music is a big part of camp. Learning and singing songs together is a great way to break the ice, bond with each other, and just plain have a great time. Caroline Glovsky, assistant director of Fernwood Cove, told me that some of her campers favorite tunes are Head and Shoulders Baby 1, 2, 3; Rattlin’ Bog, Baby Shark, and Boom Chicka Boom. Now they try to sing the whole of “Rattlin’ Bog” without taking a breath! According to Caroline, “Music has a huge impact on our camp community. At Fernwood Cove, we sing for everything and everywhere. We sing through camp days and trip days, and as enthusiastically as we can!” Campers can also learn guitar, take part in their musical theater program, or vocal theater!
Over at Maine Teen Camp, music lives throughout the summer in a bit of a different way. More and more of our Maine camps are adding music and sound production to their roster of activities, and MTC is no exception, with lots of live music being played by campers throughout the summer.
When asked what makes such a perfect marriage between camp and music, director Matt Pines said “I think that the camp environment is particularly conducive to music creation and practice. It’s a safe space to play and try new things. It’s distraction free, and kids are given to think a little more deeply, a little more poetically, when in nature, given space. There is music all around them in the sounds of the woods, and while it’s corny to say, I think that summer in Maine, at camp, makes you just feel like singing. It’s essential, it’s fun, it’s loud – it’s a creative channel that may be most appealing to teens.”
He is not kidding! You’ve got to check out this video footage from their Live Dance, when camper bands play for the whole camp. The music is spectacular, and it looks like so much fun! And take a listen to some of the music recorded in their studios – there is some awesome talent at Maine camps!
So whether you’re recording music in the studio, singing around the campfire, or learning a whole new musical top to tail, it’s clear: music is as much a part of camp in Maine as the lake and the trees and the fresh air. What’s your favorite musical memory from camp?
Maine Camp Experience Resources & Tools
Looking for the perfect Maine camp for your child? Try out our helpful tool where you can select a camp by choosing: type of camp (girls, boys or coed) and session length (1-8 weeks). It helps to narrow down a few camps to a manageable list that includes rates. Then you can research these camps in more depth.
Next, be sure to contact our Maine Campcierge™ to discuss these camps as well as for free, year-round advice and assistance on choosing a great Maine summer camp for your child.
Talk to Laurie, our Maine Campcierge™, about choosing the right camp for your child and what to do in Maine.