I once heard a quote somewhere in which supposedly Baden-Powell said, and I am paraphrasing “the mark of a real Scout troop is one that sings.” I can’t remember where or when I heard that but when I think about my Scouting experience as a youth some of my fondest memories are of us singing. We sand while we hiked, we sang while we sat around the camp fire, and we sang at meetings. Singing was a big part of Scouting and it just did not seem right if we did not sing.
This is a tradition that I have passed on in my Troop. Our troop loves to sing. We sing around the camp fire, we sing while we hike, and we sing to close every meeting.
Some of the Scouts love to sing more than others, but once the singing starts, it is contagious. There are certain songs that are staples in the Troop. Songs that get everyone involved. The Quartermaster Store is a favorite of the boys, they can go for a half hour trying to find new rhymes and ways to poke fun at one another. Old Lady Leary is another favorite of our Troop and they see which patrol can out shout the other. Staying on the Sunny side of life is yet another song that gets the guys singing.
I think that singing is a huge part of Scouting and needs to be a part of every unit. Once they start this fine tradition they will look for ways to work it in to their program.
There is something about the Scout spirit that comes with song. It leaves lasting memories that will last forever. Songs that will come back again and again that make those camp outs memorable and fun.
I was searching the internet for a song that was my all time favorite when I was a young Scout. It was called “It’s a lie”. I found it yesterday and immediately smiled as I thought about the summer camp when I first heard it. It was 1978 at Camp Freedom in the Transatlantic Council. The opening camp fire was spectacular. The camp staff led an action packed night, songs and skits and lots of stories about the camp and Scouting. The camp fire ended with the Order of the Arrow doing a tap out ceremony. But that song stuck in my head and for the next week I sang it all day long. I think my Scoutmaster finally had to get another song stuck in my head before he went crazy.
Anyway.. it was singing and a song that brought back a flood of great memories.
Here are the words to my memorable song… you find yours.
I was born a hundred thousand years ago. (YEARS AGO)
And there’s nothing in this world I do not know. (DO NOT KNOW)
I saw Peter, Paul, and Moses playing ring-around the roses,
And I’ll lick the guy who says it isn’t so. (IT ISN’T SO)
It’s a lie; It’s a lie ; Ship ahoy, ship ahey, ship a hi-hi-hi!
Oh, I’ve sailed the seven seas and I’ve sniffed the salty breeze,
But I never, ever, ever saw a mermaid. (A MERMAID)
I was there when Satan looked the garden o’er. (GARDEN O’ER)
I saw Adam and Eve a’driven from the door. (FROM THE DOOR)
I was round the corner peekin’ at the apple they was eatin’
I can prove I was the guy that ate the core. (ATE THE CORE)
I was there when Caesar crossed the Rubicon. (RUBICON)
I’m the guy who built the raft he crossed it on. (CROSSED IT ON)
I saw Nero burning Rome, and Hannibal at home.
I even saw the fall of Babylon. (BABBLE ON)
I saw Washington afloat a cake of ice. (CAKE OF ICE)
I saw Sherman, Lee, and Grant a shakin’ dice. (SHAKIN’ DICE)
I saw Roosevelt’s great laugh that split his face in half,
While Pershing set a trap for German mice. (GERMAN MICE)
You may thing that all this bunk, it isn’t true. (IT ISN’T TRUE)
But what difference does it really make to you? (MAKE TO YOU)
I’ve been feeding you this line just to pass away the time,
And now I’m going to quit because I’m through. (YOU’RE THROUGH)
Sing with your Scouts!!! It makes a difference.
Have a Great Scouting Day!