When We Was Camperz...

I love this skit...

It's a lovely story about Bryan and I (and a special guest...) and our adventures during the time "When We Was Camperz." The prep work basically involves finding some willing hands, buying some really gross and gooey food and hoarding the lost and found for outfits that can be modified and ruined.

We employed the use of a narrator, as talking through the camp day ourselves got difficult - especially when there was ketchup, pudding and syrup in every exposed pore. Essentially, the more disgusting the skit is, the better received by the campers / staff / everyone.

Some advice: buy club soda or seltzer for halfway through... it helps clean away some of the peanut butter that covers your eyes.


Hippo Song...

The Hippo Song is one of the most popular camp songs I know...
Perhaps this is due to the unique motions or the quirky lyrics - regardless, however, the song is requested again and again wherever i go.

Recently I was emailed an additional verse to this Repeat-After-Me masterpiece:

"Not swooshing down a slippery slide
Or going for a bicycle ride"

I'll include a full *all new* version of the video in future posts, but here's the classic version:


The Golden Hammer, Territory Tepee and a new camera...

Hey all. As camp season starts, I am reminded of some of my favorite traditions...

One such, at an old camp, is the "Golden Hammer." This prestigious award is given at the camp banquet by the Head of Grounds. Every season, the Service Staff pays close attention to those who serve camp. One person (or two on special occasions), is selected for outstanding contributions to the facility - the specific attributes changing year to year with the individual(s). This was the highest award and most revered among the upper staff. What's the highest award at your camp?

[mine's above]

Territory Tepee was a game I created specifically for my old camp. It's a wonderful combination of Risk and Capture the Flag... I will post the rules soon. A tease, though, is the map [shown above]... enjoy!

[I have a new camera!]


Lyrics - I'm a Nut!

"I'm a Nut"

[the motions are basically described in the song... watch the vid ;-)]

I'm a little acorn round
Lying on the dusty ground
everybody steps on me
That is why I'm cracked you see

I'm a nut (click) (click) [gently hit head on clicks]
I'm a nut (click) (click)
I'm a nut (click)
Nut (click)

Take myself to the movie grand
Just to hold my little hand
Wrap my arm around my waste
And when I squeeze I slap my own face!

I'm a nut (click) (click)
I'm a nut (click) (click)
I'm a nut (click)
Nut (click)

Lyrics - The Bear Song!

"The Bear Song"

The other day
I met a bear
Out in the woods
A-way up there
The other day I met a bear
Out in the woods a-way up there

(continue the same format for the following verses)

He said to me
Why don't you run
'Cause I see you ain't
Got any gun

And so I ran
Away from there
But right behind
Me was that bear

Ahead of me
There was a tree
A great big tree
Oh golly be

The nearest branch
Was 10 feet up
I had to jump
And press my luck

And so I jumped
Into the air
But I missed that branch
A-way up there

But don't you fret
And don't you frown
'Cause I caught that branch
On the way back down

The moral of
This story be
If you meet a bear
You need a tree!

Lyrics - Black Socks!

"Black Socks" [can be sung as a round]

Black socks
They never get dirty
The longer you wear them
The stronger they get
I think I should wash them
But something inside me
Keeps saying not yet!



I love special events. The challenge of entertaining a large group of kids who vary in age is very appealing. Every now and then I'll talk about special events that I ran at camp or plan to run in the future...

Am I nervous about giving away my secrets? Absolutely not! If you take these ideas and turn them into something special, I want to know... The only way we learn as a group is to build off of one another's ideas and ideals. :-)

In addition, my preferred event size is 400+ kids. Yes, that's where I shine... as well as Bryan, my sidekick. Seeing as most people would be intimidated with such a massive group, I'm not worried about giving away anything.

*get on with it!*

Jokes are powerful. Good jokes could bring people together in ways that they never imagined. Whenever I have a group, I love to integrate humor in my speech... *edit* Wow! I had written this whole set of information about a "Joke Day" special event that was somehow lost...


"Joke Day" is a great idea - whether it's a day, an hour or a couple of minutes in between lunch and activity time. A joke can give a willing camper their 15 minutes of fame without anyone dominating too much... and generally the results are surprising. The best way to run such an event is planning ahead (as always). Have staff memorize lots of jokes as well as a couple of skits. *"Down By the Bay" is a good resource to have ready, too*

Encourage the campers to prepare appropriate jokes. Depending on the amount of kids and the formality of the event, the staff should make sure each joke is clean and in good fun. Then, basically, the event is a fast-paced talent show. I suggest using a wireless mic if possible to alleviate the traffic jams from stage scuffling. Break up the event every so often with a skit or a set by the staff... AND... it's incredibly important for the staff to overreact. Laughter is contagious!

I learned the "Monkey Story" from my friend Shawn Hackler and it's a mainstay in my event toolbox. I wrote a similar loooooooooooooong joke called "The Key," which I'll record some day, I'm sure. Anyway, having any of this ready to call upon really helps better the camp (or whatever) experience... because everyone likes jokes - whether they know it or not.

The Monkey Story

Gabe Tells a Joke!


New Song - "I'm a Nut!"

This is awesome. Thanks Margot!

New Song - "The Bear Song"

Another great addition, performed by my wonderful sister... :-)

New Song - "Black Socks"

I'll post the lyrics later... enjoy this song performed by my older sister, Margot :-)


Camp Secret...

Since I'm using this site as a repository of good ideas (in some form or other), I wish to share some incredibly hush-hush secrets about camp...

One such *fun* idea was the "Weather Coconut." Prepare yourself... this next one is super-secret.


Yes, beads are one of the most important items at camp... They are used as a way to mark a campers progression > through a day / week / summer / lifetime.

To put it succinctly, beads are a reward, motivation and currency. Each area gives a different colored bead every time the camper visits (such as Nature or Arts and Crafts). This is a normal bead - think of it as a second-hand on a clock or another day on the calendar. Normal beads show the passage of time... We used to throw in attendance beads as well - just for showing up that morning.

Then there are "special" beads. These are a little more fancy, but still achievable on a semi-daily basis. If you were to get 10 normal beads a day, you should get 1 or 2 special beads a day. That's a fine way of splitting it up - and of course, I'm talking averages here. Once the campers (or kids) are really addicted to beads, they go out of their way for special beads...

Following this progression, there are "rare" beads which are the hardest to get. Rare beads are (in fact) rare by nature. Each camper should get at least one rare bead while at camp, but the rarity is really derived on how many other people have them...

You see, the beads need to be displayed in a place where everyone can see them. This way, campers compare and contrast their collections. If everything works out, everyone has a bead just rare enough to be satisfied by their personal collection.

There are a good deal of problems associated with beads, such as kids leaving their totems at home or kids finding beads on the ground. Every problem should have a workable answer - as we collected the totems at the end of the day or secured them to the camper's backpack and I gave out special "honesty" beads at the end of the day for kids who found beads on the ground (they would only get 1 bead regardless of how many they turned in, but this didn't seem to phase them).

If you need more information on the BEAD game ;-) let me know. It is an incredibly powerful tool that I'd love to develop more!

New songs a comin'

There are many new songs a-comin' (as it were)!

My sister was down for the weekend and recorded three new ones for me... "Black Socks" < which she says is under copyright somewhere, so use it sparingly; "I'm a Nut" < so very fun; and "...hmm..." I just realized I don't remember the correct title of the third song. It's about a bear... and unfortunately it includes a gun (many a fine camp song has been retired for inclusion of weapons).

That brings me to a thought that I cannot fully discuss because of pressing "work" and so forth that must be done (darn loans). "There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly" was one of my favorite *kids* songs (note, I don't call it a camp song) and now I'm a little annoyed... as "perhaps she'll die" has been replaced by "perhaps she'll cry."

Generally I am for appropriateness, but I don't think that censoring reality from a kid - such as the prospect that if you eat a ton of crazy animals you will eventually die - is necessary. One can't sugarcoat the world, especially in a case where "There was an Old..." is a silly fun song... Just my opinion.

I had a parent once replace the word "tick" with "ladybug" because he son was not allowed to use "tick." I was sensitive to her request, but her son is going to interact with other campers and be exposed to this stuff... and frankly, the word itself should be the least of his troubles...


Ben the Magnificent.

This is a short little note about my little brother Ben, someone who reluctantly joined my camp crusade from his own personal performing arts gig (which paid a boatload more) and mastered camp in a completely different way than myself....

He brought "A Ding Dong" as well as "Water Spout," both of which are wonderful additions to my repertoire. Now he's the Special Events director (second year this summer) and standing behind me planning all of the events that will thrill and delight his campers...

I'll write about those as they come. Just remember "Bead Day." That's one of my favorites.


The Weather Coconut *or stump...

I'm not going to lie and say this is an original idea... because it's not. I visited Camp Yaguuuuuuuuu (?) which is the oldest scout camp in the country and saw this incredibly wonderful item.

There was a stump dangling from a rope on a tripod. The structure was about 4 feet tall and very eye catching, although surrounded by trees and other such nature-related colors. Leaning on the leg of the tripod was a wooden sign that read "Weather Stump" and followed with instructions on how to operate the tool.

I cannot remember all of the instructions, but a simple and clear one was "If the stump is wet, it's raining." Awesome. I always wanted a weather telling device that was accurate - and as far as I can tell this stump was the most accurate thing I had ever seen. "If you cannot see the stump, it's foggy;" "If the stump is on fire, run!"

And etc.

Upon returning to my own camp, I decided to build my very own Weather Stump. The structure was a huge hit, although I thought we could do one better.

All meteorologists know the special weather-predicting abilities of the coconut, but this important information rarely reaches the public. After consulting with many in the weather-field and attending a secret meteorological ceremony in the heart of a volcano (they don't mess around), I was told about the mysteriously wonderful properties of the coconut. The following summer, I rebuilt the weather station, this time substituting a coconut for the stump.

The experiment was a complete success. Not only was the coconut more accurate, but I could tell from the amount of attention it received that everyone could tell how superior a coconut is in predicting forecasts than a stump.

Now, I haven't included the list of "Weather Coconut" instructions, because the abilities will greatly vary depending on type of coconut and location... but if you need a little help, don't hesitate to drop me a line at vigeant@gmail.com.

I have gotten several requests for the instructions, so here are a few that I can remember. I'll do a complete write-up when I locate a good picture...

"If the coconut is wet, it's raining"
"If you cannot see the coconut, it's foggy"
"If the
coconut is floating, there's a flood"
"If the
coconut is on fire, run!"
"If the
coconut is flying through the air at tremendous speed, run for the cellar, Dorothy!"
"If the
coconut is missing, someone stole it (call 911)"
"If the coconut has a bite out of it, call animal control"
"If the coconut is frozen, then it's cold out (and keep your hands off of the coconut!)"
"If the coconut is covered in snow, it's ANYONES guess"
"If there are molten rocks falling onto the coconut... well... good luck"
"If the coconut tastes funny, stop licking it!"

BTW - that's Bryan demonstrating how to use the "Weather Coconut"


I know, I missed a day...

I was in Minnesota yesterday on business. I would try to tell you the city I was in, but it is hard to spell and I'm being lazy :-)

Anyway, I was thinking about you the entire time, although I was at a corporate headquarters of a very large electronics store and it was probably inappropriate to burst into a repeat-after-me song (so I politely hummed to myself).

I have a proposition: if you need a camp song, I'll write it. Just tell me the name of the camp, the director and maybe some quirky things that make your camp special (it's gotta be something!). Do that. It should be fun for everyone!

Oh. If you're lucky, I'll write a post about the weather coconut!


Some [TRICKY VERSES] for ya ;-)

I was concentrating *really* hard on this presentation a couple hours ago and happened to write some potential "A Ding Dong" verses...

When we went to play in the snow
None of her toes would let her go

Last week at the big race
She only came in second place

This time that she came to camp
When she left, her soles were all damp

If she goes out when it rains
The rug gets covered in footprint stains!

"A Ding Dong" Lyrics

Here's how to properly construct this song:

"A Ding Dong"

Your mother doesn't wear no socks
(a ding dong)
I was there when she took them off
(a ding dong)

[TRICKY VERSE = a rhyme about mom and socks...]
So then we went to the store
(a ding dong)
And she found them on the floor

A ding doooooong dong
Dong dong
A ding doooooong dong
Dong dong
A ding dong


So, Ben had some "off the top of his head" tricky verses, but we can do better than that!

Any suggestions? ;-)



Just as I posted a couple days ago about putting a camp song to public domain music (something about "Swanee River"), I got an email about a song (my last post) which is to "Old Gray Mare." What a strange coincidence!

Anyway, please send me any chants, cheers or songs that you have in your camp repertoire and I'll be sure to post them! Hopefully tonight in between sleep and redoing the main Ghoulie Games site, I'll record that frog song and... hmm... maybe some more...



"Flip Flop Went the Little Green Frog"

Howdy! This was sent by a loyal camp singer (in fact, she claims to be the CAMP SONG QUEEN)... Video coming soon ;-)

"Flip Flop Went the Little Green Frog"
(to "Old Gray Mare")
Flip flop went the little green frooooog one day
Flip flop went the little green frooooog
Flip flop went the little green frooooog one day and they all went flip flop flip
But, we all know frog go ladedadeda (clap)
Ladedadeda (clap)
We all know frogs go (clap) ladedadeda
They don't go flip flop flip


Yes, these are the motions for Knight, Cavalier, Princess!

Springfield Milk

I believe referenced this chant earlier... "Springfield Milk"

Don't want no pop
No pop
Don't want no fizz
No fizz
Just gimme that milk
Moo moo moo moo
That Springfield milk
Moo moo moo moo!

"It's Not Hard..."

"It's Not Hard..."
It's not hard I tell you so
Just sing along and go like so

See the Video for the ACTIONS!

Finally, another VIDEO!

Hey all -

Here's the video for "Cinnamon and Sugar"!

New Song! A Ding Dong!

"A Ding Dong"
performed by Ben, my little brother.
(lyrics to come later!)


User Contributions

Every now and again I get an email from someone who enjoys the site. Sometimes they include a song I may have missed... eventually, I will get to all of these *new* songs... Until then, though (while I'm learning them well enough to perform on camera), I'll post them all here (as well as some I know I need to add anyway)...

Songs to POST (in other words, coming soon!):
The Littlest Worm
The Acorn
Black Socks
It's Not Hard...
A Bear Went Over the Mountain
Tootie Ta
Decomposed Moose (?)
The Prune Song

Do you know any that I'm missing? Of course you do! I know even more than I've listed here! Let me know what you're looking for and I'll do my best!


Minor Facelifting

My original songs site is http://games.greenghoulie.com (which happens to be a wonderful resource). Unfortunately, I never really set myself up for quick updates, as a content management system or blog would provide. Since I've struggled with CMS software in the past (I'm horrible at CSS), the blog was the way to go... and since I want this to be totally kid-safe, I chose blogger because I have less of a chance to be SPAM-graffiti'ed, as other blogs have been.

Anyway, I'm attempting to make that whole interface more user friendly, since most of my video hits are through that... so check it out. The colors are in a constant rotation, until I perfect the look I want... on all monitors (silly Mac / PC color difference~!~).

I will eventually trash the whole site for a sleeker interface, but until then please make due and refer to this splendiferous blog for all of your camp song updates!

Music and Camp Songs

So, I'm all right on the lyrics end, but I'm not completely spectacular at coming up with catchy jingles. One incredibly important aspect of camp songs is familiarity. Many times an old melody will be repurposed for great song (On Top of Spaghetti, The Peanut Song, and etc). I suppose the answer to my constant melodic problems is to listen to classic tunes from yesteryear...

Coming soon? A "Swanee River" knockoff! Check back ;-)


A chant and a video camera (kind of)

Hey all! I got a nifty little camera to tape things specifically for this blog (and other such projects)! Woohoo! This means that new vids should be popping up periodically (weekly if not daily).

Here's a chant to get you through the day... now, I didn't write this one, but I'm pretty sure you never heard it before (thank you Larissa and... Xena?)

"Ooh Alay Alay" (this is a repeat-after-me chant)

Ooh alay alay

Alay a chika chonga

Ooh alay alay GO TEAM!


The Greatest Game EVER.

"Knight, Cavalier, Princess"

KCP is quite simply the greatest game ever... rather, it should be framed as such to encourage play. Have the group pair up and form a semi circle in front of you. Grab a volunteer and demonstrate the three different poses, encouraging the group to attempt each one. Once everyone is fairly well acquainted with the actions, yell out either Knight, Cavalier or Princess and then count down from 5. By the time you reach 0, everyone should be in the correct position.

Now, my technique is to build up the game as if it is a worldwide competition. I reference record breaking times and about how Bryan and I made it to the semi-finals only to be eliminated after stubbing a toe.

Incrementally decrease the count and vary up the pose selection. Never call people out, for although you said they *had* to complete the pose within a small amount of time, you never said there was a penalty for failure.

Get them down to a 1 second count, saying that this is semi-professional and most groups never make it this far... That always give a good bit of satisfaction when they actually find how fast they can complete the given pose.

Now what are the poses? Well, you'll have to buy my book! I'm just kidding, I don't have a book, although I will write one if anyone is yearning for more Pete! I'll post the poses tonight (hopefully) depending on whether I have a camera or not (at this moment, I do not).


"Stuck Stuck Stuck in my Head" (a work in progress)

This is a repeat after me song (and a round if possible)!
[editors note: just thinking about different motions for each... have any suggestions?]

Stuck stuck stuck in my head
Stuck stuck stuck in my head

Peanut butter rooftop
Stuck stuck stuck in my head

Tooty fruity bus stop
Stuck stuck stuck in my head

Gooey gluey gum drop
Stuck stuck stuck in my head

Cherry berry belly flop
Stuck stuck stuck in my head

Ping pong paddle plop
Stuck stuck stuck in my head

Sticky slimey stewy slop
Stuck stuck stuck in my head

Dirty dingy sewer mop
Stuck stuck stuck in my head

Stuck in my head...

I'm going to write a song called "Stuck in my Head" because very often I get a camp song stuck in my head... for days... and I want to at inflict this condition on others :-)

Recently, this cheer from Springfield College was floatin' around my noggin. Video to follow (should I ever have a working camera again!)

"Springfield Milk"
Don't want no pop,
No pop!
Don't want no fizz,
No fizz!
Just give me that milk
Moo moo moo moo!
That Springfield milk
Moo moo moo moo!

Now, OBVIOUSLY "Springfield" could be substituted for any number of things... ;-)