All News

Pieces of our Past: Part 5 Singing The Songs That Have Echoed For A Hundred Years

Graeme Noseworthy — March 31, 2016


Music is more than just another part of the day at Camp Takodah. Its a key to unlocking the magic and the memories for everything we do and enjoy as Takodians.

From what I have been able to discover, it seems that Uncle Oscar originally envisioned musics most important role at Camp, singing in the Dining Hall during a cleanup, as a way of whistling while we work. Having learned the practice from another YMCA Camp in New Hampshire, he knew that the power of song would unify the cabins to keep a cadence and flow moving like a beautifully choreographed dance that has both art and purpose. That combination brought an amazing sense of accomplishment and joy three times a day. And, we all have our favorites from Titanic to Eager Beaver, from The Princess Pat to Crazy Moose, from Little Red Wagon to The Sun Song. The lists go on and on.



Singing in the Dining Hall was where we learned at a young age that self-expression can be harmonized with a group of friends, standing up to lead a song can put a smile on a hundred tired faces, and encouraging each other to just let go and have fun is one of the best ways to build character. It also kept those plates moving, drowned out the homesickness, got us all fired up and ready to make the most of another fantastic day at Camp.

As we all know, the Dining Hall is not where the music stops. Its not even where the music starts! We had bugles in the morning, humming along the paths of Camp, songs before meals, music during activities, and singing during evening programs. We were taught the lyrics during campfires and allowed ourselves to feel the emotional impact of our experiences during Candlelight. And we certainly felt those emotions rise, in whatever form they may take, during a quiet, friendly-to-all rendition of our very own Wicker Arm Chairs. (Thank you, Buff!)

For 100 years, music has been a way of life at Camp Takodah. Its a form of communication as important as speaking, laughing, crying, dancing, playing, and being free totally and completely free to be yourself and just enjoy a beautiful moment in a unique and special place. As I have dug through the archives, one thing has become clear to me: I had no idea we had so many guitars!

As you reflect on your time at camp, be it near or far, I hope that youll let all those wonderful tunes and melodies come back to mind. And if you do, I hope youll, once again, feel the freedom to sing sing… sing out loud for all to hear! Its one the best gifts we were given and one of the fondest memories we could possibly have.

Besides, where else in your life can you start your day off with a blaring bugle and a hall full of cheer?

If you feel like walking down memory lane, listen to many more cherished Takodah songs on our SoundCloud page!