The neuroscience of singing shows that when we sing our neurotransmitters connect in new and different ways. It fires up the right temporal lobe of our brain, releasing endorphins that make us smarter, healthier, happier and more creative. When we sing with other people this effect is amplified.
The Neuroscience of Singing
This fascinating article discussing the effects on the brain of singing in a group. The singing we do at our meetings or around a campfire really can contribute to long term mental health. Don’t forget to add some singing to your Mighty Minds program.
It can be hard to find good resources for learning new songs. Girl Guides use to publish a number of song books and you can still find them in the back of unit cupboards or at Guider swaps. I gather that the cost of the publishing rights has gotten too high though.
National recently released a pdf called Sing it Loud! A Girl Guides Song Collection. It is a collection of song lyrics for Girl Guide units. While this doesn’t help you to learn the tune in the first place, it may remind you of the words to a song you learned years ago. Or give you a starting place to ask a music trainer to teach you a song. I know a lot of Girl Guide songs but I am unfamiliar with many of the songs in this collection. Just goes to show how many songs we sing around campfires across the country.
Roasted marshmallows are a staple of Girl Guide campfire, whether eaten on their own or added to a s’more. Have you ever thought to make your own. This would make a fun project at camp.
Marshmallows are primarily gelatin and sugar. You can also replace vanilla with another flavour such as peppermint or add a little food colour. Do buy a candy thermometer though, I tried to make them once without one and it turned into a gooey mess.
There are lots of recipes online but I rather liked this one.
I was inspired by the mini-books on Owl & Toadstool to create one of my own. This is a mini song book with words for opening and closing songs we use in our unit. I may make more with other themes. I think I’ll do campfire openings next. I will admit this makes me wish our girls still had uniforms with big pockets or those old leather pouches as these would fit so neatly inside.
Mini Song Book – Openings and Closings
This video will show you how to fold a mini-book. I recommend trimming around the outside first.
I made this weekly campfire planning sheet to help our patrols plan campfire. Planning campfire is new for our patrols this year as the past few years we were having trouble finding time to fit it in, so most weeks we only had time for one or two songs. This year though our timing seems better so we have been consistently having a 15 min campfire at the end of most meetings. This sheet is suppose to simplify the planning process and hopefully give the girls enough ideas that we don’t end up singing fire’s burning, a tuneless song and pink pajamas every single week.
Weekly Campfire Planning Sheet
There is nothing wrong with a s’more at campfire but there are lots of other tasty desserts you can make around a fire.
Cut a slice lengthwise out of the middle of a banana to make a gap. Fill the gap will mini-marshmallows and chocolate chips. Wrap in tinfoil and toast in coals, turning occasionally until squishy.
Place a little butter on a piece of tinfoil. Add sliced apples, raisins and maple syrup. Roast on coals until apples are soft.
Place a couple of ginger snap cookies on the flat side of a canned half peach. Roast on coals until cookies are soft and peach is warm.
Take two crunchy oatmeal cookies (like Dads) and sandwich them around a tablespoon of pie filling (apple, cherry, blueberry etc.). Wrap in tinfoil and roast on the coals until cookies are soft and it is warmed though.
Cut a loaf of white bread into 1″ squares. Dip squares in sweetened condensed milk and then into sweetened coconut flakes. Toast on a stick over the coals until the coconut is toasted and it is warmed though.
Pineapple Upside down
Place a round of pineapple is the bottom of a small clean can (like a tuna can). Cover in spice cake batter and cook until the cake dry.