The Best Boy Scout Songs to Sing

The Best Boy Scout Songs to Sing

The most important key to singing boy scout songs is enthusiasm! You need a leader that is not afraid to be a little silly. silly songs and fun songs will be your best choice of boy scout songs. Remember, these boys are adolescents; many of them are self conscious about their singing voices. You will also have some boys who are trying to portray the “tough guy” image.

What is the best way to get the campfire singing off to a good start? Just jump in and do it! Do it before they really have time to think about it. You will usually have two or three boys who aren’t so self-conscious about their voice. They will sing with you; and once you get a handful of boys singing, the others will eventually join in.

Once you get going, you will probably have a couple that won’t sing. If that happens, don’t turn it into a big deal; just have fun. Those that are not singing may join later, but oftentimes some kids and adults in the group will just listen. That might be the best experience they will have at the campfire.

Following are some of the best boy scout songs:

  • Clementine:
    Most of the boys will know this one already. It is important to do easy and familiar songs. If you decide to give out music to them, do it after you already know that they’ll sing. By the time you have sung 3 or 4 songs, you should know.

  • I’ve Been Working on the Railroad:
    This is another familiar song that is fun to sing over and over.

  • Chumbara:
    I do this with just about every age group. It’s only one word that you sing over and over again. It’s simple to make up new verses. Anything with 3 syllables. You can use names like Jer-e-my or Bil-ly-Jones. You can use food like cheese-bur-ger or black-ber-ry. You can use places like Del-a-ware or Mi-a-mi. You don’t have to just sing 3 syllable words; try 1, 2 or 4 syllables or even more and see what happens!

  • My Bonnie:
    This is a good one to get them moving. Whenever you sing the letter “b” alternate between standing up and sitting down.

  • Taps:
    If the spirit around the campfire is right, this can be a nice way to end a campfire. If you have a boy or leader who plays the trumpet or bugle, you could ask them to play while everyone else sings. If nobody plays the trumpet or bugle, somebody could play it on another instrument.

  • On Top of Old Smoky; Home On the Range; O, Susannah; and many more are great boy scout songs.

When I compiled The Great American Campfire Songbook, I did it mostly with scouts in mind. There really is not a song in the whole book that wouldn’t be good for boy, cub or girl scouts. I really love scouting, and have been involved since I was a kid. Summer camp, swimming, hiking and working towards Eagle; they were all good experiences for me. I am currently our unit’s commissioner.

I also teach music, so the combination of music and scouting is a perfect combination for me. But you shouldn’t feel like you have to be a musical expert to teach scout songs. Teaching songs to kids is 94.5% enthusiasm and 5.5% knowledge, and you can fake it, if you don’t feel you have the knowledge. I have watched people with very little or no musical experience lead lots of people in singing campfire songs. They can do it because they love what they are doing, and it shows through their enthusiasm.

Good luck in your campfire singing! And remember to have fun along the way!


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