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When my Cadettes were Daisies, we attended a Songs ‘n’ Smores event in our town. We were all very excited to dive into Girl Scout traditions as a troop, but I had no idea how much of a lasting impact that event would have on the rest of my days as a Girl Scout leader in the form of a thick, 114-page song book. That book has since been doggie-eared, pages have been torn and taped back together and more sticky notes have been stuck in and removed from the book than I can count. My girls have an arsenal of songs in their tool belt—songs that are good for opening ceremonies, songs that break up the monotony of a meeting, closing ceremony songs, and campfire songs. Here are a few of my favorites:
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Repetitive songs are good to teach a young group of girls, because they’re easy to memorize and participate in. Hermie the Wormie is a great example, and is funny and incorporates hand gestures as well. This song has been passed down quite a bit in my own multi-level troop—my current Cadettes loved it as Daisies, and they taught it to younger girls in our troop when they worked on their Program Aide training this past spring. When my Brownies met with other Daisy troops for their bridging activity, this was the song they taught them.
Chants are not only an easy way to get your troop singing, but also an awesome way to get your troop motivated. If your troop is walking in a parade, or on a neighborhood walkabout selling cookies trying to get the community’s attention and let them know who’s coming down the street, nothing beats this chant. You will want to have several chants in your songbook, however, because the girls can get a little bored of singing the same song over and over again.
Goofy, repetitive songs are a Girl Scout classic! My Cadettes introduced this song to me after learning it at camp, but there are plenty of other animal-themed songs in our Girl Scout collection, (such as Percy the Pale Faced Polar Bear). These kinds of songs also often use gestures and movements as the girls become more familiar with it, adding to the fun.
Being a Girl Scout is not complete without knowing the full repertoire of Boom Chicka Boom. This is a good old fashioned ‘repeat after me’ song that is about as silly as they come. The song allows the girls to be creative and have fun! There are a lot of different versions of this song from singing it softer, louder, in strange accents, pretending to be underwater, or changing the words around so girls can incorporate their own lyrics.
There are a lot of versions of this song, which is sung to the tune of “12 Days of Christmas.” The girls can even make up their own version based on their personal camp experience, adding in seven s’mores a roasting, five friends adventuring, or four campfires blazing!
Songs are a big part of all of our meetings. We begin with a song, end with a song and sometimes throw a song in during the middle of the meeting to calm the girls down, get a break in the routine, and have fun. We also spend a lot of time when we are troop camping singing songs. Make sure to remind all of your girls that you don’t have to be a great singer to sing Girl Scout songs, you just have to do your best! Even the oldest (and coolest) of Girl Scouts loves singing songs with her Girl Scout sisters. When you’re all singing together, even the newest or shyest Girl Scout will be raising her voice with confidence before long.
What to do next:
- There are tons of songs out there! Share your favorite Girl Scout song in the comments section.
- Looking for more need-to-know song recommendations? Check out GSUSA’s Top Girl Scout Songs or Girl Scouts River Valleys’ Camp Songs.
Angela Borchert—Angela just completed her seventh year as a Girl Scout leader in Vacaville/Travis Air Force Base service unit. She leads Juniors and Cadettes and loves the wide range of activities and interests that both groups have and the challenges they provide her along the way. Girl Scouts have helped her embrace glue guns and dirt while taking her on her first kayaking adventure. She’s been camping more times in the past five years than she has in her entire life thanks to Girl Scouts!