About Me

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Lake Mathews (Perris), CA, United States
Born in Illinois, I grew up in Wilmette, a northern suburb of Chicago. I have one sibling, an older brother. I am married, for the 2nd time now, to Butch & got 4 children in the deal. They have gone on to make me grandmother 25 times over & great-grandmother to over 20!. After many years working in industry, I got my bachelors and masters degrees in speech communication, & was a professor in that field for 13 years. I retired in 2001 & returned to school & got my doctorate in folklore. Now I meld my two interests - folklore & genealogy - & add my teaching background, resulting in my current profession: speaker/author/entertainer of genealogically-related topics. I play many folk instruments, but my preference is guitar, which I have been playing since 1963. I write the "Aunty Jeff" column for the Informer, newsletter of the Jefferson County NY Gen. Soc. I work in partnership with Gena Philibert-Ortega & Sara Cochran as Genealogy Journeys® where we focus on educating folks about Social History. More about that: genaandjean.blogspot.com. More on our podcasts: genjourneys.podbean.com. More about my own projects: Circlemending.org.

Sunday, March 12, 2023

Sunday Singalong - Camp Songs


I've likely used this theme before . . . but there's a lot of material out there!

This weekend I have been attending camp. That is, virtually. Camp Harmony comes up a couple of times a year, hosted by SanFrancisco Folk Music Club. I have been attending online since they started with this platform. It brings me back to times at the camps I attended as a kid. Day camps, overnight camps, one a week long, another 2 weeks. Lots of good memories and a couple of not so good ones. Some of the same songs popped up in the experiences (mostly ones like "Kumbaya" and "Michael Row the Boat Ashore" - that boat has been rowed ashore in a lot of places and for decades!). But a lot of ones unique to the camp or hosting organization (“Great Big Brownie Smile” comes to mind).

So, what camp songs have been part of your past? I learned “Can’t Help but Wonder Where I’m Bound” at YWCA camp (with a bit of adjustment in the lyrics of one verse and omission of another entire verse -  but it was a girls' camp; the enjoyment was still there). It wasn’t until a couple of years later that I learned it was written by my now friend, Tom Paxton – who often would say, in his concerts, when he was about to sing it, “Please don’t say, 'I learned that in camp, Tom.'” I guess others had the same experience. So here’s my link to Tom singing it, with all verses and no censorship (honest, it was very minor – it’s apparently easy to sing “Sometimes when I’m feeling blue” instead of “Sometimes when I’ve had a few” – who’d a-thought? And there are those to whom both statements apply).

"Can't Help but Wonder Where I'm Bound" (as it is on his "Ramblin' Boy" album by Elektra, way back in the '60s, when I bought it).

1 comment:

  1. For me, the song "Today" by the New Christy Minstrels ( https://youtu.be/-vUIPOcT-EY ) is synonymous with summer camp. Here's the John Denver version: https://youtu.be/m0n_2MZee0w


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