Lift Up Your Voice & Sing!


Some of my favorite memories of outdoor adventures are remembered through songs learned at different events. Every time I think of “Tough as a pine knot, tall as a Hemlock, we’re the gang from… Miami!” I think back to my summer camp experience in 1973.

Have you ever heard the song that goes, “I love to go a wandering along the mountain track?” It’s called “The Happy Wanderer” and it’s a great song.

I used to know all kinds of camp songs when I was working in Great Parks’ outdoor education department in 1986 and 1987. That number has dwindled now to only a couple of songs. There’s the “Beaver” song and “Froggy.” They’re simple little tunes that I still pull out during teachable moments. The memory of the frog sitting under the black willow may fade, but the catchy little tune may stay in your memory for a lifetime.  It may bring you back to a simpler time, when the only challenge was being outside and getting a glimpse of a bullfrog.

I began this year’s Luminary Hike at Glenwood Gardens by singing a rousing rendition of “Way Down Yonder in the Pawpaw Patch” with verses including “Where, oh, where, is dear little Daniel?” and “Where, oh, where, is sweet little Nelly?”

You don’t have to be a potential candidate for “The Voice.”  It’s not a talent show. Songs are another way of celebrating the great outdoors, so try lifting up your voice and singing!

Eric King, InReach Teacher, Parky’s Farm