June 19, 2018
The girls’ side of camp has a tradition called Sing Song. During Sing Song, each cabin rewrites the words to a song and performs it with choreography. The new words are camp-themed and are creative and often even touching. In fact, we often include a song from Sing Song during our closing ceremony.
On the boys’ side, we have had no equivalent. The closest we had was “plaque and skit night”, during which the campers explain their cabin plaques with brief skits. It would be hard for me to express how inconsistent these skits can be. Occasionally, the skit would be well-conceived, but poorly executed (e.g., boys giggling or mumbling their lines). Other skits might be flawed from the start. Over the years, it was clear that this was one of the least favorite nights at camp, for both performers and audience. The fact that the skits often exceeded 5 minutes and we might have 15 performances made the evening even more dicey.
I, however, clung to the evening because it encouraged creativity and the reasonable risk of public performance. We longed for something that worked as well as Sing Song.
Last night, we might have found it: Mock Rock.
Mock Rock is the brainchild of Robbie Sir, our Activities Director. Put simply, it was a lip-sync contest.
I was initially skeptical. What if they do not practice and we got 5 minutes of bad dancing? Will the campers embrace the silliness or shy away from it? Or, what if they choose an impossibly long song? I specifically mentioned Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen.
Robbie Sir, however, had a plan. No song could be longer than 3.5 minutes. If it was longer, they would fade out after the time limit. We checked in with the cabins during rest period to encourage practicing. We announced a fun prize for first place.
Well, I was wrong to worry. It was quite amusing. We had 9 performances (the Rookies were on their overnight, so we just had Lettermen, Aquanauts and 007) with some high-quality choreography. The boys were surprisingly enthusiastic – I saw almost no one that was self-conscious. A few were truly over-the-top performers.
I think we have finally found an activity to both encourage creativity while also providing amusement.
Oh, and the winning song? Bohemian Rhapsody (but just the last half). So I was wrong again.