Every summer during first session, Red Spruce Grove writes a song collectively to perform at Interdependence Day, F&W’s big inter-camp holiday in July. This summer, we weren’t able to gather with the other camps, but we still wrote a song! This song was created over many evening activities, with every camper contributing words, rhythm, and melodies. Staff helped synthesize things, but the lyrics are 98% directly from campers. This song is an amazing snapshot of summer 2021, giving folks who aren’t at RSG a glimpse into what life is like.
Some things in this song require some explanation.
Janet – She was our sixth chicken who escaped the first night and hasn’t been seen since.
The pump – Our drinking water comes from a solar-powered pump. It’s been a cloudy session, so we’ve been very aware of our water usage!
Long Trail – The long-distance trail that traverses the length of Vermont.
Summoning demons – We’ve been doing some magic, and putting our hopes and intentions into fires, dances, songs, and some summoning spells.
Cry-bo, ky-cry, kry-bros – Various adaptations of “kybo,” what we call our composting toilets. The kybo is a great place to connect with a friend, get some alone time, or have a good cry.
Making stuff with clay – Four campers were in Ceramics Guild this session, which made some amazing creations out of locally harvested clay. They fired their ceramics in an open wood fire kiln that they prepared, which pumped out some incredible heat!
Bluebs – Red Spruce Grove has an expansive blueberry field. Many afternoons have been spent picking blueberries, or bluebs, to snack on in the moment or to add to the next meal.
As we recorded this, we imagined we were singing to all of our friends across Farm & Wilderness, as we gazed out over the meadow. Here are the lyrics:
Janet the Chicken
No holding hands, no sharing food
These rules sure put me in a foul mood
No contact summer, what a bummer
We can’t cuddle but we love each other
If we’re singing this, we’re wearing masks
It’s a high respiratory droplet task
But covid camp was just too weird
For Janet the chicken who disappeared
So where’s Janet?
She’s in the soup
She’s over the rainbow
She flew the coop
She stole Cal’s bike
She’s fixing the pump
On a Long Trail hike
Girl-bossing it up
Janet the chicken had to flee
In covid camp she could not be
At RSG, we sing, we play
We summon demons at the end of the day
We head to the cry-bo to have a ky-cry
With our kry-bros til our tears run dry
We make haikus, we dance in the rain
Pull tarot cards, make stuff with clay
Why are we here, this very year?
When all these rules bring us to tears
‘Cause it’s a break from the news, a break from the blues
It’s where we spend all day just pickin’ those bluebs
‘Cause we have hope for humanity, ‘cause we want our sanity
‘Cause this is where we belong – masking up to sing this song
As I write this, solos are currently underway. Every camper has found a special spot in the forest near the Grove, and is spending either 12 or 24 hours alone, with matches, a tarp, some snacks, and their bedding. Solos are a wonderful time for campers to connect with themselves and the natural world, and they really mark the start of the “celebration” phase of the camp session. Once solos return tomorrow morning, campers will share stories, work on their affirmations for one another, prepare for the Passion Show, and get the RSG summerbook (the Robin’s Nest) published. This is my favorite time of the session – when we get to celebrate our successes, complete projects, and savor the friendships. Our last few days will be bittersweet, but our community this session has been incredible – as evidenced by our magnum opus of “Janet the Chicken!”