Songbook Project Update
February 3, 2023
3 min read
Since Glen Brook began in 1946, singing has been a part of our camp culture. At first songs were learned by rote, and today we have a songbook, curated by Tom Braden, long time staff member and friend of the camp. Singing permeates our day, all these years later. We sing together every single day– at the end of meals, together in the living room or barn, at outdoor gatherings, and more.
Song traditions evolve in communities. As people grow and society changes, our song choices also undergo thought and discussion to continually match what we enjoy and believe to be worthy of carrying on.
In 2020, we initiated the Camp Glen Brook Songbook project which strives to reassemble, contextualize, and renegotiate our beloved song book and shared that “in order to ensure that our traditions and choices are conscious and intentional. Systemic racism and oppression, both their presence and their history, touch all of our shared life in this country—even the songs we sing. As our first step in a wider effort to address this in our community, some of the Glen Brook staff and some volunteers are researching our beloved song book so that it can be reassembled and contextualized where needed. Our songbook has been passed down generationally and, as such, reflects values, points of view, and language that may not meet our community standards. Our singing pleasure must be rooted in honor and respect for each other.”
Three years later the project continues. Every one of the songs has been researched and we thank those of you who helped with that effort! Every song has undergone some level of discussion. Some songs have been removed, some kept unchanged and others will be accompanied by editorial annotation to offer context and history.
We need your help to continue this project in two ways. First, it is now time to type lyrics, sources, chords and annotations for our new songbook to be legible and informative.
Second, we are now inviting you to offer us new song titles for consideration. If you know a song which you believe belongs in this new edition, please complete the online form here. If you would like to see the songs already in the songbook, you can click here.
We hope to have an initial draft of the songbook completed before Summer Camp starts this year, so please submit your suggestions by March 15, 2023. Send your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
-Katy Gibney, Youth Program Director