The Canteen is a tribute to all things Jewish sleepaway camp. Hosted by the Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC), this blog is written by campers, alumni, parents, and camp professionals and is a place to talk about parenting, camp fun, projects, crafts, recipes, and more – all tied back to Jewish holidays, traditions and, of course, camp!
Ah, sweet memories of starry night skies…standing in a circle of teenage peers, blanketed by the fragrant summer air, our souls lifted upward in heavenly bliss by the sounds of the guitar and our voices singing together in perfect unity. The words we sing express our overflowing, positive feelings about ourselves, our fellow community members, and our idealistic vision for a better world.
Isn’t this what camp is all about?
Here are the top eight essential camp songs, the words and melodies that capture those magic moments when we put our arms around each other’s shoulders and drink in the love.
8. Lean On Me
Lean on me when you’re not strong
And I’ll be your friend, I’ll help you carry on
For, it won’t be long
Till I’m gonna need somebody to lean on
I’m here for you and you’re here for me. Whether it’s a shoulder to lean on when you’re weary or a listening ear when you’re sad, you can depend on me.
7. How Could Anyone Ever Tell You
How could anyone ever tell you
You were anything less than beautiful
How could anyone ever tell you
You were less than whole
How could anyone fail to notice
That your loving is a miracle
How deeply you’re connected to my soul
You’re beautiful just the way you are and we all love you. Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise.
6. The Hammer Song
I’d sing out love between my brothers and my sisters
All over this land
I’m going to take my hammer, my bell, and my song and share the love I feel right now with the rest of the world.
5. The Dreamer
What do we do when it’s peace we want…
We’ll gather our friends from the ends of the earth
To lend a hand in our hour of birth
We have a dream. We dream of a peaceful, loving world just like the one we are living in right now. So…
We’ll plow, we’ll sew, we’ll hammer, and we’ll nail
We’ll work all day till peace is real
4. With a Little Help From My Friends
I get by with a little help from my friends
I get high with a little help from my friends
I’m gonna try with a little help from my friends
I’m feeling the love and support of my friends. With our friends by our sides, we can get by, we can get high, and we can try. Together, we make each other better.
3. All You Need is Love
All you need is love
Love is all you need
2. Friends Friends Friends
Friends friends friends
We will always be
Whether in fair or in dark stormy whether
It’s Camp _______ to keep us together
Our love for you
It will e’er be true
Love will pervade us though miles separate us
We’re friends friends friends
We know we’re not going to be in this place forever, but we know we will always feel the love.
1. Country Roads
Country roads take me home
To the place I belong
(Fill in your camp here)
Take me home country roads
This is my home. This is paradise. This is the place I belong.
So go, gather your friends and loved ones, take your guitar into the woods, put your arms around each others’ shoulders, and sing these songs until you are drenched in tears of joy.