After reading a recently posted Kamaji blog, Singing out Loud, a Kamaji alumnae wrote to ask: “Did your son (Nathan) ever tell you the joke they tell over at Camp Chippewa for Boys about Kamaji’s singing habits? My son, who also attended Chippewa, found it hilarious. It goes like this:
Question: How many Kamaji girls does it take to screw in a light bulb?
Answer: All of them. One to put in the bulb and the rest to sing about it!”
After laughing to myself, I thought what a great testimony to Camp Kamaji and its campers and their heartfelt, spontaneous, light-hearted, exuberant singing that goes on at camp everyday!! I can think of hundreds of times campers’ parents and other visitors (including Chippewa folks when at Kamaji for regattas) nonchalantly sitting in the dining hall chatting away when all-of-a-sudden they are caught totally unawares by the start of a song that, before you know it, becomes infectious and has all of Camp Kamaji on its feet singing and clapping and foot-stomping . . . The sort of disbelief — even “shock” — that settles over the faces of those parents and visitors sitting around me in the dining hall soon gives way to smiles, laughter, clapping, picture snapping, video taking and — yes even — singing as these folks get caught up in the festive atmosphere that so dominates the dining hall once dishes are cleared away and dining tables washed down.
The girls of Kamaji need no reason to sing — they just do!! There are cabin songs, tribe songs, state songs, staff songs, camp songs, loud songs, slow songs, raucous songs, reverent songs to former Kamaji Directors (and yes, even some irreverent songs as in “Mike’s got a head like a ping-pong ball☺!!), birthdays songs, visitor songs, songs with cheers, songs without words . . . and, as in the case of “Twenty Years Gone By”, special songs that make Ye Directors cry.
Where else in this whole world can kids — and grown-ups for that matter sing joyously, exuberantly, uninhibitedly, without fear of embarrassment?? What fun!! What joy!!!
As for the light-bulb joke: There’s a rare time a Kamaji girl will screw in a light bulb — as there’s no electricity in the cabins. However, the girls of Kamaji will find cause to sing in celebration of every achievement, every success, every triumph — however small it might be or trivial it might seem.
So to the boys of Chippewa, we reply “YESIREE!! ♪ lalalalalala ♪”