Bonding Over Music

By: Cecilia Federizon

As a person who has grown up in a musical household and surrounded herself with all things music, I was happy to take on the role of Campfire Songs Lead. In Malaysia and Singapore, we will be holding a few campfires with the local scouts and so we need to prepare a few songs up our sleeves.


Singing songs in campfires has been a scouting tradition for many years. Since not all members in our contingent grew up in Scouts (Myself included!), teaching some campfire songs was essential in our preparation for our International Service Project. It was exciting to take on the challenge for me to learn these songs and teach them.

As we are simultaneously having a cultural exchange, we want to showcase our Canadian background, thus our two main songs that we have prepared are “Land of the Silver Birch” and “This Land is Your Land.” Even though we have practiced these songs thoroughly (Along with the actions that accompany it!), two songs are not enough for a musically inclined culture. Therefore, we have prepared some other songs like “Ging Gang Goolie,” “Go Bananas,” and “Kumbaya”.

One of my favourite songs to sing is “Ging Gang Goolie” because the lyrics are nonsense! They are just a combination of vowels and sounds that no matter what language you speak, you will be able to sing it. “Go Bananas” is a song that I learned while volunteering as a Scout Leader with the Beavers (Children aged 5-7). This action packed song is a kid’s favourite with it’s light-hearted lyrics and silly motions that always leave a smile on children’s faces. And of course, “Kumbaya” is a classic song to end a campfire session to calm the fun with its peaceful melody.

Music is a language that everyone can speak, no matter what social or cultural background you come from. It can touch many people’s hearts and that’s why I am in love with music and singing. It brings people together to have a good time, which is exactly what we want to do with the Malaysian and Singaporean Scouts. Despite our different cultures, music is something that we can share and bond over.

With less than 2 weeks for departure to Malaysia, keep checking our website for more blogs, photos, and video blogs at

Cheryl Kwan

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