Camp Song – Texas

I’m in love with you Camp Sweeney

For you deeds so true

Perseverance faith and courage

Help our tests stay true

Forward onward never falter

Friendship never fail

All our hopes and dreams forever

To our camp all hail

Happier times we’ve never known

Than our days spent here

Swims in lovely blue Lake Dealy

Classes we hold dear

Proteins fats and carbohydrates

We can count with ease

Bravely we will face life’s hurdles

Hail to Camp Sweeney

This song is from a diabetes camp called Camp Sweeney in Gainesville, Texas.  It is the main camp song and everyone learns it when they first get to camp.  Most kids there have been going for years so most of the people already know it anyways.  We sing it every night after whatever camp activity we have, such as camp fires or Olympics, etc.

This song involves two different identities.  The first is being diabetic.  Often, having a disease can create a folk group.  Only the people with that disease share the exact same daily routines.  They also have a language that only those who are familiar with that disease know.  In terms of diabetes, this can be seen in the lyrics of the camp song.  For example, the line “Help our tests stay true”.  Someone without knowledge of diabetes probably would not know that they have to test their blood sugars regularly.  This identity is a broad one because it can apply to those who are diabetic and those who simply have familiarity with the disease.  I understand most of the song because my sister was diabetic for most of her life, so I understand the references.

The second identity that is brought forth in the song is those who have attended Camp Sweeny.  This is a much more exclusive group of people.  Stephanie had to explain parts of the song to me such as “Lake Dealy”.  Lake Dealy is the lake that is owned by the camp and the campers get to swim and play in it.  The song is taught to the campers at the beginning of each session, so it is a way of initiating them into camp because they now know the official camp song.

When Stephanie started singing the song to me I could recognize the tune immediately, but I could not identify it.  I finally figured out that I remembered it from the movie Dirty Dancing.  Neither of us was able to figure out the official name of the tune, or where it originated.  In Dirty Dancing it is called Kellerman’s Anthem.  But, the camp song was written long before the movie was made so I still do not know the origin of the tune.

Annotation: The Emile Bergsteign Chorale. “Kellerman’s Anthem.”. Sony BMG Music Entertainment, 2007.

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