Camping for Brotherhood

Collector: What camp did you go to?

Informant: I went to Fallen Creek in North Carolina.

Collector: Did you guys have any, like, special songs or chants or anything?

Informant: Every Sunday we’d do this campfire. It was kind of like church, minus, like, the religious aspect, more of just a community thing. And it would always end with taps, but throughout there would be all these songs, like counselors and campers would get up and sing and stuff. And we’d do skits and stuff. Every week we would have special messages about brotherhood.

Collector: Was it an all guys camp?

Informant: Yeah. I went Eight years.

Collector’s Notes: A huge aspect of folklore, and one of its purposes, is that it builds community.  One of the long-used ways of doing this is through song.  Singing has been around for a very long time, and people teaching others songs that the community is familiar with to welcome them and make them part of the group.  I also think that the message about brotherhood is important here.  The camp is creating a tight-knit group by repeatedly reminding this group of young boys that they need to be there for each other.  The taps are somewhat ceremonial almost.  Historically, the TAPS is something that has only taken place in the United States military.  Oddly enough, it’s usually used at funerals, wreath-layings, and memorial services (Villanueva).  The military is one of the most well-known tightly knit, family-like communities that exists, so it makes sense that they would use this to subconsciously provide that type of atmosphere.  Also, the ceremonial use of it is important.  These ceremonies, like funerals, are really important in folklore.  They signify someone passing out of the community and into whatever afterlife they believe in.  Also, some cultures use funerals to celebrate life instead of grieve over death.  This could possibly be an underlying message in the Fallen Creek tradition of playing.  Skits also have been a usual way of getting people to become more comfortable.  A lot of ice-breaker games are centered around working together and team building to work toward a common goal (“Ice Breakers”).  This is a way that the group in question, in this case the boys in the camp, make a special bond with other boys around the same age, thus creating a “folk.”


“Ice Breakers: Getting Everyone to Contribute at the Start of a Successful Event.” Mind Tools. Mind Tools Ltd., n.d. Web. 12 Apr. 2015.
Villanueva, Jari. “History of Taps | JV Music.” JV Music. WordPress, n.d. Web. 12 Apr. 2015.