Making music around the campfire is just one traditional pastime at camps that guests often find to be one of the highlights of their stays. The warmth and ambiance of the fire, set with a rousing communal sing-song, has a hint of nostalgia attached to it for many. So, how can camps use music to enhance their campers’ experience, and why is it so important?

  • A white paper by Percussion Play highlights that one key importance of music-making in the great outdoors is to help people socialize. Playing instruments or singing can spark feelings of well-being in people because it reminds us of our childhood and our connection to others. Therefore, a camp curriculum, including music-making in group settings, is a sure way to encourage campers to socialize, even for people who shy away from engaging with people.
  • Playing musical instruments (as opposed to simply listening to music is particularly important for children’s social development because music-making is fun and uses different skills that kids will use on a day-to-day basis as they grow up. Research has also shown that playing music dramatically improves people's mental and physical health, which helps to increase their capacity for socializing — a key foundation to being at camp This is because when an individual feels positive, relaxed, and confident, they are much more able to integrate with other members of their community. This in turn strengthens the camp community.
  • Musical parks within camps are great for all ages as well as for campers with disabilities because no musical training or skill is necessary to play the instruments or to enjoy the outdoor space. In fact, many of Percussion Play’s instruments have been designed specifically so that they can be used by people in wheelchairs or by individuals living with a range of conditions, such as autism.
  • Music is able to bring a diverse group of people together in the camp because it transcends language limitations — instead providing its own language of rhythm and melody to enable its players and users to communicate with each other non-verbally. Providing opportunities for camp members to be around each other in this way encourages familiarity and forms connections.
  • There is a lot of evidence now that confirms that music helps promote individual confidence, reduce anxiety, and improve social relationships, which is why when you want people to bond, music is a natural resource for making that happen — the blueprint of a camp.

Read further information on the benefits of outdoor music-making.

This blog is sponsored by Percussion Play.

Periodically, the American Camp Association (ACA) makes timely and relevant information about products and services available to its members so they can make informed decisions for their camps. However, the ACA does not endorse products, services, or companies.