Dragon's Campfire Songbook's Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Page
Nobody is more surprised than I am at the HUGE success of my website. When I first started posting campfire songs on the Internet in 1996, my intention was to simply share the songs I knew with the rest of the Guiding community. Over the years the site has grown ridiculously large and complex and far beyond my wildest imaginings.
I am the first to admit that I've been pretty terrible at answering my website email over the last few years. However, most of the emails I receive concerning my songbook are really the same questions over and over again. So here are the most commonly asked questions - and their answers, all in one convenient place!
Please take the time to scroll through these questions and answers. I can almost guarantee you'll find the answer to your question here. If not, you are welcome to email me - but please be patient waiting for a response. I am easily distracted. :-)
1. Do you know where I could find [insert song title here] in a book, or who the singer/songwriter is?
Answer: If I have a source listed on the page with the song, then the answer is yes. If there is no source, then the answer is no. I am working on adding sources for as many of the songs on my site as possible. Please be patient.
2. Do you have the sheet music to your songs?
Answer: Yes, I do... in the many songbooks I have in my library. I have no plans to upload images of the music to my site, though. I am very concerned about issues of copyright. Please don't ask me for music, I won't give it to you. If you're looking for sheet music for any of these songs, check your local Girl Guide/Girl Scout store or catalogue. Most of the songs on my site can be found in the songbooks which can be purchased there. Check out my Songbooks page for a listing of the songbooks I currently have in my collection. While many of these are out of print, many more can still be purchased at your local Guide shop. And in this wonderful internet world, don't forget to check out the websites of sister organizations in other countries! For example, although I am Canadian, I am acquiring a nice collection of songbooks from both Australia and England, thanks to internet shopping. Hooray technology!
Please remember that the original purpose for this site was to be an archive of the lyrics of as many campfire songs as possible. I created this site so that people could remember the words to those songs they'd forgotten. It just kind of grew from there. :-)
3. Do you have MIDI or MP3 files for your songs?
Answer: No. I don't have the technology to make MIDI's or MP3's. I also don't have space on my website to add all the music. (Not to mention that my brother, who has been kind enough to host my site on his own personal server, might just evict me if I use up any more of his bandwidth.) I have listened to the sound files which can be found on some other songbook websites, and for the most part they don't sound anything like the songs I know! Personally I feel that the best way to learn songs is to find a Girl Guide or Girl Scout leader in your area who knows them, and can teach them to you. If you are a leader yourself, keep an eye out for song trainings - these events can be great places to learn new songs! Don't forget to take your tape recorder or digital voice recorder. Also remember that since campfire songs are an oral tradition, many songs will have numerous variations, depending on where you've learned them.
By the way, I make my home in the Toronto area. If you'd be interested in having me come and sing with your unit, or sing with your leaders, please email me - I'd be happy to come! (I might even drag a friend or two along with me!) I can accept bookings any time after October 1st, 2008. All that I ask is that you reimburse me the mileage on my car. :-) So if you'd like me to come sing with you, drop me a line!
4. Can you help me find the words/tune/music to a song?
Answer: In the past I used to do this, but unfortunately I no longer have the time. :-) Here are some steps you can take to find what you're looking for. First, make sure you've read through my website thoroughly to ensure the song you're looking for isn't there. Remember that I may have the song listed under a different title. For example, the song "I Wish I Were a Little Bar of Soap", which I have on my site, has also been sent to me titled "I Wish I Were a Little Juicy Orange", "I Wish I Were a Little Bottle of Pop", etc.
If that doesn't work, I do have a search engine on my website. Try typing in a few key words or a phrase and it should pop up whatever you're looking for.
5. How can I take advantage of your awesome songbook in my unit?
Answer: Many units I've visited have created their own songbooks to use when the girls are learning new songs. Personally, I hate using songbooks with girls - the constant rustling of the paper and shuffling as girls try to find the right pages drives me crazy. However I do recognize that many leaders do find this to be helpful, and I know lots of folks have used my website to create songbooks for their units.
I would like to point out that copyright law is a BIG issue. I'm on thin ice by creating this website in the first place. I don't want it to appear that I am distributing copyrighted material freely to my viewers. Having said that, if you want to gather song information from my site to use in your own personal songbook, that's completely up to you. I put the site together; it's up to you to do with it as you see fit. Please remember to include the sources of the songs you're using in your songbook though. Also remember that it is illegal to produce and distribute paper songbooks within your unit, regardless of whether you charge money for them or not, without seeking appropriate copyright clearance.
I think the best way to take advantage of my online songbook is to use it to remember the lyrics to songs you may already know. Songs are best learned through repetition, repetition, repetition - so if you set out to teach your girls only five new songs in the whole year, that's better than trying to learn five new songs a week and never returning to them again. Your repertoire - and your girls repertoires - will grow over time.
Also, scroll back up and read the last paragraph I wrote after question #3. :-)
6. Do you have any ideas for good songs to use at... [a campfire] [a Brownie meeting] [the event of your choice]?
Answer: Yes! And they're all online. Right here at my website. :-)
7. Do you have any good ideas for skits?
Answer: Yes! I have a whole section of skits which can be accessed from my main page.
8. Do you have any ideas on how to plan a campfire?
Answer: Yes! Check out my Campfire Planning section for further details.
9. I sent in a song/skit/game to you about sixteen million years ago, and never heard back from you. My song/skit/game hasn't been added to your site. What happened?
Answer: Although I love working on my website and am constantly humbled by its vast popularity, the reality is it's not on the top of my priority list. I'd way rather be out camping or canoeing or hanging with my friends or playing with my own unit or pretty much anything else than to be stuck in front of a computer screen. Hence the updates on my site are few and far between these days. I seem to be doing massive updates a couple of times a year. So please do keep checking back for updates - they to happen - eventually.
10. I'm sick of reading this FAQ - how do I get back to the songbook already?
Answer: Click on any of the links on the left! Happy surfing!
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