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Acoustics of water gives full sound that encourages singing around campfire

After tuning up in Forrester Lodge at N-Sid-Sen, a newly formed Raggedy Band played “When the Saints Go Marching In” as they walked down the trail to the campfire.

NSS band
Four campers and four counselors wade in the water to give perfect acoustical reflection

The ensemble with four counselors and four campers accompanied singing for the 2009 senior high aqua camp’s campfires.  The first evening they also waded knee-deep in the water, and played, “Wade in the Water.”

“Water is a perfect, reflective acoustic surface,” said Duane Nightengale, a counselor-guitarist of Veradale UCC.  “At campfires, we want campers to participate in singing, which they are more likely to do if the accompaniment is full and loud enough, so they won’t be afraid they will stand out if they sing off key.  It’s okay to be a beginner.”

Duane has played standing in the water with a few others at other camps.

At his first a camp at N-Sid-Sen 17 years ago, the music leader encouraged him not only to play guitar, but also to sing.

“The accepting nature of the outdoor ministry community forgives if a camp musician or singer plays or sings off key,”  he said. 

“That allowed me to come out and gain confidence over the years to sing,” Duane said. “I want to involve everyone so they have fun.

The 2009 ensemble was spontaneous.  Campers and counselors are urged to bring instruments. 

The musicians were camp director Bob Watrous on the string bass, Max Aquino, fiddle, and Chris Walters, tuba, from Shalom UCC in Richland; Lucas Kreikemeier and Alex Kale, guitar, and Jimmy Austin, trombone, from Community Congregational UCC in Pullman; Jeremy Taylor of Deer Park Open Door, guitar, and Duane, who has served as musician-counselor for many different N-Sid-Sen camps.

The core idea of outdoor community is to create community, and music is a key element of community building, Duane said.

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Copyright © September 2009 - Pacific Northwest United Church of Christ Conference News

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