Scarlet Ribbons

Birthdays — I tend to reminisce more than usual during times when I am reminded that I am older. I don’t feel like I’m older but I know I am. The calendar, gray hair and the wisdom. Hahahaha

So …

The Camp Fire Girls always had a nice camp that I went to in Westfield, Wisconsin. It was called Camp Tiyalaka. I learned many songs there that I had never heard before. One of these songs is called Scarlet Ribbons. I had always thought it was a camp song but when I googled it, it was actually a popular hit song for Harry Belafonte in the 1950’s.

There is a Wikipedia article on the history of this song.

Click on the youtube link below to hear the song.

I’m not sure why the song keeps popping up in my head. It always takes me back to when I was at Camp Tiyalaka. I don’t have too many memories of being there. Most memories are of the songs I learned.

Music has a big impact on my life as I’m sure it does on other people. It can make me sad, happy, angry — it takes my brain back to memories that I may or may not want to remember.

Scarlett Ribbons — I don’t think I’ll ever forget that song.

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13 thoughts on “Scarlet Ribbons”

  1. I am an alum of Camp Tiyalaka too! I think I was there in the summers of 73, 74 and 75. The song I remember so vividly was “to those blue skies, way yonder…” and a song that had “Dona Dona” in it. What great memories of that place! I was in Sutiki by first year and Ehawee at some point. I don’t know why I stopped going. I always wanted to be in the older group that slept in Teepees!

    1. I remember those songs also. “There’s a blue sky way up yonder, there’s a blue sky over my head …” And the “Dona Dona” song. The verses are so clear to me still. I wonder if they’ll have a reunion some time. I never slept in the teepees either.

    2. This is an off the wall question. Do you happen to remember any words fron the Camp Ehawee song from the 70’s? Someone in our counselor alumni group mentioned the song changed after the 60’s and I don’t remember the earlier song. Any clues appreciated to solve our mystery.

  2. I was a camper at Tiyalaka from age 7 to 16. My head is also full of wonderful songs from there. How beautiful they sounded in the dining hall. Do you remember singing “Cookie, cookie”???? and the cooks would come out. Ms. Frozene was one of them. Her husband ran the stable and I once fell in love and almost married her son, Bob. I have many of the songs written down and would be happy to share if you are interested. Blue sky…pillow for my head!

    1. I don’t know of anyone who did not have a good experience at Camp Tiyalaka. I’ve never heard of the song “Cookie, cookie” but I didn’t attend as many years as you did. How did you manage to fall in love? I recall they kept the boys and the girls separate most of the time.

      1. There were no boy campers there. He helped his dad at the riding stables. I had a crush on him and would send him notes. Later we exchanged letters , became friends and eventually dated.

  3. I was also a camper at Camp Tiyalaka from ages 6 – 18 – 60’s through the 70’s. Just so I could stay at camp for more than a couple of weeks at a time, I would work as a dishwasher. What fun that was. The songs we sang were wonderful – I’ve taught a lot of them to my daughter who is now singing them to her daughter. Going to camp was the best time of my life!! I wish there would be a reunion of the campers from back then. There are so many people I would like to see again. WO HE LO to all.

    1. WO HE LO to you also! Camp Tiyalaka was a wonderful place to spent a week or two in the summer. Oh — to go back in time.

  4. Just saw your Tiyalaka post from 2011 and its comments. My stay there seems to predate most of the others – somewhere around 1958 – 1960 as best as I can place it! My memories center around the songs as well. Johnny Appleseed sung as grace predominates. Other memories include horseback riding, canoeing, crafts, and, of course, songs around the campfire of an evening. Tho I had a bit of homesickness, what great memories were made! It was a wonderful place and I’ve remembered it often over all the years.

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