Date of Completion


Document Type

Honors College Thesis



Thesis Type

Honors College

First Advisor

Vicki L. Brennan

Second Advisor

Teresa Mares

Third Advisor

Helen Morgan-Parmett


music, ritual, camp, summer camp, anthropology


Music and rituals are a central part of summer camps for youth in the United States—camp songs and singing are a hallmark of camp life (Seeger and Seeger 2006). Singing together at camp brings together campers, counselors and administrators in participatory and unifying events that reinforce community. This project examines the traditions, purposes, and meanings of music and ritual practices of Camp Farnsworth, a resident Girl Scout camp in Vermont. Using ethnographic research conducted at Camp Farnsworth during the summer of 2019, this thesis describes the ways that music is used to build, maintain, and change the community of staff members and campers that live at that camp throughout the summer, as well as how these practices gain and lose their significance as members of the community come and go. This analysis will contribute to an understanding of how communities use rituals to achieve group cohesion, reinforce their values, and change over time.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.