Did you know that music sets the tone for your programs? Well, if you have been following this website, you will know that I think they go hand in hand like Michael Jordan to Scottie Pippen or Peanut Butter to Jelly. I am a 90’s kid, and lately I have been a little nostalgic. The Chicago Bulls were unstoppable in the 90’s and the Allan Parson’s project had the ultimate team intro. When I am planning for youth programs, I like to utilize old memories from my childhood. I always like to try and create these memories for my staff and kids. Check the video below..
In our programs we have a time in the schedule called afternoon assembly. When I started at the YMCA in 1999, it was part of the culture in the program to play music and have fun. When I became a Director, I decided to utilize music into almost everything we did. The Chicago Bulls Theme song by the Alan Parsons Project always got me so hype. We have always done “Spirit Stick” at camp. The “Spirit Stick” was basically a stick we got from the woods, and painted it with all the character trait colors. We use Red for Caring, Purple for Faith In God, Green for Responsibility, Blue for Honesty/Good Sportsmanship, and Yellow for Respect. In order to win the “Spirit Stick” your huddle (group of kids) that you were in charge of had to be as loud as you can when the “Spirit Stick” was raised in the air. So I decided to add the Chicago Bulls Theme Song as the signature song for kids and staff to know it was TIME! I would have a counselor start playing the theme song, and sometimes we would flicker the lights off and on. When the song and beat kicks in, we would open the curtains and I would come running out with the stick. The kids and staff would go crazy. It is about the closest to feeling like a celebrity that you could get in that moment. I then would lower the stick and put it on the floor. Everyone would get quiet, then I would raise the “Spirit Stick” in the air and look around for the huddle that is going crazy. I would tell kids if you didn’t want to scream you can do a silent cheer and just dance and wave your arms around. I would cut the music and have everyone do a drum roll with their hands on their knees or patting the gym floor and I would announce the huddle that won. The counselors and kids would get the hold the stick and carry it around until the following assembly. At the end of the week, your huddle would be competing for “Honor Huddle” and a chance to win a special bead for their bead necklace and special snack! It was a fun incentive that got everyone bought in. I would encourage you to try this in your camps this Summer!
I have updated and organized the DJ Playlist section on the website. Take a look at how you can utilize songs like this one in your program. Music is key, so find a way to incorporate your favorites.