Registration is open for Aloha, Hive, Lanakila, Ohana, and Horizons 2023!


Songwriting workshop/challenge!

By The Aloha Team

A picture of the muppets playing music in a band.

A very fun way to pass the time is by writing a song! Even if you aren’t terribly musical, you can still write a great song – it’s just like writing a poem! And if you are brave enough to give it a try, we’ve got a treat for you at the bottom.  First, here are some tips to get you started:

  • Don’t worry too much about the topic – a great song can be about ANYTHING. Start with something that you care about or are interested in… like a place, or a hobby, or a food, or a person.

  • Alternatively, you can also start with something that happened to you. Lots of great songs are just mini-stories that happened to the writer – even stories that don’t seem that exciting on the surface.

  • A third option is to forget about making sense at all, and just write down ideas or images that come to your mind – even if they are random or unrelated to each other. Some great songs don’t make a lot of sense but have cool phrases or images in them.

  • If you are still stuck, start by picking a song you like and study it. What’s the form? Is it split into verses and choruses? What’s it about?  Can you use it as inspiration?

  • And in fact, if you want to copy the exact format and even music, that’s okay to start! Weird Al Yankovich has made an entire career out of that!

  • Some people like songs that have a tight structure in terms of beat and rhyming. If that’s for you, there is something called a “rhyming dictionary” which can be very helpful! Check it out.

  • Other people don’t care so much about form and just want to get their ideas on paper regardless of the exact form or shape of the song. That’s also cool!

  • Feel free to use a thesaurus if you are looking for a special word but just can’t think of it. An adult can show you how to do this.

  • FINALLY, once you’ve got a rough draft done, or even a few ideas scratched out, then you are ready to CALL ON OUR COUNSELOR PRODUCTION TEAM!



That’s right, for a few lucky campers who send us their songs, we have some counselor musicians who have agreed to put your song to music and perform it for you! What a treat! All you need to do is send your draft of lyrics to and we will pull a few lucky winners out of a hat!

Want to see an example?  Here is our first submission!  We received the following lyrics:


It’s been so long since I scribbled

My name on a schedule card

I miss the green athletics grass

As I mow my own backyard


I sit at home and can’t believe

I almost miss doing CIAs

I’m shocked each morning in my clothes drawer

Its not all greens and greys



I’m a Viking on the open road

Looking for my tent tonight

Wishing there were 2 white posts

To steer me towards the light


When the summer breeze blows sadly

And the stars do not appear

I remember that we’ll be together soon

And that camp will always be right here


Chicken patties aren’t the same

When made by microwaving

And I’ve got no LGTs around

To watch my life for saving


It’s a long long trek across the land

From Hillside to Riflery

But it keeps me strong of leg and mind

When its time to sail life’s seas


Next, our great counselor Ethan worked to adapt the song to music and produce it, and he recorded a version of it here.  The results are just INCREDIBLE!


Want to try?  Send your songs to and we might choose your song to record!!