Scouts, s'mores and Kumbaya

Apr 7, 2011

Truth be told, we at Record Bin Roulette can barely tie our shoes, let alone a taut-line hitch, so we never became Webelos, although we have toasted a few marshmallows…

Actually, according to the National Confectioners Association (representing the candy, chocolate & gum industries since 1884), each year every American consumes 3 ½ POUNDS of marshmallows. And that’s not counting Lucky Charms. We’re talking 90 million pounds a year, just in the US.

The Confectioners Association says (and we're not making this up) that’s about the same as 1,286 grey whales. They must have had several heated staff meetings to come up with that statistic, and who knows how many whales they had to weigh.

Marshmallows naturally lead to s’mores, which were invented in 1927 by Loretta Scott Crew. Her recipe for “some mores” is found in the publication “Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts”. The largest s'more ever made weighed 1,600 lbs and used 20,000 toasted marshmallows and 7,000 chocolate bars. That’s as much as 1,286 sea cucumbers, or about 1/36 of a grey whale.

Eating s’mores, of course, leads to hearty rounds of  “Kum Ba Yah”, which weighs as much as the whisker of a grey whale. The campfire classic has it’s origins in an African-American hymn. 

“Kum Ba Yah” is from the Gullah language, spoken by natives of the Sea Islands of South Carolina and Georgia.

Living in relative isolation they developed their own complex dialect. So it translates to"Come By Here”.

The song was made popular in the 50’s and 60’s by Pete Seeger and Joan Baez, who probably were among the first to sing “Kum Ba Yah” and eat s’mores around a campfire.