The theme song is one of Highland's traditions that goes way back. Decades ago, it was a hymn that campers sang throughout the week. With the development of Contemporary Christian music, the hymns were left to be sung in the nightly services, and newer, more energetic songs were picked. The camp theme is derived from either the theme song title, or lyrics from within the song, and is meant to be what drives our bible studies, devotions, meditations, and the sermons delivered by our evangelist. Since 1990, we have been blessed with some artistic people (special thanks to Cindy Morlock, Kellie Leight, and Andi Grimes) who have created banners based on the theme each year. You'll see those retired banners hanging in the Dining Hall. Over the years, we've had some really great ones that campers loved, and I thought it would be a great idea to revisit them.
1. 2015 "THRIVE"
Thrive was by far one of our best theme songs. I guarantee by 2025, people will wonder what we were thinking when we picked it. Actually we were thinking about a campground that we knew was meant to thrive, and for some of us, it was inspirational to help bring life back to our aging campground. As it turned out, even by the end of the week, people weren't tired of this song. Usually, after you sing it 32 times (3 meals a day, plus 8 services) we never want to sing it again, but the lyrics spoke pretty loud and clear through Colleen's sermons, our daily bible studies, and devotions.
2. 2011 "Safe"
I remember when we were picking theme songs, we were deciding between two really great theme songs. And then Ronnie Sensinger suggested "Safe," and there was no more discussion. By far one of the best theme songs Highland has sung to date, with a great message. "You will be safe in His arms, 'cause the hands that hold the world are holding your heart." Night of Silence service that year was unique, where many campers cast a piece of broken glass into a huge mess of junk, to symbolize letting go of their own brokenness, and giving it to God. Later, the glass was rescued, and used to create a beautiful mosaic.
3. 2007 "HOW GREAT IS OUR GOD"
This one was definitely a favorite through the years. I would mention more, but I think Chris Tomlin says it the best!
4. 2003 "FOREVER"
Can't believe this is the only Michael W. Smith song on the list! Surprisingly, this is a song written by Chris Tomlin, and performed by Michael W. Smith in his 2001 album, "Worship." Let's face it, this song holds up in praise music, even 14 years after it was first produced.
5, 1995 "Carry the Light"
1995 was the year most noted for having the largest number of campers registered in recent history. with 126 names and addresses published in the Highlander at the end of the week, the dorms were packed full! Could you imagine 31 boys stuffed into Boys Dorm? At choir, the stage was so full, they had to have 20 chairs set up in front of the stage. Though it doesn't quite hold up today, Carry the Light was one of the campers' favorite theme songs of the 90's. It was so good, we included 2 videos. One for the song, and one for the magnificent 1987 hair!
6. 1992 "Destined to Win"
The interesting thing about 1992 at Highland was that was the year we had 60 campers registered, which was the SMALLEST camp was in the 90's. To put things in perspective, Bill Clinton hadn't even been elected president yet. We had one graduating camper that year, Kelly Grimes. Joanne Leight was working in the kitchen, and Holly Sensinger was a precamper roaming the camp ground. Happy Hollister was leading the services and some pretty epic bible studies. And this theme song was the raddest Christian Song around in the early 90's! I can't tell you how lucky we all are that this video made it to Youtube (...again, the hair!).
The Big List
Of course, I realize that your favorite theme song may not be on this list, so we included the big list of theme songs from the past 25 years so you can stroll down memory lane. Enjoy!
- 1990 Dare to Run
- 1991 The Rock of Faith is Jesus
- 1992 Destined to Win
- 1993 Shine, Jesus, Shine
- 1994 Almighty
- 1995 Carry the Light
- 1996 Let there be Praise!
- 1997 What a Mighty God We Serve/How Great, How Glorious
- 1998 Shout to the Lord
- 1999 Our God Reigns
- 2000 The Kingdom Song
- 2001 Knowing You
- 2002 We Want to See Jesus Lifted High
- 2003 Forever
- 2004 I Will Be
- 2005 Maker of All Things
- 2006Let Your Glory Fall
- 2007 How Great Is Our God
- 2008 Hallelujah! (Your Love Is Amazing)
- 2009 You Are God Alone (Not a God)
- 2010 Speaking Louder Than Before
- 2011 Safe In His Arms
- 2012 Shout to the North - clip from live performance
- 2013 Where I Belong
- 2014 Live With Abandon
- 2015 Thrive
- 2016 Jesus Is a Friend of Mine
7. 2016 "JESUS IS A FRIEND OF MINE"
The staff decided to go in a different direction with the theme song for this year. I realize that I may be jumping the gun here, but the staff is pretty sure it will easily make the list of camper favorites!
No, just kidding. This isn't really the theme song for 2016. BUT, we do have one, and we can't wait to share it with you. We'll give you a hint, it has something to do with building stuff and setting stuff on fire. Stay tuned, this won't be a secret for long...and it will be well worth the wait, cause it's a great one!