What Is Firecrafter?
Firecrafters is a Boy Scout honor camper association similar to the Order of the Arrow. Click here for more information or visit the official Firecrafter website.
This Firecrafter Website is dedicated to my late uncle, Henry Marsh, who became an Eagle Scout at Camp Belzer in 1920 and the Firecrafter's first Minisino in 1920, John Wyatt, who encouraged me become a Firecrafter, and John Pratt, who served Scouting for over 35 years and was for most of those years Firecrafter's historian. I too am a Firecrafter (Ransburg Fire, July 15, 1972), though it has been many years since I attended a Firecrafter event. And yes I am a member of the Order of the Arrow - Vigil 1971. It has been a long time, so please accept my apologies in advance if I've missed some of the recent changes to the Firecrafter organization.
Fircrafters was conceived by Chief Belzer of the then Central Indiana Council in 1920 as an association of honor Scout campers to promote the best values in Scouting among youth. (This was in the days before the Order of the Arrow was adopted by the National Office of the Boy Scouts of America as the primary honor camper association.) Chief Belzer based much of his new organization on Daniel Beard's Woodcraft Camp at Culver Military Academy.
In the 1920s and 1930s the Firecrafter organization took hold in many Midwester Councils and was particularly strong in Indiana and Illinois.
Over the years Firecrafters lost ground to the Order of the Arrow and by the late 1960s was only active in four councils. In the early 1970s these Councils introduced the Order of the Arrow and membership gradually declined.
Each Council Firecrafter Organization was composed of Embers (similar to Order of the Arrow Chapters) in each District. Each Ember had a distinctive flap patch until 1972 (similar to Order of the Arrow flap patches).
Firecrafter is still actively promoting Scout camping in the Crossroads of America Council, Lincoln Trails Council, and Okaw Valley Council.
For Firecrafter service and events members wore an olive drab athletic shirt adorned with a backpatch sized circular badge of Firecrafter rank over a white T-shirt with uniform shorts or trousers. For normal uniform wear a three inch version of the Firecrafter Badge of rank was worn suspended from the right pocket button on a leather backing or sewn in the place of a temporary patch. The round patch has a Red "C" for camping. The fire has three points for the three points of the Scout Oath. Members frequently include "XXX" above their names in the same manner as Order of the Arrow members use "WWW".
Firecrafter has six recognitions (ranks and honors):
To learn more about Firecrafter's history, click here.
For more current information on Firecrafter you may wish to read a recent newletter from Matt Baldwin's Firecrafter Website:
In direct pursuit of the principles and ideals of Scouting for boys the Firecrafter Organization was created for and dedicated to service to all phases of the movement.
The Firecrafter Organization and each individual Firecrafter shall be directed toward the observance of the following creed:
- That unselfish friendship to others at all times makes a better Scout.
- That high trusts and responsibilities of leadership cannot be neglected or forgotten.
- That sincere lifelong service to Scouting will aid young men in the building of better character and citizenship.
The Firecrafter program was designed to help Cubmasters and Scoutmasters in their responsibility for citizenship and leadership by promoting advancement, camping. leadership training, service, and character development.
The first five ranks are earned by completing a succession of requirements that in part reinforce the Webelos to Scout transition and the first three ranks of Scouting, while challenging each Scout to go a bit further.
Webelos Scouts may earn the first two ranks of Firecrafter. The first two ranks (Webelos Camper and Firelight) are directly administered by the Cubmaster.
As part of promoting camping, Scouts are encouraged to earn their third and fourth ranks (Camper and Woodsman) during a long term resident camp. These two ranks are admistered by the Scoutmaster.
The fifth rank (Firecrafter) is administered by Firecrafters in established council camps. The rank of Firecrafter is only conferred following a weekend Grand Ritual similar to the Order of the Arrow Ordeal.
These three camp ranks (Camper, Woodsman, and Firecrafter) require candidate Scouts to adhere to the high standards of Scouting and Firecrafter in daily life.
Minisino in days gone by was the highest rank, but today is an honor similar to the Order of the Arrow's Vigil Honor. The Minisino honor is conferred for extraordinary service and may not be earned. This honor is administered by Minisinos in Council camps.
Adult membership was in 1971 based on nomination at the rate of one per every 300 youth members. Candidates were screened by youth officers of the Fire and then voted on by the Alumni association and approved by the Council Camping Committee.
Additional information may be obtained by writing to:
The Crossroads of America Council
P.O. Box 1966
Indianapolis, Indiana 46206-1966
Or by calling
Phone: (317) 925-1900
Fax: (317) 921-3474
And if you plan to visit,
their street address is:
1900 North Meridian Street