CAMPFIRES
A SCOUTING TRADITION


Did you ever watch the campfire
..When the wood has fallen low,
And the ashes start to whiten
..Round the embers' crimson glow?
Tell me, were you ever nearer
..To the land of heart's desire
Than when you sat there thinking
..With your face turned toward the fire?

Anonymous


INTRODUCTION

"Throughout the ages men have gathered in groups about their campfires and gazed dreamily into the swirling orange center of the flame. Fire for untold generations has meant a home, a social center, an altar, a weapon, a protection against cold-even the essence of life itself. Perhaps that is why our campfires today cast a nostalgic spell, taking us back through vast, dim ages to those bleak little fires surrounded by the skin-clad and half-naked figures of our ancestors.

"Especially as a social gathering place and council ring man has enjoyed his fire. At the close of the evening meal, warm, relaxed and well-fed, the ancient man enjoyed tall tales of the hunt, songs, dances, trials of strength, magic of the medicine man, legends of ancient days, awarding of honors, chants to the gods, and beating of the tribal drum.

"Today, as we gather around our own Scout campfires, we span the years between their age and ours; we enjoy songs, tall stories, dances, feats of magic, contests, dramatics, awarding of honors, and the beating of the ceremonial drum.

"An now . . . the ceremonial drum is beating . . . beating assembly to our own Campfire. . . .

"Come, let us answer!"

From: G. S. Ripley, Fun Around the Campfire, BSA: New York (1952)


Campfires are great friendship, fellowship, and Scout spirit builders. Rare is the Scout that hasn't felt some special moment as he sat round the fire with his friends entranced in some special thought, thrilled with recognition, amused at a skit, awestruck by a ceremony, or happy to be joined in the bonds of friendship. Because campfires can and do help build character, the are a great Scouting tool for use at a Troop campout, a camporee or even a Jamboree. To help you along, this World Wide Web page will provide you with the basics to help ensure that your Scouts can also enjoy the magic that is a campfire.


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

In my youth, many leaders relied on G. S. Ripley, Fun Around the Campfire, BSA: New York (1952) as the bible on how to do campfires. This helpful pamphlet (106 pages) is no longer in print and its copyright most likely has expired by now. In developing this Web page I will be using some of the organization and selected exerpts from this pamphlet along with information gained from other Scouting publications and a wealth of experienced gained as a Camp Program Director in two different Councils. Where material has been borrowed, an appropriate citation will identify the source. It is not the intention of the author to knowingly trespass upon the rights of authors, composers, and publishers. Consequently, any material identified as having been originated by the Boy Scouts of America may only be used by registered Scouts and Scouters to further the aims of Scouting.


DISCLAIMER

All opinions expressed on this Web Page are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of either the Project Team or the Boy Scouts of America.


PROPOSED OUTLINE - HELP NEEDED

The remainder of this Web Page is under construction. When it is complete you will find helpful hints and ideas arranged in the following catagories:

The section on additional resources will provide information on where to look for songs, skits, stunts, games, contests, Scouter minutes, stories and more. In addition you will find hyper-text jump points to related material found in U. S. Scouting Web Pages.


If you would be interested in contributing a section or building the entire page, please let us know by sending an e-mail to the Webmaster.


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