Woods of Wisdom
Troop Program Features
Ashes from the last campfire of the previous year are kept and used in a ceremony for new campers. The boys are called forward and the Scoutmaster says, "Scouts, you have now been in camp one day and have attended part of our first campfire. Earlier in the evening you listened to the traditions of our troop and responsibilities of every Scout. Will you help us keep these traditions as good campers should?" Answer: "I will."
Scoutmaster: "I hold in this vessel some of the ashes oflast year's campfire. They stand for all that we enjoyed in our past. I now place some of these ashes on the right shoulder of each of you and pronounce you campers in good standing, entitled to the rights and obligations of our camp."
Tell Paul Bunyan or John Henry tales. Have a patrol contest to find the champion storyteller of the troop. Announce the contest early in the day so that the boys can prepare for it.
The boys arrive at the campfire in Indian file, stripped to the waist but covered with a blanket, and made up with war paint and feathers. Indian ceremonies, songs, and dances are featured.
One or more evenings in camp should be designated for patrol campfires for which the patrols will make up their own programs.
If the troop is camping in an intertroop camp, the biggest evening events, undoubtedly, will be when the troops gather for big campfires together. For such events each troop provides its best talent and best efforts for mutual enjoyment.
Campfires in the Rain
Build the fire near the edge of a mess fly, or as near the most compact group of several tents as ?ossible, or near the opening of the troop general assembly area, leaving Scouts under some cover.
The presentation of merit badges and other 'instant recognitions" earned at camp focuses on ;he true outdoor spirit of Scouting. An outdoor 'mini" court of honor, with a simple but dignified :eremony, puts real significance on advancement md remains in the boys' memories for a long time.
If your troop has an annual family campout, be jure to involve family members in your campfire. \sk them to participate in skits, etc. Most parents mjoy it thoroughly!
On an extended outing, this can be made the clinax of the outing, with a more serious program ending toward the inspirational. Use the ashes for he next outing's campfire.
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