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  • Campfire Program Ideas

    Any thoughts on campfire programs that go beyond the typical skits and songs (Boy Scout age, not Cubs)? Anything like a team building exercise or something that might count toward a merit badge, for example?

    I've looked at the macscouter and other sites many times. Just looking for something fresh and new.

  • #2
    The campfire as the moral heart of the camp:



    • #3
      I guess Im not sure what you are asking. I must admit when I read your question, I felt that you don't quite get the campfire. When you suggest team building, I wonder what you did during the day up to the campfire.

      Instead of trying to understand your question, let me just give a little explination of what I feel about the campfire. The skills to perform a well done campfire are not juvenile and require practice, heart, creativity and showmen professionalism. I think our scouts finally understood that when they got a standing ovation by other troops at summer camp once. From beginning to end, a campfire should grab the audience and pull them through a series of emotions. The times are rare where a boy will be linked together with the outdoors and the deep expressions of himself. As a group, you are pulled to laugh, cry, wonder, ponder and dream in the grand theater with spotlights from an open fire, the roof of the starry sky and air condition of the open breeze. Done well and a man will never forget those nights as a boy. Done well and the campfire can make a lousy day feel good.

      I believe that mans failure comes from searching for happiness when we should be working for content. But I have to admit that it would be hard to find many events in life that could match the happiness felt from a well done campfire.

      I more than most sometimes like to think out of the box and try something different. But dont ignore the gains and growth that come from just doing some things better. Better songs with better music. Better jokes and better skits. Better master of ceremonies and better Scoutmaster Minutes. Better fires and better arrangements.

      I have exited so many campfires in so many ways, but I want to go back to that one campfire where we quietly walked back to our tents listening to bag pipes on a distant hill playing Amazing Grace. Just typing it in this reply brings a tear.

      I love this scouting stuff.



      • #4
        I see your point. I didn't explain myself too well. We have a desire to keep things a little calmer (we had a pie eating stunt go bad not long ago)around the fire. The boys will be paddling during the day. I anticipate they will need something to do after they get back from paddling and then something to wind down with around the campfire.

        I looked at the website suggested by the last poster and I liked the games that require the patrols (or pairs of boys) to work as a team. For example, the game called "Ships in a Fog" where the boys are blindfolded, except for the "pilot" (the PL, let's say). The patrol and its leader must devise a way to communicate to one another to maneuver around a set of obstacles. There were other ideas for using the senses -- touch, sight, hearing, even smell -- which I think might make an interesting campfire theme.

        I also liked the idea this site suggest of using a monologue. We might have a boy or two who enjoys acting. The boy(s) who volunteer(s)for this can select the monologue piece and do the preparation. When I suggested something related to a MB, I was thinking along the lines of learning an Indian game or craft, which could introduce the Indian Lore MB for example.


        • #5
          "When I suggested something related to a MB, I was thinking along the lines of learning an Indian game or craft, which could introduce the Indian Lore MB for example."

          A Council Fire program that includes some Indian Sign Language:

          (Look up the above signs for: "I give you the Sun. I give you the Moon. I give you the Deer, the Elk, the Bear, the Wolf, the Birds; I give you the council fire. I am your friend") at the Online Indian Sign Language Dictionary:

          A couple of Native American campfire plays for various age groups translated by Ernest Seton, one of the BSA's Founders:

          Detailed instructions for Indian dance and music compiled and translated by Seton's wife:

          A couple of (non-campfire) Native American games adapted for boys by Dan Beard, another one of the BSA's Founders:

          Additional Indian Lore resources for Boy Scouts: