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Hi - Just wondering if anyone is interested in sharing their troop's traditions for closing a campfire. I believe that the close of a campfire has the potential to be a spiritual, memorable and inspirational moment, if the right focus is applied.


My troop has developed a tradition of singing Scout Vespers, and praying the "May the Great Master..." prayer. Each scout is invited to spend as long as they wish in silent contemplation and reflection in front of the dying fire, and then retiring to their tents for the night.


What traditions, if any, has your troop developed?

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If it's raining....


Softly falls the rain today

As our camp site floats away

Silently each scout should ask

Did I pack my scuba mask

Did I tie my tent flaps down

Learn to swim so I don't drown

Have I done and Have I tried

Everything to keep me dry

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When I was a scout, lo those many years ago, after Brownsea Island but before the demise of the Red Berets, the troop I was in had a tradiiton of ending each campfire with the singing of Scout Vespers (not Scout Wetpers as SMT indicated) with Taps sung next without a break.


Each line of Taps would be sung and then a senior boy leader of the troop would speak the Scout Oath one phrase at a time. At the end of the spoken phrase the Troop would sing the next line of Taps and so on. I always thought it was a powerful way to end a campfire. It was considered quite an honor to be selected as the solo speaker, because it meant you had the confidence of the scoutmaster not to mess it up. It went like this:




Softly falls the light of day

As our campfire fades away

Silently each scout should ask

Have I done my daily task

Have I kept my honor bright

Can I guiltless sleep tonight

Have I done or have I dared

Everything to be prepared




(sung by Troop) Day is done

(spoken by one scout ) ON MY HONOR


(sung by Troop)Gone the sun

(spoken by one scout ) I WILL DO MY BEST


(sung by Troop)From the Lake

(spoken by one scout ) TO DO MY DUTY TO GOD AND MY COUNTRY


(sung by Troop)From the hills

(spoken by one scout ) AND TO OBEY THE SCOUT LAW


(sung by Troop)From the sky

(spoken by one scout ) TO HELP OTHER PEOPLE AT ALL TIMES


(sung by Troop)All is well



(sung by Troop)Safely rest

(spoken by one scout) AND MORALLY STRAIGHT


(All sing) God is nigh.


Everyone leaves to go to their tent and not a word is spoken


(This message has been edited by OldGreyEagle)

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Thanks OldGrey! That is very powerful. We'll have to try it!


Sometimes the full Vespers is very nice, especially if parents are attending the campfire. You will have to pass out copies of the lyrics, as it's a rare Scout or Scouter that knows the whole thing - most only sing the first verse.


Softly falls the light of day,

As our campfire fades away.

Silently, each Scout should ask

Have I done my daily task?

Have I kept my honor bright?

Can I guiltless sleep tonight?

Oh, have I done and have I dared

Everything to be prepared?


Listen Lord, O Listen Lord,

as I whisper soft and low.

Bless my Mom and bless my Dad,

there is something they ought to know.

I will keep my honor bright,

the Oath and Law will be my guide.

And Mom and Dad this you should know,

deep in my heart I love you so.


Quietly we join as one,

Thanking God for Scouting fun,

May we now go on our way.

Thankful for another day.

May we always love and share,

Living in peace beyond compare,

As Scouts may we find,

Friendships true with all mankind.


Quietly we now will part,

Pledging ever in our heart,

To strive to do our best each day,

As we travel down life's way.

Happiness we'll try to give,

Trying a better life to live,

Till all the world

Be joined in love,

Living in peace under skies above.


Ending Blessing:

May the great Master of all Scouts be with us 'til we meet again.


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Our troop is much like DScouter15's troop, but the best campfire closing I have ever experienced was humming Amazing Grace with bagpipes being played on nearby hill as we left the campfire.




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OGE, as a comrade BSA beret wearer back in the day, I still recall how the beret retained the smoke smell from campfire. 100 percent wool, the thing would still smell like smoke a couple weeks after getting home.

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Our troop has not been big on ceremony, nor especially on singing. We camped this past weekend and the boys had a nice campfire. No real program, just a time of brotherhood. As it came time for all to turn in, our 14 year old SPL announced he was starting a "new" troop tradition. With that, he had us all sing "Scout Vespers". As we sang, the smoke must have shifted into my face, because my eyes watered a bit. Some times, you just know we are doing what we do for all the right reasons...



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I love the bagpipes at scout outings. For Wood Badge, our call to worship for the interfaith service is Amazing Grace on the pipes, then we leave to Scotland the Brave.


I've never thought about the pipes to close campfire with though, I like it.

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