1. The Camp Fire Girls
is an organization of girls and women to develop
the home spirit and make it dominate the entire
community. Hence, the ranks should be recruited
first from those who have ability to do and to
help rather than from those who need help.
It is an army of
girls rather than a mission to them.
It is a means of
organizing a girl's daily home life. It shows
that romance, beauty and adventure are to be
found on every hand and in wholesome ways; that
the daily drudgery may be made to contribute to
the beauty of living. It gives boys and girls
wholesome, interesting things to do together. It
deliberately intends to promote happy social
It uses beautiful
ceremonies, has an appealing ritual and bases
rank and honors upon personal attainment. There
are attractive ceremonial costumes, honor beads,
and decorations. It interprets daily things in
terms of poetry, symbolism, color and
Mothers are the
Guardians in many cases, and the meeting places
are usually the homes of the girls and the
The Guardian is
an older woman who, because of her larger
experience, is able to help girls to attain their
The purposes as defined by
the Constitution are:
Section 1. The purpose
of this corporation shall be to perpetuate the
spiritual ideals of the home under the new
conditions of a social community, through the
organization of girls and women into units
divided by age into Camp Fires and Junior groups.
Section 2. The
organization shall endeavor to show that the
common things of daily life are the chief means
of beauty, romance and adventure.
Section 3. The
organization shall endeavor to aid in the
formation of habits making for health and vigor,
the out-of-door habit and the out-of-door spirit.
Section 4. The
organization shall endeavor to devise and put in
use ways of measuring and creating standards for
Section 5. The
organization shall endeavor to give to girls and
women incentive ideals and objects for doing
"team work," for "keeping
Section 6. The
organization shall endeavor to foster intimate
relation between mothers and daughters by giving
status and social recognition to the work of the
Section 7. The
organization shall endeavor to develop among
girls and women a sympathetic understanding of
the newer economic relationships into which women
Section 8. The
organization shall definitely undertake to
improve the social life in the community of each
of its constituent groups through the promotion
of such community social activities as pageants,
celebrations, social centers, organized
vacations, and tramping, amateur drama and music.
Government. The Camp Fire Girls is a
self-governing organization. It is controlled as
follows: The Corporation or Board of Electors
consists of the Guardians of all Camp Fires who
pay dues, and additional persons especially
elected. This Board of Electors meets annually
and elects the Board of Directors who conduct the
Support. Camp Fire Girls aim to support as
well as control their own national work. This we
expect to have accomplished before the close of
the year 1915. This is to be accomplished
through: fees of "a cent a girl a
week," i.e., fifty cents a year; royalties
of five per cent, on all Camp Fire Girl articles
sold, and advertising in Camp Fire Girl
publications, sale of Manual, etc.
4. Historical Scetch of the Camp Fire
the Spring of 1911 a meeting was held to consider
the advisability of forming an organization which
should do for girls what the boy Scouts were
doing for boys. Among those active in this
initial movement were Mr. William Chauncy
Langdon, Mrs. Charles H. Farnsworth, Dr. and Mrs.
Luther H. Gulick, Prof. Mary Schenck Woolman, Dr.
Anna Brown, MRs. Ernest Thompson Seton, Mr. Lee
F. Hanmer, Mr. James E. West, Mr. Justus A. Traut
and Miss Lina Beard.
was done during the SUmmer and Fall. During the
following WInter a manual was prepared, funds
were secured and an organization created and
persons have been mainly responsibile for
|Mrs. C. B. Alexander
Mrs. Sidney C. Borg
George T. Brokaw
Charles Henry Davis
Cleveland H. Dodge
Miss Elizabeth W. Dodge
Miss Grace Dodge
J. J. Goldman
Frederick C. Green
S. R. Guggenheim
|Mrs. WIlliam Kent
Samuel A. Lewisohn
F. J. Lisman
F. Everit Macy
Mrs. Howard Mansfield
Mrs. William C. Osborn
Mrs. Frederic B. Pratt
George D. Pratt
John D. Rockefeller
Dr. E. A. Rumely
Mrs. Russell Sage
Mortimer L. Schiff
Mrs. Finley J. Shepard
The following persons were the
original Board of Electors:
|Miss Jane Addams
Miss Florence Brown
Dr. Marion L. Burton
Dr. John H. Finley
Frederick C. Green
Mrs. L. H. Gulick
Mrs. Phoebe Hearst
Mrs. William Kent
|Mrs. Sidney Lanier
Judge Ben J. Lindsey
Dr. Helen MacMurchy
Mrs. George Pratt
Mr. Myron T. Scudder
Miss Ida Tarbell
Mrs. Richard Wainwright
Dr. C. H. Watson
Mrs. Ella Flagg Young
Organization of Camp Fires. The organization
is primarily related to home and social life,
hence it should consist usually of girls of about
the same age, who naturally belong together,
whose homes are near to each other, and who like
one another. That is, the best results are to be
secured by having the Guardian and the group
should co-operate actively in bringing the work
about and carrying it on. One of the mothers is
often the Guardian with others as assistants.
Each group of
girls over twelve years old is called a Camp
Fire. Each Camp Fire secures a charter.
Each Camp Fire
consists of at least six girls. This is in order
that there may be a sufficient number to develop
the "team sprit."
The best size for
a Camp Fire is from ten to fourteen girls. This
will permit intimate acquaintance among the girls
and the Guardian. No Camp Fire may have more than
twenty active members.
head of a Camp Fire is called Guardian of the
Fire. She must be at least twenty-one years of
age. She is appointed by the National Board.
Camp Fire Girls
are over twelve years old.
Camp Fire Blue
Birds are over six years old. The group is know
as the Blue Bird Nest. (A Blue Bird Manual will
eventually be prepared.) Blue Birds are the
younger sisters and friends of the Camp Fire
Girls. It is not an independent organization.
The Camp Fire
Girls have three ranks: Wood Gatherer, Fire
Maker, and Torch Bearer. Each rank has its
special emblem which should be worn on the right
The symbol of
membership in the Camp Fire Girls is the silver
fagot ring. This is given by the National Board
without cost to each girl when she becomes a Wood
Each Camp Fire as
well as each Camp Fire Girls has a special name
meetings are held monthly. At summer camps they
should be held weekly. At these meetings a ritual
is used, the Count is read, honors are awarded,
rank is conferred, and new members are received.
are held to help the girls formulate their daily
work and to teach them new activities, such as
honors in handwork, home work, entertaining,
sports, business, and keeping and illustrating
the Record Book. Often these meetings are held in
conjunction with a hike and the study of nature
6. Honors are awarded to members in recognition
of attainment. They are symbolized by
distinctively colored beads which have been
selected by the National Board for their
simplicity and suitability for decoration. The
honors are divided into six groups as follows:
Required honors: These are attainments which are
required before a girl may become a Fire Maker.
Such attainments are indicated by purple beads.
Elective Honors: These form the basis of Camp
Fire work and are divided into seven groups: Home
Craft, Health Craft, Camp Craft, Hand Craft,
Nature Lore, Business, and Patriotism. Honors won
in these crafts count towards the rank of Fire
Maker and Torch Bearer.
Honors: These may be won by any Fire Maker over
fourteen years of age in any of the Elective
Torch Bearer Honors: These are for Torch Bearers
over sixteen years of age who specialize in
Local Honors: Honors for special cases.
(6) National Honors: Honors awarded for
services of general use to the Camp Fire Girls.
7. Mixed Information:
Ideals, aspirations and visions have always been
expressed through art forms, poetry, music, form,
color, ritual ceremony, etc. Accordingly, Camp
Fire Girls use all of these to help to express
their visions and purposes. Symbols help to
convey meanings which it is difficult to put into
logical speech, hence, symbolic art forms are
used as a frame for the activities of daily life.
Upon this conception of the relation of art and
life have been developed the ceremonial gown and
Fire is the symbol of the organization, for
around it the first homes were built. Camp Fire
stands not only for the home, but also for the
genuineness and simplicity of the out-of-doors.
The sun is used as a general symbol for fire.
This symbol is used particularly as the
The symbol of
membership is the standing pine. It means
simplicity and strength.
Wohelo is the
watchword. It is made up of the first two letters
of Work, of Health, and of Love.
The hand sign of
fire, used as a salutation, is made by flattening
the fingers of the right hand against those of
the left. This indicates crossed logs. From this
position the hand is slowly raised, following the
curves of an imaginary flame until the
index-finger points straight up.
(3) Wohelo. This is the name of the
official publication, an illustrated monthly.
Price $1.00 a year.
All supplies may be secured from the Camp Fire
Outfitting Company, 17-19 West 17th Street, New
York City. This includes ceremonial dresses,
honor beads, Fire Maker's bracelet, Torch
Bearer's pin, Guardian's pin, etc.
8. How to Organize. The application for
Guardian's authorization and for the charter
should be made together. The woman who wishes to
be Guardian should fill out the blank enclosed,
and send it with twenty-five cents to the
National Board. The investigation preliminary to
the appointment of a Guardian usually takes from
four to six weeks.
application must be signed by the girls desiring
to become members, and this, together with five
dollars (to cover the charter outfit) should be
mailed with the application for appointment of
Four Steps Toward Success.
(1) Use the
out-of-doors. Go on a tramp at least once a
month. Have a fire. Let each trip have a special
program; e.g., to some historical spot--learning
the story; to observe interesting rocks or
trees--seeing and knowing birds, etc.
(2) Use the motion songs.
There is nothing that carries the idea of the
Camp Fire Girls and serves to develop enthusiasm
as vigorous singing of the Camp Fire Girls'
motion songs. Sing each one over and over until
it is perfectly familiar. Make up new songs.
(3) Use the ceremonies. This
involves study and practice, but is as essential
to success as a frame is to a picture or the
right words are to a poetic idea.
(4) Meet regularly and have
each meeting planned beforehand.