Friendship SticksFriendship Sticks

A Friendship Stick is made from a simple stick of wood, found on a hike, or in your backhard. It's meant as a symbol of friendship. Make one for yourself; make another for a friend.

This little stick means "Friendship"
of a very special kind
To a friend you know who's really great
And very hard to find.

It's a doll, of the simplest kind. Find a stick you like the shape of. Use your pocket knife to cut off the bark and to even up the stick. Use sand paper to smooth the wood until you like the feel of the wood in your hand. Use your pocket knife again to whittle a bit of a hat on your stick, and to whittle the eyes, nose, and mouth. Then whittle a cross at the neck of your new little stick doll, and whittle a row of seven buttons down the front of the stick doll.

When the idea of Friendship Sticks first appeared in a Camp Fire book, the suggestion was to use the sticks to symbolize interracial harmony. That symbolism got lost on me, and I always used the Friendship Stick project as one of simple friendship, and one of encouraging each child to represent him/herself with the stick doll. Make as many as you want; share as many as you want. Collect sticks from your friends to represent them, or make sticks to represent them.

After the whittling and sanding, the kids used permanent Magic Markers to add color.

  • The hat was colored red, for Camp Fire;
    blue might be used since Camp Fire members wore blue hats in the past.
  • The eyes were colored to match the individual's eyes.
  • Kids who wore glasses drew glasses around the eyes.
  • The mouth was colored.
  • The cross at the neck was colored brown, like crossed logs;
    red might have been used since older CF members wear red neck scarves or ties.
  • The seven buttons were colored the colors of the seven honor beads:
    • red for sports and games
    • green for creative arts
    • brown for outdoors
    • yellow for business
    • orange for home
    • light blue for science
    • navy blue for citizenship

The longest of the three Friendship Sticks shown above is about 10 inches.

Mahawe's Memory Book
|basic info| |BSA-CFG connection| |historical origins of Camp Fire|
Dr. Charles A. Eastman: Ohiyesa|
Camp Fire symbolgrams| |CF in children's fiction|
emblems| |honor beads| |friendship sticks|
cookie recipes| |old memories| |CF 4-260|

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site by Alice Marie Beard