Do you know about the “Camp Fire Girls” of America? This is a drawing taken from the inside cover of their handbook (the 1947 edition), The Book of the Camp Fire Girls. The history of this organization is really cool. Founded in 1910 in Vermont, it’s as old or older than the girls scouts in America. It later became coed, and has since changed its name to “Camp Fire USA,” but it originally sought to help girls gain important skills for living a “well rounded life—a vivid, intense life of joy and service.”
As you can see from the drawing this included all kinds of skills. Some, like boating, camp craft, nature lore, gardening, dramatics, dancing and art, are still part of the camp experience at Rockbrook. Others are more specialized, like aviation, science and business. Click on the drawing to see a larger version. It’s really great.
The Camp Fire Girls valued spirituality, beauty, service, knowledge, trustworthiness, health, work and happiness, and provided opportunities for girls to form, as Luther Gulick the founder put it, “habits making for health and vigor, the out-of-door habit, and the out-of-door spirit.” It’s neat to realize that this was “in the air” when the first summer camps were forming in America, and how Rockbrook too shares these ambitions. Camp really is a place to grow… in some really important ways!