GS Humor
Service Projects
Troop Resources
Chicagoland Field Trips


Cyber Council

Campfire Ceremonies

Four Spirits Campfire Opening

The Campfire Ash Ceremony (Ashes of Friendship)

Wishing Pot Ceremony


Four Spirits Campfire Opening


Four speakers as North, South, East and West

Signal all around fire for silence.

Each speaker enters from the appropriate compass point.

North: I am the spirit of the North where the great game of Guiding began.

South: I am the spirit of the South and I spread the love of Scouting & Guiding to the world.

East: I am the spirit of the East and I spread the friendship of Scouting & Guiding to the world.

West: I am the spirit of the West and I spread the worth of Guiding & Scouting to the world.

All: Together we join in the fire of friendship.

Follow with Ashes Ceremony, if desired, and then singing, ending with Taps.



The Campfire Ash Ceremony (Ashes of Friendship)


THE HISTORY: The taking of ashes from one campfire to another is a ceremony done by Girl Scouts, Girl Guides and Boy Scouts all around the world. The main purpose of these ashes is to bring to all Scouts and Guides the international aspect of the world of scouting. Ashes taken from a campfire are sprinkled into the flames of the next campfire. The next morning when the ashes are cold, they are stirred and each Scout/ Guide present at the ceremony takes some to mix with the next campfire. Each Scout/Guide keeps a list of all of the campfires that they have sprinkled their ashes in. If more than one

Scout/Guide brings ashes to the campfire, the lists are combined and the dates and places of all campfires are recorded and passed on. As Girl Scouts, Girl Guides and Boy Scouts travel, the ashes circle the globe. It is a tradition that only those actually present at the campfire can receive ashes from the ceremony to carry on to another campfire.

THE CEREMONY: We carry our friendships with us in these ashes from other campfires with comrades in other lands. May the joining of the past fires with the leaping flames of this campfire, symbolize once more the unbroken chain that binds scouts and guides of all nations together.

With greetings from our brothers and sisters around the world, I will add these ashes and the fellowship therein, to our campfire. Will anyone with campfire ashes please come forward and join me.

(Wait for others)

The ashes I spread into this campfire carry memories of past campfires dating back to ______

I will now charge these ashes to the campfire.

So that you may pass these ashes on and share them with others at your next campfire, you will be given a history of where these ashes have been. (Recite history of ashes added to fire)

Kathy Stephan

Program/Resource Consultant

Life Member/NWGGSC


Wishing Pot Ceremony


I am getting requests to explain a wishing pot ceremony, so I thought maybe I should just post it to the list.

A wishing pot ceremony is an indoor version of wishes thrown into a campfire. We use our troop's Dutch oven for the wishing pot, but any container that is fireproof and plenty big enough to hold all the wishes would be okay. Do be careful to set it on a heat-proof surface. :)

Everyone is given a small piece of paper and a pencil, and asked to write down her wish. This can be a wish for someone who is leaving, a wish for her own future, a wish for the troop. Wishes are private. No one knows the wish except the person who writes it. When a girl is through writing, she folds her paper to seal in the wish.

The wishes are collected and placed in the pot, or each girl comes to the pot and throws in her wish. After the wishes are collected, everyone is told that she must concentrate on her wish, in absolute silence, from the time the fire is lit until it goes out. Then the fire is lit. (It is effective, but not necessary, to turn out the lights at this point.)

After the fire goes out, the leader can say something appropriate such as "Believing in our wishes makes them come true" or "A wish is a prayer. The smoke carrries our prayers to God." Then everyone gathers round the pot for a final circle and friendship squeeze.

This was a very special send-off for our troop member who is moving. Almost everyone cried. We have also done this very effectively in the past at a slumber party in January to begin the new year. It could probably be done equally well in the fall when school starts again, or in the spring when girls who won't be meeting over the summer will be separating for three months.

Variations are to throw wishes into a campfire (when leader secretly adds a handful of coffee creamer to make a "poof" or sugar to create colored flames) or to make wish boats (candle on a small piece of wood) to float out to sea or across a lake. With the wish boats, girls watch them silently until the last flame goes out. Wish boats, which were a tradition at one summer camp where I worked as a counselor in the 1960's, are now discouraged because of environmental concerns.

For Thinking Day two years ago, we did a different version. Instead of using a pot, we gave everyone a votive candle in a baby food jar. (At the Dollar Tree store here, we can buy a box of ten "tea light" candles for a dollar.) We then sat on the floor in a circle, turned out all the lights, and passed a lighter from person to person. Each person said, "My wish for Girl Scouts and

Girl Guides everywhere is . . ." and lit her candle. When all the candles were burning, we asked the girls to concentrate on their wishes in silence for a few minutes and then blow out the candles. After blowing out the candles, we stood up and did our final circle and friendship squeeze.

Hope this helps.

Jane Schuler

Cadette Troop 5

Knoxville, TN