Carpe Diem Y’all by Michele Bernard

Writer, Texan, Semi-interested Sports Fan

Camp Fire Girls Back in the Real Day or Man I’m a Wuss

Camp Fire USA Logo
Camp Fire USA Logo

“For nearly a century: integrity, responsibility, tolerance.  We build more than campfires” – Camp Fire USA



From Blue Bird to Horizon Girl, I did my time as a Camp Fire Girl.  I still remember, and sing:  “Worship God (hum-hum-hummmmmmmm),  seek beauty, give service and knowledge pursuuuuuuuuuu; Be trustworthy ever in all that you doooooo; Hold fast onto health and your work glorifyyyyy; And you will be happy in the laws of Camp Fire.”  Not sure about that last line, nevertheless, still great words to live by, not to mention sing while doing dishes.

One of my favorite Camp Fire activities was earning honor beads.  In the Camp Fire Handbook were lists of specific tasks to complete to earn specific beads, each a different color to correspond with different categories.  Once earned, these multi-colored beads were used to decorate the vest worn over the Camp Fire Girl uniform one wore to school on meeting day.  And who wanted a sparcely decorated vest?  Not me!  More was definately better in my eyes.

Recently, while researching a story idea, I ran across a copy of the 1914 Camp Fire Girls Handbook.  While I’m proud of the honor beads I earned back in my day, I now know the truth:  man, I’m a wuss. 

Case in point – a sampling of tasks 1914 Camp Fire Girls needed to accomplish in order to earn their honor beads:

  • “Make two pounds of butter a week for two months”
  • “Pick, dress and cook a fowl”

Teaching girls about Marketing in 1914 was a bit different too:

  • “Marketing: Describe characteristics and identify and select six chief cuts of meat, also state the market price for each
  • “Market for one week on one dollar and a half per person, keeping accounts and records of menus”

Other honor bead opportunities:

  • “Care for at least two kerosene lamps every day for a month”
  • “Take care of the milk and cream from at least one cow, and see that the pails and pans are properly cleaned for two months”

I’ll end with the one that still has me scratching my head:

  • “Install an electric bell and care for it for three months”


Bottom line:  Camp Fire Girls back in the real day had it going on, even if they had to chop down the tree to whittle out and paint their own honor beads.

Carpe Diem Y’all, Michele


September 6, 2008 - Posted by | Michele's Musings


  1. Please don’t say “in my day”… today IS your day.. you’re not dead!

    Comment by Sue | March 2, 2009 | Reply

  2. please remember –

    sing woheelo sing woheelo

    work health love…

    happy passunder !

    Comment by tindalos | April 3, 2009 | Reply

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