One of the greatest memories that campers have of their camp experience is the friendship and mystery of a well-run campfire program. Each campfire will run from an opening ceremony to a climax and then to a quiet finish. Most campfires consist of the following:
These are activities that involve the campers as they arrive and will begin to set the tone for the rest of the campfire program that follows. Songs are a good gathering activity.
The formal opening can be organized around the lighting of the camp fire. Or it can begin with the dramatic entry of those leading the activities perhaps a procession with candles or torches.
These should be planned so that they build to a climax and then wind down to a quieter and inspirational finish. The following performances should be arranged so that there is variety and so that participatory and passive performances are alternated.
Singing and peppy action songs are enjoyed by all! Echo (or call and response songs) are a good choice when campers may not all know the same songs. Active songs are often used as the group gathers.
Campers enjoy performing skits both those they have written themselves as well as traditional ones. As the acoustics at campfires are not always the best and as the performers are often young and inexperienced, these can sometimes be hard to hear. Consequently skits should be interspersed with run-ons done by experienced performers and/or by activities involving group participation.
Participatory stories are enjoyed as are other short stories. Scary stories should be avoided. Remember that part of the purpose of a campfire program is to help campers become comfortable in the out of doors.
These provide brief humorous interludes and help vary the program.
These are a fun way to recognize the performances. They also are another way to invite audience participation.
QUIET& INSPIRATIONAL SONGS:
These are used toward the end of the program to inspire the campers and to quiet them down in preparation for leaving the campfire and for bed.
Quiet and inspirational songs and readings are effective in a closing ceremony. Sending the audience back to their campsites in silence or with quiet singing continues the mood created by the campfire program.