Universal Candle lighting


Place someone at the entrance to hand out candles to members as they enter.

Have the group enter silently into the campfire circle and take their spots.

One speaker begins:" All around us is the darkness of night. I light this candle (he does so), and it is no longer dark.

Although this is a tiny light and its light casts over only a small area, we can all see it.

Each of us sees it is there, and could find our way to the flame. Though tiny, it is a beacon to each one of us.""

But this tiny light can grow, and its brightness can multiply if someone else joins in.


(Some leaders move to the candle and light their candles from it.)


Now the candles cast a bigger, brighter light and we can see it better than before.

""But this is only the beginning; for once there is light and people who are willing to share it, it will grow; and as it is shared it will become brighter, greater, until all who look can see the light."


(Leaders spread out and each one lights the candle of another person's, and everybody lights his neighbour's candle.)


"See how fast the light can spread. Notice how well we can now see. This light makes it possible for us to see our friends,

see their smiles and their actions. And others can see our light. As this light brightens this council ring, our light can brighten our lives and the lives of others."

"The smallest light held by the least of us is important to the whole world.


(Several leaders come to the centre and light the fire with their candles.)


Now we will light our council fire with this same light that has grown from such a tiny flame. Watch this council fire take up the flame, and grow strong and bright before our eyes. Let us sing as the light brightens our circle."





Leap High- A Campfire Opening


Leap High, O Golden Flame, the day is dead Bring warmth and cheer,

O flame, the sun has fled, Stoutly your mountain, youths not abed,

Ring out the heart's refrain, goodwill to all.

Who hath smelt wood smoke at twilight?

Who hath heard the birch log burning?

Who is quick to read the noises of the night?

Let him follow with the others,

For the young men's feet are turning.

To the camps of proved desire and known delight.


-Rudyard Kipling



Origins to Kum Ba Yah


Kum Ba Yah or Come by Here is a song that originated in South Africa in a small village.

The still of the night in the village is repeatedly broken by a sick child crying.

The villagers, hearing the cry, begin a silent prayer of hope for the child, even though they know there is none.

With no doctors or medical aid for hundreds of miles, death is inevitable.

So the child's mother prays to God to come and take her child away from the pain and suffering.

Soon, the child's cries cease and a quiet, peaceful, rejoicing song is heard throughout the village.

The woman thanks God for hearing and answering her prayer.

This is the reason we sing the three verses:

someone's crying,

someone's praying,

someone's singing.


Twenty Steps to Successful Fire Lighting


Here's a silly story to tell around the campfire.


1. Saw a dead limb into short logs.

2. Bandage left hand, sharpen saw and remind yourself it could have been worse.

3. Carefully chop one short log into kindling.

4. Bandage left foot, repair boot and sharpen axe. Remind yourself it could have been much worse.

5. Carefully shave one piece of kindling into slivers.

6. Make a small pyramid of all the slivers including those that are embedded in your hand.

7. Apply a lighted match to the pyramid.

8. Apply another lighted match to the pyramid.

The greater the need for the fire, the more difficult it will be to light.

9. Make a mental note that a Scouter is cheerful and apply yet another lighted match.

A fire will self-ignite if a cold salad is planned for supper.

10. Add kindling and gently blow into the base of the fire.

11. Stop coughing, dry your eyes and apply ointment to burned nose.

12.     Apologize to the Scout who happened to be within ear-shot

and assure him that your remarks were not addressed to him personally.

13.     When the fire is burning, search for the saw to collect more dry wood.

The desire for a fire increases as the supply of wood decreases.

14. Upon discovering that the fire has gone out during your absence, soak the wood with a can of lamp oil.

15. Treat face and arms for second degree burns and re-label the can of lamp oil to read gasoline.

16. Assume an air of superiority and ask which of the Scouts noticed your mistakes.

17. After a sudden torrential downpour, repeat steps 1 to 16.

18. Observe the phenomenon that: a) no matter where you are, it will be in direct line with the smoke

b) when you move the smoke will follow

c) the smoke will seek to reach the maximum number of people

d) when you move far enough away from the fire so that you receive no heat at all, the smoke will rise straight up.

19. Pay special attention to the fact that a fire is much more difficult to put out than to start.

The further away from the water supply, the more water will be required to extinguish the flame.

Ten minutes before you planned dousing the fire, someone will add a fresh supply of wood.

20. Give silent thanks for the invention of the kitchen stove and the discovery of natural gas.



Jack 0 Lantern

This legend originates in ancient China.


Once upon a time, there was a remote little village at the bottom of some very high mountains.

Often the men from the village would travel to other places to work, leaving the women, children,

and old people alone at home. Sometimes when the men left the village, evil spirits from the mountain swooshed

down to steal a child. The stolen children were never seen again, so you can understand why the villagers were very scared

each time the men went away. One year, a young boy called Jack had a clever idea. Just before the men went away to help with the harvest in a distant valley, he collected as many pumpkins as he could find. He scooped out the centres of the pumpkins and carved a horrible face in one side of each one. When the men left, he set a pumpkin in the window of every house in the village, and placed a lighted candle inside each pumpkin. When the evil spirits swooped down on the village that night, they were met by glowing, wicked faces that seemed to float in every window. The evil spirits were so scared that they swept back up to the mountains and never came down again. Jack soon became known as the Jack of the Lanterns and, ever since then, children have made Jack-o-Lanterns to scare away evil spirits on Halloween!












Far to the west, in a small Native village, there lived a peaceful tribe, which had been led for many years

by a great and mighty warrior and chief. The village had always had enough food to eat, and everyone worked together

to make life enjoyable. The men hunted, the women baked and sewed clothing. The children played together, dreaming

of the day when they, too, would be old enough to contribute to the tribe.


One spring, the chief gathered his people together in council and told them that he was growing old. His eyesight was weakening -- he could no longer see like the hawk, nor run like the deer, nor lead his people in the manner in which he felt they should and must be led. It was time for a new chief to step forward and take his rightful place. And so the old man asked if there were any who considered themselves worthy of this honour. Such men were asked to stand before the chief and before the people. Three young men ventured forth. All were mighty hunters, and were all respected among the tribe.

All were strong and eager to lead the tribe in the years to come.And the great chief praised the men for courage,

and then assigned them a task.

"You are to travel to the mighty mountain to the north, and from it you are to bring back the most precious thing which you can find. You will return it to this council and we will wait for each of you to return. When you have all come back, I shall decide which of you is worthy of becoming the chief of my people. "And so three men left the council while the people settled in for a long wait. They too were anxious to learn who their new leader might be.


The first brave returned immediately to his teepee, gathered his bow and arrows, strode confidently away from the village toward the mountain.


The second brave took more time -- he gathered food, took an extra bow and several extra arrows, and set off just before night-fall.


The third brave returned to his teepee, and spent most of the night alone, gathering his belongings, checking his bow for strength and his arrows for accuracy. In the early dawn, he too left the village for the mountain.


The village people waited. Late the next day, the first brave walked proudly into the village, carrying a perfect single white rose in his hand. He walked up to the old chief, held out the flower and said, "Chief, this was the most precious thing which I found on the mountain. "And the chief nodded, laid the flower beside him and settled back to wait for the other two men.


The second brave arrived just before dawn on the third day. Although tired and hungry, he too walked proudly up to the chief and held out a beautiful red stone. He gave it to the chief, stating that this was the most precious thing, because not only was it beautiful but it was also useful, as it could be fashioned into the head of an arrow, and could be used for hunting.

The old chief nodded and laid the stone beside the flower. He then settled back to wait for the third brave. It was not until the fourth moon had passed that the third brave returned to the village. He walked slowly, with this head down as he entered the council. In his hands he held nothing. In silence, he stood before the chief. Then he spoke. "Great chief, I have returned empty-handed. For four days and four nights I sat atop the mountain, searching for that which was truly the most precious thing. And I saw many things, which I thought, were beautiful, but they were beautiful only on the mountain-

if I were to bring them back to you, they would lose their beauty. And I sat awake all night last night hoping that a thought would come to me -- a thought of what I might bring home in order that I might have the honour of being the chief of the tribe.

And as I sat, I watched a huge, perfect, red ball of fire rise above the horizon. It shone with colours more beautiful than I have ever seen -- the yellows and the golds and the shades of red told me that a new day had begun. The rising of the sun was the most beautiful and precious thing of which I saw on the mountain, but I could not bring it back with me. I have only the memory of that sunrise. That is what I have brought back to you. "And the old chief nodded, and left the council.

At the end of the fifth day, he came and stood before his people. He called the three braves to stand in front of him, and he spoke.


To the first brave he said, "Your flower was indeed beautiful when you first brought it to me, but look,

it has withered and died and is no longer beautiful or precious.


"To the second brave he said,

"Your stone is a beautiful stone and it is useful too.

But what happens when we fashion the arrowhead from the stone and we shoot at a deer but only wound it.

The stone is gone forever and is no longer precious.


To the third brave he said, "You, my son, have brought back the most precious thing, which a man can find.

You have brought the memory of something which touched you deeply and you shall carry that precious memory

with you until death. Memories are all that we have in the end, and yours will be good memories and

happy memories as you lead your people as their chief.

And so, the third brave came to be the new chief and the village was proud of its new leader.

Hold on to your memories for they are beautiful and precious.