Welcome to Guiding With Guider Dusk

Creating Campfire Magic

Resource Materials you can DOWNLOAD AND EDIT!
How To Teach A Song
Sing-A-Long or Campfire?
Creating Campfire Magic
Planning Your Campfire
Campfire Planning Sheet
The Campfire Leader
Campfire Training Tool
Campfire Opening Songs
Campfire Opening Readings and Poems
Well-Known Songs
Well-Known Guiding Songs
Canadian Folk Songs
More Well-Known Folk Songs
Round Songs
Part Songs
Fun & Silly Songs
More Silly and Action Songs
Action Songs
Campfire Games
Yells & Cheers
Rousing Songs
Quiet Songs
Campfire Stories
Campfire Stories Continued
Stories, Folk Lore and Tales
Spiritual Songs
All About Campfires and Fire Starting
Indoor Campfire Ideas
Graces - Christian and Secular
Guides Own
Sample Guides Own Prepared by Guider Dusk
Singing Games and Dances
December 2014 - The Christmas Story
November 2014 - Feature Campfire - Live a Healthy Life! Food, Nutrition and Exercise.
October 2014 - Feature Campfire - Halloween
June 2014 - Feature Campfire - Pioneers
May 2014 - Feature Campfire - Garden of Life
April 2014 - Feature Campfire - Fairy Tales ... Dreams Really Do Come True!
March 2014 - Feature Campfire - Irish and Everything Green!
February 2014 - Feature - A Thinking Day Celebration - Together We Change the World
January 2014 - Feature Campfire - Sing, Sing A Song!
December 2013 - Feature Campfire - My Favorite Holiday Friends
November 2013 - Feature Campfire - Lest We Forget
October 2013 - Feature Campfire - I'm Thankful
September 2013 - Feature Campfire - Getting to Know You
June 2013 - Feature Campfire - Summer Fun!
May 2013 - Feature Campfire - As We Hike Along
April 2013 - Feature Campfire - Earth Day
March 2013 - Feature Campfire - We Can Make a Difference - Celebrating International Women's Day
February 2013 - Feature Campfire - The Klondike Gold Rush
January 2013 - Three Cheers for 100 Years - Happy Birthday Alberta Girl Guides
December 2012 - Feature Campfire - My Christmas Wish
November 2012 - Feature Campfire - Let There Be Peace On Earth
October 2012 - Feature Campfire - Autumn Is My Favorite Season
September 2012 - Feature Campfire - Make New Friends
SURPRISE! June 2012 Feature Campfire - The Olympics, One World, One Dream
May 2012 - Feature Campfire - Camping Adventures
April 2012 - Feature Campfire - April Showers Bring May Flowers
March 2012 - Feature Campfire - Soar Like An Eagle - Celebrating Native Culture!
February 2012 - Feature Campfire - A Garden of Friendship and Love
January 2012 - Feature Campfire - A Winter Night's Dream!
Contact Me


Did you ever watch a campfire?

When the wood had fallen low?

And the ashes start to whiten

Round the embers’ crimson glow?

With the night sounds all around you

Making silence doubly sweet,

And a full moon high about you

That the spell may be complete?

Tell me, were you ever nearer

To the land of heart’s desire

Than when you sat there a-thinking

With your feet before the fire?


- B. Riddoch



We have all been touched at one time or another by a perfect campfire, the theme appropriate, the choice of songs perfect, the singers enthusiastic – you know the good feelings, mood and memories created will linger with the participants long after the embers have died. Indeed this campfire may be one the participants remember well into their adult years.


This is campfire magic and magic doesn’t happen by accident or luck. Such a campfire has been well-planned. With skill, practice, thought and preparation, magical campfires can become the rule rather than the exception.





Campfire singing, whether inside or at a make believe campfire or outdoors with the warmth and glow of a real campfire can be an experience of a lifetime. But in order to have a happily anticipated and memorable campfire, this event, like all other items making up a program for a meeting or camp weekend must be planned. This planning involves thoughtful selection of songs and a prepared sequence with organized leadership.


To improve the quality and maintain a high level of interest in campfire time, there are a number of general principles, which can be helpful.


1.    In a well-organized group, the campfire can be planned and carried out by the participants themselves, with minimal direction from the Leader in Charge. In a newer group, it may be necessary for the Leader in Charge to take a more active part in the organizing and running of a campfire until the group members get the general idea of the campfire as part of their weekly meeting. Encourage the group members themselves to plan and carry out as much of the campfire program as they are capable of doing.

2.    When the entire responsibility for the campfire is in the hands of the group members, be sure that there is one person who is in charge of the overall program “The Campfire Leader.” Then direct all inquiries to them.

3.    Although planning is necessary, try to avoid a “program” atmosphere. Keep the campfire as informal as possible. Try to keep an atmosphere of spontaneity.

4.    Don’t try to include too much in the campfire. If the planned items take longer than anticipated, save some of them for the next campfire. Generally, a skit, short campfire game or other item and a concluding reading or meditation, with songs suitably interspersed, will be enough. With an outdoor campfire, plan you program with extra songs to ensure the campfire lasts as long as the flame.

5.    Keep the campfire short. As a general rule, the campfires held at the close of a regular meeting, should not be shorter than fifteen minutes and no longer than thirty.

6.    Base the campfire program around a central theme. Select songs, poetry, readings or skits to add to the groups’ interest in and knowledge of, the particular theme. Occasionally, however, a campfire will be more enjoyable if there is no special theme, the group being allowed to present any ideas desired.

7.    Maintain interest by variety. Alternate action songs and quieter songs. Make use of quick quizzes, charades and occasional inter-patrol competition, poetry and prose readings as well as humorous songs and stories.

8.    At certain times, it may be suitable to have the complete campfire follow a quieter theme. Then strike a contemplative mood with a religious reading or story which is inspirational or offers food for thought, a reading or concluding spiritual hymn encourage the group to reflect on the more serious aspects.

9.    Don’t be afraid to do something different. The scope of items, which may profitably be included in campfire, is almost limitless.

10. Keep the program moving. Don’t continue one item until everyone is bored. Cut it off when interest is high. Then a similar item will be well received another time.

11. Try to end the campfire on a quiet note. This may be accomplished by the use of a reflective poem, a brief meditation on one of the laws or singing of a quiet song or hymn.

12. In teaching a new song, don’t aim for perfection the first time it is sung. As long as the words and general idea of the tune are learned, wait for a second or third occasion to iron out the details.

Keep a notebook of campfire ideas, which are particularly successful. Make the entry as soon as possible after seeing the item to avoid forgetting the important details.



How To Start


At first, concentrate on well-known favourites. Make sure the group members learn these thoroughly and correctly. Then introduce rounds to enlarge their repertoire and introduce harmony and part-singing. If it is simple, then it can be learned and even given a degree of expression all at one campfire. If it is a more difficult piece, tackle the melody one week, have the group learn the words. Fit the words in at the second go and perhaps add a descant or alto.


Each group should have a set of songbooks that can be used by the group and Leaders

in planning their campfires. Another helpful tool is for group to make their own songbook, a collection of favourites new and old, games, skits, stories, fun silly songs, vespers, etc. Keeping a log of what worked and didn’t is a good planning tool as well.


DO NOT let the group bury their noses in any book during campfire. Include folk songs and a variety of action songs to help supply the very important element of fun.


Avoid Songs in Bad Taste


       Those with cheap vulgar words, the ghoulish songs.

       The parodies when the tune is strongly associated with a completely different set of words from those being used.

       Songs where the words contain cheap humour or have an unattractive story.

       Avoid songs with poor poetic content, with sentimental jargon as words.




A Campfire is a dramatic presentation.


Physical Arrangements


         Compact circle so that all can see, hear and be included

         Comfort important – cold floors – sit-upon rather than chairs; 


         Atmosphere – simulated fires inside; lights out




         Use a campfire planning group

         Importance of a written plan and checking it beforehand


Carrying out the Plan


         The Campfire Leader(s)

         Control of the group – starting and stopping


         No interruptions – announcements, eating


The Program


        Mood and theme

        Opening – traditional fire opening, readings

        Closing – traditional prayer, reading, vesper, taps

        A vesper is praise and thanks to your creator, not just a quiet  song

        Assess the needs of the group and consider: variety, fun, participation, non-musical items, (skits, games, stories, entertainment patrol, etc.)

        Possible ingredients: rounds, part songs, fire songs, fun, action, rhythm, quiet, folk, rousers, etc.


Framework – Campfire shape…


         Official Opening

         Well Known Songs

         Round & Part Songs

         Fun Songs

         Action Songs


         Rousing Songs

         Quieter Songs


         Spiritual Songs

         Vesper & Taps

         Official Closing


Remember to “follow the flames"


        When the flames are high, action songs, loud cheers, and noisy stunts get everyone involved!

        When the flames bum down, have quiet songs, inspirational stories, and a respectful tone

        Start FAST, reach a PEAK, slow DOWN, and give an inspiring CLOSE


Formal Campfire


      Camp opening and closing

      Fire candlelight procession to light special event


Informal Sing-A-Long


       Regular meeting – routine format one or two oldies plus learn new ones

       Special visitors (i.e. mothers, seniors, etc.)

       Special themes or activity (i.e. holidays, puppets, instruments, talent nights, etc.)

       Irregular meetings

       Special speakers

       Just chit-chat

       Special discussion

       Patrol games

       All skits – fun and test work

       Taking campfire out to someone or somewhere


Planned By


         Campfire Planning Group duty rotation

         Group Leaders



Conducted By


         Group Leader, after given program to follow

         Campfire Leader

         Volunteer from group

         Several persons


Time for Campfire


         End of meeting

         Beginning of meeting (i.e. cook-out lunch/supper meeting  

      followed by hike, star gazing, sing while meal is cooking)

         Camping weekend

         Special event


The Fire


       Choose a special place, away from the campsite, this means the participants will have to ‘go’ to Campfire

       Traditional campfire formation is a circle with the fire in the center as a focal point.

       Leave a gap in the circle downwind for smoke and sparks.

       Never leave a burning fire unattended.


Indoor Campfires


         Be creative with the focal point. Use your imagination

         ‘Pretend” fire


         Coloured logs

         Specially built and lighted fires


All things shall perish from under the sky
Music alone shall live, music alone shall live
Music alone shall live
Never to die!