CAMP FIRE GIRLS. " 11 u—he—lo— !" Do you know the call? Have you ever, answer ing from wood or meadow, in sandaled feet, slipped through some grassy path, and with the mystic sign of the fire, been admitted to the brown-robed bead-banded circle? If you have, you are a Camp Fire girl; if you have not, this shall be your introduction to that happy band.
First, you will learn that Wo-he-lo means Work, Health, Lore, the first two letters of each word being joined to make the Camp Fire call. You will see how each of these words is a torch that kindles the camp fire, which symbolizes the hearth fire of the home each girl will sometime make; and then with the others of the charmed circle you will stretch your hands above the flame as you sing— Whose hand above this blaze is lifted, Shall be with magic touch engifted, To warm the hearts of weary mortals, Burn, fire! Burn! As the beautiful rites progress, you will place your hand in the welcoming hand of the guardian, while you express your desire to follow the law of the fire: Seek Beauty, Give Service, Pursue Knowledge, Be Trustworthy, Hold on to Health, Glorify Work, Be Happy.
You will want to be a Wood-Gatherer, the first rank a Camp Fire girl may at tain, so you will choose your Indian name and a symbol to express its meaning.
Suppose you choose "Mondamin," which is the word for corn, and means " the friend of man." Then your symbol, a golden corn-ear, will be worked into your bead band, and embroidered on the ceremonial gown which each Wood-Gatherer must make before she may wear the silver fagot ring. This ring is the token that the wearer has earned ten honors from the long and varied list of Home-craft, Health-craft, Camp craft, Hand-craft, Nature-lore, Business, or Patriot ism honors. You will earn 50 cents to pay your annual dues, and then, at the ceremonial meeting, in your new ceremonial gown, you will stand and repeat the Wood-Gatherer's desire to be loyal to your Camp Fire sisters, to— Be true to the truth that is in me And pure in my deepest desire.
Then the guardian, a woman who has been chosen by the girls because she understands their " deepest desires" and can share in all their activities as one of themselves, will award the honor beads.
If one of your elective honors belonged to the Home-craft class, you will receive a flame-colored bead, and a red one for Health-craft, or blue for Nature-lore for each class has its distinctive bead.
And with the beads that go with the Wood-Gatherer's rank, the coveted bead necklace with all its significance of accomplishment will begin to be a reality, and will grow—a bead at a time—with each honor won.
When you are 13 years old you will be ready to work for the rank of Fire Maker. For this you must earn 20 elective honors and 14 required honors.
You are now older, and the responsi bility of the required honors only adds to the zest of earning the royal purple beads, awarded for such accomplish ments as: "To know the principles of elementary bandaging, and how to use a surgeon's plaster; to keep a written classified account of all money received and spent for at least one month; to mend a pair of stockings, a knitted under-garment, and make a hem at least one yard in length; and to know and sing all the words of the National Anthem." Not so difficult, is it? This rank requires the expression of the Fire Maker's Desire : As fuel is brought to the fire, For I will tend,So I purpose to bring As my fathers have tended, My strength, And my father's fathers, My ambition, Since time began, My heart's desire, The fire that is called My joy, The love of man for man, And my sorrow The love of man for God.
To the fire of humankind; When you are 15 years old, if your guardian has found you worthy of leadership and you have won certain required honors, you may take the rank of Torch-Bearer, with the expression of the desire to "bear the torch of life and light to guide others." With this rank will come the happy privilege of help ing the guardian with the Nest of Blue Birds, little girls between 6 and 12 years old, which may be con nected with each Camp Fire.
All through these years, along with the earning of the ranks, there have been hikes, nights under the stars, camping trips with songs and stories, winter sports, parties, and entertainments—all the things that girls love to do together. And, best of all, if you have been a loyal Camp Fire girl you will have found your everyday life filled with beauty and happiness, thus realizing the dream of Dr. and Mrs. Gulick, who for the sake of their own daughters conceived the Camp Fire ideals, and through ritual and symbolism made them a magic that has reached around the whole world and touched the lives of tens of thousands of girls in many nations. Any group of girls over 12 years of age may form a local Camp Fire, by conform ing to the simple requirements set forth in the Camp Fire manual which may be obtained from the national headquarters in New York City.