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Campfire Traditions to Enjoy with Friends and Family

Enjoy these campfire traditions with you family and friends!

Probably one of the most symbolic parts of camping and sleep away camps is the campfire. No camp would feel complete without it!

As our 24-hour access to technology continues to expand, the long history of camp traditions has become that much more important to continue. The campfire feels sacred and should stay that way. So put away your phone because you won’t need it here! Join me as I take you through six campfire traditions that you can enjoy at camp or even with your family at home.

1) Campfire Songs– Anyone who goes to camp gets to enjoy the ritual of singing around the campfire. If you’ve been to camp, then I bet you have your favorites. There are certainly more “traditional” camp songs, but there is no right or wrong song to sing. But choosing songs that everyone can sing along to and are easy to remember make great choices. Put your Happy Camper music skills to work and liven up the experience with an instrument! These camps will give you the basics you need to make your campfire gathering that much more fun:

And if you feel inclined to dance, do so!

2) Storytelling – The art of storytelling around a campfire has been around for ages. Long before books were being written, people used oral storytelling to engage eager listeners. Ghost stories are often associated with campfire gatherings, but any kind of story will do! If you are with a group of people with the same past experiences you can tell a story of a special memory you’ve had together. Have something funny that happened to you? Make everyone laugh by sharing it.

3) Meal Time – Chances are when you think of campfire food, the first things that come to mind are roasting hot dogs on a stick or making s’mores. But there are so many foods out there to explore! Check out our post about Camp Foodto get some great ideas. Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, dinner…or you’re craving an ooey, gooey dessert at sunset…the campfire is a great place to cook and enjoy your meal with family and friends.

4) Skits/Charades – Performing skits around the campfire is a wonderful way to engage everyone. This is sure to bring lots of laughter. The pre-planning and rehearsing will take place in the hours or days ahead of time, but the culmination of performing the skit will happen after everyone gathers around the campfire as the sun goes down. Any time you can get your parents or camp counselors involved is sure to be a delight.  These can be as quick or as long as you want them to be – the key is keeping your audience interested and involved! Check out this listfor tons of skit ideas!

Not prepared with a skit? An impromptu game of charades is a great way to get everyone up and moving around, with belly laughs sure to ensue!

5) Community Meetings/Ceremonies– Families and camp goers alike bond together around the campfire. Mealtime, singing or just quietly gathering will help achieve this goal. But a wonderful way to build a stronger community together is by joining in a community meeting around the campfire. This can be informal – where everyone could share a sunny or stormy part of their day; or it can be more formal where a leader sets the tone for the discussion. Camps often use the campfire to create a sense of community through an opening ceremony. Throughout the week, these meetings continue to build togetherness. As camp comes to an end, a closing ceremony around the campfire is a great way to honor the community that has been created.

6) Stargazing – This one is as simple as it sounds. After a busy day at camp (or wherever), just laying around the campfire on a clear night is a great way to clear your head and relax before bedtime. Four of the most visible constellations year-round to look for include:

  • The Big Dipper
  • The Little Dipper
  • The Great Bear
  • Orion, The Hunter

If you’re lucky, you might even see a shooting star!