Campfire Girls was founded in 1910 in the United States and exists to this day as Camp Fire USA. It is a national organization with chapters located in almost every state. The original goal of the organization was to cultivate an appreciation of the “natural” ways of living in girls in order to allow them to seamless adjust to the changing world around them and “develop womanly qualities.” The original basis of the organization was to acclimate girls to domestic duties as “fire is the symbol of home and hearth”. Their motto was ““Seek beauty. Give service. Pursue knowledge. Be trustworthy. Hold on to health. Glorify work. Be happy.” Their highest achievement was the WoHeLo award which stands for “Work, Health, Love.”
The organization was modeled after Native American tribal organization. Girls adopted Indian names, their ceremonial uniforms mimicked Native American garb, and various activities and ceremonies imitated Native American rituals. For many, the organization provided an appreciation for Native American culture and way of life. Like Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, Campfire Girls received awards for completing various tasks related to domestic activities, service projects, and outdoor adventures. Campfire Girls were awarded beads to adorn their ceremonial dresses.
The Girl Scouts formerly known as the Girl Guides were founded in 1912 as the sister organization to the Boy Scouts. The organization is still existent to this day and has hundreds of chapters all over the nation. The goal of the organization was to allow girls to experience the same opportunities that boys had in scouting and to build their confidence to lead and participate in society outside the home, this was the main difference between Girl Scouts and the Campfire Girls. Their motto is “Be Prepared.” Girl Scouts obtained awards for completing tasks similar to the Camp Fire Girls’ tasks. Their awards were in the form of patches to be worn on a vest or sash.
One of the main activities both the Campfire Girls and Girl Scouts participated in was the camping program. For the Campfire Girls of Lucasville and Portsmouth, this camping trip took place at Camp Lancaster, which was once located in Lancaster, Ohio or Camp Molly Lauman which is located near Lucasville. These camping trips allowed the girls to participate in outdoor activities including cooking over an open fire, collecting plants, chopping wood, hiking, and sleeping outdoors. It was thought that outdoor living would give girls the tools they needed to solve everyday problems.