Sing around the campfire!
Join the Camp Fire Girls.
Join the laughter, join the fun,
It’s a wonderful time for everyone.
It’s a busy day, and when… it’s… done….
What fun to sing around the campfire!
‘Neath the moon above,
Sing “wohelo”, sing “wohelo”,
Work – Health – Love!
I don’t know how many of you were a Camp Fire Girl when you were young, but for people such as I who were not, it always looked like the greatest of fun. It involved ceremonial meetings with rituals, symbolic art, hand signs and the watchword, “Wohelo”, standing for “Work, Health and Love”… attributes which only the Camp Fire Girls could truly understand compared to us outsiders. It blended mystery with productivity in a very appealing way.
The group spanned all the age ranges, with the youthful Blue Birds, the regular Camp Fire Girls, the Junior High Camp Fire Girls and the Horizon Club for senior high school girls. And whatever the age, the girls were busy working on self- and community-enriching projects with the reward of winning cool stuff such as cameras, charms, rings, ponchos, pillows, leather patches, mod posters and, of course, honors badges and pins.
One of those projects was the annual candy drive in which the girls went door-to-door selling their famous mints as well as other types of candy, depending on which year it was. There might be butter mints, assorted chocolates, party wafters (man, those looked delicious!
) or peanut clusters.
The candy drive began in 1950, replacing their doughnut drive. They switched from doughnuts to mints because the mints would not go stale. Since then, the candy drive has changed so that the candy is either bought online or sold through the local Camp Fire groups, and the mints can be bought all year round.
One of the charming things about the candy drive was the candy boxes. Each year, the boxes changed, and they typically had a cute design featuring the girls and sometimes a cheerful slogan such as “Buy a box of happiness!” Each drive had its own theme: in 1959, they didn’t hesitate to go for a guilt trip with “She Cares – Do You?” In 1964, they chose the optimistic “Sky’s the Limit”. In 1966, they upped the ante: “One for the table and one for the freezer”. In 1968, they chose a more capitalistic slant: “The girls hope to ‘make a mint of money’”. By 1970, they revisited the 1968 theme, but took it one step further: “Buy one box, buy two, better yet buy a few”.
It seems as though kids grow up faster and faster each year, and the innocence of childhood is an increasingly fleeting thing. Perhaps this is why these old boxes and ephemera have such sentimental value and charm. But whatever the decade, some things still hold true: a girl is like a candy bar – half sweetness… half nuts.
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