A well run campfire will have several elements,
  • An opening song
  • warm-up songs and rounds
  • Action songs, including Yells and rowdy songs
  • skits or stories
  • slower songs
  • quieter reflective songs
  • a closing song - such as Scouting Firelight.
We plan a campfire roughly in that sequence so that we can guide the mood and emotions of those at the campfire.
We basically start off slowly and build up as the fire grows, and then ease off as the fire does too.
For this reason, it is generally better not to add wood to a campfire unless it is really needed, as doing so changes the stage that the fire is at, putting it out of sync with the mood we are trying to maintain at that time.

My personal preference is to NOT have skits during the campfire, but rather to have them during other times. If on a camp, then my preference would be to have a couple of skits before or after meals, when there is plenty of light and the audience can be positioned where they can hear and see the performers.
Therefore at that stage of the campfire, a good yarn will fit in perfectly.

Having a good range of available songs that your group already knows is also important.
After scrounging through all the old camping and scouting songbooks I have on my shelves and extracting the songs that I feel need to be included, I have compiled my own songbook.

By the way, you don't always need a real fire to run a campfire. You can use a pie-dish or similar filled with salt and metholated spirits for an indoor fire - but make sure you insulate the tray/dish from the floor so the heat does not damage anything. Keep it aside after the campfire, and store it away once cooled. Then just add metho to the salt next time you want to use it.

You can also make an indoor fire like the one below, using sticks, cellophane and a lamp (preferably a cool one such as a compact fluorescent one). Screw the sticks together to make this nice and solid. Install a 240 or battery-operated light to suit your situation.
Both of these types can be used over and over again.

I recommend you check out these great resources for campfire info and campfire songs.


  • Becky's Guiding Resource Guide has several sample campfire programs, if you want some planning ideas (note - they are Canandian Girl-Guide ones, not Aussie scouting ones, but we don't mind). Have a look around her entire site, as there is lots of other good stuff there too , including campfire recipies you may be able to use.
  • The Campfire Dude
  • If you want coloured flames or sparkles etc in your campfire, have a look at his campfire magic page.
  • The Dump which has scanned copies of scouting publications that are now out of copyright.
  • MacScouter - whch also has Clipart, cooking, skits, stories, and games.
  • - UK Scouting resource website
  • "Gross and Annoying Songs" by Ken Carder (book and CD) ISBN 1575838214
  • "Best of The Leader" by Scouts Canada Catalogue No.20-510 ISBN 0919062-56-3
  • "Fun WIth Skits, Stunts and Stories" by Helen and Larry Eisenberg ISBN 0-8010-3367-5 (the copy I saw was bought from Koorong)
  • "Campfire Programs with Jack Pearse" by Jack Pearse (der!) ISBN 0-921155-01-8 He has produced many books on campfires, skits and songs
  • "Campfire Stunts and Sketches" a Gauntlet Publication, compiled by Kees Klep ISBN 0-86766-0511 Gauntlet Publishing, PO Box 28 Huntingdale Vic 3066 (maybe also via Snowgum)



© 2009 Ian Moggs, all rights reserved.

Last updated 2nd April 2010.

Email me anytime - i2 @ robian .net (without the spaces).