Campfire Songs, Stories, and Skits
With a bright, warm, cheerful fire burning and dinner eaten and cleaned up, now what do we do?
Sitting around a campfire is fine and relaxing, especially after hiking all day on the 5th day of a trek. But, if you are just out for a weekend or have an energetic group, having a planned campfire program makes the evening memorable.
The key components of a good campfire program are Skits, Songs, and Stories. These three types of entertainment can be done any place and at any time, but no place nor time is better than around a campfire at dusk. Often times, while sitting at the fire, someone will just start telling a story and from there another person will tell a joke, and on it goes. This works fine for a couple people, but for a group you can plan ahead and prepare an exciting, memorable evening with little work.
A single person can use my Campfire Program Form to set up a simple campfire program or an hour-long event for an entire camp of boy scouts or youth at camp. Print it out and get started.
The challenge of a good campfire program is getting people to cut loose and lighten up. Once they get going, its a ton of fun. Depending on your group, you may decide to tell all the stories, lead all the songs, and perform a couple simple skits. But, chances are good that you can get a few volunteers beforehand to help you out.
Your campfire program should have a definite, planned structure. It should happen similarly to how a fire burns - starting small, building to a bright excitement, and then tapering off to glowing embers. The following is an often-used and successful way to organize your program. When ordering songs, skits, and stories, think where they should fit in the flow of the campfire to fill in this structure.
- Opening - gather people together and light the fire. See Campfire Magic for fun fire-lighting ideas. If the fire is already burning, knock it down to coals and have extra kindling and fuel wood ready. Stack them on to start your campfire program and a fast, bright flame will start things off.
- Lighter - its best to start with a short, well-known, fast song. There are a bunch of good campfire songs at Boy Scout Songs. You might start with a 'repeat after me' song such as Bill Grogan's Goat, or a loud, funny song like Jon Johnson.
- Burning - Alternate Skits, Songs, and Stories with different people presenting their tunes and tales.
- Dying - Plan a slower, silly song such as Pink Pajamas, followed by a couple slower songs like Unicorn Song or America the Beautiful.
- Closing - Wrap up with a short story or thankful prayer for the day or some other thought.
- Ashes - after the program ends, you may say its 'lights out' or let folks sit around telling quieter ghost stories and such. You should definitely make it known that the time for loudness is over since some people may be ready for bed.