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[p. 57]

Medford Camp Fire Girls.

The future historian of Medford will find he has a task on his hands to enumerate the various social and fraternal organizations that have been or are existent at the time of his writing. Not so Mr. Brooks in 1855. His list included but three—Sons of Temperance, Masons, and the Medford Salt-marsh Corporation. Today their name is Legion, for they are ‘many.’ At the present time the spirit of organization is everywhere. The young people have caught it, and the wide-spread helpful influence of the Boy Scouts is everywhere felt.

As a bit of current history we wish to mention another which has obtained place in Medford, that of the Camp Fire Girls. In a previous issue the Register has told of their visit to the Historical rooms and of their lighting of our initial (matchless) fire on the Society's hearthstone. On a recent occasion they were again both our guests and entertainers. One of their number, delegated to do so, told of their aim to live up to the law of the Camp Fire, which is to

Seek beauty, Give service, Pursue knowledge, Be trustworthy,
Hold on to health, Glorify work, and Be happy.

Of the three degrees—

‘Wood Gatherer,’ ‘Fire Maker,’ and ‘Torch Bearer,’

It is only by effort, and by sincere and earnest work, that each degree is obtained. A Camp Fire Girl must earn a certain number of honors in order to obtain her degree, but it isn't the spirit of the Camp Fire Girls to see how many pretty bright-colored beads they can gain in order to have a long chain—theirs is the joy in earning them.

She explained their watchword, Wo-he-lo, as compounded from work, health, love, and the entire company recited with her the desires of each degree. One, especially beautiful, we quote—

As fuel is brought to the fire, so I purpose to bring my strength, my ambition, my heart's desire, my joy and my sorrow to the fire [p. 58] of humankind. For I will tend as my fathers have tended since time began, the fire that is called the love of man for man, the love of man for God.

The usual number in a group or ‘fire’ of these girls is ten, their leader is usually a young matron, and styled ‘Guardian.’ Two or more fires are styled a Council, and its name may be a composite of the names of each, in this case Sag-my-nah.

That it is educative in its influence goes without saying. Each meeting some girl contributes to the entertainment of the evening an original composition. The occasion referred to was the time of the ‘Council's’ meeting, transferred from a ‘house of worship’ to the Historical Society's home. The Register gladly preserves for the future the contribution of the girl of the evening, whose name is appended:—

On a cold and star-lit evening,
In the second moon of winter,
Met the Camp Fire girls together
Camp of Sagamore and Mystic,
In a sacred house of worship
In the good old town of Medford.
Listen, while I tell the story
Of that bright and happy evening,
When we wore our Indian dresses
And our many-colored headbands
To that ceremonial meeting.
Of our number there were present
Nine and twenty bright-faced maidens.
Entered, Sagamore and Mystic;
Made the fire sign together,
Sign of fame and curling woodsmoke
Curling slowly, slowly upwards
To the great mysterious Spirit;
Then so softly all together
Said the ode to the great Spirit,
Sang we then the mystic fire song
Sang it all with joyous voices.
Afterwards, with hands uplifted
Paid our tribute to the colors
To the emblem of our freedom
To the flag of our great nation. [p. 59]
How the rafters rang with music!
Music of our national anthem
And our Camp Fire cry, ‘Wo-he-lo.’
See! before the firelight standing
Three tall candles all unlighted
Waiting for Nioda's coming
Waiting for the maid She-she-bens,
Waiting for the maid Jaswedo.
Each one knelt before her candle
In her hand a lighted taper,
Touched it to the candle, saying,
“Work and Health and Love are lighted With the magic word ‘ Wo-he-lo.’

Stood outside the camp a maiden
To become one of our number,
Stood before the guardian saying
Earnest words of her desire
To become a Camp Fire maiden.
Then, replied the guardian to her
After all her words were spoken,
“You are now one of our number Camps of Sagamore and Mystic.

Then bestowed upon their members
Twelve in number well-won honors
So, unto each necklace adding,
Precious beads of many colors,
Six unto the Camp of Sagamore,
Six unto the Camp of Mystic.
Then, into the Wood-gatherers' circle
There were gathered nine new members,
Four from Mystic,
Five from Sagamore.
On each hand was placed a token
Silver ring of seven fagots and the circles of ‘Wo-he-lo.’
Then our closing song together
Sang we all the ‘Day is Over.’
And unto their homes departed
All the loyal Camp Fire maidens.

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