Council Fire Period




Search  Inquiry Net

Back ] Home ] Up ] Next ]

Meeting Ingredients
Before the Meeting
Opening Exercises
Troop Formations
Patrol Corners
Scoutcraft Games
Recreational Games
Council Fire Period
Closing Exercises
After the Meeting

Scout Books

Site Contents

The council fire provides inspiration and fellowship.  Even the artificial fire of the meeting room serves the purpose.

After the physical activities of games and projects, the Troop settles down for the council fire period.  A few Troops are able to squat down in front of a real log fire in the fireplace of their meeting room, others form a circle around an artificial camp fire built of logs illuminated by a red electric bulb.  Still others are fortunate enough to have a council fire outdoors.

Now starts a period of fun, fellowship and inspiration as song follows song, interspersed with yells, stories and stunts.

Possibly the council fire period is the most important part of the Troop meeting for bringing in the more serious side of Scouting.  Be sure, therefore, that the program of this period is as good as possible.


Boys like to sing. The council fire-even an artificial fire-provides a good chance.  So get them singing!

In any Troop there is apt to be at least one natural song leader.

Find him and let him lead.

Encourage the Patrols to build a selection of their own favorite songs and to develop their own song leaders.  Have the Troop song leader work them into the program.

Start the council fire with peppy solo-and-chorus songs such as "Old MacDonald Had a Farm," "Three Wood Pigeons," "Australia," "Climbing up the Ladder."   Shift into lively hiking songs, such as "We're Happy While We're Hiking," "As We Swing Down the Trail," "Trail the Eagle," and proceed from those to the old, soft, familiar songs like "Old Black Joe," "Home on the Range," "By the Blazing Council Fire's Light."

You will find songs and hints on song leading in the Scout book, Songs Scouts Sing, [and Philmont Songbook].


Yells by Patrols or by the whole Troop-belong in the early part of the period.   They are good as applause for stunts.



Stunts by Patrols or by individuals should form a part of every council fire period.  These stunts may be short skits, improvised dramatics rehearsed during Patrol Corners, Scoutcraft demonstrations, Indian ceremonies, and camp fire challenge games.

Keep them short, wholesome, and lively.

See Stunts.

Story Telling

Stories, by all means! - told, not read, by the Scoutmaster, a member of the Troop or an outsider.

These, too, should be short and to the point, preferably focusing upon one "hero," one idea.  Toward the end of the council fire the boys will be receptive to the suggestion of a hero tale, simply, briefly told.  Only, be careful to select "live" subjects that appeal to boys.  Don't make it "goody-goody" and naturally DON'T POINT OUT THE MORAL.

Further story telling suggestions.

The Scoutmaster's Three Minutes

Closing the council fire period, the Scoutmaster should leave with the Scouts a "thought for the week," so to speak-impressing upon them the fact that they are Scouts and therefore are expected to act like Scouts.

This may be done in story form - which can take the place of any other story telling in the council fire period - or it may be in the form of a short talk based upon some point of the Scout Law or Oath.

Make it brief, stop short when the idea has been expressed (remember the rule of a good speaker: "Stand up, speak up, shut up!"), and proceed quickly to the closing of the meeting.


(1) Announce winners Of Troop competitions, Yells for and by the lucky Patrol.

(2) Which Patrol knows and can sing most songs?  Have a "Sing-Song" contest.

(3) Try debates on everyday problems involving the Scout Law. Examples: "In a rally your Patrol is all set to win when one of the fellows muffs a knot in the knot tying event.  Your Patrol loses.  What would you say to him after the event?"

"At camp a Scout in your tent has to go to church very early and leaves his bed unmade, asking you to attend to it for him.  This you refuse to do.   What mistake have each of you made?  What points of the Scout Law are involved?"

(4) Start a round-robin story, the Scoutmaster telling the first chapter, leaving the hero facing an "insurmountable" obstacle, the next boy to get him out of it, the following boy to get him into another difficulty, etc.

(5) Scouts to tell: "My Most Exciting Scout Experience."

(6) Call for reports of nature study, camp site exploration and the like.

(7) Which Patrol can tell the tallest tall story?  Contest between Patrol representatives.  The winner receives the "Silver Cup of Oratory"-an old tin can.

(8) Reading of the week's "Mystery Letter."  Interest a Scout, a leader or a member of the Troop Committee with writing ability to send the Troop a weekly letter, commenting upon the activities, jokingly, seriously, or even critically, signed "The Mystery Man of Troop Five."  This opens up a means of straightening out many small difficulties in an interesting and exciting manner.  Naturally, the identity of the writer must always remain a deep secret.

(9) Use the council fire period for investiture of new boys.

Copy of art_fire.gif (1489 bytes)
The Council Fire period of the Troop meeting Is greatly enhanced If the boys can gather around a camp fire although an artificial one. Such a "fire" may be made by nailing together pieces of wood into a council fire "lay" and lining it with red paper. The base Is plywood. electric bulb [see also Council Fire].

See: Closing Exercise







Additional Information:

Peer- Level Topic Links:
Meeting Ingredients ] Before the Meeting ] Opening Exercises ] Troop Formations ] Scoutcraft ] Patrol Corners ] Scoutcraft Games ] Recreational Games ] [ Council Fire Period ] Closing Exercises ] After the Meeting ]

Parent- Level Topic Links:
Object of Camping ] Patrol Camping ] Patrol Hikes ] Gilcraft Patrol System ] The Patrol System ] Court of Honor (PLC) ] Gilwell PL Training ] Philipps' Patrol System ] Golden Arrow PL Training ] Patrol Leader's Creed ] PL's Promise Ceremony ] Patrol Competition Awards ] Informal Scout Signals ] Ten Essentials ] Story Telling ] JLT Skits: Leadership ] Master & Commander ] Patrol Activities ] Patrol Motivation ] Troop Meeting Hints ] Troop Meetings ] Patrol Leader Training ] Essays ] Patrol Flags ] Training Patrol Leaders ] Troop Brainstorming ] Menus ]

The Inquiry Net Main Topic Links:
 [Outdoor Skills]  [Patrol Method [Old-School]  [Adults [Advancement]  [Ideals]  [Leadership]  [Uniforms]

Search This Site:

Search Amazon.Com:

When you place an order with Amazon.Com using the search box below, a small referral fee is returned to The Inquiry Net to help defer the expense of keeping us online.  Thank you for your consideration!



Amazon Logo



Scout Books Trading Post

Dead Bugs, Blow Guns, Sharp Knives, & Snakes:
What More Could A Boy Want?

Old School Scouting:
What to Do, and How to Do It!

To Email me, replace "(at)" below with "@"

If you have questions about one of my 2,000 pages here, you must send me the "URL" of the page!
This "URL" is sometimes called the "Address" and it is usually found in a little box near the top of your screen.  Most URLs start with the letters "http://"

The Kudu Net is a backup "mirror" of The Inquiry Net.  

2003, 2011 The Inquiry Net,  In addition to any Copyright still held by the original authors, the Scans, Optical Character Recognition, extensive Editing,  and HTML Coding on this Website are the property of the Webmaster.   My work may be used by individuals for non-commercial, non-web-based activities, such as Scouting, research, teaching, and personal use so long as this copyright statement and a URL to my material is included in the text
The purpose of this Website is to provide access  to hard to find, out-of-print documents.  Much of the content has been edited to be of practical use in today's world and is not intended as historical preservation.   I will be happy to provide scans of specific short passages in the original documents for people involved in academic research.  


Last modified: October 15, 2016.