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Findlay-Campfire, Inc. - MS 223

Introduction | Agency History | Scope and Content | Series DescriptionInventory


The Findlay-Campfire, Inc., Collection documents the activities and history of the organization from 1913 to 1978. The collection consists of one linear foot of records including a scrapbook, membership handbooks, song sheets, photographs, negatives, and glass slides.

These materials were donated to the Center for Archival Collections in March 1982 through the cooperation of Adel Wilfred and Chris Rakestraw, Findlay-Campfire, Inc., and Jill Gates Smith, Field Representative with the Women's Studies Archives Project. Literary and property rights have been dedicated to the public and duplication is permitted for the purpose of preservation and scholarly research. The register was prepared by Sandra Davies, graduate assistant in history, in June 1982.

Agency History

The Camp Fire Girls movement traces its origins to 1910 when Dr. and Mrs. Luther Halsey Gulick, together with a group of educators, devised a program for girls along the lines of the Boy Scouts. Initially, it was meant to serve the needs of teenagers but grew to include all girls from the ages of seven to eighteen.

In Findlay, the first Camp Fire group was organized in 1923. The year 1929 saw the formation of a Camp Fire Council which directed group activities. Recognizing the need for a building which could be used by the local groups, the Council leased a former one-room schoolhouse east of Findlay in 1936, now officially known as the Camp Fire Girls Cabin. The Council's name was formally changed to No-We-Oh (Northwest Ohio) in 1959.

The Campfire, Inc., is a national organization serving girls of every race, religion, and economic status. It consists of several different age levels: Blue Birds, who are composed of members ranging in age from seven to nine years; Camp Fire Girls, who are ten years through fifteen years of age; and Horizon Club, which is designed for high school members.

Scope and Content

The Findlay-Campfire, Inc., Collection illustrates aspects of the social development of women in northwest Ohio through their involvement in a popular youth organization. The collection includes a scrapbook kept by a group from the Maumee Valley Camp Fire branch in 1913, three years after the national organization was founded. The book provides information on the function and activities of the group and concerns of its members.

Printed material within the collection includes membership campaign posters, membership handbooks, and song sheets. They are useful to researchers interested in the history of the organization. In addition, these publications are indicators of girls' role, real and perceived, and women in American society in the twentieth century. It is especially enlightening to compare the two handbooks which show the development and modernization of the movement within a forty-eight year time span. Photographic material in the collection similarly documents the members of local Camp Fire groups and their activities.

Series Description


Contains rosters, photographs, and minutes from the Maumee Valley Camp Fire Girls.


Includes two posters used for recruitment in the Findlay area.

1925, 1973.
Arranged chronologically
Contains two handbooks explaining the history of the organization, membership requirements, activities, and the honors system.

Arranged alphabetically by title.
Three songs written for the national organization complete with dance instructions on the back: "Burn Fire Burn," "Mammy Moon," "Work Song."


Arranged by subject.
Photographs of the Camp Fire Cabin in Findlay-Hancock County.

Arranged by subject.
Photographed at Camp Sandusky (now Camp Pittenger) in 1937 showing members participating in the summer camping program.


Box 1


  1. Camp Fire scrapbook, 1913
  2. Membership campaign posters, n.d.
  3. Membership handbook, 1925
  4. Adventure handbook, 1973
  5. "Golden Jubilee 1910-1960" 1960
  6. Song sheets, 1915
  7. Photographs/negatives--Findlay Camp Fire Cabin:
    • the cabin (interior), c. 1937
    • interior with eight girls and guardian, c. 1937
  8. Lantern slides, 1937. All of the slides were taken at Camp Sandusky (now Camp Pittenger) near McCutchenville, Ohio.
    • Cabin with campers
    • Girls in bunks
    • River scene
    • People on cabin porch
    • Girls in a tent
    • Men near woodpile
    • Swimmers
    • Dog in canoe
    • Girls on cabin porch
    • Tinted view of cabin
    • The woods
    • Swimmers
    • Girls on a trail
    • Louise Poole (junior counselor) and camper named McIntosh braiding lanyards
    • Girls at bunk
    • Girls in front of main lodge
    • Group shot of eight girls: Top row: Anna Jean Rogge, Rosemary Huffman, Dorothy Yocum. Middle row: Betty Gillespie, Dorothy Dunathan, Betty (Love) Smith. Bottom row: Helen (Duttweiler) Payne, Louise Poole.

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