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Camp Fire Girls Sacramento-Yolo Council records
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition
  • Preferred Citation
  • Related Materials
  • Biographical / Historical
  • Arrangement
  • Scope and Contents
  • Conditions Governing Use

  • Language of Material: English
    Contributing Institution: Center for Sacramento History
    Title: Camp Fire Girls Sacramento-Yolo Council records
    creator: Bidwell Council of Camp Fire, Inc
    creator: Yuba-Sutter Council of Camp Fire, Inc
    creator: Sacramento-Yolo Council of Camp Fire, Inc (1948-1998)
    creator: Camp Fire Boys and Girls, Sacramento Sierra Council (1998-2002)
    creator: Camp Fire USA, Sacramento Sierra Council (2002-2007)
    Identifier/Call Number: MS0002
    Physical Description: 17.6 linear feet (16 boxes + 65 artifacts)
    Date (inclusive): 1910-2007
    Physical Location: Center for Sacramento History 551 Sequoia Pacific Boulevard Sacramento, California 95811 (916) 808-7072 csh@cityofsacramento.org www.centerforsacramentohistory.org
    Physical location: SP 1:H:3-4, 1:H:6, I:G:5-6, 45:E:4-5
    Abstract: The Camp Fire records document the activities of the now defunct groups in the Sacramento region. Now known simply as Camp Fire, Camp Fire Girls was established in Sacramento in the 1920s, and was a popular and inclusive organization for more than seventy-five years until it dissolved in 2009. Native American culture was a prominent influence on the group's values, attire, names, and ranks. The numerous books, scrapbooks, photographs, and artifacts make the bulk of the collection and provide the framework and foundation for each series.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Received from Danielle Pinney in December 2008 by the Center for Sacramento History. Accession #2008/054.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], MS0002, Camp Fire Girls Sacramento-Yolo Council records, Center for Sacramento History.

    Related Materials

    At the Center for Sacramento History: George I. Williams Boy Scout Collection (2005/078), the John O'Farrell Collection (2006/026), and the Loren Hov Collection of Boy Scout material (2006/066); and a Girl Scout uniform (2016/034).

    Biographical / Historical

    Camp Fire Girls was established by Dr. Luther Gulick and Charlotte Gulick in 1910 as a non-profit youth agency. It was incorporated in Washington D.C. as a national agency on March 17, 1912. Since its founding, Camp Fire has upheld and promoted WoHeLo, which stands for the core values of Work, Health, and Love. These values have been central to the group, as is the Camp Fire law, which is to Worship God, Seek Beauty, Give Service, Pursue Knowledge, Be Trustworthy, Hold onto Health, Glorify Work, and Be Happy.
    In 1975 Camp Fire became co-educational, changing its name to Camp Fire Boys and Girls. In 2012, it again changed to simply Camp Fire. Until 1975, Camp Fire Girls was open to girls of all ages, races, religions, national origins, and economic backgrounds as an outdoor opportunity in response to the Boy Scouts (also founded in 1910). To stress its identity of diversity and inclusiveness, Camp Fire Girls used Native American culture as the inspiration for many of its activities, names, and symbols. The group originally used native costumes for ceremonies, but later girls were encouraged to dress according to their own ethnic ancestry. Their national uniforms consisted of a white blouse, a blue skirt, a red or blue vest, and a red neckerchief. Four program categories distinguished the grade levels: the Blue Birds club ranged from first through third grades; Adventure Club covered fourth through sixth grades; Junior-Hi Club (now called Discovery) included seventh and eighth grades; and Horizon Club was for high school girls.
    Camp Fire came to California in 1917, and in 1923 the Sacramento Yolo Council was founded. Its headquarters were located in East Sacramento. According to the scrapbooks in this collection, the girls in this Council were active in the Sacramento region assisting the elderly, selling their famous chocolate mints, earning their beads and ranks, and attending camp. Two camps were specifically available for Camp Fire members near Sacramento: Camp Minaluta and Camp Mokitana. Little is known about Camp Minaluta, except that it was also known as Camp Augusta located on Lake Vera near Nevada City, California and sold in 2004. Camp Mokitana was located at River Bend (formerly known as Goethe) Park and closed in the 2000s. It was renovated by Rotary District 5180 in 2014.
    After fifty years the Sacramento Yolo Council changed its name to the Sacramento Sierra Council in 1998. While Camp Fire was thriving in California, it did not play a prevalent and lasting role in the Sacramento area. The lack of community funding and new membership caused the council to officially dissolve in 2009.


    Series 1. Bound and Printed Materials
    Series 2. Organizational Materials
    Series 3. Scrapbooks
    Series 4. Photographs
    Series 5. Awards
    Series 6. Artifacts

    Scope and Contents

    This collection primarily documents over 75 years of the activities of the Camp Fire Sacramento-Yolo Council. These records include material from Campfire councils that dissolved and merged, including councils based in Chico, Davis, Marysville, Roseville, Woodland, and Yuba City. Collected and preserved by multiple members, the collection focuses mainly on group events through scrapbooks and photographs that range from c.1910 to 2007 and captures activities and projects required for rank advancements and awards for accomplishments. The collection also gives a broad view of the national organization with many editions of the guidebooks and booklets for national summer workshops; manuals that teach the arts of camping, cooking, and crafting; and cultural dress for ceremonies. The collection contains very little correspondence from individuals. Items in general are arranged chronologically within each series. Several scrapbooks and newspaper clippings have been photocopied onto archival paper for preservation purposes.
    Contained within the collection are textual records including books and publications; newspapers, newspaper clippings, bulletins, and magazine articles; and awards and certificates. Other formats include photographs; and artifacts include uniforms, native ceremonial attire, beads, drums, and trophies. The geographic focus of the material is the Sacramento, California region, and dates from the 1910s through the early 2000s. Topics and subjects included in the collection are Native American and other ethnic folklore; camping and recreation; conservation and community service.
    The following series scope and content notes only offer selected highlights. Please see the container list for a full listing of the series contents. The numerous books, scrapbooks, photographs, and artifacts make the bulk of the collection and provide the framework and foundation for each series.
    Series 1 – Bound & Printed Materials include three subseries: Guidebooks, Manuals & Bulletins, and Fiction. The Guidebooks subseries contain the handbooks used in all the levels, as well as the parent or guardian books. The several editions of each guidebook reflect changes taking place over the twentieth century. Manuals & Bulletins document the skills, activities, and events of the Camp Fire participants, including leadership, manners and femininity, camping, cooking, and crafting; summer workshops, training courses, and ceremonies. Magazines for both Camp Fire members and leaders are also included. The final subseries is Fiction, which consists of early to mid-twentieth century hardcover novels. Mostly written by Camp Fire Girls, Inc., these novels describe thrilling adventures and demonstrate how girls could use the valuable skills they learned via the organization.
    Series 2 – Organizational Materials is comprised of 28 folders that contain meeting records, forms, newspaper clippings, publicity materials, minutes from board meetings and other record books, song books, and ephemera.
    Series 3 – Scrapbooks is comprised of approximately 42 scrapbooks dating from the beginning of the Camp Fire Girls in the Sacramento area. They contain thousands of newspaper and publicity clippings; thousands of photographs, and some correspondence; Camp Fire birthday projects, and rank requirement projects. Many of the scrapbooks were copied onto archival paper due to the original's condition and size. Those deemed too brittle or with broken bindings were discarded. In some cases, the original scrapbook and a preservation copy on archival paper can be found together in a folder; the container list indicates this with the symbol †.
    Series 4 – Photographs document the activities in which the Camp Fire members participated and are arranged chronologically. The photographs depict events such as ceremonies, field trips, holiday gatherings, and group pictures. There are several photographs from Camp Minaluta over the years, as well as some from surrounding councils. Box 9 contains unidentified and undated photographs.
    Series 5 – Awards include printed charters, certificates, resolutions, proclamations, and awards which recognize the contributions and work of the councils in their communities.
    Series 6 – Artifacts contain trophies, clothing, handmade ceremonial items, beads, and handmade drums. The clothing depicts the national uniforms, as well as the native attire used in Camp Fire ceremonies. Descriptions of these items can be found in the Center's artifact catalog: http://sacramento.pastperfectonline.com.

    Conditions Governing Use

    All requests to publish or quote from private collections held by the Center for Sacramento History (CSH) must be submitted in writing to csh@cityofsacramento.org. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Center for Sacramento History as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the patron. No permission is necessary to publish or quote from public records.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Boy Scouts of America
    Camp Fire Girls
    Camp Minaluta
    Camp Mokitana
    Leadership Magazine
    Sacramento Bee
    Sacramento Union
    Clubs – Girls societies -- Education -- Folklore -- Outdoor Life -- Recreation -- Sacramento (Calif.)—History