Summer camp has always been part of Camp Fire. The Gulicks developed the Camp Fire Girls’ program in a summer camp and a week at camp was a highlight for many Camp Fire Girls throughout the twentieth century. Before communities organized local Camp Fire councils and established their own camps, private girls’ camps often incorporated the Camp Fire program. Some of these camps also provided week-long training courses for Camp Fire guardians.
Three New England summer camps are of particular significance in Camp Fire’s history. In Maine Charlotte Vetter and Luther Halsey Gulick invited girls to join their daughters at their camp on Lake Sebago. Charlotte created the word WoHeLo from work, health, and love, and in the summer of 1910, with suggestions from Ernest Thompson Seton, she incorporated Indian Lore into the camp program.
Luther Halsey Gulick’s brother, Edward, and his wife, Harriet Farnsworth Gulick, established Camp Aloha near Fairlee, Vermont in the early 1900s. Harriet Gulick became a Camp Fire guardian and many of the girls at Camp Aloha were Camp Fire Girls, so it was natural to use the Camp Fire program there. 
When Harriet’s brother, Charles Farnsworth, and his wife, Charlotte Joy Farnsworth, established Camp Hanoum near Thetford, Vermont in 1909 it was patterned after Camp Aloha. Camp Hanoum was involved in preparation for the Thetford Pageant of 1911 and a group of girls asked William Chauncey Langdon, the pageant’s director, if they could have a group like the Boy Scouts, who were in the pageant. Langdon then came up with the name “Camp Fire Girls” and the original three ranks. 
Langdon, the Gulicks and the Farnsworths were all involved in shaping the Camp Fire Girls and Camp Fire ideas were used in their camps. Newspapers began publishing articles about the Camp Fire Girls in 1911 and other private camps also advertised that they had Camp Fire Girls’ councils, probably meaning Camp Fire groups. These included Winona Fields in New Hampshire, Setag in New York and Camp Minnehaha in North Carolina. According to Porter Sargent, after Charlotte Vetter Gulick worked out the “distinctive features” of the Camp Fire Girls “the program was further developed and worked out in the private camps. 
Camp Fire Girls also got off to a strong start in Iowa. Luther Halsey Gulick and his daughter Frances provided training for Camp Fire guardians at the Rural Life Conference in Ames, Iowa in June 1914. Later that summer a camp under the auspices of the University of Iowa and Camp Fire was organized at Lake Okoboji for the purpose of training Camp Fire leaders. Sadie Holiday, a 1909 graduate of the University of Iowa, who had spent the summer of 1913 at the Gulicks’ camp in Maine, was in charge of the camp. She was a member of Camp Fire’s National Board and continued to direct camps for Camp Fire Girls at Lake Okoboji into the 1920s. In 1918 the State University of Iowa published The Fifth Annual Recreational Camp for Girls, illustrated with photographs, describing the camp. Holiday later directed a camp for older girls in Hackensack, Minnesota 
Edith Kempthorne organized the first training course for Camp Fire guardians in the southern states at North Carolina’s Camp Minnehaha in 1920. Belle Abbott Roxby had established Camp Minnehaha, one mile from Bat Cave in western North Carolina, in 1912; it was the first girls’ camp in the region. Roxby soon incorporated the Camp Fire program and expressed interest in having a training course for Camp Fire leaders at her camp. For the training course the camp accommodated fifty older girls, students, or “young women interested in the development of leadership.” The course was offered again in 1921 and included a drive through the Vanderbilt estate in Asheville and an excursion to nearby Chimney Rock. A 1922 newspaper article described Minnehaha as the “first three part camp in the South.” The camp had separate counselors and activities for Blue Birds, who were eight- to twelve-years-old, and Camp Fire Girls from twelve to twenty with a Senior Rest Camp for women who wanted the freedom of camp life without the regular schedule. 
“Successful Camp Fire Camps” in the May 1920 Everygirl’s Magazine described four camps from the previous summer: Camp Keokuk in Georgetown, Massachusetts, Stockton, California’s Camp Minkalo, Camp Keewano Wohelo in Michigan and Camp Shawnee. 
Missouri’s Camp Shawnee was probably the first permanent camp established especially for Camp Fire Girls. The camp began in 1914 at the Ruhl Farm, near Kansas City, Missouri and in 1915 moved to Frank G. Robinson’s property at Grandview, where it flourished for ten weeks despite much rain. Kate Nelson, the first director felt that the girls left camp with a “deeper understanding of the out-of-doors . . . a greater loyalty to Camp Fire, higher ideals, and a democratic outlook on life in general.” The Olathe Mirror said the camp was “a ‘democratic’ camp in that every girl present . . . receives the same treatment.” Kansas and Missouri girls continued to attend Camp Shawnee at the Robinson farm until 1928 when they attended Camp Towanyak in Kansas. In 1937 a new Camp Shawnee was established at Knob Noster State Park in Missouri. This camp existed until 1970. 
Stella Swenson was instrumental in establishing Stockton’s Camp Minkalo. For several years Stockton Camp Fire Girls camped in a different place each year, always calling their camp Minkalo, which means “The Mountain Inn of the Starry Skies” In 1923 they established a permanent camp on the northeast side of Silver Lake, not far from Stockton’s Municipal Camp, which is now the Silver Lake Stockton Family Camp. Minkalo was a long-lived camp in a beautiful setting and its loss must be mourned by all who once camped there.
In contrast to Camp Minkalo, Camp Keokuk probably lasted only a few years. The Boston Globe described this Camp Fire Girls camp on Pentucket Pond at Georgetown in July 1921 with a photo of girls rolling ponchos. Mrs. Margaret L. Fox of Danvers was the director; Keokuk means “watchful fox.” The camp included a main building used for meals and rainy day activity and several conical tents for sleeping. Porter Sargent said that “Keokuk is a camp for Camp Fire Girls directed by Mrs. Margaret L. Fox.” Under “Camp Fire Girls”, he wrote “In addition, other camps, such as Keokuk, Georgetown, Mass., and Minnehaha, Bat Cave, N.C., use the Camp Fire Girls’ program.”
Keewano Wohelo on Lake Michigan was the first of at least a dozen Michigan Camp Fire camps. The rented camp site was in “rather inaccessible sand dune country” about a mile from Grand Haven and included two well-equipped cottages, one of which had a dining hall large enough for sixty girls. A circle of tents surrounded this building. Florence Heintz, Executive of the Grand Rapids Camp Fire Girls, directed the camp and later worked for National Camp Fire. She had been a Camp Fire Girl in high school. 
Camp Keewano Wohelo moved several times. In June 1922 Heintz reported on Camp Keewano Wohelo’s “third summer in its old site on Lake Michigan at Grand Haven.” A 1926 article in the Grand Rapids Press described new buildings at Camp Keewano Wohelo, north of Ottawa Beach that would be ready for camp when it opened on July 3. An ad for Ovaltine on the back cover of the November 1929 Everygirl’s featured girls from the Ottawa Beach Keewano Wohelo. Twenty years later the camp moved to a third site on Gillon Lake seven miles from Hesperia. Later newspaper articles locate the camp on Lake Tawas or Lake Tawa, also near Hesperia; it is not clear if there were two lakes near each other or if the camp moved again. I have not found any articles about the end of Camp Keewano. Developer Jim Jurries bought the land in 1980; it has been privately owned since 2000.
In 1924 Porter Sargent listed twenty Camp Fire Girls’ camps in twelve states in A Handbook of Summer Camps, but there is some inaccuracy; he listed two camps for Omaha, Nebraska, and Lincoln’s Camp Kiwanis is listed twice, once as Kiwanis Camp and once as Camp Kiwanis. Nyoda, listed as a Camp Fire camp was always a private camp. Not all the camps are named and some did not yet have permanent names. Iowa’s Camp Hantesa and Washington’s Camp Samish are among those missing from the list. Two of the named camps, Namanu, and Sealth are among the centennial camps. 
Located at Horky’s Park on Nebraska’s Blue River, Camp Crete may have had the largest enrollment of any Camp Fire camp. Guardian Mrs. F. F. Teal first took her Camp Fire group to camp for a week at Horky’s Park in July 1917. A year later she had been elected president of the Lincoln Guardians’ Association and three-hundred-fifty Nebraska Camp Fire Girls gathered for a week at Camp Crete, again in Horky’s Park. The camp was four-and-a-half miles from the town of Crete and included seventy-five cottages, a store and a large dancing pavilion. The Lincoln Camp Fire Council was formed in 1920 with Mrs. Teal serving as field secretary. That summer nearly six hundred girls from Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado, Iowa and South Dakota gathered at Horky’s Park on June 12, 1920 and a second week of camp was added to accommodate four-hundred more. The Lincoln Star reported that “special cars were coupled onto the regular Burlington trains to accommodate the wriggling mass of girls that swarmed the depot platforms in Lincoln.” Camp Crete, directed by Mrs. Teal and sometimes referred to as “Mrs. Teal’s camp” or Camp Metikameesh took place at Horky’s Park for a week every summer until at least 1932.
In 1924 Camp Fire awarded Mrs. Teal one of the first Wohelo awards for a “distinctive contribution to a deeper understanding and greater appreciation of Girls” and “for organizing the largest Camp Fire Girls camp in the world” In 1926 Nebraska girls were divided into two camps; those in the northern and western part of the state were accommodated at a new camp, Camp Long Pine, while those from Lincoln and Omaha returned to Camp Crete at Horky’s Park. Mrs. Teal directed both camps. By 1927 Mrs. Teal’s daughter, Dorothy Teal Ogden, was serving as swimming counselor at Camp Crete. 
Swimming was an important activity at Camp Crete. The 1929 Camp Crete brochure, announcing the twelfth season, June 17 to June 23, describes the swimming program and says that those who once “boarded the launch – two hundred of us at a time – to go for a swim in the Crete ‘Muny’ pool, can appreciate what it means to actually have a pool on our own grounds.” There were morning and afternoon classes divided into three levels; yellow, red and green ribbons indicated each campers level.
In the 1930s Camp Kiwanis seems to have replaced Camp Crete although there are a few newspaper references to Camp Fire Girls at Camp Crete up to 1946. By that time Camp Fire Girls had been attending the smaller Camp Kiwanis, near Milford for a couple of decades.
Camp Fire membership grew rapidly in the 1920s. By 1933 there were 1,500,000 Blue Birds, Camp Fire Girls and guardians. Porter Sargent listed 117 Camp Fire camps in thirty-three states in his 1929 camp directory.  After a community formed a local Camp Fire council the next step was usually to establish a camp, although sometimes, as in Bellingham, Washington, Lincoln, Nebraska and Kansas City, Missouri the camp came first. Private girls’ camps and Camp Fire Girls’ camps also grew farther apart. Most Camp Fire Girls went to camp for only a week or two while girls usually spent a month or longer at private camps. Some of the early leaders in Camp Fire like Barbara Ellen Joy, Sadie Holiday and Ruth A. Brown later directed their own private camps. Both kinds of camps developed beloved traditions and provided opportunities for friendship and life out-of-doors. Sadly, the decrease in the number of Camp Fire Girls’ camps means that far fewer girls have camp experience today.
Camp Fire camps listed in Porter Sargent’s A Handbook of Summer Camps 1924
Boston Camp Fire Girls Camp, Hanson, Mass. Miss Elizabeth Taylor, 2 Park Sq., Boston, Mass. Enr. 200
Camp Nyoda, Oak Ridge, N.J. Mrs. Grover D. Smith, P. O. Box 192 Montclair, N.J.
Camp Waiwanaissa, Earleigh Heights, Md. Mrs. Wm. C. Buttner, 5006 Densmore Ave., Baltimore, Md.
Camp Fire Girls Camp, Augusta. Mary Louise Wilson, 629 Green St., Augusta, Ga.
Municipal Camp (used by Camp Fire Girls), Cleveland Ohio. Ruth Bonsteel, Cleveland Girls’ Council, 503 Electric Bldg., Cleveland, Ohio.
Camp Sewanee, Berlin Center, Ohio, Claire McGuire, 14 E. Rayen Ave., Youngstown, Ohio.
Municipal Camp (used by Camp Fire Girls). Detroit, Mich. Grace Brown, 67 E. Adams Ae Detroit, Mich.
Camp Keewano Wohelo, Grand Haven, Mich. Margaret Thomas, Junior High Sch..Bdg., Grand Rapids, Mich.
Camp Nawakwa, South Haven, Mich. Mrs. John W. Moody, 1506 Kimball Bldg., Chicago, Ill.
Des Moines Camp Fire Girls Camp. Mrs. Clara S. Nelson 1107 Fleming Bldg., Des Moines, Ia.,
Camp Shawnee, Grandview, Mo. Cecil Francisco, 408 E. 11th St., Kansas City., Mo.
Camp Iwaqua, Valley, Nebraska, Omaha Council of Camp Fire Girls, Omaha, Nebr.
Kiwanis Camp, Milford, Nebr. Lincoln Camp Fire Council Lincoln, Nebr.
Camp Kiwanis, Lincoln, Nebr. Lola Duncan, 251 Fraternity Bldg., Lincoln, Nebr.
Camp Crete, Crete, Nebr., Mrs. C. C. Teal, 2044 C. St., Lincoln, Nebr.
Omaha Camp Fire Gils Cap, Valley Nebr. Mary Louise Guy, 17the & Farnum Sts., Omaha, Nebr.
Camp Namanu, Portland, Oregon. Mrs. Elizabeth White, care of Meier & Frank, Portland, Ore.
Camp Minkalo, Silver Lake, Cal. (Municipal Camp used by Camp Fire Girls.) Edith Tubbs, 1715 N. Commerce St., Stockton, Cal.
Spokane Camp Fire Girls Camp. Annette Francisco, 1019 W. 6th St., Spokane, Wash.
Camp Sealth, Vashon Island, Puget Sound, Wash. Ruth Brown, Arcade bldg.., Seattle, Wash.
 Harriet L. Barstow, “Camp Memories of 1913,” The Aloha Kanaka: A Story of Life at a Girls’ Camp (New Brunswick, N.J.: Harry Haywood, Jr., 1915), 148.
 Charlotte Joy Farnsworth was also preceptress of Horace Man School until 1911 when she resigned in order to devote all of her time to Camp Aloha. William Ronald Lee, “Education Through Music: The Life and Work of Charles Hubert Farnsworth” (diss., University of Kentucky, 1982), 97-99; Helen Buckler, Mary F. Fiedler, Martha F. Allen WO-HE-LO: The Story of Camp Fire Girls 1910-1960 (New York: Holt Rinehart and /Winston, 1961), 9-10; Allen F. Davis Postcards from Vermont: A Social History, 1905-1945 (Hanover, New Hampshire: University Press of New England, 2002), 240-241.
4; “The Camp Fire Girls Afield” WOHELO 2, no 4 (October 1914): 8; Advertisement for Camp Holiday WOHELO 7, no. 1 (July 1919): 25; Wichita Daily Eagle April 8, 1911; Post-Star (Glens Falls, New York) April 7, 1911; Porter Sargent A Handbook of Summer Camps, (Boston: Porter Sargent, 1929), 547.
 “Summer Opportunities for Guardians” WOHELO 1, no. 11 (May 1914): 11; Cedar Rapids Republican (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) August 9, 1914; Daily Times (Davenport, Iowa) May 26, 1914; Iowa City Press-Citizen (Iowa City, Iowa) May 28, 1920; April 18, 1924; Porter E. Sargent A Handbook of Summer Camps (Boston, 1924), 377, 546.
 “Training Course in South” WOHELO 7, no. 8 (April 1920): 129; Charlotte News (North Carolina) April 19, 1920; Porter Sargent, A Handbook of Private Schools, Vol 4, (Boston, 1918); Western North Carolina Times (Hendersonville,) April 28, 1922; Melanie English Summer Camps around Asheville and Hendersonville (Charleston, South Carolina: Arcadia Publishing, 2016); Everygirl’s Magazine 8, no. 7 (April 1921), 109.
 “Successful Camp Fire Camps” Everygirl’s Magazine 7, no.9 (May 1920), 155-159.
 Camp Fire Girls (Kansas City, Mo.) Camp Fire Girls of Kansas City: Camp Shawnee, 1915, Grandview, Mo.,[Kansas City, Mo., 1915]; “At Camp Shawnee” Olathe Mirror (Olathe, Kansas), July 20, 1916.
8] Stockton Daily Evening Record October 1, 1919.
 “Successful Camp Fire Camps” Everygirl’s Magazine 7, no.9 (May 1920), 159; Everygirl’s Magazine 8, no 9 (June 1921), 155-159; “When We Were Younger Than We Are Now” Everygirl’s 13, no. 7 (March 1926), 6-7.
 Florence Heintz “Report: Camp Keewano Wohelo of the Camp Fire Girls of Grand Rapids Michigan” Everygirl’s Magazine 8, no. 9 (June 1922), 149; Grand Rapids Press, June 25, 1926; April 26, 1958; July 9, 1965; August 5, 1967; Ludington Daily News (Ludington, Michigan), August 12, 1959;
 Nebraska State Journal (Lincoln) July 22, 1917; Lincoln Star (Nebraska) January 22, 1918; June 23, 1918; February 20, 1920;
 “Camp Metikameesh, Crete, Neb.”, WOHELO 7, no. 4 (December 1919), 66-67; Lincoln Star June 17, 1920; February 10, 1920; June 13, 1920 Weekly Schuyler Sun (Schuyler, Nebraska) June 24, 1920; Nebraska State Journal (Lincoln) April 1, 1924; May 2, 1926; April. 3, 1927.
 Jennifer Hillman Helgren “Inventing American Girlhood: Gender and Citizenship in the Twentieth-Century Camp Fire Girls” (PhD. diss. Claremont Graduate University, 2005)