Legend has it that lord Baden-Powell would always take a small amount of
cool ashes from the night before's campfire and spread them into the
next campfire as part of it's opening. This tradition began during his
days in the British Army. He did this until his death on January 8th,
1941. It's purpose, he said, was to bring all scouts and scouters the
international aspect of the world brotherhood of scouting.
Other scouts and scouters would place the end of their staves in the
fire's embers to hold on to the spirit felt there and help them remember
the event. Some feel that the ashes themselves contain the essence of
the scout spirit they felt as the campfires' brilliant flames turned to
Thus, ashes taken from a campfire and sprinkled into the flames of the
next could have a written pedigree through scout spirit and brotherhood.
It is traditional that only those present at the campfire ceremony carry
those ashes, when stirred and cooled, to the next fire. If, by chance,
more than one scout or scouter brings ashes to the same campfire, the
pedigree lists are pooled, with all dates and places recorded and passed
on. In many places all those who wish to participate or carry away ashes
must each bring a small stick, pinecone or acorn for the fire.
A charge should be included in the ceremony when these old ashes are
sprinkled into the new flames of your fire. Any ceremony or charge can
be used. If you wish to use any of these provided, just add the ashes at
the pause in each charge.
This charge is rumored to be written by B-P himself and could be added
to any ash ceremony:
“We carry our friendship with us in these ashes form other campfires
with comrades in other lands. May the joining of the dead fires with the
leaping flames symbolize once more the unbroken chain that binds scout
and guides around the world.” . . . “With greetings form scouts of all