Camp Fire Girls of America is Founded

In 1910, young girls in Thetford, Vermont, watched their brothers, friends, and schoolmates – all Boy Scouts – practice their parts in the community's 150th anniversary, which would be celebrated the following summer.

The pageant's organizer, William Chauncey Langdon, promised the girls that they, too, would have an organized role in the pageant, although no organization such as Boy Scouts existed then for girls. Langdon consulted with Mrs. Charles Farnsworth, preceptress of Horace Mann School near Thetford, Vermont. Both approached Luther Halsey Gulick M.D. about creating a national organization for girls. Gulick introduced the idea to friends, among them G. Stanley Hall, Ernest Thompson Seton, and James West, executive secretary of the Boy Scouts. After many discussions and help from Gulick and his wife Charlotte, Langdon named the group of Thetford girls the Camp Fire Girls.

Plans now are being made for a temporary organization called "The Camp Fire Girls of America" which may develop into a national society in the fall if such a step seems justified. The aim of the organization is to provide for girls outdoor activities corresponding to those furnished boys by the Boy Scout movement. It seeks to encourage a greater interest among girls in exercises in the open with the threefold aim of developing their bodies, mind and characters. It is recognized, however, that the activities provided for the girls must be fundamentally different from those of boys and that special attention must be paid to the home...

Camp Fire continued as Camp Fire Girls thru the 1970s. Then, there was discussion between Boy Scouts of America and Camp Fire Girls to merge the two programs. During discussions, BSA began running some groups at the high-school age level that were coed. While the decision was against a merger, BSA continued running coed high-school groups which came to be known as Explorers. Camp Fire's decision after the discussions and trial runs was to go completely coed. After it became coed, the name was changed to simply "Camp Fire." Then, to "Camp Fire Boys and Girls." And more recently to "Camp Fire USA."