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MC 593; Phon-50

Camp Fire for Eastern Massachusetts Council. Records of the Camp Fire for Eastern Massachusetts Council, 1902-2001 (inclusive), 1920-1973 (bulk): A Finding Aid

Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University


Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Processing of this collection was made possible by a gift from the Mary Mitchell Wood Manuscript Processing Fund, with additional support from Camp Fire for Eastern Massachusetts Council.

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: MC 593; Phon-50
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: Camp Fire for Eastern Massachusetts Council
Title: Records of the Camp Fire for Eastern Massachusetts Council, 1902-2001 (inclusive), 1920-1973 (bulk)
Date(s): 1902-2001
Date(s): 1920-1973
Quantity: 13.76 linear feet (8 file boxes, 3 folio boxes, 3 folio+ boxes, 2 oversize boxes) plus 51 photograph folders, 3 folio photograph folders, 2 folio+ photograph folders, 3 phonograph records, and 2 objects)
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Records of Camp Fire for Eastern Massachusetts Council, founded as Greater Boston Council of Camp Fire Girls in 1919 to provide girls with club activities and camping opportunities.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Accession numbers: 92-M203, 2001-M73
The records of Camp Fire for Eastern Massachusetts Council were given to the Schlesinger Library by the Camp Fire for Eastern Massachusetts Council, Inc., between December 1992 and May 2001.

Processing Information:

Processed: September 2009
By: Susan Earle

Access Restrictions:

Access. Unrestricted, except that individual items throughout the collection are closed as noted to protect personal privacy. An appointment is necessary to use any audiovisual material.

Conditions Governing Use:

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Camp Fire for Eastern Massachusetts Council is held by the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Schlesinger Library. Copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.
Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.

Preferred Citation:

Camp Fire for Eastern Massachusetts Council Records, 1902-2001; item description, dates. MC 593, folder #. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.


Donors: Camp Fire for Eastern Massachusetts Council
Accession number: 92-M273
Processed by: Susan Earle
A number of national Camp Fire Girls publications were transferred to the Schlesinger Library Book Division.


Camp Fire Girls was founded in 1910 by Luther Gulick and his wife Charlotte Vetter Gulick as the first nonsectarian organization for girls in the United States. The first meetings were held in Vermont. The Greater Boston Council of Camp Fire Girls, later known as Council for Greater Boston Camp Fire Girls and as Camp Fire for Eastern Massachusetts Council, was incorporated in 1919 and became coeducational in 1975. For further information, see Wo-He-Lo: the Story of the Camp Fire Girls, and the official websites of Camp Fire USA and Camp Fire USA, Eastern Massachusetts Council.


The collection is arranged in five series:


The records of the Camp Fire for Eastern Massachusetts Council (formerly Council for Greater Boston Council of Camp Fire Girls and Greater Boston Council of Camp Fire Girls) document their programs for girls living in Eastern Massachusetts. There were seven Camp Fire districts in Eastern Massachusetts, each consisting of several smaller Camp Fire groups. The collection includes constitutions and by-laws; charters, executive board meeting minutes and annual reports; conference programs; a variety of materials on Camp Fire's Camp Kiwanis, brochures and other publications; photographs; phonograph records; scrapbooks; and memorabilia (including Camp Fire rank insignia). Relatively little material detailing the inner workings of the Greater Boston Council and its camps is included. The majority of the folder titles were created by the processor; titles created by Camp Fire staff are in quotation marks.
Series I, GREATER BOSTON COUNCIL HISTORY AND ADMINISTRATION, 1914-1991, n.d. (#1.1-2.20, 9FB.1-9FB.4, 9FB.8, 10F+B.1-10F+B.8, 12F+B.11, 13OB.1-14OB.6), documents the history, structure, and policies, and includes files on several staff members. There are many gaps in the records. The series is divided into two subseries.
Subseries A, History and policy, 1914-1991, n.d. (#1.1-2.11, 9FB.1-9FB.4, 9FB.8, 10F+B.1-10F+B.8, 12F+B.11, 13OB.1-14OB.6), includes a chronology of the national organization (up to 1961); constitutions and by-laws for both national and Greater Boston Camp Fires; charters for Camp Fire groups within the Greater Boston Council; annual reports (both Greater Boston and smaller groups); meeting minutes; national and Greater Boston Council objectives; and correspondence. The records are incomplete.
Subseries B, Staff, 1944-1984, n.d. (#2.12-2.20), contains files on several Camp Fire staff members, including national executive directors and staff members with long service to Camp Fire. A few leaders' guides for the Greater Boston Council are also included. The subseries is arranged alphabetically.
Series II, PROGRAM, 1916-1985, 2001, n.d. (#2.21-6.15, 9FB.5-9FB.6, 9FB.8, 11F+B.1v-12F+B.9, 12F+B.11), documents conferences and jubilees, camp life, and other programs. It is divided into three subseries.
Subseries A, Conferences, meetings, jubilees, etc., 1917-1972 (#2.21-4.16, 9FB.5, 9FB.8, 11F+B.1v), includes programs for Greater Boston Camp Fire events, as well as a souvenir program for an event in Rhode Island, a New England Camp Fire Girls program, and a scrapbook and other items commemorating the 50th anniversaries of both the national organization and the Greater Boston Council. Also included are programs, registration lists, promotional materials, and session reports for several Greater Boston Horizon Club conferences. (Horizon Clubs were geared towards high school girls, who were encouraged to design their own programs and activities.) Of note are newsletters written by Horizon Club members (#3.11-4.1), and a souvenir book for the 1966 "Hope Afloat" conference, for which 1004 Camp Fire Girls and 77 staff members from across the United States embarked on a twenty-day voyage on the M/S Aurelia, traveling to Puerto Rico, Colombia, and Jamaica (#4.10). The records are grouped with Greater Boston materials first, followed by Horizon Club, and then other Camp Fire organizations.
Subseries B, Camp Kiwanis/Kiwanee, 1923-1974, n.d. (#5.1-5.14), documents activities at Camp Kiwanis on Lake Maquan in Hanson, Massachusetts. The camp was founded in 1922 by Camp Fire's Greater Boston Council, and in 1957, the name was changed to Camp Kiwanee. The subseries includes brochures describing camp activities and policies, a program for a benefit held by the Boston Kiwanis Club to benefit Camp Kiwanis, activity schedules, a detailed arts and crafts report, and staff manuals. The subseries is arranged chronologically.
Subseries C, Camp Fire groups, 1916-1985, 2001, n.d. (#5.15-6.15, 9FB.6, 9FB.8, 12F+B.1-12F+B.9, 12F+B.11), primarily includes material on individual Camp Fire groups in Eastern Massachusetts. Included are record books and scrapbooks for groups in Melrose, Roslindale, and Saugus, Massachusetts--all of which were included in the Greater Boston Council--and Eastport, Maine. A scrapbook on the activities of Camp Fire girls in Quincy, Massachusetts, is also included. The subseries also contains material on a highway safety program put together by Camp Fire Girls in North Reading, Massachusetts, and journals of a few Camp Fire girls from outside New England. The New England items are listed alphabetically, followed by the non-New England journals.
Series III, PUBLICATIONS, 1902-1979, n.d. (#7.1-8.12, 9FB.7-9FB.8), contains various Camp Fire publications, including songbooks and supply catalogs, a book written by fifth grade Camp Fire Girls in Dover, Massachusetts, a newsletter fragment, brochures for Camp Fire's resident and day camps in the Greater Boston area, and several plays performed by Camp Fire Girls. This series is arranged alphabetically.
Series IV, PHOTOGRAPHS, 1912-1973, n.d. (#PD.1-PD.52), includes photographs of campers in action at Camp Kiwanis and other Camp Fire locations, as well as photographs of various Camp Fire activities and programs.
Subseries A, Camp Kiwanis/Kiwanee, 1922-1973, n.d. (#PD.1-PD.20), includes photographs of various activities at the camp, such as archery, canoeing, arts and crafts, and swimming, as well as the campgrounds, campers, and staff. The subseries is arranged alphabetically.
Subseries B, Other photographs, 1912-1972, n.d. (#PD.21-PD.52), includes photographs of Camp Fire girls with several Massachusetts governors; Camp Fire anniversary celebrations; Camp Fire administrators and campers; and various Camp Fire activities, such as cooking and weaving; publicity photographs, including several for the Camp Fire girls annual candy sale; photographs of day camps, and Camp Kalpshi. The subseries is arranged alphabetically.
Most of the photographs in this collection are or will be cataloged in VIA, Harvard University's Visual Information Access database. Others, referred to as "uncataloged" photographs, are not of sufficient research interest to warrant cataloging and are simply treated as part of the documents they accompany; they are marked on the back with an asterisk in square brackets [*].
Series V, AUDIOVISUAL, OVERSIZED, AND MEMORABILIA, 1916-1975, n.d. (#Phon-50.1-Phon-50.3, 9FB.1-9FB.8, 10F+B.1-12F+B.11, 13OB.1-14OB.6, 15FB.1m-16FB.6m, Mem.1-Mem.2), includes phonograph records, scrapbooks and other oversized items, and memorabilia.
Subseries A, Audiovisual, 1960-1968, n.d. (#Phon-50.1-Phon-50.3), includes 3 phonograph records of Camp Fire Girls songs.
Subseries B, Oversized, 1924-1975, n.d. (#9FB.1-9FB.8, 10F+B.1-12F+B.11, 13OB.1-14OB.6), serves as the shelflist for oversized items removed from elsewhere in the collection. Some additional oversized material is also located here.
Subseries C, Memorabilia, 1916-ca.1922, n.d. (#15FB.1m-16FB.6m, Mem.1-Mem.2), includes a dismantled scrapbook including rank insignia (such as beads, badges, a ring, and a bracelet) and badges denoting achievement in such areas as nature and conservation, cooking, reading, interior decoration, needlework, aerospace, and swimming. Also included are two large cards of membership and achievement charms and pins; headbands created by Camp Fire Girls; and camp banners. Several of these items, including a candle snuffer, belonged to Esther Lovejoy, who was a Camp Fire Girl in the early days of the organization.

Container List

Additional Index Terms

Camps for girls--Massachusetts
Day camps--Massachusetts
Girls--Social life and customs--20th century
Girls--United States--Societies and clubs
Phonograph records
Camp Fire, Inc.
Camp Fire Girls
Camp Fire Girls of Buffalo and Erie County