Camp Fire Memories

One of my first campfire experiences was an O/A Campfire.  Three O/A members came around to our campsite and invited us to the campfire.   Drums, torches and Indian clothing made an unforgetable memory.  A precurser of the wonderful evening ahead.  Singing, stories, dances, ceremonies,  and the mysteries of the burning campfire.  All set in a forest miles from civilization.

Singing around the campfire, the quiet of the forest, the mellow mood set by the evenings program, the feeling of oneness, thoughts of the adventure of  camping,  the smell of burning wood, it all brings an end to the day with friends to be remembered for a life time. Three campfires during the week, Sunday the “WELCOMING” campfire, Wednesday the “ORDER OF THE ARROW ” campfire and Friday  “AWARDS AND FAREWELL” campfire, all providing a memorable experience.  The final song sung by the Staff many times would be “FLICKER”.  Captured for you here.


Published on July 6, 2011 at 3:34 pm  Comments (8)  

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  1. I googled GTSR earlier today and was amazed to find this site.

    The memories flowed back like yesterday, 30 years after my first trip at age 12 to Lake Sterling and GTSR with Troop 6 from Yuba City, CA. I visited GTSR each year from 1980 – 1985 and served on the staff both as a S.I.T. (2 yrs) and full time Staff (2 yrs). I was tapped out into Kwonkamish Lodge 395 in 1982 and was fortunate to serve on the lodge staff with Buttes Area Council.

    My family moved to Indiana midway through my 1st full time staff assignment in July, 1984. Instead of working a job or hanging out with friends during the summer of 1985 in Evansville, IN, I convinced my parents to let me fly back to Sacramento and join several of my friends for the summer working at GTSR for a 2nd staff assignment.

    I particapted as an instructor in the Commissionary Area as well as led several back packing expeditions into the back country including visits to Phoenix Lake, 4-Dice, Meadow Lake, Old Man Mountain, etc. I learned to respect nature and the environment with packing all the food in, then out, and leaving camp sites better than when we found them.

    These were special times in my life and was proud to be a staff member serving others with so many different troops and scouts each week of the summer. I remember Mark Cross, his guitar and “Good Ole Mt.Dew”. I especially remember digging out the camp sites, commissary, dining hall and hiking to the lakes without trail markers (true orienteering) in the summer of 1984 when we had snow on the ground into late June. I also remember those blue staff jackets which kept me warm in the morning when we served coffee to the scoutmasters, parents, and volunteers.

    I think I worked 14-16 hrs/day, 6 days a week, for 8 weeks in the summer of 1985 for a total of $330. If I calculated it right, I earned less than $.50/hr, just made enough to pay my plane ticket back to Indiana, but it was the best job of my life. I have many memories, stories, patches and scarves but very little pictures (if any) from this time as was amazed with pictures shown on this site.

    GTSR opened me up to international scouting and staff members serving from other countries. I believe this peaked my interest to know more about the world, different cultures, and how other people lived.

    I currently work internationally as a Project Manager, served as an assistant Scout Master for an inner city troop in Indianapolis until my children were born, and volunteer as much of my spare time to my children’s activities and schools. GTSR set me on a path of leadership, openness, and continual community service for which I will be eternally grateful.

    Thank you for the memories.

    Eric Sussman
    Eagle Scout, Troop 6
    Currently living in Mooresville, IN

    • Hi Eric, this is Sean Farrell. How are you? It would be fun to reconnect and catch-up sometime.

  2. I was a staff member at GTSR for 6 years and went from the trading post to the senior staff and head commissioner. Some of the best years of my LIFE!

  3. I worked at GTSR from 2000 to 2002, starting off as a SIT, working in Nature and then moving up to HAT. Best summers ever! I still make it a point to go up there to camp every summer. Looking forward to going up there this weekend with Phil Mouser and Brian Abrams who also worked up there with me during those years.

  4. Great memories of GTSR!

  5. Hey Sean. Nice to hear from you. Hope all is well.

    Feel free to call my work number at 317-651-6771.

    Look forward to talking and catching up.


  6. I just sent my boy up to another scout camp this past week and a flood of memories of camping up at GTSR came back. There sure were a lot of good times and memories that are truly unique to the GTSR experience that I was hoping to see at the other camp site, but were sorely missed. I missed gathering in the meadow every evening, the long hiking trails that lead to incredible experiences, the camp canon that would go off during the flag ceremony and I want to say I remember taps being played as well – during that same time, the late night camp fires & incredibly funny skits and of course, the shiver shiveree so early in the morning. I had many smiles the evening I went up to see my boy in his scout troop when I thought of the wonderful times I had up at GTSR. (1985-1989). I only wished I took the opportunity to work up there too.

    Thanks for the site!

  7. I was a member of troop 711 visiting from nevada in the mid 1970s. I went on the 50 mile hike and really enjoyed the various lakes, but no fish as many lakes were sterile. I just posted several ebay auctions this week including some mugs from butte council and gtsr. See seller dgwhite62tu if interested. I will eventually sell my patch collection too so keep watch. Thanks for this site. Good memories!

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