I was reading recently about a Scouting tradition some groups do known as Ashes of Friendship . Which is taking camp fire ash in a tin and then sprinkling this Ash into the new camp fire, the reason for this is to spread the fun from the previous camps.

Legend has it that Lord Baden-Powell would always take a small amount of ashes from the campfire and spread these ashes into the next campfire. The main purpose of these ashes is to bring to all Scouts and Scouters the International aspect of the world brotherhood of Scouting.

Ashes taken from a campfire are sprinkled into the flames of the next Campfire. The next morning, when the ashes are cold, they are stirred, And each scout takes some along to mix with his next campfire. If more than one Scout brings ashes to the same campfire, the lists are pooled, with the dates and places of all campfires recorded and passed on.

It is traditional that only those present at the ceremony carry ashes from that ceremony.

I started doing this a few years ago but sadly the tin containing the ashes has gone walkabouts. It even had ashes from Brownsea Island. Rather annoying! I’ll re start it again this year.

Campfire ashes Tin

The tin I have been using was an old coffee tin, I’ve seen online some amazing containers, some being wooden boxes others old glass test tubes.

Does your group do this or do you have any tradition that you do?

Dan — LOVE this! We used to do it. Kind of fell away over the years but we talk about it now and again!

Josh — we have done it for a while now, taking the ‘spirit’ of the last camp fire to the new

Bradley-We occasionally get groups do it here at Driftwood, but if anything I am surprised how few do it.

Lesley– It’s a very old scouting tradition, and a great one, we still do it. I love the continuity of it, but then I am such a traditionalist that one of our district leaders had this hat, he wore it through 25 years of Scouting.

Elaine — we had a catering tin of carrots we took backwards and forwards to camp but never got used until one of our numpty ventures threw it on the fire and it exploded — carrots everywhere what a laugh lol

Calum — We were just discussing this during the weekend! Planning Christmas decorations for the hall (I know) If we go for a real tree, we are going to save the remains and use it for the 1st campfire of the year, carry ashes to the next camp etc, then use the last ashes round the base of the next tree.

Joe — We do, It’s great when you go to big camp fires and others have put their ashes on as you then have the spirit of all your campfires and everyone elses 🙂

Marc — I used to pretend what I was sprinkling on the fire as I opened it was the dust from previous fires, in reality it was black powder and made a nice whoosh to open the fire.

Alyasa — We get all the kids to bring tiny pots/jam jars, and they collect ashes and re fill after camp. It’s precious to them. When my colony closed my kids kept them and still have them to this day. Its memories 🙂

Christopher — In South Africa we do this at all the district, inter-district events and other major scouting events. Some ashes that I’ve seen date back to the early 80s when most of these events started and before every campfire when the ashes are used the campfire leader will read out where the ashes have come from and that adds the spirit from all the past fires.

Andy — Excellent tradition — a number of groups camping here at Silver Cross still carry this on, but not so many these days unfortunately.

Jo — my group are still collecting and adding to ashes from a campfire BP held their right back in the early years of scouting, or at least they were back when I worked there some years ago.

David-Damn, wish i had of thought of this weekend just gone. We took our scouts to Baden Powell campsite Lane Pool reserve, Dwellingup Western Australia.

Paul– I’ve got some ashes from the original brownsea camp, it’s true, a scout leader told me and they never tell fibs, we do this and have been for the last 6 year’s with our cubs pack.

Helen — I’m sure some of our scouts bring dirt from one camp to another!!

Karen — This is a tradition that a lot of Scouters have taken on board as it is done at the Bulwell Reunion.

Pieter – We have restarted the tradition in my Group. I had a special box made for it. One of the best and poignant traditions there are.

Lisa — We keep ashes. Draw a trefoil in the embers, then take ashes and melt them into wax. It makes it easier to store and throw in next fire.

What does your group do? Do you keep some of the campfire Ashes??