Monday, March 16, 2009

Campfire USA Day

My take on this day is a wee bit different than you might be expecting. Until very recently, I was not at all aware of Campfire USA Day. Campfire USA is one of the leading not-for-profit youth organizations in the US. The organization provides children from birth to age 21 with learning activities focusing on leadership, self-reliance, after school groups, camping and childcare. You can visit the Campfire USA website by clicking here. So, again, my take is a wee bit different, I'm featuring campfire books today!

White, Linda.
Cooking on a Stick: Campfire Recipes for Kids.

Gibbs-Smith Publisher.

Oh how I wish this book were around when camping was such an integral part of my childhood! The recipes in the book are to die for (especially for kids)! As many parents know, camping with children is fun, but can be a challenge, especially during meal time. Just how many hot dogs can a family eat during a week-long camping trip? This book would be the answer to many parent's prayers, as it will inspire even the pickiest of eaters to try all the cool "cooking on a stick" recipes! Someday, in the future, this book will hold it's own when I have a family of my own, heading off on a camping trip!

More Campfire Books by Linda White:
Ulmer, Wendy K.
A Campfire for Cowboy Billy.
Rising Moon Books for Young Readers.

Cowboy Billy has set out on a mailrun. And while he and Splinter (his horse) are running wild to the post office, so is Billy's imagination. On his journey to the post office, Billy and Splinter make their way through canyons (city streets) and Badlands (city park). ; While on the adventure, Billy's mind wanders to his grandfather, who gave Billy his hat, chaps, vest, books, spurs, and Navajo ribbon shirt, and who shared with Billy stories about cowboys and the Old West. Billy's grandpa told Billy wonderful stories that will last a lifetime, one in particular that floods Billy's mind during this particular mailrun.
The Indians have a legend that says the stars are the campfires of those who have died and moved into the next world to dwell with the Great Spirit. Stars are the warm, twinkling campfires of special souls telling someone on earth how much they still love them... Home for a cowboy is anywhere he lights his campfire. Everyone has a heart full of memories, like a night full of stars. And our memories of love shine the brightest.
As Billy's adventure comes to a close, before returning to his apartment floor, Billy asks, Mr. Higgins, the elevator man to take him to the roof where we see Billy looking up at the moon and stars, the first campfires of the night beginning to glow. It is here that we see Billy reaching out to his grandfather and remembering him.

I found out at the end of this story that Ulmer wrote this story for her own daughters, neices and nephews who were dealing with the loss of their own grandfather. I can easily see how this story could be a tool to share with children who are coping with the loss of a loved one, as it shares a story, a memory, and a somewhat concrete object that children can grasp on to (the stars) to relive memories of their lost loved one. This was a wonderful read.

If you're interested in finding out more information about any of the books reviewed or if you'd like to purchase the books, click the cover image for a link to


style='clear: both;' Deanna H. said...

Great post! I love to camp as long as it's in a hotel or cabin with a bathroom:)

By the way, I gave you an award on my blog.