Have you ever heard "WoHeLo"? It stands for "work," "health," "love." It's been years since I've heard it--or thought about it. It's funny what memories a trip to the thrift store will stir up.
Back in the early-ish 1960s, I was a Blue Bird. WoHeLo was the Camp Fire Girls motto. Most of my classmates were Brownies, but I opted for Blue Birds--the uniforms were cooler. Do you remember? If not, here's a photo--
Nope, this isn't me and it was taken a couple years before my time, but this was pretty much what we all looked like back then. Pretty goofy, huh? But at least our "uniforms" were blue and the only part really required, from what I can remember, was the white shirt and blue vest--unlike Brownies who had what I thought were some pretty ugly brown uniforms. And that goofy cap in the newspaper photo? I never owned one, or if I did, I certainly never wore it. Brownies--at least in our local troops--had to wear the whole get up, including the weird brown felt beanie. And they were forever sewing patches on their sashes--or maybe that was once they grew up to be Girl Scouts.
Not us though. Another really cool thing about Blue Birds and Camp Fire Girls? Beads! We didn't get those stinking patches for everything we did; we got wooden beads instead. That was the best part. From what I remember, that's really why I joined. I remember organizing my different beads and spending hours looking at the colors. The best bead in my opinion back then was a three-sided baby painted red on one side, white on another, and blue on the third.
So the other evening, I was digging through stuff at the thrift store in the "crafts gone wrong" aisle (not my own name for it--another blogger gets the credit, but I think of it every time!) Hubby likes big wooden beads for some of his crafty things, so when I saw a bag full of wooden beads, I pulled it out. At first, I didn't notice anything very exciting until I saw the small wooden beads at the bottom of the bag. Eureka! Suddenly I was transported back to childhood!
Once I got the bag home, I opened and sorted my find, divying out some to Hubby (the generic round wooden beads) and keeping some for myself. Here's most of what I ended up with:
That big brown bead in the foreground? When we'd get ten smaller beads in any color, we'd earn a BIG bead in the same color. The colors each represented a different category or area of life--and like Girl Scouts, we'd have to complete tasks in each category to earn beads. Here's a little info about the beads and what the colors meant:
Camp Fire Honor Beads - Honor beads are given to symbolize the achievement of an aspect of 1 of 7 Crafts:
Home flame flame of the hearth (Orange)
Health red sunshine (Red)
Camp brown earth & trees (Brown)
Hand green creation & growing things (Green)
Nature blue sky (Blue)
Business yellow harvest (Yellow)
Citizenship red, white & blue patriotism (The really COOL three-sided ones!)
~Large honor beads are granted for every ten honors earned in any craft.
~Purple beads signify completion of a rank.
And besides sewing the beads on your vest--or just playing with them for hours--a Camp Fire Girl could sew them onto her ceremonial robe. No, I never stuck it out long enough to have a ceremonial robe (and I didn't like brown anyway), but here's what one would have looked like:
This, of course, was back before us white folk didn't know it wasn't polite to dress up like Indians. I suspect Camp Fire Girls don't have ceremonial gowns like this anymore since it's not PC. And, by the way, in the ultimate gesture of political correctness, I think they let BOYS join now. Yuck!
But I digress. You know what's even better than finding a bag of Camp Fire Girl beads at Goodwill? Finding a whole ceremonial robe at Goodwill like THIS guy did. How excellent is THAT?!
Well, you'll have to excuse me now. I need to go play with my beads and dream about thrift store treasures. Happy hunting!