Wohelo Camp Fire watchword Camp Fire girls bluebirds

WOHELO: Camp Fire’s Original Watchword

Wohelo Camp Fire watchword Camp Fire girls bluebirds

If you’re new to Camp Fire, you’re bound to ask: Wo-what?

That word you keep hearing people say, keep seeing on pins and signs and badges? It’s wohelo. And it’s been a part of Camp Fire since the very beginning.

Cofounder Charlotte Gulick invented the word in 1910 to celebrate three of Camp Fire’s core values: Work, Health and Love. She believed that “in constructive work lay the roots of true service to humanity and the real joy of living. Health was fundamental and Love was our highest law. She thought of the words as forming a triangle…” (pg. 11, WO-HE-LO, The Camp Fire History, 1980)

Camp Fire fans use “Wohelo!” as a greeting, a sign-off, a reminder and a pledge: We’re committed to working hard, supporting each other’s holistic health and loving each other and the wider world.

Camp Fire’s first membership pin

Wohelo has remained constant over the years, through all of Camp Fire’s changes. Today’s Camp Fire Thrive{ology} framework—helping Camp Fire kids find their sparks, practice a growth mindset, learn to set goals and reflect—gives youth a clear map to develop those Wohelo values of work, health and love.  

Camp Fire's Highest Achievement - WOHELO Award Winners
Camp Fire’s Highest Achievement – WOHELO Award Winners

Wohelo also became the name of Camp Fire’s most prestigious achievement: The Wohelo Award. This designation is open to Camp Fire teens who complete an intensive, self-led, life-changing projects. These projects focus on personal development, leadership and advocacy and are differ according to each young person’s sparks and goals. (For example, see how Emma and Jessica, recipients of the Wohelo Award, crafted really unique projects.)

That’s WOHELO! Use Camp Fire’s favorite word with pride.

This month is Alumni Celebration Month at Camp Fire! If you’re an alumni, please sign up for our ALUMNI EMAIL LIST so we can stay in touch. Thanks for your support! #WoHeLo:

Camp Fire Minnesota

April 2, 2018

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