Fall Campfire Overview

Our annual campfire is our formal instruction and fun weekend for adults and their sponsored youth. The campfire has historically been held each August in Newaygo, MI.  

Our campfire is at Camp Harvest, a private facility with over 600 acres, that border on both the Little Muskegon River and Croton Pond. The main lodge houses the camp kitchen and dining room, as well as the classrooms used for indoor instruction. A series of separate bunkhouse cabins located near the main lodge house our attendees, with eight to sixteen people per cabin. Male and female guests are in separate cabins. These bunkhouses are clustered near a well-maintained central bathroom and shower facility. Camp Harvest has three ponds within their property that are stocked with bluegills, bass, and trout.

Campers arrive Friday evening, get their gear stowed in the assigned cabins, and get acquainted with the other campers. Friday evening does not include dinner due to the variance in arrival times, but does include a bedtime snack. A welcome session is featured, with a "get acquainted" activity provided. Schedules for the rest of the weekend are provided. The camps indoor and outdoor games and open fly tying are available Friday evening.

Saturday is the main instruction day and is a very full day. We start with breakfast followed by three instruction sessions. Then after a break for lunch, the afternoon features four instruction sessions before the dinner break. The actual Campfire, our formal awards and recognition ceremony, is held after dinner. Then it is back to the main lodge for a featured presentation and slide show. Next is our youth prize raffle, a highlight for many campers. Here several large tables are literally covered with donated prizes, generally fishing and fly tying related. Each camper gets to pick a prize of their choosing in random order until all of the prizes are gone. Six prizes per camper are very common. Saturday ends with an optional snipe hunt, organized by the older campers.

Sunday starts with breakfast and then has open time for fishing and fly tying. The Campfire ends after lunch.

Instruction: The following table shows the instruction sessions by camper year:

Instruction Session Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Level 5 Level 6
Knot Tying X X X X X  
Fly Tying X X X   X  
Fly Casting X X X X X X
Entomology X X        
Safety & Sportsmanship X X       X
Bobbin Building     X      
Fly Rod Building       X    
Pond Fishing X X X X    
Wading         X  
Muskegon Wade Fishing         X  
“Fishing with the Masters” Muskegon Float Trip           X
Craft Project X X     X  

 

Campers should be 8 years old to begin Level 1. Exceptions can be made when, in the sponsor’s opinion, the child is ready sooner. However, a camper must be 9 years old to begin the Level 2 program to insure that they will have the size, strength, and maturity necessary to complete the later years of the program. Thus, early starters will repeat as Level 1 campers as required. Likewise, campers are expected to display adequate skill levels for the “Fishing with the Masters” program. Campers may be asked to repeat the Level 5  program when their instructors feel they are not ready for the float trip.

Graduates of the program (Level 6 campers) are invited back to assist in subsequent campfires. Those who chose to return are termed Level 7 campers, regardless of how many times they return. Level 7 campers are automatically members of the Brotherhood but requirements for their annual dues are waived until they are 21 years old or graduate from college.