Most of you are carrying out your Scouting adventures and fun Scouting activities at home — with help from the resources on the BSA Scouting at Home site.

While we know it may be a little while before you’re able to go back to sitting around a campfire with your troop, pack, crew, or ship, it’s never too early to start thinking about all of the camping seasons yet to come.

In fact, just like you’re already getting excited for the 2021 National Jamboree, the BSA wants to start getting you excited for the 2023 camping season.

That’s when the organization will take the lid off a new project: Campfire in a Box*, a refrigerator-sized container packed with everything you’ll need to pull off a memorable, entertaining and delightfully over-the-top campfire experience.

Once the boxes start shipping (just in time for the 2023 spring, summer and fall camping seasons), your Campfire in a Box* will be delivered directly to the campsite of your choice anywhere in the 50 U.S. states or Puerto Rico. That makes it the perfect option for Cub Scout packs, Scouts BSA troops, Venturing crews and Sea Scout ships looking to add some razzle-dazzle to their next campfire program.

What’s in the box?

So what’s inside each Campfire in a Box*?

“That’s where things get really exciting. Just as no two Scout campfires are the same, no two Campfires in a Box* are the same,” says Olaf Sprilo, geometry professor and the BSA’s Director of Frivolity. “You won’t know what’s inside the box until you open it!”

Sprilo says each CIAB* is guaranteed to contain three of the items from the following list:

  • Props and period-specific costumes from the Victorian era
  • Giant charcuterie board with the “good” cheese Dad only buys for special occasions
  • Assorted musical instruments, untuned
  • Assorted members of the Peoria, Ill.-based improv troupe Three Random Words
  • An old dog that just learned some new tricks
  • Two members of the 1980s rock band Tears for Fears
  • Fourteen marshmallows, loose
  • Bar of chocolate, pre-melted
  • Bag of graham cracker crumbs, poorly sealed
  • Trevor, the world’s noisiest mime
  • An actual baby shark
  • Maine’s sixth-best high school marching band
  • Sarah from the Jeopardy! Clue Crew
  • One invisible chair for the invisible chair skit (trust us; it’s in there!)
  • The entire cast of the 1977 Tony Award-winning production of Annie

All that comes carefully packed in a properly ventilated shipping container that should be opened within seven days of arrival.

Wait. A shipping container? I know what you’re thinking: “This thing will be too big to take home.”

But let me just ease your fears. The box is designed to fit easily inside the 18-wheeler your troop or pack already owns.

Speaking of 18-wheelers, check out this Bryan on Scouting post from last year where we shared our favorite semi-tractor-trailer trucks featuring incredible Scout artwork: The Top 10 Best Troop 18-Wheelers of 2019.

Mime at camp
Some lucky Campfire in a Box* customers will receive Trevor, voted by Mime Time magazine as the World’s Noisiest Mime.

Caring for your Campfire in a Box* performers

After your campfire entertainment captivates the crowd, what happens to the items inside your Campfire in a Box*?

It’s simple! The BSA asks that you provide food, water, shelter and access to cable television to the performers for the remainder of their lives.

Campfire in a Box* ordering and availability

The BSA’s Campfire in a Box* will go on sale three years from today: April 1, 2023.

Using the special Campfire in a Box* app for Windows Phone, you’ll be able to track the shipment as it leaves the warehouse in Islamorada, Fla., and makes its way by ground to your pack or troop. (Please allow 7 to 10 business weeks for shipping.)

Three years is a long time to wait to order one of these things. So I asked Sprilo if he has any advice for Scout units in the meantime.

“My advice for Scout units in the meantime is to continue doing what has made Scout campfires great for generations,” Sprilo says. “That means skits devised by the Scouts themselves. It means songs that encourage quiet reflection on the day’s adventures. It means fellowship and fun under the stars.”

What to do until Campfire in a Box* debuts in 2023

Speaking of, during this time of physical distancing, check with your local council to see what kinds of special activities they have for families to enjoy right from home.

And be sure to bookmark the BSA’s Scouting at Home page for even more great ideas.

*Actual campfire not included. Because, like, how would you ship a campfire? Wouldn’t the box itself burn? That seems really unsafe. Instead, the BSA will recommend that Campfire in a Box customers ask literally any Scout to help them build the fire itself. 

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