The Four Lamps of Woodcraft, from YMCA Camp Belknap
The Lamp of Fortitude
- Be brave. Courage is the noblest of all attainments.
- Be silent while your elders are speaking and otherwise show them deference.
- Obey. Obedience is the first duty of the Woodcrafter.
The Lamp of Truth
- Word of honor is sacred.
- Play fair. Foul play is treachery.
- Be reverent. Worship the Great Spirit and respect all worship of Him by others.
The Lamp of Beauty
- Be clean – both yourself and the place you live in.
- Understand and respect your body. It is the Temple of the Spirit.
- Be friend of all harmless wildlife. Conserve the woods and flowers and especially be ready to fight wild fire in forest or in town.
The Lamp of Love
- Be kind. Do at least one act of unbargaining service each day.
- Be helpful. Do your share of the work.
- Be joyful. Seek the joy of being alive
These virtues were written in 1920 and were inspired by a deep reverence for the Indigenous Abenaki people of that area. Alumni of this camp typically sign off or say goodbye with an abbreviation of the last virtue, simply by saying, “Seek the joy.” How can we live out in our daily lives these important tenets to life?
God of joy, surround us with your presence as we seek the joy! Amen.