Continuous Fire 2023…Honoring Scout Week!

Continuous Fire 2023…Honoring Scout Week!

Published on October 17th, 2022

We are having our annual Continuous Fire display in honor of Scout Week and the Boy Scouts of America anniversary. All Scout units and families in and around council are welcome to participate in the fire display and encouraged to incorporate a visit into their meeting plans. A regular schedule of volunteers help keep the fire tended 24/7 for the entire week of Feb 5-11, 2023. The fire will be held behind the Blackhawk Area Council office at 2820 McFarland Road, Rockford, IL. Patches are available to order to commemorate this special occasion.

Who: All Scout families and friends

When: 2:00 p.m. Sunday, February 5 thru 12:00 p.m. Saturday, February 11, 2023

Where: Blackhawk Area Council office (2820 McFarland Road, Rockford)

Cost: Free to attend; commemorative patches will be available for purchase

Volunteer Event Chair: Aaron Roby,


WE NEED Volunteer Fire Tenders: SIGN UP HERE

Volunteers tend to the continuous fire all week long. Volunteers register for a shift as individuals or units. Volunteer Fire Tenders have access to indoor facilities during their shift and each volunteer will receive an event patch. View shift schedule by clicking the link above.

Email Aaron Roby for additional information:

Recommended Activities:

– Unit/Den Meeting
– Tiger in the Wild: Participate in a pack campfire program
– Call of the Wild: After your outdoor activity, list ways you demonstrate being careful with fire
– Bear Picnic Basket: Select a recipe to prepare in the outdoors for your family or den; cook and serve your planned meal
– Cast Iron Chef: Use tinder, kindling, and fuel wood to demonstrate how to build a fire in an appropriate outdoor location
– Outdoor Adventurer: Participate in a troop’s outdoor activity; use the patrol method while on the outing
– Discuss  the Outdoor Code and Leave No Trace Principles
– Campfire Program
– Fire Safety


History of Continuous Fire

Ralph Zitelman was the Scoutmaster responsible for starting the Continuous Fire. As he stepped out of the shower in January 1966 he said, “ I’d really like to do something for Scout Week that is totally different and involves a lot of boys.” Tossing several ideas around with other Scouters and his three sons, he decided to build a fire that would last the whole week. A continuous fire.

Four Troops manned the first fire which started on sunrise Scout Sunday. Scout Sunday is the Sunday starting the week February 8th falls in. Scouting started February 8, 1910. The four troops were 123 – Mt. Olive Church, 425 – Christ United Methodist, 12 – Gloria Dei Lutheran, and 139 – Holy Family Church.

In 1980, the fire became a Mauhnahteesee District event. Troops took 12-hour shifts 6 am to 6 pm and 6 pm to 6 am from sunrise Sunday to sunset Saturday. The first fires were held at Mt Olive Lutheran Church then moved to Brookside Medical Center. In 1995 after Mauhnahteesee and Winnebago Districts merged to form Wanchanagi District a central location of Sinnissippi Park north of the gardens near symbol was selected. In 2008, the fire was moved to Harlem United Methodist Church 8401 N Alpine because of flooding.

Ralph organized the fire until he died on December 30, 1990. Bud Dosier, Scoutmaster Troop 206 took over the responsibility until 1995 when Don Reis, Scoutmaster Troop 206 took over. Bill Spivey & Mark Broman took the helm in 2017. Aaron Roby is organizing this year’s event.

This is our 57th year celebrating Scouting with Continuous Fire event.

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Last modified on February 1st, 2023 at 3:17 pm