Guardian of the Light


-Campfire Girls Award ~ 1925

I found this proclamation at an antique store a few years back and immediately purchased it to bring home to the Starfire office. It isn’t widely known, but Starfire’s origins date back to Campfire Girls here in Cincinnati before our inception as “Starfire” in 1993. As our history tells, the scouting organization was inclusive to people with and without disability – a vision of inclusion we hold still today.

Through my investigation, it seems that the Guardian of the Fire award was given annually to a leader who exemplified the values above. And we love the wording and imagery it creates.

(We’ve subtly used the campfire as a central image of connectedness and goodness a few times, too.  Like in our video here)

Over the years, Starfire has given awards to recognize leaders of inclusion in Cincinnati.  These awards have been given to outstanding volunteers, paid staff, family members, and people who disabilities who have given back to the community in some extraordinary way. This year, we are proud to bestow the inaugural Guardian of the Light Award to recognize a person in the community who has furthered the work of inclusion, heightened the imagination of what’s possible in our communities, and lives these values through action.

This year, Starfire will recognize Cary Brodie, who has shown a deep and consistent ethic of inclusion. Cary has been working to restore a half acre of woods in Madisonville that was given to the Park Board by Myron G. Johnson Jr. in 1972.  The land had fallen into disarray, overgrowth, and a de factor trash dump.  Cary, along with neighbors, spearheaded weekly cleanups, removal of invasive plant species, and land clearing to make it bird friendly again. In doing so, Cary has brought together dozens of neighbors from all walks of life – young and old all willing to work towards the vision of a beautiful restored space in the neighborhood.

Before and after photos of the changes in Johnson Woods.

Before and after photos of the changes in Johnson Woods.

It is because of her vision, and her hard work and inclusive spirit, that Starfire bestows the Guardian of the Light Award:

It shall be thy task to keep the newly kindled fire alight;
To know the earth, the sea, the stars above; 
Hold happiness; seek beauty; follow right; 
Offer a friendly hand to all who ask; 
And, day by day, 
Lead sister feet along the golden way—
The road that leads to work and health and love.

Join Starfire at our 2019 Annual Celebration Friday, September 20, as we honor Cary and all those who have built inclusion this past year!

Buy tickets (kids free!) to our 2019 Annual Celebration >>

All photos courtesy of Johnson Woods Bird Sanctuary on Facebook