The Legend of the Friendship Keyboard

This Keyboard represents friendship and creativity in a time when it is needed most. It is a relic of our digital age, and demonstrates that Girl Scouts are go-getters, innovators, risk takers, and leaders in the world around them.

The keys of the friendship keyboard are interconnected, but fit in different places.  This symbolizes how friendships can be created and maintained, though in unprecedented and unpredictable times.  

The directional keys have been turned to face inward. This symbolizes the need for the responsibility Girl Scouts must take upon themselves to be moved to action and maintain relationships with their friends and the community. 

The green circle at the top is for faith—faith in God and faith in one another.  It is first because it is the basis of a happy and meaningful life. 

Session 6 campfire where the legend was told

The next four circles represent the original races of the world.  They stand close together indicating that all people are equal. Every person is capable of becoming a loyal friend. 

The green of hope is above the races.  It is hope for the future.  It is hope that people everywhere will try to overcome any differences and human failings.  Both faith and hope are green—a combination of hues; both combinations of emotional feelings we cannot adequately describe.  The four races bound by faith and hope can produce unity—a working together for the good of all.  The four paths lead toward a central goal signifying the attainment of this unity. 

The smiling face is the result of friendship based on faith and unity.  It is a reminder of the person with whom we promise to be friends.  To be greeted by the smiling face of a friend is one of the greatest joys we can experience. 

Session 6 campfire where the legend was told

The face is crowned by the Girl Scout colors indicating loyalty. 

On the back, green is carefully placed opposite the four races to show that peace and charity can exist among all people. 

The small white dots on the keyboards represents the stars. Although we cannot be together, we all share the same stars in the same sky.

Session 6 campfire where the legend was told

The cord of the keyboard is entwined with gold, and forged into the shape of an infinity sign. May the friendships sparked by camp be sustainable and last throughout the lives of those who took part. May we always say goodnight, and never goodbye. 

A Friendship Keyboard must be crafted by its giver.  It shows time, thought, and effort. 

The Friendship Keyboard can be presented as a gesture of international goodwill; as a part of an inter-troop activity; as a sign of friendship between girls of one troop; at a campfire; or during an indoor ceremony.  This keyboard represents the interconnectedness between the teams and campers of the four camps: Camp Piperwood, Camp Seven Hills, Camp Timbercrest, and Camp Windy Meadows, as well as the individuals who have joined us from all over the United States, and all over the world.

Friendship Circle from Session 6 campfire where the legend was told

This legend has traveled with Girl Scouts and Girl Guides throughout the world.

This Friendship Stick has been presented to the Camp Seven Hills Staff since 1994, when Sally K. Schmidt (Bloomer) found this legend stuffed in a drawer.  She presented 10 of them.  This tradition was brought to Camp Timbercrest in 2013 at the request of the camp director.  At both camps, the Friendship Stick symbolizes friendship and unity among the staff. The Friendship Keyboard was adapted in 2020 to reflect “the Summer We Camped at Home” during the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Author: Ann Evans of the Girl Scout Council of Buffalo and Erie County (a legacy council of  Girl Scouts of Western New York). Edited by Brittany “Mambo” Sanford.

The Legend of the Friendship Stick

No camp experience is complete with a few traditions. One of our most cherished are our Friendship Sticks. We close every resident camp season with a final camp fire. During this event, our camp staff will present the current camp director with a Friendship Stick. They read the story behind the tradition and explain why one is presented each year. 

Friendship Stick on display at Camp Seven Hills

Next time you visit Camp Seven Hills or Camp Timbercrest, make sure you check out the dining halls and the Friendship Sticks on display. Now, without further delay, we present the legend behind the tradition:

The Legend of the Friendship Stick

The wood of the friendship stick is alive and solid.  It is curved to fit the curve of the earth.  This symbolizes the friendship that can grow as do the wonderful trees of the forest. 

The green circle at the bottom is for faith—faith in God and faith in one another.  It is first because it is the basis of a happy and meaningful life. 

The next four circles represent the races of the world.  They stand close together indicating that all people are equal.  Every person is capable of becoming a loyal friend. 

The green of hope is above the races.  It is hope for the future.  It is hope that people everywhere will try to overcome any differences and human failings.  Both faith and hope are green—a combination of hues; both combinations of emotional feelings we cannot adequately describe.  The four races bound by faith and hope can produce unity—a working together for the good of all.  The four paths lead toward a central goal signifying the attainment of this unity. 

The smiling face is the result of friendship based on faith and unity.  It is a reminder of the person with whom we promise to be friends.  To be greeted by the smiling face of a friend is one of the greatest joys we can experience. 

The face is crowned by the Girl Scout colors indicating loyalty.

On the back, green is carefully placed opposite the four races to show that peace and charity can exist among all people. 

A Friendship Stick must be carved by its giver.  It shows time, thought, and effort. 

The Friendship Stick can be presented as a gesture of international goodwill; as a part of an inter-troop activity; as a sign of friendship between girls of one troop; at a campfire, or during an indoor ceremony. 

This legend has traveled with Girl Scouts and Girl Guides throughout the world. 

Author: Ann Evans, Girl Scout Council of Buffalo and Erie County