Ilyssa fire

About the book

Campfire Stories is a collection of short stories to be read together around a fire.

Campfire Stories was published with Mountaineers Books in August 2018.

The book is an anthology of  tales, songs, ballads, legends, short stories and myths collected from the communities in and around 6 of America’s favorite National Parks. The stories capture the essence of these lands and give a voice to the communities that share them—evoking deeper respect for these places.

Because these stories have been collected from the communities in and around the parks, they will capture the diverse history, cultures, people, and experiences of those that that have collectively built, shared, and enjoyed these parks across the country. We hope these short stories will reignite our imagination about the wild.


In March 2016, we successfully raised  $20,264 via Kickstarter to bring this project to life—that's 135% of our target goal! 

From May through August 2016, we spent 2 weeks each in 6 National Parks, immersing ourselves and meeting folks to uncover themes and stories from each of these places. We traveled to:

  • Acadia National Park

  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park

  • Rocky Mountain National Park

  • Yellowstone National Park

  • Yosemite National Park

  • Zion National Park

We met with folks in libraries, museums, historical societies, arts & culture organizations, and local residents to get a sense of the historic and contemporary context of each place. Our research provided us with the background necessary to be emotionally and contextually aware of the stories we selected. 

Why National Parks?

They’re beautiful and unique places, and it is our hope that these stories generate an interest and impulse for new, unfamiliar audiences to visit and experience nature. And the time is right— in 2016 the National Park Service celebrated its centennial!

We feel that National Parks serve as a great introduction to the outdoors—providing modern amenities in unfamiliar places. Much like the intention behind the founding of the National Parks, nature should be protected and made accessible for everyone to enjoy—not just the wealthy or privileged. 

Why a book? Why now?

Stories play a powerful role in creating emotional connections necessary in creating individual connections to nature. Stories teach us lessons, build our empathy, and share ideas that are emotionally important in the art of living.

Whether somebody is reading Campfire Stories from their living room, a local city park, or around a campfire in a state or national park (or even their own backyard!), we hope these stories create new individual connections to, and positive experiences with nature, especially for younger generations who are increasingly disconnected from the outdoors—generations of people who, one day, will be responsible for protecting it. 

Oh, like ghost stories?

Not exactly. We've specifically chosen not to seek out ghost stories, as they dominate the campfire story genre and there are many excellent spooky story books out there. You’re out in the woods, it’s dark—it makes sense. But there are so many more stories to tell when you’re out in the woods.

There are stories of the landscape, the trees and animals that inhabit a place. There’s the human story of the land, and ballads for the folks who’ve lived & breathed these places. Campfire stories can capture all of these ideas, and can reignite our curiosity for the world. Sharing these stories evokes a camaraderie that we’ve lost—one that lives inside a good campfire story.

Our endless thanks to everyone who backed us on Kickstarter!

A Wayne Williamson Stiles, A.G. Beggs, Aaron Alderden, Aaron Carbajal, Aimee Smith, Albert Chai, Alex Gilbert, Alexis Rosenzweig, Alicia Mundinger, Alison Forbes, Allison, Amber Drake, Amity, Amoeba Ink, Amy Reams, Andreas Heldal-Lund, Andrew Lee, Andrew Selander, Andy Robert, Angela Kim, Annie Logue, Anthony Guido, Ashley, Ashley Del Bianco, Ashley Oppon, Austin Starin, BDT, Ben McDavid, Benjamin Volta, Bernard Rocca, Beth Heinly, Beth Van Why, Bill Fingleton, Bill Jackson, Billy K. Hanna, Blake Schatz, Bob Hanlon, Bobby Texel, Bonnie Fesmire, Brett T Mapp, Brian Gabel, Brian Hinton, Brian Lorenz, Brian Turner, Brittanie Leibold, Brock Eastman, Brynn Metheney, Cameron Jackman, Candace Stoudt, Candy Chang, Carl Marin, Caroline Kerbelis, Caroline Tiger, Catherine Furness, Cathy Lee, Chad Beninati, Charles Foster, Charles McDaniel, Cheesy Bamboozle, Cheryl Fisher, Chris, Chris Boschken, Chris Brophy, Chris Guillebeau, Chris Jornlin, Chris Krueger, Chris Park, Chris Vizzone, Christian, Christian Gray, Christine Zapata, Clarence Everett Carr III, Clark Tonkin, Conor McGoey, Craig Irrgang, Cristelle Chirwa, Crystal Groves, Dan Hoizner, Dan Ritz, Dane Higbee, Danica Huckaby, Daniel, Daniel Wilt, Danielle Rettino, Dave Baxter, Dave Hickethier, Dave Kobus, David, David Dinaburg, David Etchells, David Garza, David Henry, David Krouse, David L Kinney, David Milam, David Remahl, David Tavakoli, Debra Roberts, Delia Clark, Denis E. Ambrose, Jr., Denise Platt, Dennis Ko, Devin Sidell, Devon Wieder, Diana, Diane Shapiro, Doug & Joan Campbell, Douglas Castor, Drew Kenyon, Eadwin Tomlinson, Ed Gough, Edward Norris, Eileen Shovlin, Einherjar101, Elias Jones, Elizabeth Harmony, Elizabeth Miller, Elizabeth W. Castagna, Ellen Heier, Ellen Painter Dollar, Elyza Anweiler, Emily Chow Bluck, Emma Fried-Cassorla, Emma Jacobs, Eric Stevens, Erik Grissnickle, Erin Alise Borzak + Sydney Baldwin, Erin Bolinger, Erin Browne, Evan Buchheit, Evan Keller, Evangeline Tsao, Fern Gookin, frank doyle, Frederick William VanDuyne IV, Fuad Omar, Gab Carbone, Garrett, Garry Hornbuckle, Gayle Isa, Geoff DiMasi, Geoffrey Rabault, Gere Sibbach, Ginny Lee, GloriousDelicious, Hayley Normile, Heather Nero, HENNIROCKS, Holly Logan, Hope Lewis, Hubert, hyperopiaprojects, Ian, Ian Sampson, Infectious Play (Jon Gilmour), Isaac "Will It Work" Dansicker, Jaclyn Madden, Jacob Buraczyk, Jacque Liu, Jaime Alvarez, James Bunting, James Edward Mills, James Graham, Jamie McKay, Janna Rhodes, Jason Azuma, Javier Folgar, Jeff Hilnbrand, Jeffrey Smith, Jen Brown, Jennifer Yang, Jenny Kim, Jeremy, Jessica Enfante, Jessica Rosenzweig, Jessica Roy, Jessica Steffan, Jim Verburg, Jo Radner, Joe Sokolik, John Engler, John Wood, Johnny Bates, Jonathan Ryan, Jonny Miller, Jordan Gilbert, Jorren Schauwaert, Josh Rosenzweig, Joshua Finnell, Julianna Wronski, Julie Judkins, Justin Kunkel, Justin Langlois, Kabe Long, Kate Clayton, Kate Rutledge, Kate Strathmann, Katherine Gajewski, Katie and Sean, Katie Dresel, Katie Goodwin, Kelli Jensen, Kellie Jensen, Kelly Wood, Kelsey Halliday Johnson, Ken, Ken K.J Onoda-Song, Kendra Baratta, Kevin Lee, Kevin M. Hoffman, Kevin Minteer, Kevin Murphy, Kim, Kimberly Carroll-Pincus, Krista Sassani, Kristen O'Connell, Kristi Poling, Kylee Acker, Laughing Cat, Laura Hricko, Lauren Hoffman, Lauren Smith, Laurence Wooding, Lee Allison Scott, Len Ahgeak, Lena Davie, Lesley Rose, Lianna Jewett, Lily, Lily Gantchev, Lily Goodspeed, Linda Rosenzweig, Linda Trickey, Lindsay Bailey, Linus Chan, Lisa Sedi, London Holbrook, Lorna Murray, Madison Block, Maggie Vo, Marcus Cederstrom, Margaret St. John, Maria Moller, Mark Kandrysawtz, Mark Kobasz, Martin Brown, Mary Ann Young, Mary Ellen Baggett, Mary J Lloyd, Matej Hrescak, Matt Flick, Matt Goold, Matthew McClure, Matthew Quackenbush, Mckean, Meg Jones, Meg Talley, Megan Bethke, Melissa Gregoli, Melissa Roberts, Merrill, Michael Bell, Michael Crowley, Michael Drake, Michael Hicks, Michael Potnek, Michelle Platt, Micky Brunetti, Mike Tryon, Molly Ann Monahan, Nancy Chen, Neha, Neil Kleinman, Nicholas F. LaGrassa, Nicole Laeger, Nike Desis, Noelle Airo, Nora Freese, Ok Sook Kim, Olivier Vergnault, Patricia Leung, Patricia Sakwinski, Patrick Monroe, Patrycja Doniewski, Pete Wenzler, Peter, Peter, Peter English, Peter Hershey, Piotr Adamczyk, Quinn Bannon, R Sherborne, R. David Dixon Jr., Rachel Messeck, Rachel Tougas, Rahimin, Ramona Messenger, Random Clown, Rebecca Nusbaum, Renata Circeo-Loudon, Richard DeStasio, Richard Libera, Richard McCluskey, Rob Perdue, Robbie Hamilton, Robert Cooney, Robert Shapiro, Robin Hyde, Romain Nicaud, Ruth Scott Blackson, Ryan, Ryan kennedy, Ryan Shapiro, Ryan Underwood, Sacha Ludwig, Sadie Tettemer, Samantha Cohen, Sanchez Carlos, Sarah Drake, Sarah Ferone, Sarah Low, Sarah Vu, Sarah Wu, Scott Almes, Scott Whiting, Scott Woehl, Sean, Sean Shapiro, Sean Stoops, Serena Faye Salinas, Sharne Algotsson, Shaun Holloway, Shelby Cinca, Sheldon Radcliff, Sheldon Shapiro, Simon Williams, Skilltapp Team, Sloan Miller, Sophie Sarkar, Sophie Taylor | Castlefield Design, Southwest Harbor Public Library, Spencer Dewar, Stephanie Jones, Stephanie Shena, Stephen Lewis, Steven B. Hamilton, Steven Mollison, Tabitha Redente, Theresa Decker, Theresa Gaines, Thomas Goundrey, Tiffany Engle, Tim Garrity, Tim McCabe, Tim Quirino, Timothy Schmidt, Tobias Treppmann, Todd Bressi, Tom Boutell, Toni Barrett, Tori Lantz, Travis Dillon, Trung Duong, Tyler Stoltz, Vega, Vincent yuhas, Whitney Nelsen, Will McHale, William Kim, William Romanow, WJ Woods, Yowei Shaw, Yura Zemlyanskiy, Zachary Derenne