messiah logo


Policy and Procedure

Policy:  To monitor and control the use of bonfires/campfires on campus grounds.

Objectives:  To insure that proper procedures are followed for charcoal grilling, campfires, and bonfires.

Responsibility: The Conference Services office in cooperation with the Grounds Department shall both duly grant authorization for a bonfire or campfire. Upon approval by both departments, the Conference Services office will generate a work order and/or Event Description for Grounds staff to construct the bonfire or campfire.  


1. No other unauthorized open burning is permitted on campus or any other college owned tract or property. (This restriction does not apply to the use of the small permanently affixed charcoal grills located in various places on campus).

2. An automatic fine of $100.00 will be charged for any unauthorized open burning on Messiah College property in addition to any fines levied by the municipality.

3. Bonfire/Campfire requests should be made with Conferences Services.

Burning on campus is by permit only, under the supervision of Grounds Services or Public Safety. 

4. Open burning may only occur in those designated areas (bonfire pit at Starry or grill) deemed appropriate for such burning. Abandoned or unmonitored open burning is prohibited. All small fire type events must either be monitored until open flames within the combustible materials are no longer visible, or is extinguished after the event has concluded. The extinguishment of bonfires will be coordinated by on-duty Department of Safety staff.

5. Only Monaghan Township (York County) permits recreational type burning. However, there may be times when the municipality will prohibit open burning due to extremely dry and/or dangerous fire conditions. Upon such notification, bonfire or campfire events will be prohibited for the duration of the ban period.  Upper Allen Township (Cumberland County) prohibits open burning.

6. The Conference Services office and the Grounds Department are both duly authorized to cancel any scheduled bonfire or campfire based upon any and/or all of the following conditions: inclement or adverse weather conditions, previously unscheduled college events or activities, athletic events, and etc.

Bonfire – a pile of combustible materials gathered and constructed in a safe manner by Grounds staff. The materials are arranged for large group gatherings (greater than 25 persons) to provide a burn time of approximately 2 to 3 hours.

Campfire – a pile of combustible materials gathered and constructed in a safe manner by Grounds Department staff at the approved campfire location. The materials are arranged for small group gatherings (less than 25 persons) to provide a burn time of approximately 1 to 2 hours.

1. Bonfires/Campfires may be requested by any approved organization on campus. During the regular academic year bonfires shall be limited to occur only on a themed weekend (i.e. Family Weekend, Homecoming, Welcome Week, and etc.) or as part of a larger sponsored event by a recognized organization (SAB, Student Programs, Residence Education, and etc.).   Campfires may occur at any time during the regular academic year.  Bonfires/Campfires may only occur after all scheduled sporting events are concluded on the athletic complex.

2. Bonfire/Campfire Request Forms must be submitted to the Conference Services Office.  Requests for bonfires require a minimum 30 days prior notice to the date of the event and campfires require a minimum 14 days notice. No more than two bonfires are permitted to be scheduled per week, and they shall not be scheduled on successive weekend days. 

3. A $50.00 fee for bonfires and a $25.00 fee for campfires will be charged to the sponsoring organization to pay for materials used and labor to prepare the bonfire/campfire. 

4. Cancellations of bonfires or campfires by the requesting individual or group must be received at a minimum of 48 hours prior to the start of the event, or they will be charged the respective fee

5. Bonfires/Campfires will continue to be held in the prepared “pit” area adjacent to the swinging bridge on the Starry Athletic Complex side of the Yellow Breeches. There are presently no seating arrangements in this area, and none will be provided.


6. The Department of Safety will continue to obtain the ignition material (diesel fuel) from the Grounds Department, and will light the fire at the appropriate time as determined by the requesting organization.  

7. A person(s) shall be designated on the Bonfire/Campfire Request Form as the event safety monitor. This person(s) shall arrive at the approved bonfire/campfire location prior to the scheduled event start time and contact the Dispatch Office (x6005) at the conclusion of the event. Also, the event safety monitor should immediately report any unsafe acts, circumstances or conditions at the bonfire/campfire event to the Department of Safety Dispatch office.  The event safety monitor must remain at the site of the fire until the safety officer arrives to extinguish the flames.  Leaving a fire unattended is very dangerous thus failure to have someone present at the site until the arrival of the safety officer could result in a fine being imposed.

8. Upon notification of the conclusion of the bonfire, on-duty Safety personnel will respond to extinguish the bonfire.



messiah logo


This form must be submitted in all part to Conference Services upon completion of Section A.

Section A

Name of Event:  ____________________________________________________________________

Date of Event:  _______________________   Start Time: ______________   End Time: ___________

Type:     Bonfire          Campfire      (circle one)                           Light fire (time): _________________

Sponsoring Department/Organization: ___________________________________________________

Signature of Sponsoring Administrator/Faculty/Staff: _______________________________________

Account #: _________________________   Estimated Attendance: _____________________

Intended Audience (All Campus, Dorm, Special Group): ____________________________________

Location of Event: ___________________________________________________________________

Signature of Requestor: _____________________________________   Date: ____________________

Signature of SAB Activities V.P.:______________________________   Date: ____________________

(This signature must be obtained if your group is chartered or funded in part through MCSA.)

Name of Organizer/Monitor: ____________________________________________________________



Section B


_____ Approved     _____ Denied (Reason): _______________________________________________ 

Signature of Grounds Supervisor/Manager: ____________________________   Date: ______________

_____ Approved     _____ Denied (Reason): _______________________________________________

Signature of Conference Services: ___________________________________   Date: ______________




Under current College policy, any controlled fire must be approved by way of this form to insure compliance with federal, state and local laws.  Failure to submit this form will result in a fine and appropriate administrative action.