This is just a short post but hopefully one that you will find valuable! I am a co-leader for my daughters Girl Scout troop. We decided that this summer we should do an overnight Girl Scout outing at a nearby Girl Scout property. Nothing too rustic but still a great experience for a group of girls that just finished 1st grade. Of course, you can't "camp" without having a campfire! So, I volunteered to go through the Girl Scout Camp Training that was required in order to do a variety of things (including having a campfire). I am a total country girl so there wasn't much on the campfire side that I could be taught - except how to teach the girls to be safe around fires!
Here is the #1 thing that I learned during the training that I thought many of you might find helpful:
Draw a large circle around the fire - either with chalk or a stick digging into the dirt. It's just important that the kiddos can clearly see the "safety circle".
Next, limit the number of people that are allowed in the circle at any time. Example: For a small campfire I limited the number to 3 and for a large campfire I limited it to 4 or 5 people (kids or adults) in the safety circle at a time. No one can be in the safety circle without a responsible adult supervising!
|Example of a safety circle on cement. |
Yes - I am a city girl now and this is my teeny fire pit - so sad!
But, it will do for now.
|Small campfire we used for cooking at camp. I allowed 3 girls OR 4 adults to be in the safety circle at one time.|
|It's hard to see but there is a line dug in the sand behind this sweet little girl. That is the safety circle. Of course, the smoke was too much for this age so the moms ended up doing most of the cooking ;-)|
Other campfire tips:
- Keep water close by.
- Go over fire safety before letting the kids near the campfire (don't lean into the fire, keep long hair tied back, do not play near the fire, what to do if they catch on fire, ...)
- Girl Scouts also promotes being kind to our environment by not burning any trash (not even the paper plates).
- Marshmallow roasting safety! If your marshmallow catches on fire - please do not start frantically waiving it in the air. It is likely to fly off the stick and land on a friend! Or, the flame could end up in a dry area which could start another fire. The stick could also poke a friend.
- When you are putting out the fire: It is best to drizzle water on the fire a little at a time. I am personally ALWAYS afraid that the fire might not be out enough and start a larger fire while I am sleeping!! So, I drench my fire with water. When would this not be good? If you are planning to use that same fire pit in the near future! You need a dry area to start a campfire. So, thank of future uses before you drown out the fire.