Campfire can be quit fun and challenging at the same time. For starters many parts of the country have bans of fires during the summer months, such as the area I am in. This has forced us to get creative for example maybe instead of a fire we will hang around a gas lantern or battery light source.
If you are planning a formal campfire don't forget about the cycle of the program. You want to start of some what slow and easy with may some fun songs and average skits to built the excitement and then built to a peak of fun and excitement and then start to slow it down again into a much quieter mood ending with maybe a special story. This way when the campfire program is over the kids are not bouncing off the walls from the excitement and rush of the program itself.
I suggest you use a agenda for your campfire programs to help plan out the program and ensure the program has a peak and then slows back down.
There are many things you can do during a campfire, with the most popular seeming to be skits, songs and stories. There are many many examples of these online. On InsaneScouter you can find Skits at http://insanescouter.org/c/142/skits.html and Songs at http://insanescouter.org/c/141/songs.html,.
One of the most memorial Court Of Honors (Boy Scout Award ceremony) I have ever attended was outside around a campfire.
Lets not forget about campfire ashes. Legend has it that Baden-Powell would always take a small amount of ashes from the campfire and spread these ashes into the next campfire Ashes taken from a campfire are sprinkled into the flames of the next campfire. The next morning, when the ashes are cold, they are stirred, and each Guide or Scout takes some along to mix with her/his next campfire. If more than one Guide/Scout brings ashes to the same campfire, the lists are pooled, with the dates and places of all campfires recorded and passed on. It is tradition that only those present at the ceremony may carry the ashes from that ceremony.
A few other ideas for campfire fun include...The “HAHAHA” game can be lots of fun and last a short time or gone on forever depending on the group. It is simple to play every one sits in a circle around the fire and the first person says “Ha” next one “HaHa” third one “HaHaHa” and so … each person adds a “ha” to it. It can go around and around the circle many times, but if anyone laughs the game starts over.
Another favorite is the round robin story, where some one starts the story and each person may if they so desire add a few lines to the story. Be prepared to keep the story on track the kids will take it off in all sorts of weird directions which may not exactly be Scout appropriate. Girls and hazing are the most common bad directions I have seen these stories take. I find having a adult start the story works best and act as moderator.
I would love to hear what you do around a campfire and how you run your campfire programs …. comment below ;)
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I agree that campfires can be very fun, inspirational, and even memorable. However always remember Smokey the Bears lessons about preventing wild fires....
Campfire Fun@Paula Hrbacek
If your campground has a rule against ground fire, buy one of those inexpensive BBQ grills that is only a foot tall. Start the fire with charcoal, and add just a few small sticks; enough to be a fire, but not enough to spread sparks. Leaves and kindling are the parts of a fire that spread sparks. Charcoal eliminates this problem.
Another "safe" fire in places that won't allow this solution, is to bring a lot of candles in glass jars or metal buckets and arrange them into a circle.