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Cautious campfire

Discuss and build a safe campfire in this practical activity.
Plan a session with this activity

You will need

  • Kindling (for example, small sticks)
  • Firewood
  • Bucket(s) full of water

Campfire safety

  1. Talk to the group about what they think helps to keep a campfire safe. Maybe you had a campfire recently or you’re planning to have a campfire soon. Points to include:
    • Keep a fire bucket to hand.
    • Only use as much wood as you need – don’t build the fire too big.
    • Don’t use any flammable liquids on the fire.
    • Keep the area around the fire free of flammable things and clutter.
    • Keep any matches or lighters separate until it's time to use them.
    • Make sure that people aren’t wearing loose clothing such as scarves, and have their hair tied back when they’re close to the fire.
    • Good behaviour around the fire will help keep people safe.
  1. To remember these safety rules, ask everyone to get into teams and ask them to memorise one of the rules. The next team then has to remember that rule and shout out a different rule.
  2. Other teams could give clues if they’re stuck.
  3. Repeat this until all the rules have been covered.

Building a fire

  1. Split the group into small groups. Each will light a fire so ensure that they're suitably supervised.
  2. Collect your fire lighting materials. (More information on fire lighting is available from Scout Adventures here.)
  3. Make sure the area where you'll light the fire is suitable. It should be clear so that the fire doesn't spread by accident and in an area that you're free to move around so that you can't be trapped by the fire.
  4. Ensure that you extinguish the fire and tidy the areas before leaving your location.

Reflection

This activity encouraged you to think critically about how to behave around a fire, something you're likely to encounter a number of times in your Scout journey. What difference does it make to plan ahead when building a fire? Not only is it easier to collect all of your material before you start the fire, but it's also safer to keep the space organised and not have to rush about.

Safety

Fires and stoves

Make sure anyone using fires and stoves is doing so safely. Check that the equipment and area are suitable and have plenty of ventilation. Follow the gas safety guidance. Have a safe way to extinguish the fire in an emergency.

Make it accessible

All Scout activities should be inclusive and accessible.