You will need
- Kindling (for example, small sticks)
- Fire bucket
Before you begin
- Make sure that the place you’re holding your campfire has enough twigs for everyone to find one. If you don’t think there’ll be enough, bring some bamboo skewers (and make sure that you can soak them water for at least 30 minutes).
- Make sure the area is clear of anything that could catch fire and put a fire bucket nearby.
- Build a campfire and let it burn down to glowing embers. If you can’t make a campfire, you could use a barbecue or a fire pit outdoors.
Get ready to toast
- Everyone should find a thin twig about 30cm long. It shouldn’t be rotting, so it shouldn’t snap easily, and it shouldn’t have any sap coming off it.
- Everyone should peel the bark off one end of their twig: they should see a nice clean white or green colour. They should push a marshmallow onto the bit of twig with no bark on, and make sure it’s secure.
- The person leading the activity should remind everyone how to stay safe around the fire. Everyone should be careful when moving around. Anyone with long hair should keep it tied back, and everyone should keep loose clothing (including scarves) well away from the fire. No one should touch any sticks or logs that fall out of the fire.
- Everyone should take it in turns to crouch around the fire, making sure they’re stable on their feet, and hold their marshmallow stick over the fire to toast the marshmallow. To get the perfect marshmallow, they should hold the stick safely and firmly near the end, and turn it so the marshmallow toasts evenly. They should watch the colour turn from white or pink to a golden brown – some people like a really crunchy, bubbly outside!
- When the marshmallows are perfectly toasted, everyone should remove them from the fire. People should remember not to wave them around and should count to 30 before they eat them, because they’ll be hot and gooey.
- Once everyone’s eaten their marshmallow, they should get rid of their stick on the fire or in the bin.
Chat and chew
- Everyone should think of some activities and adventures they’ve done in the outdoors and enjoyed. Once everyone’s had a chance to think, people should take it in turns to share their ideas.
- The person leading the activity should ask everyone if there are any other outdoor activities or adventures people would like to do in the future. Everyone should think, and everyone who wants to should have a chance to talk and share their ideas.
This activity gave everyone the chance to enjoy being outdoors and sharing food – the perfect combination for thinking time with friends.
While everyone’s still outdoors, they should think about connecting with and enjoying the natural world. People have sat around fires sharing stories and together for a long time; it goes all the way back to the very first people on Earth, and is a bond we share with everyone. Everyone should look around and share a moment of togetherness as a group before they head back indoors.
- Outdoor activities
You must have permission to use the location. Always check the weather forecast and inform parents and carers of any change in venue.
- 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.
Check for allergies before you begin and read the guidance on food safety. Make sure you have suitable areas for storing and preparing food and avoid cross contamination of different foods.