Firecrafter Campfire Suggestions From the 1996 revision of the Firecrafter Candidates Manual.
There's fellowship around the campfire.
Most of the following information has been secured from Scouting
Magazine, Boy Scout Handbook, and past grading experience. As a Firecrafter
Candidate you will give a campfire at least once during your candidacy. This
report has been prepared to help you to plan a successful campfire. Let us now
start to discuss some keys to a good campfire.
- Choose a dry site; keep away from swampy places.
- Arrange campfire circle with reference to the prevailing winds; nobody
likes to eat smoke.
- Select a level or gently sloping site.
- Light the fire in a scout-like manner (definitely no gasoline or gunpowder,
- Consider fire hazard - overhead and underneath. Have an area of 10' radius
around your fire for safety. Have an ample number of fire buckets.
- Provide comfort and protection against ground chill.
- Hold the campfire a short distance from the campsite, but prevent from
holding it by busy roads or trails.
Type of Fire
Top-Lighter -- most popular. Build up in a log cabin style, but
with no tinder at the bottom. Lay tinder on solid split wood about the fifth
level. Lay several layers of split wood over the tinder. Hardwood is most
favorable. As the hardwood burns to embers, the fire burns downward instead of
burning the whole layout form the bottom in a few minutes.
Bottom-Lighter. Lay the familiar log cabin frame and then CRAM
the inside with tinder in such a manner that when you light the bottom tinder it
will in turn ignite the wood about and so on. You will need varying sizes of
tinder for the fire to be a success, starting from pencil lead thickness for the
bottom, and increasing upward through the fire to wood the size of a silver
dollar and larger.
Ways of Fire Lighting
The lighting of the campfire is an important aspect of all campfires. While
it is necessary for you as the candidate to lead the campfire, you should leave
this task to a responsible boy or adult from your troop that is proficient at
lighting fires. Try to incorporate the fire lighting into a skit or ceremony.
While others are lighting the fire, continue with your program. If by chance
the fire does not light GO ON WITH YOUR PROGRAM. You should not stop
the program to help light the fire. Also be sure to have adequate fire
protection. This includes ample fire buckets, a clean fire area, and tools such
as shovels and rakes.
Candle-Light -- Place a shielded candle inside of the campfire just
before starting. Have a string on the candle so that it can be pulled into the
Matchboard and Sandpaper -- Pull the sandpapered piece of wood
across the piece of wood that is covered with kitchen matches.
Fire by Friction -- Have one boy or adult who is proficient in Fire
by Friction to start the fire with their spark and tinder.
The options for lighting the fire are endless, but be sure to have a back up
method just in case. DO NOT USE things such as flammable fluids or
paper to start your fire.
The quality of the campfire program can make or break the campfire. It
should be centered around a THEME. This theme can be anything from "A
Day at Ransburg" to "Christmas in July". However, it should not
be to general like "Scouting". You need to find different skits,
songs, and stories that relate to or involve your theme. A Scoutmaster's Minute
is another way of working in the theme. Be sure to have your program written
out. You will need a copy of it for yourself, one for your Scoutmaster, and two
copies for the grading team, making four total. While it isn't necessary to
have the program memorized, don't take it with you when you are in front of the
audience. Look at it off to the side to see what is next then go out and
introduce the next thing. It is also a good idea to plan an extra song or skit,
just in case the program doesn't last the necessary 20 minutes.
The point of leadership is the most important of all of the six grading
points. The point of leadership is not just to see how well you can lead a
song, it requires you to have control at all times. It is as easy to be a
leader from the sidelines as it is from the front. Below are some hints on how
to do well.
- Come out and introduce yourself, and lead the first song.
- Try to include a song that you can teach the audience.
- Know all the songs and skits in your program, and if a problem occurs be
prepared to lead the activity.
- Invite other troops to both come to and do something in your program.
- Make sure that all those in your program know what they are to do and that
they have all necessary props.
- Don't be shy. Use hand motions and enthusiasm when you are in front of the
- DO YOUR BEST!!
Webmaster Note: This information provided courtesy of Matt Baldwin XXX.