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Posts Tagged ‘Edible Campfire’

You may have already seen Brownie Camping: Edible Campfire from two years ago.  I think that edible campfire is a valuable activity that should remain on our agendas but we’ve all had girls in our units with food allergies, intolerances, and religious restrictions – and we know that as role models, we should offer healthier “fun” food.  Candy and cheezies aren’t the only way… the time has come for an update.

Why Edible Campfire?  You may have answered “because it is tradition!” or “it is so much fun!” and both are right.  But edible campfire is also a great way to teach a real-world lesson safely (no matches involved).  Using food, we demonstrate how to set a real fire correctly, laying the groundwork for when the girls are old enough to do it themselves.  For me, I didn’t actually “get” how to start a fire until tinder was equated to the broken up hickory sticks we ate the night before.  It is silly, but marshmallows as stones; pretzels as kindling; hickory sticks as tinder …etc. made more sense to me.  And it was fun!

Updated Edible Campfire (with healthier options and notes on some alternatives for restrictive diets)

Text from Snowy Owl Christine’s bag of tricks – Thanks to Guiders Claudia, Jen and Christine for their input and expertise.

IMPORTANT: Always discuss your menu and plans with the parents of kids with restrictions to make sure that you’ve got food that is appropriate for their child. They are your best advocates and will be happy to hear from you.

Edible Campfire - Putting in the Kindling

Edible Campfire – Putting in the Kindling

  1. When we make a campfire, we need a clear area free of dried grass and sticks.
    Supplies: plate, paper plate, or dinner napkin
  2. And we like to use an established fire pit.  Make a fire pit ring with:
    Original Instructions:  Skittles, M&Ms, mini marshmallows, or chocolate rocks.
    Healthier: use dried fruit (ripped up apricots would do and should be gluten free too – check to make sure they’re packaged in a peanut free factory if applicable).
    Gluten Free – check the package to confirm, but marshmallows should be gluten free.
    Halal – marshmallows are not appropriate for a child who eats a Halal diet.  But you can buy suitable alternatives – in this case, have the child rip up a few to make rocks.
  3. Do we have the right safety equipment on hand?
    Supplies: cup of water (bucket) and a table fork or spoon (shovel).
  4. Pull back your hair, and make sure you’re not wearing anything that could hang into the fire.  (Find more about fire safety here too).
  5. A good campfire needs kindling – small sticks that will light easily but keep burning for a while.  Build an A frame or other structure.
    Original instructions: Hickory Sticks or small pretzels
    Healthier: whole dried banana chips (should be gluten free and possibly peanut free too) or fresh carrot sticks (matchstick cut).
    Gluten free: Glutino Pretzels (these are expensive!).
  6. Next we need a fire starter (crumpled up paper) – something that will keep burning long enough to catch the tinder on fire.
    Original instructions: Raisins (which should also be gluten free and are healthier)– sprinkle over the fire
  7. And then we need tinder – pieces of wood that are smaller than kindling will catch fire easilyBreak up and sprinkle over fire:
    Original instructions: Hickory Sticks
    Healthier and Gluten Free: Dried bananas would work.
  8. Now we can strike our match  (light imaginary match – be sure to strike it away from your body) to light the fire starter.
  9. Watch the fire start!
    Original Instruction: Place Red candies like Gummy Bears or Swedish berries over the fire
    Healthier: Dried cranberries would be perfect
    Gluten free: Spark Guider Claudia has Celiac and suggests that Swedish Berries, Fuzzy Peaches, Gummy Bears (generally any Manyards brand candies) are fine.  Many also appear to be peanut free (always read the label and check with the parent).
    Don’t use Licorice Nibs though…licorice has wheat.
  10. Now that the fire is going, you want to carefully add larger logs in a log cabin pattern or similar.
    Original Instruction: Breadsticks or bigger Pretzels make good logs
    Healthier and Gluten Free: try strips of dried apple or fresh carrot sticks cut up like logs (or baby carrots cut in half or quarters so they won’t roll around).
  11. Once the fire has been burning for a bit, you get coals – the best conditions for cooking food and roasting marshmallows. 
    Original instruction: Place another redish candy – Hot lips, or Fuzzy Peach and watch the fire burn.
    Other options: Use a different gluten free candy, or dried fruit (apricots or dried strawberries would be nice) from point 9 above.

Now your fire is done.  In our case, this is the last activity before Camp Close – parents are usually arriving.  Girls are instructed to pick up the four corners of the napkin and put the whole thing in a plastic zip bag for the trip home.  It is usually a good photo op for parents and the girls have a snack.

Camp on!

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Our district advancement is tomorrow night (technically, we don’t have districts anymore in Ontario, but what do you call them?  Communities, I guess?).  Anyway, you know what I mean.  Sparks, Brownies, Guides, Pathfinders and Rangers will be gathering for a big advancement ceremony… this is where 2nd year Sparks become new Brownies, 2nd year Brownies become new Guides, and so on.  It is meant to be a nice and simple send off for our girls.  (Sad and Happy at the same time).

Here’s the plan:

We’re doing a Campfire (without fire – so a ceremonial one).

6:15 – Guiders arrive – set up chairs in the Gym.  Arrange certificates, gifts, pins, etc.

6:30 – Arrival Game – I’m hoping Rangers can lead this (tag?)

6:45 – Campfire Advancement Ceremony – based on a really great ceremony idea from on Becky’s site called “Building a Campfire” that we simplified – it also draws on some of the Edible Campfire concept.

  • Brown Owl (me) to welcome parents and guests.  Please be seated.
  • Each Branch do our openings in order.  Brownies and Sparks each finish their section with their Promise (Brownies may throw in a Grand Howl?). At the end, everyone say the Guiding Promise.
  • Introduce the Guiders
  • SET UP: Pre-arranged representatives from each unit to gather off-stage.  2 Guiders, 2 Sparks, 2 Brownies, 1-2 each of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd year Guides, and Pathfinder and Ranger.
  • Introduction: Through all the years of Guiding, campfires are a favourite experience and they truly represent the progression through Guiding.  I love campfires because you get to sing, dream and laugh (and roast marshmallows).  And tonight as we celebrate Guiding and as each level advances to the next, we’re going to symbolically build a campfire.

Building a Campfire Text:

  1. 2 Guiders with a Blanket
    One of the most important things to remember when building your campfire is the foundation.  The foundation keeps the fire safely in place and guards it so that it may be enjoyed by all.  The foundation of Guiding is its leadership.  Guiders, please find a good spot for our campfire.
  2. 2 Sparks (with two Rangers) with a few rolled up balls of paper
    We know that paper and dry grasses would be a good starter material for our campfire.  Just like tinder, our Sparks represent the beginning of Guiding.  Sparks, please bring the Tinder to the Rangers (who will stay in the circle and build the campfire)
  3. 2 Brownies with small twigs or sticks
    Next we need some small twigs and dry sticks for kindling to help with the fire.  Just as kindling needs tinder to start, so too have the Brownies built on the skills they learned before.
  4. 1-2 1st year Guides with some bigger sticks
    Now we need some bigger fuel to make sure that this campfire doesn’t go out.
  5. 1-2 2nd year Guides with some bigger logs
    And next we’ll need logs – the second year Guides have a solid foundation behind them.  Their contribution will make our campfire a roaring success.
  6. 3rd year Guide – with a bucket and shovel
    To make our campfire a safe success, we always make sure we have safety equipment on hand.  As girls grow, they take on more responsibility.
  7. Pathfinders and Rangers are putting the fire together…
    Let’s see what we have so far for our campfire… we have the foundation, the starter, the kindling and logs.  Is that everything we need?  NO!  We need a match!  Pathfinders and Rangers, it is up to you to keep the fire going!  UPDATE Idea – we’ll give the Pathfinders and Rangers some battery tea lights so there is light in our fire!

Sing Fire’s Burning (Start with Sparks and add a group as we start over).  Now, as our imaginary fire starts to catch and build to a roar, we’re going to help it along with Fire’s Burning (but don’t join in until you’re called).  Start with Sparks, then Brownies, Guides, Pathfinders, Rangers, Guiders and finally parents.  So seven rounds of it should make it really loud at the end!

Advancement Ceremonies:

  • Advance Sparks (Guiders to stand up and say who is advancing, give the girl your goodbye gift – shake hands, and then send them to the Owls who will be ready to welcome the girls – then they’ll go sit with Brownies)
  • Advance Brownies.  Owls will stand up, identify who is leaving, give them their goodbye gift and send them off to Guides for welcome).  And so on…
  • And so on, advancing Guides, Pathfinders and Rangers.

Finish with Make new Friends.

Brown Owl – Ladies and gentlemen, you have watched our girls build a campfire just as we have watched them develop over the years. But none of this is possible without the Guiders who lead, guide and mentor your girls.  These are volunteers who have taken an oath to give these girls, your girls, the most precious gift they have to offer – the gift of time.  (Big Clap!)

Now we’re going to do our closings  Then cake and fruit (water). – And Photos!

This is a fairly simple advancement ceremony that we did a few years ago and we were out of ideas so we will repeat it.  Are you finishing this week – or do you have some time to go?  Or are you in the Southern Hemisphere and just starting up?

Post event review – This was a stunning success.  Even if it rained and we had to go inside (Jen – you were right, erg!).  Thank you to all of the Guiders who baked, clapped, participated and contributed.

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Edible Campfire - Putting in the Kindling

The Edible Campfire activity is an excellent way to demonstrate how to build a campfire without actually lighting a match.

Here are some Edible Campfire ideas.

Our Edible Campfire

Text from Snowy Owl’s bag of tricks
(Brackets = Supplies)

  1. When we make a campfire, we need a clear area (dinner napkin) and we like to use an established fire pit (make a fire pit ring in skittles, M&Ms, Mini Marshmallows, or chocolate rocks)
  2. Do we have the right safety equipment on hand?  (Cup of water).  Also – Pull back your hair, and make sure you’re not wearing anything that could hang into the fire.  Find more about fire safety here too.
  3. A good campfire needs kindling – small sticks that will light easily but keep burning for a while.  Build an A frame or other structure.  (Hickory Sticks or small pretzels).
  4. Next we need a fire starter – something that will keep burning long enough to catch the tinder on fire. (Raisins to be sprinkled around the fire)
  5. And then we need tinder – these are smaller than kindling and catch fire easily.  (break up a piece of Hickory Stick into small bits and sprinkle over the fire)
  6. Now we can light our match  (light imaginary match).  Watch the fire start!  (Place Red candies like Mike and Ikes, or Swedish berries).
  7. Now that the fire is going, you want to carefully add larger logs in a log cabin pattern or similar.  (Breadsticks or bigger Pretzels make good logs)
  8. Once the fire has been burning for a bit, you get coals – the best conditions for cooking or roasting marshmallows.  (Place another redish candy – Hot lips, or Fuzzy Peach) and watch the fire burn.

Now your fire is done.

In our case, this is the last activity before Camp Close – parents are usually arriving.  Girls are instructed to pick up the four corners of the napkin and put the whole thing in a supplied (plastic zip bag) for the trip home.  It is usually a good photo op for parents and the girls have something to eat on the way home.

All that is left is to put on the coals. Then eat, of course.

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