Happy Little Flames
Is it a surprise to anyone that kids LOVE fire? We do mini campfires quite often during our Nature Club because it is not only a tool for cooking, but a tool for teaching determination, patience, teamwork, and safety.
At every fire circle, we go through the requirements for safety before we start, so the kids know they are being trusted with a big responsibility. It is their job to gather all of the materials, arrange them in the correct formation, and light the fire using flint and steel. We never use lighter fluid, and our tinder ranges from cotton balls to palm tree fluff, so it takes determination to get the sparks to turn into a flame. We practice patience in our campfire cooking - marshmallows, cinnamon rolls on a stick, apples - since the rule is no flaming food!
I think my favorite part in being able to facilitate fire lighting in Nature Club is being able to see the kids grow in their skills each time we practice. All of the kids take turns feeding the fire, and they have learned what types of fuel are best and how to add it in at the right time. The older kids help the younger ones to load up their sticks with treats, and keep an eye out to watch that nothing gets too cooked. Some kids were initially nervous around the fire, and asked, "Are you sure we are allowed to do this?" Those same kids are now happily toasting marshmallows with the rest of the group.
If you are interested in joining our Monthly Nature Club, checkout more details on our website at http://jaxdragonfly.org/natureclub or send an email to Lizzy at email@example.com.