Campfire Conversations And Fire Safety With Kids

As you can see we are in camping mode over here and I can't say I'm really sorry about it. We've worked hard to finally get our airstream on the road so we are just a little excited that it's finally happened and we can create some fun family memories. 

One of the things that seem to go hand in hand with camping is sitting around a campfire. I'm not actually sure that a trip would feel complete without it. When we had our first adventure in Hershey we had a bit of a campfire fail. Well, not a total fail, but it wasn't all warm and fuzzy campfire vibes and the ease of just sitting around and enjoying it.

For starters, we purchased the wood directly from the campsite and it happened to be wet. This made it extremely difficult to actually get a fire going. Eric is always amazing at this stuff and his inner boy scout comes out and before we know it we are set. This time it wasn't so easy.

We didn't have the proper kindling, the sticks we were finding were also damp, and we forgot to bring some old grocery ads or newspaper to help get it going. Lord Jesus please forgive us, but we went into our glove box and found offering envelopes from some weeks that we missed and used those to jump start it. I felt bad because I knew deep down this isn't what a burnt offering was intended for. We also had a mishap with little nugget that could have been so much worse but we are so thankful it wasn't and that someone was there to help him. Long story short, Eric went off to try and find some dry sticks and leaves and he thought the boys were with me. I thought the boys went with him (it was an honest mistake on both our parts) and before I knew it a nice couple was carrying my crying boy back who had tripped and fallen into a fire ring on another campsite that wasn't being used. He was covered in soot with tears running down his face and told me, mama I fell in an old tire. My heart about melted and all I wanted to do was sit there and hold and hug him. I feel embarrassed to admit this even happened, but I think it also goes to show that as parents, things can happen in a split second and none of us are perfect or ever intentionally mean for something to happen.

After that, Eric and I knew that we needed to put some best practices in place when it comes to camping, and specifically dealing with kids around a campfire.

This time around we were better prepared (no more tithing envelopes) and we brought our own wood so we knew it was dry and ready to go. We also made sure to get a fire going around dusk instead of when it was really dark out so everyone could see better at what they were doing.

We also made sure to prep the boys before our trip and then talk to them about fire safety while we were there. They're young and curious but also need to know that fire can be such a dangerous thing and not something to be taken lightly.

If we decide to do a fire it's part of mine and Eric's responsibility to make sure that one of us is out there with them at all times. They know that they are never to put anything into the fire expect for marshmallows when mommy or daddy are around. Even when Eric or I add more wood to the fire it's to be done at an angle where they are placed in and never thrown in to create sparks or flying embers that could hurt someone or something else.

Another great idea that we read about was creating a fire ring. You can bring a piece of chalk or involve your kids to collect rocks or extra sticks and make a wider ring around the fire. It should be a good distance away and explained that they can't go over that fire circle. This is to keep them at a distance to avoid them getting too close.

They also know there's no running around a fire, no playing ball or anything that could go up in the air. We also keep water near by in case anything were to get out of hand and the boys know and practice stop, drop, and roll. We pray that it will never have to be put into place.


After we felt comfortable and confident that the boys understood we did sit with them and allowed them to roast marshmallows and makes s'mores.

Some of our conversations sounded like this...

A: how come a marshmallow gets so fat when it goes near the fire?
Me: that's because it gets warm and starts to heat up and melt

Little nugget: but it looks like a booty
Me: I don't see that. Let's not talk like that (why does it always have to resort back to potty words?! )

Little nugget: we can't get too close to the fires because our feet might get bleedy
A: eww bleedy
Me: well he is right, we should never get close to the fire and you definitely never put your feet in it

A: if a bug flies near the fire will it die
Me: if he gets too close it could happen

Little nugget: daddy has really long arms so he won't get burned (referring to him putting more wood in)

A: I think I just like to eat the chocolate and a regular marshmallow. Can you pick the brown spots off mine?
Me: so you really don't like roasting marshmallows?
A: no, I like putting them on the stick but I don't like eating them after the fire. You can have it

Me: Ok, it's time to come inside to get ready for bed and wash those dirty feet off. Daddy's going to put the fire out.
Little nugget: but pumpkins stay outside
Me: yes, they do, what does that have to do with anything?
Little nugget: I want to be a pumpkin and stay outside
Me: not tonight kiddo

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