Campfires

Includes: campfire, camping, outdoor cooking, bonfire Outdoors, Nature and the great outdoors, Land

Age:
5+
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Keep warm, sing, laugh and cook

After a wet and muddy day outdoors there's nothing better than snuggling around a campfire, roasting marshmallows and playing games, once the girls have learned how to make one of course!

Overview

A campfire is a traditional guiding activity where songs and other group activities take place around a small fire.

To run a campfire with girls, you will need to find a suitable and safe venue with space for the fire and any activities you plan to do.

Approved: 5 May 2021
Version: 1.0

Content owner: Adventure team

Planning checklist

If you or another member of your leadership team is running the activity at an external venue/location, follow these extra steps:

  • Arrange for a home contact. Leave any route or other relevant details with your home contact and complete a home contact agreement form. Let them know about any changes to your plans.
  • Tell your commissioner.
  • Check with the venue that they have the correct equipment and, if needed, specialist clothing that will meet the needs of your group.
  • Ask for a copy of the venue's safety guidelines and risk assessment.
  • Consider the ability and experience of the participants and any disabilities, access needs or health conditions and plan the session accordingly.

Some venues might ask for a disclaimer or waiver to be signed for each person taking part in the activity. This is something which parents/carers must sign on behalf of their child. You can do this along with the consent form. Parents and carers should be given sufficient information from the provider along with the waiver so they can make an informed decision to sign it or not. Leaders can only sign disclaimers and waivers for their own personal participation. 

If you're working with an external provider or external instructors to run this activity, follow these extra steps.

In your unit meeting place 

  • Check the guidance for having an external visitor at your unit.
  • Inform the external qualified adult of the ability and experience of the participants and any disabilities, access needs or health conditions that need to be considered when running the activity.
  • Source any specialist equipment or clothing needed to run the activity that isn't being provided by the external provider, and make sure this is in good condition and fit for purpose.
  • Check any equipment you source or borrow is suitably insured and confirm what would happen if there was damage to the equipment.

At an external venue 

  • Arrange for a home contact. Leave any route or other relevant details with your home contact and complete a home contact agreement form. Let them know if you make any changes to your plans. 
  • Tell your local commissioner. 
  • Tell the activity provider about the ability and experience of the participants and any disabilities, access needs or health conditions that need to be considered when running the activity. 
  • Choose a reputable and licensed activity provider (where applicable). 
  • Get copies of the public liability insurance of the activity provider before you book. 
  • Ask for a copy of the providers' safety guidelines and risk assessment. 

Some venues might ask for a disclaimer or waiver to be signed for each person taking part in the activity. This is something which parents/carers must sign on behalf of their child. You can do this along with the consent form. Parents and carers should be given sufficient information from the provider along with the waiver so they can make an informed decision to sign it or not. Leaders can only sign disclaimers and waivers for their own personal participation.

  • You will need at least two people to run a campfire event; one to lead the songs and activities, and one to maintain the fire.
  • The campfire leader must have run a trial campfire before running one with girls. There must be one person in the group with good fire safety knowledge.

  • Choose an area which is away from trees, shrubs and overhanging branches.
  • Keep enough sand, earth or water nearby to put out the fire.
  • Never leave the fire unattended.
  • Make a ring around the campfire out of stones, logs or heat resistant bricks to contain the ash.
  • Girls must sit a safe distance from the fire.
  • Never leave a fire unattended and wait until it is fully extinguished. 
  • Tie back long hair. Make sure clothes and jewellery are tucked in. 
  • Be aware of how the direction of the wind could blow your fire.

If the campfire is happening outside of your normal meeting time and venue, or outside of a residential event, an Information and consent for event/activity form needs to be completed for each girl.

Activity ratios

The ratios below are given as a maximum and ratios must be considered as part of the risk assessment, this may lessen due to any medical conditions, physical ability or other factors.

Leadership team ratio

  • Rainbows: 1:5, with at least 2 adults 
  • Brownies: 1:8, with at least 2 adults 
  • Guides: 1:12, with at least 2 adults 
  • Rangers: N/A, they must have permission from a leader

Qualified adult/participant ratio

 An instructor is not needed for this activity. One person in the group should have good fire safety knowledge.

Forms

  • An Activity Information and Consent form is required to participate in this activity - PDF | Word
  • A Risk Assessment form is required for this activity - PDF

Remember - you can use one consent form for multiple activities

Girlguiding activity centres for Campfires

Photo of Blackland Farm

Blackland Farm

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Foxlease

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Glenbrook

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Photo of Waddow Hall

Waddow Hall

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