At last week’s Outdoor Adventure Club we did a bit of cooking over the open fire and the children had a go at lighting their own fires.

With risk assessments duly in place, health and safety rules explained and understood and water at the ready, each pair of children dug out small squares of turf, constructed a pyramid of sticks around some scrunched up newspaper, added some pieces of cotton wool covered in Vaseline and then asked me to inspect their construction prior to actually lighting their fires.

Once approval was given each pair took a flint each and proceeded to create enough sparks to get their fires alight. Within a matter of seconds the first one was merrily burning away and they all achieved success in a relatively short space of time. The challenge then was to keep the fire burning by adding a few twigs at a time. This proved a little more demanding, but was more or less completed by all before they moved into the canopy to sample the sausages that most of them had assisted Mrs Emmerson-Friend in cooking in between building their fires and allowing them to die out. Every week in Outdoor Adventure Club we do something different, but one boy declared this activity, “the best thing I’ve ever done in school!” and it really was wonderful to see how focussed each pair was in constructing their fire and how hard they worked to maintain it.

It was certainly an experience that they will not forget in a hurry and it really is good to be able to make such effective use of our super grounds to give the children these sort of experiences. The sausages tasted good too!

Jerry Gear