Be Prepared! / Scouting

The BSP is Back!

Yep, the Big Scout Project is back after a two week break from blogging to regroup and refresh.  Writing regularly is work. Breaks are good.

Just cause the blog was on hiatus didn’t mean the project was. The highlight was most assuredly an intensive camp training that I was able to join, courtesy of my friend Stacy. She was one of four incredible women who’s mission was to train close to thirty women and men who are volunteering their time as troop leaders, assistant leaders, and parent volunteers in camp certification for girl scouts. All I need now to be certified to take girls camping is a background check. Cool, huh?

So I knocked off a pretty large number of tasks in one fell swoop, and several of the upcoming posts will share what I learned. Trainees were separated into patrols, with leaders. Everyone was assigned tasks, listed on kaper charts, for cooking, serving, and clean up. We learned to tie all kinds of knots and used them to raise tarps. We cooked with propane and baked in a “scotch oven” (no, I’d never heard of that, either). We sharpened knives and learned about safety. We raised and lowered the flag in ceremony at the start and end of the day, and we finished our training with a “scout’s own” ceremony and campfire, complete with skits and songs.

The training was packed to the gills, and we were exhausted by it. In the next few posts, I’m going to share some of my favorite parts of the training — including making fire starters and baking with a scotch oven.

But today, to kick it off, I’d like to share this simple video: Jean starting a fire with one match.

Of everything I learned, this is the most personally meaningful. Just take a look at the story of this project to understand why.

First, here’s the secret to starting a fire: tinder, and lots of it.  Tinder is not kindling. Kindling is larger and you’re gonna need a little of it — three pieces, to be exact, to create the base in the shape of the letter “A.” On top of that, you want a big pile of tinder  (think the width of a Q-tip stick), and you’re gonna need more than you think you will.

Other than the placement of your “A” frame kindling base,  just let that tinder be a big messy pile on top of it with plenty of air space in there. Light that match, stick ‘er down there, and let her rip. A small starter fire like this can last you up to half an hour, and that’s more than enough time to build a larger fire around it.

So here’s my really quick video of my starter fire. It’s one of my proudest moments.

Of course, it’s not always sunny and dry when we camp. We might find ourselves needing to cook in the rain. For moments like those, it helps to have a “fire starter” at the ready, and in the next post, I’ll demonstrate how to make one kind of fire starter.

It’s great to be back!


3 thoughts on “The BSP is Back!

  1. Pingback: More From Camp Training | The Big Scout Project

  2. I’ve found that pine needles, particularly bundles of pine needles can make great tinder. In a fireplace, you can use paper – but NEVER do that outside – the ashes tend to fly up and can start a forest fire.

    Ah, this brings back memories – what no s’mores?

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