This Activity is meant for Boy Scouts, Webelos scouts.
The scouts I've been involved with consistently make 'flat' fire lays which don't work very well. Learning to lay a fire up instead of out is important and this activity helps that understanding.
Each patrol collects fuel, builds a fire, and tries to be first to burn through a string suspended over the fire.
Time deductions can be given for each match used, for adding more wood, for rearranging the original fire lay.
For a more structured setup, make fire platforms.
- Cut a 12x12 inch fiberboard square (like shelving).
- Drill a 1/4 inch hole in each corner.
- Cut apart a wire clothes hanger into 12 inch lengths.
- Bend one end of the wire into a tight J shape so it fits snuggly into a hole in the platform.
- Insert wires in opposite holes and string a string from one to the other, putting tension on the wires.
- Measure that all the strings are at the same height for fairness.
- When the string burns through, the wires snap outward so it is obvious.
You may also provide a set amount of tinder, kindling, and fuel to each group if you want to concentrate on the fire lay rather than the luck of finding good wood.
Instead of burning through a string, a wire cup holder can be made and suspended between the hanger wires for a water boiling competition.
A fast, hot fire is needed for string burning, while a hot, sustained fire is needed to boil water, so adding wood should not be a deduction.