Summertime campfire fun and safety

Do you think of gardens, grilling and campfires when you hear the word “summer?” Anyone can partake in a campfire whether it is in your backyard or at a campground. Stay safe in the process of building the perfect fire.

What do you think about when you hear “Summer?”  Gardens?  Grilling?  Campfires?  Campfires are an especially fun part of summer.  Whether your campfire is in the backyard or at a campground, its popularity is unprecedented because it is an activity almost anyone can partake in.  Family, friends and neighbors alike come together to converse, eat or sing around the campfire. 

Staying safe outside, while enjoying your campfire, is especially important regardless of age or fire building skill.  For generations, the American public has heard Smokey Bear’s famous tagline, “only you can prevent wildfires.” His website provides parents and youth with vital information while presenting a loud and clear message about fire safety. Michigan State University Extension recommends becoming familiar with the following topics:

  •  Steps for choosing the perfect place for a campfire
  • How to build and/or prepare your campfire pit
  • Building a campfire
  • Maintaining and extinguishing your campfire
  • Interactive kids page
  • Resources for teachers

Aside from burning wood at a campfire, parents and youth are often found cooking over the campfire. S’mores, hot dogs and pizza pockets are a few favorites.  It is always important to keep safety in mind while cooking over a campfire.  The University of California’s Campfire Cooking Safety bulletin provides tips for a rewarding experience and great tasting campfire meal.  Do not forget that cooking over the campfire can be fun and educational.  Not only can youth learn how to cook, they can also learn the science behind cooking their food.  For example, youth can learn the science of roasting marshmallows

Overall, it’s increasingly important to keep youth and adults safe while participating in outdoor activities this summer.  For example, lawn mower safety, fireworks safety, bites, stings and poison ivy awareness, and appropriate temperatures for food safety are important to be mindful of.  The University of Kentucky Children’s Hospital can provide information about Keeping Kids Safe Outdoors and addresses many of these possible concerns.

Remember to be mindful this summer about staying safe, but don’t forget to have fun! Summertime can be full of new adventures and foster opportunities for amazing memories.