Colored Campfire

Adriana Carolina Martínez Martínez

All the participants will light fires and will be able to experience changing the color of the flames of the fire, with the help of chemicals. At the end of the function, all the participants will have a time for reflection and will help to put out the bonfires and clean up the entire area where the activity will take place.

NOTE: It is important that you determine and decide the color of fire that you want to experience so that you can select the chemicals that you will need. You can try all 5 colors or just one.

*Quantities of chemicals are per campfire.

  • 100 grams of Potassium Chloride to create purple fire (you can get it at any hardware store)
  • 100 grams of Lithium Chloride to create pink fire (you can get it at fireplace stores, or from fireworks suppliers)
  • 100 grams of Borax to create light green fire (any powdered detergent contains it)
  • 100 grams of sodium chloride to create orange fire (table salt)
  • 100 grams of magnesium sulfate for white fire. (you get it at pharmacies)
  • Protective gloves for 5 people.
  • Matches for each group.
  • 1 Cardboard box (to blow out the fire)
  1. Group into 3 teams, by birthday month.
    • Group 1: January-April
    • Group 2: May August
    • Group 3: September-December
  2. In teams assemble the structures of your campfires, and once they are ready, light them at the signal.
  3. Together build a “STAR CAMPFIRE” , it is called a star because it is precisely
    characterized by having a star or asterisk shape.
  4. Explanation of the materials to be searched. Types of firewood:
    1. Soft Wood: For fast, lively fires: cedar, willow, pine, cypress, maple,
      poplar. etc.
    2. Hard Wood: Produces a slow fire and leaves coals that conserve heat for a long time:
      guava, black wood, oak, birch, ash, beech, etc.
    3. Wick or Yesca: Light material that ignites quickly to start the fire. the
      from some plants it gives off fibers that, if dry, are excellent tinder. The bayberry of the
      volcanoes still
      green burns magnificently. Pine acorns, matchstick-thin twigs, twigs and chips
      resinosa serve as tinder. Paper is an artificial tinder that works, but no good camper
      habituate to
      Your job. Dry leaves and dry grass are quicker to burn, but their fire rarely lasts long.
      enough to ignite the twigs. (see illustration)
  5. Types of wood to use and look for: A planned fire saves labor. Look carefully at the
    important materials that guarantee a good fire, taking into account the following:

    1. Dry wood that breaks easily when bent.
    2. Dead branches from the bottom of a tree serve best in humid climates,
      look for the
      dry twigs found on the lower branches of trees and shrubs, for yesa.
    3. Sticks lying on the ground may be wet.
    4. Sticks that bend but do not break are green; they are useless, therefore do not
      collect from
      this type.
    5. Rotten wood is useless, it just makes smoke.
    6. Freshly chopped or split wood burns very well, as the interior part is more
      dry than the outside. In case you relight a fire, place the ashes.
    7. Soft wood, such as pine, is good for starting a fire; but the wood
      hard as oak gives a longer lasting fire and creates better embers”.

Directions for building a star campfire

  1. Once you finish collecting the materials in the following order:
    1. Brush, pine needles, pieces of thin bark.
    2. thin sticks or chips the size of a finger.
    3. Thick branches, firm and dry wood (firewood).
  2. Stand with your back to the wind, kneel down, take five thick branches and they should
    Arrange them in a star shape.
  3. In the center of the star, they should place enough brush, pine needles and bark
    thin, leaving a space underneath so that the air can circulate and so that, when lighting the weeds
    with the match, the flame will not suffocate.
  4. When the brush begins to burn, place thin sticks on the brush, and little by little
    add more thick branches, until they ignite the big woods.
  5. When the fire is burning satisfactorily, start adding the logs forming
    always an asterisk.
  6. When they light the fire, it is necessary for the firewood to burn well, blow with the cardboard
    for the flames to grow.
  7. It’s showtime, sit around the campfires so you can appreciate the change
    of colors.
  8. After you have observed the fire and its color changes, pause, breathe and
    think about what you are feeling.

    • What was it that caught your attention most about the colored fireworks? what does it do to them
      be near the fire?
    • What can you compare fire to in your daily life?
    • What attributes of fire could you say are also qualities of God?
    • How can you feel God through fire?
  9. It is time to perfectly clean the place so that there is no trace left in that place
    there was a campfire. Ensuring environmental well-being and care for green areas.
  10. The January-April team completely extinguish fires with water, and remove any
    rest of the garbage that they have generated or that they have found.
  11. The May-August team begins to remove the remains of burned firewood that is not
    lit or hot and then bury it in a hole or cover it perfectly with moist soil.
  12. The September-December team try to collect all the stones that have been left with
    ash, black, smoked, etc, to turn them or put them under the ground, in order to prevent them from
    there may be some heat left in them.
  13. Together they must collect all the garbage in a plastic bag.
  • You need to decide beforehand what color you prefer the fire to be, so that you know what chemicals to use to achieve it. It can be all five colors or just one.
  • Identify the chemicals to use according to the color they produce.
  • Make sure that the area where the fires will be lit is completely clear, that it is wide enough and where you can get brush, sticks, thick and dry branches (firewood).
  • Briefly explain to the participants the different types of wood they should use. (see instructions to participants)
  • It is important that you as a director recognize the types of firewood.
  • Assign an older person or an assistant in case of children, or an adult who will be responsible for handling the chemicals to change the color of the fire.
  • Have all the materials on hand and demonstrate what you want them to do.
  • Build the structure of a campfire until it produces a high flame (we recommend “STAR CAMPSITE” ).
  • If there are many, divide the participants into three small groups with an assistant to lead and supervise them.
  • Divide all the materials you collected into three parts, so that each group has what they need to start their campfire.
  • Once everyone has seen the procedure of how to arrange the firewood, hand out the chemical materials and the matches and a cardboard box to the attendees of each group.
  • Light the fires at the same time, but change color (chemical) with each one.
  • Ask the assistants to be the ones to add the chemicals to the fire with great caution.
  • Once they are lit, sit the participants in a circle around them to watch the colored fires.
  • When the flames are about 20 cm high, ask each attendee who comes to spread the chemicals, starting with just a pinch to test the chemical to make sure there are no adverse reactions. Tell them to be sure to back up a bit when throwing the powder on the fire to protect themselves. It is very important not to fan the dust, but to spread it as close to the bed of coals as possible.
  • Once all the participants see how the color of the fire of the first campfire has changed, the fire of the second will be changed.
  • And the procedure will be repeated until each campfire is a different color.
  • Ask them to take a comfortable place to observe the function of the colors in the flames and then they will have a time of reflection.
  • When the color function is over, make sure they are in teams before starting to give instructions on the cleaning activities.

“Creating Flame Colours”. (on May 17, 2021).

Dana, James Dwight, and Cornelius S. Hurlbut. 1971. Dana’s Manual of mineralogy . 18th ed. New York: Wiley.

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