This past September we designed a Fire-Building class for The Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois.  The workshop was promoted as one that would instruct students on how to build a “surefire” fire!  Topics covered included: fire as a gift, safety concerns, tinder, wood selection, and What size is right? With this information in hand the class broke out into pairs; each two-student team constructing the skeleton of a tipi fire–one of the most effective fire models.

There followed a demonstration of fire-starting techniques with both a primitive bowdrill and a flint & steel.  Every student was then given the opportunity to light a tinder bundle with a flint & steel, fire-starting device.

The Arboretum was kind enough to end the event by providing ingredients for s’mores.

Apparently this specifically-designed workshop was successful.  The students reported that they were highly satisfied with the content and value of the program.  When asked the following questions, the students’ post-class evaluation forms provided the following comments:

What did you like best about this program?

  • Practical information
  • Hands on teaching
  • The instructor
  • The pace
  • Instructor’s warm personality & amazing knowledge
  • Outstanding balance of instruction & hands on practice

How can we improve this program?

  • Nothing! It’s Great!
  • It’s amazing! Thank you!
  • It’s great the way it is!