GATHER ROUND THE FIREPIT

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Former Scouts usually recall evenings spent in front of a campfire as some of their favorite and most cherished memories from Scouting. They remember with fondness laughter and fun that was created under the evening stars, accompanied by the comforting smell of wood smoke. Those memorable evenings don’t have to be things of the past. By adding a fire pit to your back yard, you can create new traditions for you, your family, and friends. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

School’s Out!  – When your middle-schooler or high-schooler is done with exams, invite friends over to burn the semester’s notes and test-study guides. The note burning ritual can be a welcome stress reliever and can offer a great tradition to say goodbye to the end of a school year.

Halloween Fun – A fire pit creates a wonderful backdrop for fall entertaining, especially at Halloween! Consider inviting your neighbors over for a central candy distribution site and allowing Trick-or-Treaters to warm themselves by the fire.

No guitar? No problem. – Invite friends over for singing under the stars! With the accessibility of music on phones and computers, sing-a-longs are no longer dependent on a resident musician. Of course, they can be a lot more fun with a guitar but all the oldies and the songs of today can all be easily accessed through technology. Consider a themed dinner party where the singing compliments the meal. Hot dogs and Elvis Presley’s Hound Dog?  Lobster dinner and beach music?  Or how about eggnog and cookies with some holiday caroling? 

Creative Dinner Fun – Break up the monotony of evening suppers at home by having your family cook over your fire pit. Anything that changes the routine creates an air of fun and excitement. Soups, chili, even chicken cooked in foil packets turn your dinner routine into memorable fun! Cooking on the fire pit – dinner or dessert - adds special excitement for children’s sleepovers as well. And of course, a special meal cooked over the fire can offers the perfect ambiance for date night, too.

Add a Spark of Fun – Create special times each month or throughout the year where your family’s together-time is around the fire pit. Consider having each family member share New Year’s resolutions around a roaring fire. Reserve a night a month for family movies around the fire pit; if you don’t have an outdoor theater, a laptop or tablet will work just fine. Remember, it doesn’t have to be cold to enjoy your outdoor fire, the summer months can offer fun as well; just keep the flame lower to create a warm atmosphere.

Personalize your Design – If your fire pit is not yet built, consider personalizing it in a way that is unique and special to your family. Add handprints to the foundation. If you have collected shells from beach trips, see about adding those to the stonework or see if tiles representative of your family can be incorporated into the design.

Cherished memories are those that invoke fun and smiles. Sometimes they come from spontaneous adventure while other times they are created from much anticipated tradition. Use these ideas as a beginner’s guide and see what else you can come up with create fun around your fire pit.