Campfire Magic

Becky Vincent

Here are some nifty little chemical additions you can use to add a little magic to your next campfire. Please remember! Leaders only should be handling these materials!

Colorful Flames

Courtesy of Trina Bissonette...
thanks for posting this to the WAGGGS-L Mailing List!
There are several chemicals that can be placed in a fire to make the flame different colors. They are as follows:

Calcium red flame
Copper green flame
Sodium orange flame
Lithium pink flame
Lead blue flame
Potassium purple flame
Barium light green flame

Fairy Fire

Courtesy of Mona Londraville -
thanks forposting this cool idea to the WAGGGS-L Mailing List!
Cut a length of old garden hose (the cheaper the hose, the better!!), and put it inside a length of copper pipe (both a foot or so long...). The pipe should be just a BIT larger around than the hose. There should be some room between the two, but not much. Put the whole thing in the fire.

As the hose begins to burn, there is some sort of reaction with the copper, and little colored flames (all sorts of colors) "dance" at the ends of the pipe (the "fairies" you see....) I've seen it, and it really is pretty. I could have watched all night.....

Please Note!! I have now had a confirmation that the above experiment is pretty toxic.
Please read the following letter from Loren Hebden:

My Dad has a PhD in Chemistry, so I thought Id ask HIM about that idea and see what he thought. This is what he told me - maybe it'll help a little :) The Garden hose - because of the plastic - may give toxic fumes when burned, and girls should NOT be exposed to it. The copper is non-toxic.

Magic Wishing Powder

Thanks to Deb Strathdee, who sent me this great idea!
It is tradition in our unit to use Magic Wishing Powder to close a special campfire. I have a special container and we stand and pass it around the campfire circle. Everyone takes a small handful and holds it until everyone is ready. We make a wish, and on the count of 3, we all throw our powder into the fire. If there is magic present, we will see a sign.

The wishing powder is just white granulated sugar. It creates many beautiful sparks for just a few seconds. We make sure everyone is standing back from the fire when we toss!

Spell Fire

Courtesy of Peter Downing...
thanks for posting this idea to the can.scout-guide newsgroup!
When telling a particularly ghostly or magical story, throw a handful of powdered coffee creamer over the fire as a "spell" is being cast in the story. The particles are very fine, and being an "edible oil" the powder catches fire in a myriad of sparkly bits that are quickly gone. Kinda cool...neato special effect.

Wenceles Cakes

Here's a new Campfire Magic Idea from Loren Hebden
Get some `blue stone', also known as copper sulfate (which can probably be obtained from a pharmacist). Mix a spoonful of powdered blue stone (*powder carefully, it is slightly toxic, wash hands after) in with enough melted wax to half fill a small wax paper muffin baking cup. If the baking cup containing wax is then thrown into a fire, beautiful blue-green flames are seen. Should have same effect as pipe and hose, but would be better for environment and people alike!

Please note...

Finding some of the chemicals mentioned above can be hard! Beth Fausnaugh recently wrote to me to say she found some crystals that were made specifically for wood fires at a fireplace store. They were copper, so the flames were blue, green and purple. This is an easy, safe and inexpensive method of adding a little extra "spark" to your campfire.

Wint-o-green Lifesavers

Thanks very much to Sarah (aka Cricket) Gardiner, who e-mailed this nifty idea to me!
If you crunch down hard on a Wint-o-green Lifesaver after dark, your friends will see blue sparks jumping around in your mouth. (Note: they *MUST* be Wint-o-green Lifesavers, as opposed to another brand name of candy... the sparks are made by an ingredient which are only found in the Lifesavers.) This could be incorporated into campifre as part of a skit, or just as a silly thing for everyone to do.

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