Articles from the Thanksgiving session

The Explorer group's finished Chuck tent, complete with bell in tower.

Cutting and splitting fire wood

   When we want to cut fire wood, first we get a tool list of all the tools we need to cut and split the wood. Next we use the cross cut saw to cut the wood into a size that is about 16 inches long. Next we get our axes and mauls and start splitting. We use a chopping block so that we do not dull the axes. A chopping block is a big hard stump that we put our wood on. Cutting and splitting wood takes hard work and a lot of team work. Some tools we use – cutting wood: bow saw, buck saw and a cross cut saw; splitting wood: boys’ axe, mans’ axe, maul and a wedge and hammer.

N.B. – Explorer

Our Tent

Our tent is going good because we don’t put alot of work on our weekly plans. We put on how much we need; we put on a minimum and work our way up. Also our group doesn’t fight. And people work together and why this helps our group is ‘cause it doesn’t rush us. And everyone has time to figure out how to work as a group.

Z. H. – Discoverer

 What I’m learning at Camp

You should respect your Chiefs’ calls. When you get a direction from Chief you should do it right away. Sometimes it’s easy to make excuses but we all need to work on it.

D.T. – Explorer


Since Hurricane Sandy has been blowing up the coast, in Ohio we have been having some of the after effects. It has been raining for about 6 days. All the trails have over an inch of mud on them and all the ponds are coming up. We haven’t seen the sun for so long it  almost seems like there never was one. The rain was nice for the first day or so. It was something that we needed. After about the 6th day it is really wearing on people.

S.N. – Explorer

Chemical Oxidation of Wood

In case the title went over your head I’m talking about fire. Fire is a great thing. It comes from the wood breaking down. Fire is a very helpful thing. It can be used to cook, keep warm, or to light your way through the dark. No one really knows where fire came from. Maybe it was a cave man throwing a piece of steel against the flint wall of his cave, and the
spark fell on a pile of tinder in the corner. Then bingo, it’s fire! He then invited all of his friends over for fried dinosaur eggs. With all the good that fire does, if it is not used right it is a bad thing. Forest fires destroy thousands of acres of woods each year. This one is from Smoky, “Only you can prevent a forest fire.” So next time you light a fire think about everything fire has influenced.

J.W. – Discoverer

 Wood corral

Wood corral is a good place to play games, make kindling and shavings and cooking wood and firewood. We made the truss for crafts tent in wood corral. It was fun making that tent; it took a couple campers to push up the truss. We made the bell tower top up there in wood corral too. It has 10 chopping blocks and 7 saw bucks. That’s wood corral.

D.T. – Explorer

How fast will our fire burn through the string?

Fire Starting 101

   To start a fire you need three things: heat, oxygen and fuel. We are learning how
to start a good fire. Some methods are flint and steel, bow and drill, lightning and chemical reaction. We are also learning about fire safety. We have contests to see who can light the fastest fire. Our group is learning alot about natural fire starters. Some are sap filled wood, pine needles, pine canoes, birch bark and pine knots. Fire safety is also a big part of fire
lighting. That is what we have learned so far.

G. P. – Discoverer

Starting a quick contest fire with shavings and kindling

A group can accomplish a lot in a minute or two!

Problem solving

When we have a problem we first identify it. Next we tell the person that we the problem with that we are sorry. One of the last but one of the most important steps is to get a plan so if the problem comes up again you can work on doing the right thing! N.B. – Explorer


In late September or early October the leaves begin to change and animals begin to get ready. Squirrels and chipmunks start to make their nests warmer by adding leaves and dry fluff. Bears find caves and little nooks and other tight spots that they can sleep through the winter. All animals start to grow an extra thick layer of fur. Little animals start gathering all the nuts and berries they can find. This fall sometimes we would go and dump out nuts and other stuff from our shoes that mice and chipmunks put in there. The days start getting colder and that triggers the sap to go down the trees and the leaves to stop sending nutrients to the trunk. When the leaves stop getting sap they slowly die. That is what makes the leaves change color. The color that a leaf is in the fall is its real color. But when it is getting sap and sending nutrients to the tree they are green from the chlorophyll that they get. There are some trees that stay green year round. They are called evergreens. In the spring everything happens again, just backwards.

S.N. – Explorer


This session we are studying fire in Chuckwagon. So far we learned what some ways to start a fire are. Some of the best ways to set a fire are ‘Cabin’ style or ‘teepee’ style. The cabin style is really good because it is roomy enough so that enough oxygen can get in and also it is compact so it gets more heat and you can get enough fuel like shavings, kindling, then your bigger firewood. The teepee style is also really good because it also has the needed room for all the 3 needed things for a fire. If you are in a pine forest and you have no lighter or matches there are some things to look for: pine cones that have a lot of white sap on them, dead pine branches and then get bigger wood. You will have a fire in no time.

J.H. – Explorer

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