Summer is just about over and that means that sitting around a campfire is soon to end for another season. I have always enjoyed sitting around a campfire. Since I was a child, I have fond memories of sitting around a campfire on family vacations, scout campouts, youth groups, weekend camping.

So I did a study on why we like campfires and what it does to us. I found out campfires relax us and our blood pressure decreases. Of course campfires go way back to the stone ages when early humans would have associated the flickering light, crackling sounds, warmth and distinctive smells of campfires with relaxation and friendship. And it is still like this today. It’s still a social event to sit around a campfire.

 My favorite memories of campfires were when Roxie and I started dating as freshman in high school I started going out to their family cabin on Enemy Swim Lake near Waubay, South Dakota. Every evening after a full day swimming in the lake and doing lake stuff, Roxies’s mother and aunt would usually start a fire on the beach. The family would then gather around the campfire and tell stories, talk about the day, tease each other and laugh and laugh. They have a family tradition of throwing old shoes, and other things besides wood into the fire to burn. Such fun memories.

 We took our children tent camping for a number of vacations. Yellowstone, the Black Hills many times, Montana, Wisconsin Dells, and the North Shore. My four kids loved camping and having a campfire. They talk about those vacations often.

And of course if you have a campfire, you must have a pyromaniac in your family and hands down that would be my wife, taking after her mother. She loves to start a fire and play with the fire!!! I have started campfires and my campfires are big campfires!! My wife always said when she would walk around the campground she knew where our campsite was every time. Because of the size of the campfire. I was banned for a few years from making campfires.

The best campfire ever was when our youth group went out to a friend’s farm to roast hot dogs and marshmallows, sing Kumbaya and have a Bible study. Well the campfire, became a bonfire and a huge one at that! We couldn’t even get within 30 yards of the fire to roast our marshmallow’s because of the heat. Lots of laughs that night.

Now my campfires are in my backyard, I put wood in a steel fire pit and it’s very peaceful. I just sit in my chair and enjoy watching my wife continue to be the family pyromaniac! It always brings a smile to my face watching her trying to start the fire and trying to keep it going. Standing over it, watching it like it’s a life or death situation if it goes out. I just thought of something. Another favorite fire is the Christmas Yule log on TV Christmas Eve! Oh how I look forward to that!


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