More Alternatives to S’mores

As I said in my 2015 post No S’mores Tonight,”there is nothing wrong with a s’more at campfire”. But here are even more alternatives to s’mores if you want to expand your camping desert menu

Lemon Meringue “Pie”

Two slices of white bread with lemon pie filling and marshmallows toasted over the fire in a pie iron.

Pita Pie

Half a pita with a pie filling such as apple, blueberry or cherry spread inside.  Wrap in foil and toast over the fire.  After you remove it, add wiped cream before eating.

Chipmunks

Two 2-bite brownies with a mint patty in between.  Wrap in foil and warm though on the coals.

Orange Cupcakes

Cut the end off an orange and scoop out the insides so that the skin is a cup.  Fill the cup with prepared cake mix (or muffin mix) and cook above the fire or in a reflector oven.

Campfire Ice Cream Cones

Much like a banana boat, take an ice cream cone and fill it with your choice of marshmallows, bananas, strawberries and/or chocolate chips.  Wrap in foil and cook over the coals.

or if you can’t build a fire you could try…

Individual Chocolate Fondue

Make a mini tin can stove out of a soup can by cutting off both the top and the bottom and cutting some air holes in the sides.  Place a tea light candle under the can and a foil tart tin over the top of the can.  Then melt some chocolate chips in the tart tin.  Dip piece of fruit or small cookies in the chocolate.

 

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Tin Can Stove

A tin can stove is a simple portable stove that can be used to cook over a buddy burner, charcoal or commercial solid fuel.

To make one you will need:

  • a large can such as an apple juice can or a large metal coffee can
  • a bottle opener
  • tin snips
  • can opener

Instructions

  1. If both ends of the can are closed, use a can opener to open one end all the way.  This step may not be needed with a coffee tin
  2. Wash the can out (be careful of the sharp edges)
  3. Flip the can over so the unopened side is now the top. Use the bottle opener to create a ring of air holes near the top.
  4. Use the tin snips to cut a large square opening from the bottom to let in even more air.

Tip: if you are using a coffee can or something similar that had a plastic lid that fits the can, save this lid.  It can be placed over the open end during transport so the cut corners of the large air hole doesn’t cut or catch on anything.

Once you have your stove made you can use it for all sorts of camp recipes.  Perhaps the easiest is to toast things like grilled cheese sandwiches, quesadilla or pizza pitas over them.

Campfire Opening and Gathering Songs Mini-book

Much like the Opening and Closing Mini-book I made last year, this book contains the words to common campfire openings and gathering songs.  I love campfire openings and there are a great wealth of fantastic ones.  Sadly, if left to their own devices, my Guides will pick Fire’s Burning every week.  It isn’t that I don’t like Fire’s Burning, I’m just in favour of mixing it up a bit.  Hopefully, this booklet will in courage them to pick something else.


Campfire Openings mini-book

The Neuroscience of Singing

The neuroscience of singing shows that when we sing our neurotransmitters connect in new and different ways. It fires up the right temporal lobe of our brain, releasing endorphins that make us smarter, healthier, happier and more creative. When we sing with other people this effect is amplified.

The Neuroscience of Singing

This fascinating article discussing the effects on the brain of singing in a group.  The singing we do at our meetings or around a campfire really can contribute to long term mental health.  Don’t forget to add some singing to your Mighty Minds program.

Sing It Loud

It can be hard to find good resources for learning new songs.  Girl Guides use to publish a number of song books and you can still find them in the back of unit cupboards or at Guider swaps.  I gather that the cost of the publishing rights has gotten too high though.

National recently released a pdf called Sing it Loud! A Girl Guides Song Collection.  It is a collection of song lyrics for Girl Guide units.  While this doesn’t help you to learn the tune in the first place, it may remind you of the words to a song you learned years ago.  Or give you a starting place to ask a music trainer to teach you a song.  I know a lot of Girl Guide songs but I am unfamiliar with many of the songs in this collection.  Just goes to show how many songs we sing around campfires across the country.

Marshmallows

Roasted marshmallows are a staple of Girl Guide campfire, whether eaten on their own or added to a s’more.  Have you ever thought to make your own.  This would make a fun project at camp.

Marshmallows are primarily gelatin and sugar.  You can also replace vanilla with another flavour such as peppermint or add a little food colour.  Do buy a candy thermometer though, I tried to make them once without one and it turned into a gooey mess.

There are lots of recipes online but I rather liked this one.