String Burning Contest




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Fuzz-Stick Whittling Contest
Contact Wood-Splitting Contest
String Burning Contest
Water Boiling Contest
Fire Rubbing Stick Contest

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bulletA contest
bulletCamporee, Patrol or Team competition
bulletAdvance instruction required
bulletFor each Patrol - Knife, axe, stakes, string

Although described as a Patrol event, where wood is plentiful this contest may be conducted with two or more boys or even as a father and son event.

Instruction and Demonstration

Before assembling the Troop have one or more individuals read this description and gather together all material required. The instructor now starts to demonstrate, as follows, doing all his talking and instructing as he works.

  1. Quickly clear a space 10 or more feet in diameter (15 feet in California), depending on the wind.
  2. Scoop out a hole in the center of the space about 8 inches in diameter and 4 inches deep.
  3. Put a fuzz-stick or fuzz-stick substitute in the middle of the hole and surround it with very small dry twigs or split kindling, and, if desired, intersperse dry leaves or plant stalks throughout the pile. To make a substitute gather a large handful of very small bone-dry twigs or plant stalks, at least a foot long. Break off the ends of the bundle so that all the twigs are the same length, and crack the middle across your knee. Hold the two halves at an angle of about 45, and with the end scratch a depression in the ground, so that the twigs will be rigid.
  4. Drive two pointed stakes into the ground, placing them 12 inches apart and allowing them to protrude at least 15 inches above the ground.
  5. Nine inches above the ground tie a piece of heavy string between the stakes, and 6 inches higher tie a second string.
  6. Lay four foundation sticks about 2 inches in diameter.
  7. Continue crisscrossing sticks to the height of the first string.

The Contest

Immediately after the demonstration assemble the Troop and explain that the contest will be conducted in Parts 1 and II.

Part I - Laying the Fire

Patrols meet and jobs are assigned. When all Patrol Leaders report that everybody has one or more assignments the starting signal should be given. Before saying, "Go!" however, caution Scouts to lay their fires well. Emphasize that only 1 point will be given to the Patrol that is ready to light its fire first, but that 3-4-5 points will be awarded to the first three places of Part II.

Part II - Lighting the Fire

After each Patrol has chosen a man to light its fire the light-up signal is given. Using a fire-lighter (or match), the first man in each Patrol tries to light its fire in several places. The Patrol whose upper string burns through first scores 5 points, second 4 points, etc.


It being the object of this contest to teach the laying of a useful fire, the Scoutmaster may find it helpful to take the entire Troop on a tour of inspection to observe all fires before they are lighted and ask Scouts to offer suggestions for improving them. If the Scoutmaster dare predict or guess which fire will burn its string first, he will add to the interest.

At public demonstrations lay the fire directly in front of the spectators and have contestants run some distance for matches.

As a father and son event pit fathers against sons. Dads are quite apt to fool their sons if they have been given adequate instructions.

Make the putting out of fires an important part of the contest and inspect all fires to make certain they are out.

Boy Scout Games






Additional Information:

Peer- Level Topic Links:
Fuzz-Stick Whittling Contest ] Contact Wood-Splitting Contest ] [ String Burning Contest ] Water Boiling Contest ] Fire Rubbing Stick Contest ]

Parent- Level Topic Links:
How to Use This Book ] Scout Ways ] Tenderfoot Requirements ] Scout Knots ] 2nd Class Knife Axe Fire ] 2nd Class Wildlife ] Compass Treasure Hunts ] First Class Wood Love ] First Aid Games ] Signaling Games ]

The Inquiry Net Main Topic Links:
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Last modified: October 15, 2016.