Pitch Your Tent: Campfire Stories

5 Tips For Telling Campfire Stories

In case you haven’t figured it out by now, I LOVE having a campfire. There’s something about campfires that just build camping memories for me!

Campfires are great places to build family memories.

Telling stories around the campfire is a tradition. I’ve found, however, that many families don’t tell stories, because they’re just not sure how. Movies always show campers huddled around a campfire enjoying ghost stories, but that isn’t usually what happens in real life.

Remember, anyone can read a story, but, when a story is told, listeners (adults or children) feel a bond between the teller and themselves.

5 tips to get the stories flowing:

1. Decide on your audience

Will a group of adults really want to listen to a ghost story? Is a ghost story appropriate for the ages of the kids you’re taking camping? The idea of telling stories around a

campfire is just that — to tell stories. It’s not necessary to tell scary stories to have a good time.

2.. Know your story

If you’re telling a ghost story, know the climax and know the scariest parts. If you’re telling a funny story you need to know your punch line.

3. Have a set “story time”

When I was younger, we didn’t actually tell stories around the campfire — by the time we got back to camp, had dinner and a s’more, it was time for bed. Our story time was on the boat, when the fishing was slow and I was bored.

The key for an effective story time is a quiet setting where you’re not likely to be interrupted.

4. Invite others to share

If you’re going to have campfire stories on your next trip, you might want to let the rest of the family, or group, know you’re planning it. That way, they can bring stories of their own, or at the very least, they will make time for you to share your story with a minimum of groans!

Comfy chairs, bug repellant, and warm clothes will make campfire story time more enjoyable. S'mores don't hurt either!

5. Story time doesn’t have to be made-up stories

It’s a lot of fun to sit around and re-tell favorite stories (ghost, funny, or just tall-tales) but it isn’t a necessity. You can also gather around the campfire to re-tell your favorite family tales too. Like the time your son locked himself in the outhouse or when your daughter caught her first fish.

The real heart of campfire story time is to reconnect with your family or friends and to participate in the ancient human tradition of telling stories. Even if you’re just sharing family antidotes, campfire stories should be a part of your next trip.

Readers Weigh In:

  • What are your favorite campfire traditions?
  • What is your favorite scary story?
  • Do you sing campfire songs?
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