This post is dedicated to Sarah. Sarah and I worked together one summer and she has been a faithful blog reader since the beginning so I think she deserves a dedication post. Why, because this blog appreciates its fans. If you are a fan and want a dedication post similar to this one let me know.
Sarah grew up in Ottawa and I grew up in Saskatchewan, but I did not realize how different those two growing ups were until I met her. We were at a staff retreat, sitting by an empty fire pit, while the rest of the staff went on a hike, when I learned that Sarah had never made a fire before. "What do you do when you go camping?" I asked. "HAHA camping??????" she replied. Oh. I see.
So I decided to teach Sarah how to make a fire. It was going to be the perfect fire. We set to work making the "teepee" - a cone-shape of thin logs around a pile of kindling. It was the perfect teepee. Now, to light it...
At which point we discovered we had no matches. We scoured the retreat centre kitchen for a BBQ lighter, anything that might start a fire. Nothing. Now what? We had stayed behind on the hike with the intention that when the rest of the staff returned, there would be a blazing inferno, ready for s'mores and hot dogs. We couldn't disappoint.
One of us, possibly Jen, another co-worker who had stayed back from the hike, had a brainwave. The cigarette lighters in the vehicles we brought! Perfect. Except, it was 2009, and all of our vehicles were brand-new rental vans, and in 2009 I guess they don't make cigarette lighters in vehicles anymore, probably because kids might burn themselves or something, stupid kids. So anyway those stupid kids ruined that idea.
After more deliberation and half-heartedly trying to rub sticks together (who can actually do that, I am pretty sure it's an urban legend) someone realized that we had access to a couple of gas-powered barbeques. If only there was some way to get the fire from the BBQ over to our perfect teepee...
This problem was solved with a turkey roaster.
I'll explain, if you can't connect those dots. I probably shouldn't be advertising that we did this since it is somewhat stupid and dangerous but hey, we needed to get that fire started. We were being resourceful.
We put a bunch of kindling in the turkey roaster and put a stick into the BBQ to light the end on fire. Then we started a small fire in the roaster, carried it over to the fire pit, and used it to start our real fire. At which point, the logs fell over and our perfect teepee was just a pile of logs and kindling, but it worked! The staff did indeed return to an awesome campfire and Sarah has since put her fire-making skills to good use, and even gone camping last I heard. And that is the story of how Sarah learned to start a fire, the dangerous and dumb way.