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Kids Learn Campfire Safety at North White Plains Park

NORTH WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – At the No Matches Allowed event at the Cranberry Lake Preserve on Saturday afternoon, children were taught how to start fires without matches.

“We taught them how to safely make campfires,” said Taro Ietaka, the Cranberry Lake Preserve curator, a Westchester County Parks property.

“They learned the best kindling techniques on how to put the fire together and how to ignite it once the campfire structure is set up,” Ietaka said.

He taught kids how to hold a magnifying glass at an angle to get a fire going and how to scrape a steel rod against another rod to create sparks to start a fire. He also demonstrated the bow drill method, in which a bow is wrapped around a piece of wood and held against another piece of wood to create an ember.

After Ietaka taught the techniques he spread out the children and their families to different sites where they started their own fires. He gave them each marshmallows to toast and enjoy the experience.

Rocco Luciano, from North White Plains, said, "The marshmallow was good," after toasting it over the fire he had made.

Next Saturday, the Vernal Pool Exploration welcomes spring, as Ietaka instructs kids how to find frogs and salamanders using nets.

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