There’s nothing better than finishing a good meal, then sitting around the campfire telling stories before bed.
Campfire Story Telling Tips
The best way to tell a good campfire story is to not to read it from a book for a start. Engage each listener with eye contact and tell it as if from personal experience or a story you’ve heard.
Memorising a story though requires a lot more time than many of us have. However, most stories can be broken down into key aspects of the start, middle, and end. You may want to jot those key points down and just discreetly refer to them.
This technique also makes an easy way to adjust the story for the audience: leave out the complicated and scary bits for a younger audience, embellish for the older ones.
- Narrate from personal experience or from a story you’ve heard.
- Avoid reading. Reading from a book the story is obviously ‘not real’.
- Just remember the key points of the story and modify the story to suit your audience.
- Take in aspects of your surroundings. If you’re camping in or by trees then that can really spook the listeners, especially as most woods or forests have lots of unexplained noises anyway, which will really add to the atmosphere.
- Set the story in the same weather conditions. If it is raining and the wind is blowing then ‘it was a stormy night like this, with the wind blowing and the rain pouring down’, or if the sky is clear and the moon is out ‘the moon was shining bright that night and gave everything an eerie glow’. Get the idea?
- Vary sound. Go quiet. Go LOUD. Speed-some-bits-up. Slow some bits down. Add……..pauses……. and then BANG!
Story Inspiration Required?
Here’s a collection of campfire stories for a range of ages that you can get from Amazon.
Campfire Stories: Things That Go Bump in the NightCampfire Stories: Things That Go Bump in the Night (Campfire Storytelling Series, V. 1) also provides you with tips on story telling and each story is summarised in point form, so you can actually tell the story rather than read from the book.Endings aren’t scary so ideal if you have younger kids.
Fun Campfire Ghost StoriesFun Campfire Ghost Stories has 24 ghost stories for ages 8-12.
We found this book a bit of a disappointment. If you’re British you’ll find you need to translate the American stories for your kids to understand, the grammar is poor, and story quality is variable. Some stories you read the whole thing with a ‘so what’. Others have a good build up and then try and finish with a corny line, that’s not very funny.
However, taking the principle of a good story is not read from a book, there are elements in here for you to read and construct your own ‘Anglicised’ story, and make your own ending to suit your audience.