There's a lot of talk on the forum about the boys' ability to struggle with fire building. Other than the obvious techniques described in the Scout Handbook, what other techniques does one use to get the boys excited about their pyromania tendencies in the woods?
I have dissuaded the boys from using rope and twine because of the amount of herbicides and pesticides use to grow those fibers, using paper towels and newspapers is another because those are not readily available in the outdoors.
I use my 2' copper tube with one end flattened to intensify the bellow effect and bring a spark or coal from another fire to start a second fire. Bark, grass, milkweed and such also work well.
Most boys have magnesium starters but don't know how to use them properly.
Making bow and drill is also fun for the boys. Some have even gotten a fire started once they figure out the system. In competitions, any boy who starts a fire without a match or other modern conveniences always gets placed ahead of those who use them.
I also give extra credit for those who, start a fire, get a 2' flame without having to "play" with it to keep it going.
I once experienced a pyro-pro who started a council fire, producing 10' high flames with no matches, just a flint and steel. Really impressive.
I have also experienced scouters who could produce eye-brow reducing fires using white gas. Not a pretty sight.