Yomechas Federation Indian Guides and Princesses

The Yomechas Federation services the Downers Grove and surrounding area.


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How to Build Torches


Torches can add drama and excitement to ceremonies but...Open fire of any kind is dangerous! Never allow children to handle your torches or the fuel -- even when unlit! Be sure your camp director knows about any plans you have to use torches. If conditions are unusually dry, limit your use of torches or forego the torches entirely.



A poorly constructed torch is a dangerous torch. If a torch falls apart during use it will endanger the person carrying it, others nearby, and create a general fire-hazard. The design presented here has evolved from experience, but nothing is perfect. Use your judgment. Be careful during the construction.



A. 1" x 2" pine closet hanging pole (for the handle).

B. Toilet-paper roll (for the torch head).

C. Nails (to attach the head to the handle).



  1. Pine Closet hanging poles found at any home depot or DIY retail store make good handles. Typically you want one that is at least 4 feet in length for saftey. They can be as long as 6 feet tall.
  2. Once you have yourr 4 foot pine wood closet pole, then you can use a empty metal coffee can as your torch. Pre-drill,nail or scree a hole into one end of the pole. Then place the can on the top over the hole. Secure the can with either a strong nail or wood screw. Make sure it's on tight. From here you can paint the pole or decorate it as a tribe project. Use, beads, feathers, leather wraps, ribbons etc..The first time you use the torch , will burn off any of the pain or coloring on the coffee can.   
  3. Place a roll of toilet-paper  the can.
  4. To ignite the torch, just prior to use, soak the toilet paper in torch fuel, or kerosene. Let it soak in for about 5 to 10 minutes prior to use.  



I have always used kerosene or torch fuel. Place several torches head-down in a plastic bucket and douse the heads with fuel. Be generous, but not excessive. (If fuel runs down the handle during use it might pose a danger to the person holding the torch.) Allow the torches to stand head-down for about 5 minutes to be sure any excess fuel drains off before the torches are used.