A campfire is a fire lit at a campsite, to serve the following functions: light, warmth, a beacon, an insect and/or apex predator deterrent, to cook, and for a psychological sense of security.
In established campgrounds they are usually in a fire ring for safety. Campfires are a popular feature of camping, particularly among organized campers such as Scouts or Guides.
A "top lighter" fire is built similar to a log cabin or pyre, but instead of the tinder and kindling being placed inside the cabin, it is placed in a tipi on top. The small tipi is lighted on top, and the coals eventually fall down into the log cabin. These fires are often built by youth outdoor movements for "council fires" or ceremonial fires. They burn very predictably, and with some practice a builder can estimate how long they will last. They also do not throw off a lot of heat, which isn't needed for a ceremonial fire. The fire burns from the top down, with the layer of hot coals and burning stubs igniting the next layer down.
Another variation to the top lighter, log cabin, or pyre is known by several names, most notably the pyramid, self-feeding, and upside-down [method]. The reasoning for this method are twofold. First, the layers of fuelwood take in the heat from the initial tinder/kindling therefore it is not lost to the surrounding ground. In effect, the fire is "off the ground", and burns its way down through its course. And secondly, this fire type requires minimal labor, thereby making it ideal as a fire of choice before bedding down for the evening without having to get up periodically to add fuelwood and/or stoke the fire to keep it going. Start by adding the largest fuelwood in a parallel "layer", then continue to add increasingly smaller and smaller fuelwood layers perpendicularly to the last layer. Once enough wood is piled, there should be a decent "platform" to make the tipi [tinder/kindling] to initiate the fire.