Edited by Jon C. Halter
Illustration by Bill Basso
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Three paws for refreshment
Early one morning at summer camp, I discovered the tracks of a raccoon in the rain-freshened dirt covering a trail. Several Scouts and I set out to see where the footprints would lead.
Each set of tracks included only three prints, indicating the raccoon was scurrying along on two hind feet and one front paw. As we followed the trail, we discussed possible causes for this. Had the raccoon lost the paw in a trap? Or during an encounter with a predator?
The tracks veered toward a tall sugar pine tree. We wondered how a three-legged raccoon could have climbed such a large tree.
The mystery was solved when we found a discarded wrapper from a snack package on the ground next to the tree. We laughed as we realized the "wounded" animal was actually a healthy four-legged forager who had held his prize tight to his chest with one paw as he raced down the trail.
Scoutmaster, Troop 266
Getting to the bottom of things
For each meal during our troop's week-long camp, the Scouts assigned to cook received the food, pots and pans, utensils, and written instructions.
One menu called for muffins to be baked in a pan placed on three small rocks inside a Dutch oven.
That day's cook dutifully followed the instructions to the letter, including the one that said "Grease the bottom of the pan."
However, he greased the pan's outside bottom. While this meant it didn't stick to the rocks (which really wasn't a concern), it also meant we had to remove burned muffins from inside the pan.
For the Scout, a boy who went on to earn his Eagle rank, it was a lesson learnedand a moment we never let him forget.
And the following year we made sure the instructions read, "Grease the inside bottom of the pan."
Assistant Scoutmaster, Troop 84
Skip a hike, miss an adventure
One day in November our Scouts were on a cross-country hike to a neighboring town. About two miles from the roadway, they spotted something ahead "flapping" in the fence.
Getting closer, they saw that a deer had caught its leg in the fence. After several minutes of twisting and prying, two assistant Scoutmasters were able to free the animal. Exhausted from struggling, the deer was content to lie still and allow the men who had freed it to stroke its head and ears.
The Scouts were amazed to have witnessed such an event, which was truly an unforgettable experience.
The turnout for the hike had been much smaller than we had expected. At the next troop meeting, the boys who were there described our adventure. Those Scouts who had skipped the hike were disappointed to learn what they had missed and realized that every hike, no matter how simple, can hold a promise of unexpected experiences and adventures.
Raymond M. Haley
Assistant Scoutmaster, Troop 6
September 2000 Table of Contents
Copyright © 2000 by the Boy Scouts of America. All rights thereunder reserved; anything appearing in Scouting magazine or on its Web site may not be reprinted either wholly or in part without written permission. Because of freedom given authors, opinions may not reflect official concurrence.
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