Edited by John Clark
But it's good for the grass
Each year, our Boy Scout troop hosts a September camp-out for Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts at our neighborhood park. We set up tents on the ball field, and every year, it seems, we do battle with Mother Nature over her penchant to dump rain on our party. Over the past few years, we’ve awakened in the morning to wet tents.
This year was different. We enjoyed beautiful blue skies and a nice breeze—perfect weather, with no rain in sight.
Everything went great. That is, until 5:30 p.m., when the ballpark’s sprinkler system went on.
Legend of the lost
A couple of years after joining the training staff, I was designated senior patrol leader for an adult training weekend of 30 enthusiastic participants. Back then, we used a whistle to bring the troop together for assemblies.
Early Sunday morning, while making sure that the patrols were preparing for the day’s activities, I discovered to my astonishment that everyone and everything was gone: tents, dining flies, kitchens, even the cars.
I reported the incident to the acting Scoutmaster who was just as baffled as I was. Not knowing what else to do, I went to the flagpole at the designated time and blew my whistle. Looking up, I saw the entire troop marching up the road toward the assembly point—single file and singing.
I learned later they had awakened at 4 a.m. and decided to break camp, pulling the best prank ever on a training team.
Since then, I have been teased regularly as the only SPL in Boy Scout history to lose an entire troop.
Fresh out of nursing school, I volunteered to teach a class in first aid to a den of Cub Scouts that included my twin sons, Michael and Mark. I had just completed a psychology course and decided to begin the class by discovering if anyone would feel squeamish discussing certain injuries.
“Those of you who think you might faint at the sight of blood or a broken bone,” I said, “please stand up.”
After a few seconds of muffled giggling among the boys, I was surprised when my own son Mark stood up all by himself.
“Well, Mark,” I asked, “do you think you might faint?”
“No, Mom,” he responded with a grin. “But I hate to see you standing there all by yourself.”
Janett L. Grady
Each year during our Scouting for Food drive, I’m reminded how the generosity of our community and hard work of our Scouts means so much to the needy. But one incident from long ago always makes me smile.
When we first began asking donors to recycle their plastic grocery bags and leave them for pick-up, the bags would be delivered by Scouts to a central location where volunteers could re-package the food into boxes and then deliver them to our local food pantry.
I noticed that one of the bags contained two plastic food containers, one with a meal and a wedge of apple pie and the other with a jar of iced tea. Inside the bags, I also found a note:
“Dear Jack, I’m sorry about the argument we had last night. In some way, I hope this meal will express my apology. I have to work today, but I’ll see you tonight. Love, Jill.”
Even now, I can’t help but wonder how things turned out for Jack and Jill.
The son also rises
Many new Scouts joined my troop while I was a Scoutmaster in the 1980’s. It was my responsibility to convince these boys’ mothers to let me lead their sons into the wild at Camp Turrell, a summer camp in New York. Most of the moms stated that their sons didn’t have enough experience for such an outing.
One particular mom reluctantly allowed her son to go, and I watched him for the first day or so. He quickly learned to cook with his patrol, attended merit badge courses, and swam with the other boys. I returned home and didn’t give him another thought until, while shopping several weeks later, I ran into his mother in the store aisle. She gave me what I call the “uh-oh” look.
“What did you do to my son?” she blurted out.
I hesitated, and before I could respond, she went on.
“He won’t let me cook breakfast for him anymore. He has to do it himself!
Richard J. Shishilla
Who'll stop the rain?
A chilly, wet, and overcast weekend greeted Scouts from five states at a Baltimore Area Council merit badge weekend. Most participants made do with campsites in poorly drained, muddy fields.
When our assistant Scoutmaster, Mike Clark, asked one of the poncho-clad Scouts which merit badge he was taking, the boy replied, “Weather merit badge.”
Clark thought that over for a moment and then told him: “Good. See if you can do something about it.”
During my first summer at Cub Scout resident camp, I found myself seated at the dinner table with two Wolf Cub Scouts bravely examining the strange orange-colored disk offered as the entrée.
After serious study and close examination, one boy suddenly jumped up with a smile and yelled: “I’ve got it! It’s a giant chicken nugget!” Then, both boys eagerly scarfed down the entire breaded chicken patty on their plates.