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Edited by Jon C. Halter
Nine with one hook
Our troop was fishing off the seawall of Lake Pontchartrain north of New Orleans. Suddenly one Scout yelled, "Mr. Razza, I caught a whale!"
By the way the pole was bending, I could see something heavy was on his line. But when he pulled the fish out of the water, it was a catfish only about 11 inches long.
When the catfish hit the ground, eight baby catfish came spewing out of her mouth, where she carried them for protection. I convinced the Scout to return the mother and babies to the lake. However, this didn't keep him from later telling everyone how he had caught nine fish on one hook, all at the same time.
Ralph E. Razza
Committee Member, Troop 296
No candle was needed
At the beginning of each den meeting, we would light a Good Conduct Candle. If any Cub Scout broke one of the established rules (no running in the meeting room, help clean up, etc.), he had to blow out the candle, which couldn't be relit until the next meeting. When the candle had completely burned down, the den was treated to a pizza or roller skating.
A vice president at the company at which I worked told me he had been a Boy Scout in New Zealand and still had his uniform and badges. I invited him to talk to my Bear Cub Scouts (third graders) about being a Scout in another country.
As he finished telling how his troop had collected items for the World War II effort, one of the Cub Scouts asked, "Did you use a candle at your meetings?"
After a quizzical pause, he replied, "Well, actually we did have electricity back then."
Betty Anne Buckley
San Mateo, Calif.
His snore did more than just saw wood
While sharing a tent with our troop committee chairman during a camp-out at the council camp, I had to get up in the middle of a clear, brightly moonlit night to visit the latrine.
Returning to the tent, I noticed that I could hear my partner, a noted loud sleeper, from quite a distance. As I drew nearer I also noticed something else: A skunk was preceding me on the trail and was now just about opposite our tent.
At that moment my slumbering friend let out an especially loud snort. The startled skunk, perhaps thinking a bear was behind him, dashed off in panic down the trail and disappeared into the woods.
I got a big laugh watching this. Meanwhile, my tentmate slept on, unaware that his snoring had served as such an effective skunk repellent.
G. M. Culp
Lake Geneva, Wis.
Just think how poor Will feels
On the morning after our first night in camp, I asked my Webelos Scouts how they'd slept. One boy said he was fine until an alarm awoke him just before sunrise. Having heard no such alarm, I asked him to describe the sound.
"It sounded like a car alarm," he said.
Puzzled, I got up earlier the next morning to see if I could figure out exactly what he had heard. And sure enough, just as the sky was beginning to lighten, the "alarm" sounded again, clearly and repeatedly: "...whip-poor-will, whip-poor-will, whip-poor-will...."
Joel D. Keefer
Webelos Den Leader, Pack 1114
Don't mess with El Niño
Despite forecasts of rain, our troop set out on our 4-mile backpacking trek as scheduled, in high spirits and stocked with plenty of ponchos.
No rain had fallen by the time we awoke in our campsite the next morning, but a park ranger came by and warned us that rain was rapidly approaching.
We could see clouds moving our way in the distance, so we packed quickly and hit the trail. But by the time we reached the end of the route, not a drop had fallen.
We waited an hour for our rides to arrive, and still no rain.
One Scout, figuring we had outsmarted Mother Nature, announced: "Yeah, like it's going to rain on us."
At that very moment the skies opened and the rain arrived in quantity.
The same Scout, now soaked, offered a second opinion: "I hate El Niño!"
Ryan Glen Wood
They slept like ice cubes in a tray
The wintery conditions at a recent district Klondike derby brought back memories of my first cold-weather camp-out as a Scout in upstate New York. The members of our patrol shared a single tent and we found a perfect place to set it up-a nice, level spot, protected by a grove of trees.
We knew the ground was frozen, so we didn't attempt to drive tent stakes into it; instead, we buried the stakes in the deep snow and tied the tent lines to them. During the two nights of camp, we froze.
The following summer we returned to the same campsite for a warm-weather weekend camp. Our patrol headed for the spot where we had pitched our tent the previous winter.
When we reached the grove of trees, we realized why we have been so cold during the winter nights. The trees were circling a small pond.
Neal B. Ericksen Sr.
Assistant Scoutmaster, Troop 379
The Webelos way to bite the bullet
Just when you think your Webelos Scouts are ready for the independence of Boy Scouting ...
When our Webelos den entered the council first-aid meet, we were confident a month of training had prepared the boys to handle any expected situations. They advanced impressively, excitedly building teamwork and confidence as they handled an emergency situation at each station.
At the burn station, the Webelos Scouts started the proper procedure. Two boys went to call 911. Two others tried to comfort the "victim" and to determine what first aid was needed.
Then Stewart called out, "Someone get a 'snuggler' or something he can hold on to that will make him feel better!"
Adding a step that wasn't in the book didn't hurt the den's score, however. They went on to win the Webelos section of the competition.
Webelos Den Leader
Aye, matey, and quite a feat it was
At our pack's annual family camp each fall, we have a campfire at which we sing, perform skits, and tell stories. One of our Wolf den leaders entertained everyone with the story of "Pirate Pete," supposedly the toughest, meanest pirate in history. Old Pete was so tough, in fact, that he fought the crews of a French frigate, a Portuguese man-of-war, and a Spanish galleon.
The day we arrived home from camp, we laughed when we overheard our son Bret, a fourth-grade Webelos Scout, telling his older brother the story of "Pirate Pete."
According to Bret's version (actually a little more colorful than the original) "Pirate Pete fought the crews of a French frigate, a Portuguese man-of-war, and Mexican stallions!"
Committee Chairman, Pack 26
Santa Ana, Calif.
Years ago when I was a Cubmaster, I helped our Webelos den leader during a weekend camporee. As we set up camp on Friday evening I told the boys I knew they were all going to win first-place ribbons during the next day's activities.
Before leaving on Saturday morning, I urged them to do their best in the day's competition, adding that I was sure their best would result in a first-place finish.
When I arrived the next morning to help take them home, the boys came running up to me with the news that both dens had won first-place ribbons.
The Webelos den leader later told me that my son had explained to his fellow Webelos Scouts with great excitement how his mother had been able to so accurately forecast the day's outcome: It was easy, because his mom was a "psychopath."
Cub Scout Chairman
Two Rivers District
He knew that Scouts could help
Our Scouts were all in uniform as they climbed out of their vehicles for the troop's visit to Pedernales Falls State Park. Suddenly an older man rushed up to them. "Scouts, I'm glad you're here," he announced. "There is a man upriver who has a broken leg, and we need your help."
Within minutes the boys were trekking down the river path to the victim. His wife, an emergency medical technician, had already applied a splint. Park rangers then arrived on a ledge above the river and handed a Stokes (rescue) litter down to the Scouts. By the time the rangers got down to the accident site, the Scouts had the victim secure in the basket. The Scouts then carried the victim up from the riverbed, through scrub brush and secondary trails to the trailhead.
The boys had been asked to help by the older man because their uniforms identified them as individuals who could help in an emergency. Wearing your uniform is another way to Be Prepared--to be identified as a Scout.
Alan W. Cross
Assistant Scoutmaster, Troop 1332
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