Taking Along Metallica....or...."We're not gonna...."
Settummanque, the blackeagle (WALTOML@WKUVX1.BITNET)
Wed, 12 May 1993 20:23:31 CDT
(Note: Many of you that have been on the list for a while probably
remember the posting I made about alternatives to summer camp. This is
(I hope) a summarized version of that posting, along with some
personal reflections on the positive usage of electronic devices.)
(It is NOT as long as you may think!) *smile*
Settummanque, the blackeagle <WKUVX1::WALTOML> writes:
>Yes, we *did* have the Metallica band to "accompany" us during the
>trip and when things got really tough (a rain storm on the third and
>fourth days almost forced us home...but to the strains of "we're not
>gonna take (make) it", (sung by evenually ALL of the Scouts (and yes,
>Scouters) participating), their spirits were uplifted enough to keep
>going. I don't think that seventeen choruses of "I'm on the upward
>trail" would do it in this case.
>(and for a month afterwards, every time I heard that song, I would
>immediately be reminded of a event that occured during the second
Let me back up a bit. While I served as Scoutmaster in what was then
West Germany, one of the first goals I set for myself was that EVERY
Scout would have a summer camp experience each year. In Europe, the
number and locations of summer camps were really staggering: there was
the camp at the foot of the Alps, Camp Bayern; a camp in a valley
between two rugged mountain ranges, Camp Freedom; a camp on the coast
of Morrocco (Camp DuMorroc) and one right outside of one of the
largest fiesta areas in that country (Camp Ole); another camp in the
middle of Italy that allowed every camp a superb view of the water
from afar (Camp Tuscany); the camp in the Swiss Alps (Camp Kandersteg)
and camps in England, Turkey and Greece that are shared with the host
nation's youth programs.
So there was NO shortage of places to go. But you see, all of those
camps (and I know, since I've been to ALL of them as a Scout) have
some commonality to them. They are all ran pretty much the same way
each year. Okay, they get a new professional or a great volunteer to
spice it up...but it's the SAME Camp Ole, the SAME Camp Kandersteg,
and the SAME Camp Freedom.
So at the original insistance of the military community commander,
I decided that we would travel the 112 kilometer (about 68 miles total)
"Prince's Road" (Strasse der Stauffer) which surrounds much land in
south-central West Germany.
(the MCC wanted the Scouts to do something off of the base during a period
of tension on the base associated with the Pershing II missile
movement. The base where I was assigned first had the mission of
supporting and defending Pershing missile sites in central Europe. The
headquarters of the command that has control of the missiles and the
people were on the other side of the mountain between Goppingen (where
we lived) and Schawbish Gmeund (the other side).
The German people did NOT like nuclear missiles fired from THEIR land
toward ANYONE. )
This event would take place during the spring break of the American
school system, idealy around Easter. The trip had five goals, as I
sold it to the Troop Committee and Patrol Leaders' Council. One, it
was designed to allow those Scouts that PCSed (permanent change of
station...military move) back to the States to have a long term summer
camp under their belts before they left. Two, to allow the youth
leaders to lead, direct and motivate Scouts in a more realistic
enviroment. Three, to allow each Scout the opportunity to earn nine of
the twelve then-Skill Awards and to be ready for First Class; for
those First Class or higher, the chance to earn four merit badges the
HARD WAY...performance each camp day, rather than performance once in
front of a counselor; and five, to use skills learned in school and
home and apply them to living and being amoung German nationals.
(there was a sixth one...that of doing some PR work for Scouting and
our military community...the PLC didn't buy it...but we did it
On the first year's trip, we didn't allow ANY radios or tape players.
That was a mistake, because on the third day, we found out from a
German man, that rioting had broken out in the city where we were
heading to, and the idea of American boys coming into town with flags
and banners, would *just not be great* (to say the least). The PLC
changed plans and we ended up more than 90kms (45 miles) out of the
way to avoid the rioting.
The second trip, I am more fond of than the first one, because we did
what we sat out to do. And then some.
What makes these events work is that for the first time, I gave the
Senior Patrol Leader a map, the name of the campingplatz (campsite) we
would be staying in, the name of the owner, and the money for the
site. His job would be to get us there. Through city streets.
Through farmers' fields (which at this time, many were sprayed or
covered with manure...Pee You!). We had to work as a Troop composed
of Patrols. We exercised the Patrol Method in ways I feel even
Baden-Powell would have been proud of. And the music.
Arnat Vale, our Senior Patrol Leader, and his sidekick Steven Basso
(my boss's son) were both fans of the heavy metal group Metallica. So
were lots of German boys and girls that got to hear over and over
again the one Metallica tape that they carried in a side pocket in
Steve's backpack. One of the songs on that tape is "We're Not Gonna
Take It", talking about how their music wasn't accepted (I think). The
refrain, however, I will NEVER forget...because that became the march
song, the work song, the Troop song played long after our Scribe
stated "Guten Nacht, Pieffinders" (his attempt at "good night,
Scouts") each evening. It became a quiet lullaby as the twenty-three
Scouts and eight adults went to bed each night and for those that
DARED to sleep in the next morning, it was blared in your ears at
volume 10 to get you going!
"We're not going to make it...NO, we're not going to make it...
"We're not going to make it...this time!"
During the fourth day of the trip, an expected rainstorm hit us. We
knew it was coming, since we had remembered last year's *show stopper*
and brought ONE radio which was tuned into American Forces Radio from
either Stuttgart or Neu Ulm each morning.
We didn't know that it was going to *stay* with us for the next two
days. Scouts were really ingenious, however...one patrol built a
large fire to keep everyone warm..the other patrol went to a factory,
where assisted by a adult, they explained the situation and everyone
had dry sleeping materials to sleep on.
With everything wet and soggy (a great lesson for Scouts to learn that
when you clean up, you put away too...), we treked up a long and
narrow road, winding upward and upward to a castle. We arrived just
as an American couple was leaving. The man, a Scouter in Illinois,
asked the Scouts about Scouting in Europe and the Council....and then,
changed his plans and invited all of the Scouts and Scouters to
It is great to know that once given the opportunity to lead, the boys
took the lead and did just that. Older Scouts told younger Scouts to
get their elbows off the table, to please pass the butter, asking "may
I" instead of "gimmy".
I had problems with one Scout in particular...not behavior problems.
Self-esteem problems. He would shy away from being with the other
Scouts. He was self-conscous about his weight. He was younger than
the others in his patrol.
On day five, he was really dragging behind. They *all* were, until
Arnet found that tape..that song that motivated them so far, and they
all developed NEW verses to keep them moving until nightfall. And our
SPL had everyone to go slow and even walked with David until they got
to the campsite.
And there are some that will tell me that kids CAN'T understand
concepts such as leadership and sacrifice.
On day six, it was THIS Scout that led and stahat led in front. His
self-confidence built up by his peers, telling him the day before that
"David can make it....YES!, We know he can make it....David can make
After the camp, the memories of the week spilling over in discussions
with parents, David's parents told me "I don't know what happened but
this is NOT the same boy that left here. He talks more...he wants to
go out into the country and see things...he's even been wanting us to
sign him up for Karate lessons like his friends. What happened?"
I guess he--and everyone else on that trip--has been listening to too
Mike L. Walton
( Settummanque, the blackeagle... ) )
((MAJ) Mike L. Walton (among other "endearing" names) ( )
( AIS/MR Recreation/Leisure Specialist, Lifeskills Inc. ___)_ )
( Phone 502-782-7992 (home) 502-842-2274 (office) |-=-|] )
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Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City