Michael F. Bowman (mfbowman@CAP.GWU.EDU)
Tue, 1 Nov 1994 23:49:06 -0500
Good luck on your endeavor to write a book about pioneering. This is an
area where I'd certainly like to learn more.
When I was a young Scout in Indiana, we learned to build a winter shelter
by lashing together a lean-to frame and then lashing several cross-members
across the top. We covered it with branches, then leaves and finally
about a foot of snow. In front we banked a high semi-circle of snow from
one end to the other with a fire just in front. As I recall the fire and
insulation made for a warm place to sleep with all the fun of pretending
to be a pioneer. Another patrol did the same thing, but put the fire a
little to close (just under the leading edge of the shelter) and
fortunately for them the melting snow on top dampened their fire before it
set their shelter on fire.
I can remember another campout when our patrol used their pioneering
skills to advantage. We had somehow acquire a railroad tarp used on a
gondola (don't recall how) and decided to use it to make a patrol tent.
Our campsite was in an area where the land was flat with few trees. As I
recall, we lashed together a rectangular shaped frame (using wooden
tent poles and ridge poles from tents no longer in service) about four
feet high and about four feet wide and draped the tarp over it. Not being
particularly concerned about ecology then we buried the edges of the tarp
on three sides about a foot deep under the sod, because we didn't have tent
stakes or any wood suitable to make them. Now this thing looked ugly as sin.
But it was big enough for all of us. While we cooking supper on the
second day (Saturday) the weather turned nasty. It began to rain and the
wind picked up blowing the rain sideways and the temperature dropped. We
noticed that the sky had taken on sort of a greenish color and we were
suddenly a little more than scared. We knew these things to be signs of
Tornado weather. This fear was not unmerited!! Soon one of the Scouts
spotted a Tornado touching down several miles away. Now in this flat area
there was no place to take shelter (no ravines, not even a ditch). The
wind picked up and blew down the dining flys and everyone made a mad dash
for their tents to at least keep dry. Well fortunately, the Tornado never
got closer than about a mile away. Before it was over though, the winds
had blown down every tent, except our ugly contraption and we found
ourselves joined by the other patrols and the Scoutmaster. When the storm
abated, we went to work setting up the other tents. Some had blown some
distance away. One of the dining flys eluded our efforts at discovery, it
apparently took flight, we never did find it. Needless to say this made
quite an impression on all of us. The next day we helped a local farmer
in the clean-up effort before going home.
Yours in Scouting, Michael F. Bowman, a/k/a Professor Beaver
Deputy District Commissioner Exploring, GW Dist., NCAC, BSA
Speaking only for myself, but with Scouting Spirit . . .
____ mfbowman@CAP.GWU.EDU ____
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City