Re: Camp Anecdotes
CHUCK BRAMLET (chuckb@AZTEC.ASU.EDU)
Fri, 1 Sep 1995 14:16:27 -0700
Date: Fri, 01 Sep
Subject: Re: Scouting Anecdotes (3)
I don't know if these are still wanted, but it occurred to me
that I have some stories to tell, also. They may smell a bit
of mothballs, as they come from an dusty old, dark, corner of
my memory. Like, when I was a Scout, and the Scoutmaster was
named "Ugh", and wore a bear(bare?)skin. ;)
Actually, I was an older Scout at the time, in the Explorer
program. Then it really was called "Explorer Scouts".
Our Post decided to take a long weekend, and go for a backpack
trip up in central California, at a place we called "Kennedy
Meadows". There were about 5-8 of us, all about the same age.
We didn't have much of a plan, other than to hike up to "this
neat camping spot", and stay overnight there. We also didn't
have a leader along - you could do that, then.
A little over half way up the trail, we came to an OBSTACLE.
A very COLD, fast, and deeper than we really wanted to mess with,
mountain stream. Did I mention that the bridge that the guys used
the last time could be seen in the middle of the stream? With one
end pointed upstream, and caught in the "rapids" about 50 feet
downstream. After much discussion, we decided to try to ford the
One of the guys, a big fellow named Jim, "volunteered" to be the
guiney-pig, and boldly stepped out into the stream. And dissappeared!
A few yards downstream, we helped a shivvering Jim out of the RIVER,
and started to look for somplace that wasn't quite as deep, where
we would have an easier time of fording the river. I don't remember
exactly how far we had to go, it didn't seem very far, now. But the
shallowest place to cross the river was about 3 feet deep. since Jim
was already wet, we sent him across with the hand rope, and then crossed,
ourselves. Since no one else wanted to get as wet as Jim, we all stripped
to our skivvies, put our clothes in our packs, and carefully crossed the
river. We learned something that day; 3 feet of water rushing down a
mountain river, in central California in May, is only slightly above
A few minutes after we had all crossed, and dried off in the meadow on
the other side, we heard someone yelling for us. Looking back across
the river, we saw Bill, one of the other fellows from the Post, who
had missed our caravan. He had managed to get his father to bring him
up, as Dad was going fishing near there anyway. Bill relished telling
us that all the time we were crossing the river and drying off, we were
being watched by a group of Girl Scouts, about 2-300 yards behind us on
the trail. Apparently, our behavior so ammused them that they were
"laughing their [heads] off", as he put it.
I guess you had to be there...
The next morning, after Jim got out of his sleeping bag, he found a dead
"tree scorpion" under where he had lain - in the sleeping bag. We kidded
him that it could have stung him when he rolled over on it, if he hadn't
killed it first. Jim picked up a thin twig about a foot long, and started
to flick the dead scorpion out of his bag. Suddenly, he let out a yell
and threw the stick away from him. We asked him what was the matter.
Well, it appeared that the Scorpion wasn't dead after all. As soon as
he had poked at it, it grabbed the twig and started climbing. Jim said
that it was too close to his hand for comfort. In another inch, it would
have been climbing finger.
Rodger's story about "Snake-Charmer" reminded me of a similar incident
a few years after the above. I was working as an ASM, with a Troop in
another town. The Troop had planned a campout at a nearby desert park.
We stopped 5 miles away, and had the boys hike in. The SPL, Joey, and 2 of
his cronies decided to take a short-cut, disregarding the instructions to
stay on the road. They also met a snake. A big Diamondback, to be exact.
Joey was right on top of it when one of the others saw it and yelled.
We never _did_ find out exactly what all happened, except for 2 things.
Joey changed his clothes right after they got in to camp, and we all had a
piece of rattlesnake with our supper. (It was in 67'. Rattlesnake wasn't
BTW, after that Joey became fierce about the boys staying on the trail.
Never did find out why... ;)
Chuck Bramlet, ASM Troop 323
Thunderbird District, Grand Canyon Council, Phoenix, Az.
I "used to be" an Antelope! (and a good ol' Antelope, too...) WEM-10-95
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