Done with WB Practical Phase
Peter Farnham (pfarnham@CAPACCESS.ORG)
Mon, 14 Oct 1996 11:01:38 -0400
Just a brief announcement: I'm done with the practicel phase of my Wood
Badge course (WB 82-67). We had a lot of fun; my ticket is finalized;
the feast was an orgy of well-prepared grilling and DO-prepared food (we
even had French Onion soup, courtesy of the Bears, and Vietnamese spring
rolls courtesy of the Owls). The Beavers made corn bread, grilled
marinated chicken, and herbed potatoes. Anyway, it was a great feast,
and we all left inspired to go on and work our tickets for the benefit of
our troop, scouting, and, frankly, the country! Oh--I was honored to be
elected permanent patrol leader of the Beavers. I guess they thought
that I was such a good mother hen, I could continue in that capacity
without a whole lot of effort.
A near religious experience occurred on Saturday night, while the Beavers
were out on our overnight. We walked along a stream and kept seeing
Beaver sign--i.e., gnawed logs, felled trees, etc. We finally passed the
dam, which had sprung a couple of minor leaks, and after dinner, right
around dusk, we decided to go back down to the creek and see if we could
see our bro' doing his thing.
We got down there right at dusk, and stood quietly by the beaver dam,
listening. We saw the water ripple a little, and
then--KA-WHAAACCCKKKK!!! All of us about went into cardiac arrest. Any
of you who have never heard a beaver slap the water with his tail, lemme
tell you, it is a breath-taking experience in more ways than one. It
makes a sound about like a cannonball hitting the water. At first, we
thought someone had thrown something into the water. But no, it was just
Brother Beaver letting his friends know they had some company. The
beaver did it again a couple of minutes later, so we moved along up the
stream another 25 yards or so. We stood quietly listening, and then we
started hearing them gnawing. Boy, those things are noisy! You could
hear the gnawing easily from wher we wer, and that was at least 25
yeards. I bet you could have heard it at least twice that far away.
Anyway, we went back quietly by the beaver dam, and a couple of minutes
later we all turned our flashlights on at once, and sure enough, there he
was, happily chewing away on a stick, obviously eating--he was stripping
the bark. Amazingly, he didn't take off with our lights on him, but
rqather just sat there calmly eating in the light. We watched him for
five minutes or so, then decided to let him enjoy his meal in peace, so
It was very peaceful and fulfilling to see such a sight; none of us had
ever seen a beaver in the wild before, and we all felt especially blessed
to have had the opportunity.
One other anecdote, and then I'm done. The service patrol shovel had
been banged up pretty good by the time we got it, but it was still
recognizable as a shovel. Not when we got done with it. I won't go into
a whole lot of detail, but how many of you have ever turned a scout
shovel into--a beaver lodge? You do it with lots of sticks and mud.
Anyway, ours was the first effort that didn't get the statement, "But it
still looks like a shovel!"
Those of you on the list who haven't taken BSA Wood Badge are missing a
great experience. I've learned more about scou8ting, boys, and myself
these past three weekends than in the previous five years I've been
registered as an adult. Go when you get the chance; you ;won't regret
it. Scouting and the boys need you!
YiS (I used to be a Beaver),
SM, Troop 113
GW District, NCAC
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City