Re: Campfire Pyrotechnics
golden cliff (c60clg1@CORN.CSO.NIU.EDU)
Fri, 5 Dec 1997 20:24:53 -0600
I enjoyed Doug Roach's story of the flaming arrow.
It reminds me of a story many many moons ago at summer camp involving an OA
ceremony. The camp was Chin-Be-Gota Scout Reservation near Birnamwood,
Wisconsin (the camp on longer exists). The year was 1976 or 1977.
A staff member and one of the principal players in the ceremony lost one
of his contact lenses. He had to wear his extra pair of glasses around
camp since he was almost legally blind without them. Of course everyone
knows the indians didn't wear glasses, so he refused to wear them during
the OA ceremony. He wanted his portrayal to be as authentic as possible.
Without giving away anything to non OA members, let me just say there is
a point in the ceremony where an indian shoots and arrow into the air.
The near blind boy without his glasses was that indian.
Our campfire bowl was surrounded on one side by a steep ridge of
ground where some of us arrowmen stood towering above the ceremony,
dramatically lit by the flickering firelight. It was meant to look
impressive and add a dramatic backdrop to the ceremony.
As the visually deficient indian raised his bow, those of us on the ridge
suddenly realized we were in his direct line of fire. Simultaneously
diving to the ground we managed to keep the ceremony a bloodless one as
the arrow whooshed somewhere close above us.
The indian in question, not knowing how close to disaster he had come,
continued speaking his lines without missing a beat, while all in
attendance stood there in disbelief with their mouths gaping open.
Later in the week, a newly inducted arrowman told me he thought that was the
coolest part of the ceremony.
>From that point on for the rest of the summer we had one indian in our
ceremony who wore glasses at all times, authentic or not.
YIS, Cliff Golden
Scoutmaster Troop 33; DeKalb, Illinois
Three Fires Council BSA
> When I was a Cubmaster, we had an assistand CM decide to light a
> campfire at the family campout with a flaming arrow. It was (obviously)
> dark out, all the Cubs and families gathered in a large circle far from
> the fire. He & I dressed the part as best we could (OA would have been
> appalled), and after I finished my spiel about bringing in the spirits
> to light our fire, he ignited the arrow (kerosene soaked rag on the end)
> and nocked it to aim at the base of the woodpile. What he and I had not
> forseen was that as soon as he looked down the length of that arrow, he
> couldn't see squat. The flame on the end precluded any vision whatsoever
> of the woodpile, the sky, the ground, or the Cubscouts. He slowly walked
> in the direction of the fire holding the bow and arrow at the ready
> until he was confident that he would not hit a kid.
> He ended up shooting from about three feet.
> So much for drama.
> But five years later, he still talks about the sense of abject fear he
> got when he got his arrow at the ready and was blinded by the flame. And
> WE still talk about how silly he looked walking up to the fire to shoot
> that arrow point blank. :-)
> Whatever you decide, be careful.
> Doug Roach
> SA Troop 10 - South Florida Council - Miami
> http://www.action-net.net/T10 (ya'll come visit)
> "You should never stand in Love's way....
> especially if Love is driving a bus."
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City