Scouts-L Mail Archive for October of 1998: SM minute
Wed, 30 Sep 1998 17:50:18 -0500
Lately I've been puttying and painting some upstairs windows--getting ready
for winter. The middle school is only a block away from my home and I got
to thinking -- if I fell off the ladder how many of those kids walking past
would know what to do (that's what I usually think about when I'm on a
Anyway, I was reminded of the Mark Twain story & this idea came to me while
I was not falling off the ladder this afternoon.
Know what to do (and what not to do)
One of Mark Twain's stories goes something like this:
"I was downtown one day and there was a building on fire. Leaning out of a
fourth-floor window was an elderly client of ours crying for help. No one
knew what to do. No one had any presence of mind except me. I called for a
rope. When someone gave me one I took one end of it and threw it up to him.
He caught it and I told him to tie it 'round his waist. He did so and I
pulled him down."
Now, this is a funny story and I hope he was just joking when he told it.
But there's a good point here. It is important to know what to do in an
emergency. But even more important is knowing what not to do.
So often our first impulse in an emergency is the wrong one. It's like
moving an injured person to make them more comfortable. We may have good
motives but we're doing the wrong thing.
That's one of the reasons we practice first aid skills. And it's the reason
why so often the activities at camporees seem to be the same old thing.
It's the same reason that the coach of a sports team has his players
practice basic moves & skills over and over again. You practice so that if
and when you need to use a skill, you'll know what to do and what not to do.
Mark W. Arend
Beaver Dam Community Library
311 N. Spring St. Outside of a dog, a book is
Beaver Dam, Wisc. 53916 man's best friend. Inside of
(920) 887-4631 (fax 887-4633) a dog it's too dark to read.
Scoutmaster, Troop 736