Scouts-L Mail Archive for October of 1998: What to do??
What to do??
Wed, 21 Oct 1998 23:21:28 -0500
> On a camp-out this past weekend, we had 5 boys leave the campsite
> without an adult knowing about it.
I think we've all had this problem at some time or another. Seems to crop
up routinely. At camp this summer, I told the following story, and it made
a big impression on the young lads. I don't remember where I found it,
possibly on MacScouter, or one of the links there. I changed it around to
fit our situation. Never did tell them if it was true or not, just let
their imaginations run with it. If we had any problems with them not
telling us they were leaving there weren't many, and they always had a buddy!
WINTER CUB STORY
During our 1991 (Feb) winter camp, I was called to tell a story during
campfire. The weather outside was bitterly cold (-25 Celsius) and the wind
was howling. I hadn't given a story much thought, because I usually have
one tucked away in the back of my mind for all occasions. This time I was
stumped. After a couple milliseconds, the brain kicked in and the light
went on. We were inside the main cabin for an indoor fire. I turned the
lights down low, leaving only a small spotlight on the Wolf's head above
the fireplace. I got a chair, turned it around & sat down on it backwards.
The atmosphere was somber, and quiet. You could hear the wind howling outside.
-- Start of Story --
Years ago, right here at this camp, a Cub pack, much like ours came out for
the weekend. As with most every pack, there's always one Cub, who's much
better than everyone else in his camping skills . This Pack had an
exceptional Cub, who everyone looked up to, to help them out if they were
having any problems. This Cub could walk farther than anyone else, catch
bigger fish, make a better snow-fort to sleep in, start a fire with one
match every time, could snowshoe faster than the leaders, and many more
skills. Everyone would ask him for help, because he was so good. The
leaders relayed on him to help teach all the Cub skills, and he did it with
a smile on his face. Everyone liked him because he was so friendly.
Saturday night, he and a few of his friends decided to sleep outside in a
snow fort. The Cub helped everyone to get settled, before turning in
himself. The Camp Chief came out to check on them periodically, so no one
would get cold. In the middle of the night, the Cub was awoken by the call
to nature. He woke up a couple of his buddies to go with him, as he knew
that no one should go anywhere without a buddy. His friends told him that
since he was the best Cub in the pack, and knew so much, that there was no
chance for something to go wrong. You all know that flattery is great for
one's ego, and this Cub was no different. He got dressed and ventured
outside to one of the biffies, to complete his task.
After he had done, he got dressed again, and started back to his snow fort.
But when he opened the door to the biffie, he saw that a storm had moved
in. He started to return to his fort, but the tracks he had left had been
blown over by the storm. He tried to find his way back, but the wind was
driving the snow in his eyes and he couldn't see anything. He walked as
fast as he could to where he thought the fort was, but he couldn't find it.
He walked, and stumbled in the storm for what seemed a long time, when he
realized he was in trouble. He remembered the first rule when lost in the
winter: stop and build a fire. He found a spot to dig out a cave in a snow
bank, and crawled in. He had an emergency kit with him, and quickly had a
The next morning, everyone awoke to find a clean, crisp layer of white snow
had covered the camp. It didn't take long for the Cub's friends to realized
that he was missing, and they ran to tell the rest of the camp. Everyone
got dressed in their warmest clothes and quickly started a search party.
They scoured the entire camp for hours, but couldn't find the Lost Cub. For
the rest of the day, everyone searched for him. They called the police to
help, but still couldn't find him. For days, search parties combed the area
looking for the Cub, but he was never found.
It was a sad year for that Cub Pack. They had lost a great friend. In the
Spring, they gathered again at the camp to search for the Cub's remains.
Again, everyone searched everywhere, but couldn't find him.
I often walk through these woods at night, and often think about the Lost
Cub. It's been said that if you are walking alone through these woods at
night, you may feel a cold draft shiver down your back. It maybe the Lost
Cub reminding you to get a BUDDY!
-- End of Story
I've told this story a couple other times, and have gotten the same
re-action; sadness & remorse from all. It's really helped to emphasize the
"buddy system" in our Pack. I still get questions from older Cubs - Was
that story real? I never answer.
-- Thanks to Randy Carnduff
I think that in England, they call an outhouse a biffy.