scouts-l Mail Archive for August of 2000: What I did on my summer vacation #1
Thu Aug 24 2000 - 22:15:30 CDT
You may not think this has anything to do with Scouting at first. I suggest
you look at what occurred and see how much it really does have to do with
being a trained Scout.
This summer was special. That's because I didn't vacation with anyone except
BSA for most of it. Boy, you think I got in trouble for being gone at
Philmont when #3 was born or being at PTC for the same kid's first and second
birthdays? Just wait.
Before *I* even got to go anyplace I had #1 son call me because he had an
accident in either Irving or Dallas when a woman made a right turn from the
left turn lane, then rushed home to get her current insurance records instead
of waiting for the police to come. Better that than a tattoo, but that's a
A week in June was spent in Long Beach in a display booth for the Boy Scouts
in front of the Presbyterian Church's General Assembly. What fun! Sun, no
time to do things like use the pool, eating in the same restaurant 2 or 3
times because you're just too tired to find someplace else. A dream come true.
Especially when down the row and across the display area are the groups who
want full homosexual inclusion in the church and you get the BSA Supreme
Court hearing announced that week! Business cards with home phone numbers off
the table, folks!
Of course I met some people I'd never forget. A man whose parents never
wanted anyone to forget him (first and middle names come out to be Grant Lee,
but for the less historically inclined they made life unbearable by making it
SOUND like an actors name if he ever dropped the Grant, which he did, so now
he's a Council Exec named Lee Martin, which is close enough to Lee Marvin
I'll never forget it) gave a nice speech to the Duty to God Breakfast about
how God and Scouting saved him.
And Long Beach meant postcards of pretty girls in skimpy swimwear, always the
perfect thing to send to #1 son working on camp staff in Wisconsin (in each
case claiming it was part of Long Beach's camp and staff, if Lee gets a lot
of Midwestern kids applying for summer camp staff he probably owes me a
commission). I heard that the staff was coming in the office and waiting for
females to leave and then asking #1 if they could ..."see the postcards from
your dad" ... like they shouldn't even be in camp or something. Like they
never saw a bikini before. Wait, thinking about some of them, maybe they
For those who claim they always USED to be this animal or that, I refer you
to the Scottish shop across from the Queen Mary, which has not one but TWO
McLaren Tartans they can wear as a men's' tie, in the original dyes and in
the modern dyes. Didn't ask if they did a lot of BSA business, maybe I
could've taken that sales line, too. Can't find their business card now, but
there also aren't that many businesses across the parking lot from the Queen
Mary, a few phone calls at the worst should have you all buying Tartan ties
to wear to WB reunions.
(Yeah, ya all laugh, but I wish I had a dime for each of the people looking
for a phone to dial -- either a website or actual phone call -- right....now.)
July meant we got to go to summer camp.
Well, It meant more than that. A boss who came to me to tell me he's moving
the store to a new location while I'm gone. Which is still happening, but
that can be told later.
I won't comment on camp, since I went there as a kid and worked there up to
age 18 and now am back as an adult, however I learned one thing about
Scouters in the area:
I had several plans, but no time. New picnic tables in the campsite would be
nice. So would several other things. But when proposed others said "Why
should I buy anything for camp to keep?" OK, tough luck, it can all wait
until someone else sees the need to occasionally purchase what the camp needs
so that your troop can use it.
Then time got even shorter. #2 son really, really wanted to go on the band
trip, which left - The Saturday camp ended at 6 a.m. in Chicago. OK, we'll go
home late Friday. Then the band director calls because he wants to warn me
that to get a grade for summer band #2 REALLY REALLY REALLY needs to be home
for the concert -- the Thursday night of camp. OK, we'll leave Thursday noon.
Just before we leave for camp my mother gets taken to the hospital straight
from the doctor's office for chest pains. Every staff man who walks, drives,
wanders through, or asks to use the latrine in the site is pointed out my
tent, pitched away from everyone, just in case.
I plan, after several years absence, to spend all my time at the Field Sports
area. I start at Archery, move to shotgun....Where there is only one trap
operating for a ton of interested kids. The spring broke on the other and it
can't be replaced, the company is out of business, I am told. "So find the
one you want and where it is in Wisconsin and I'll buy it," I say. Camp
replies: "Are you sure you want to do that? Next year there will be electric
traps and power at the range and what you buy won't be needed." My response
is mean -- "Program isn't next year, its NOW. And what do you do if, as power
in Wisconsin rural areas is often doing, the entire power supply dies?"
Tuesday or Wednesday I buy the trap. We haven't figured out how to mount it
yet when guess what? The other trap spring breaks. Among all sorts of "We'll
have to figure out how to fix it" discussion between Field Sports and Ranger
we just set up the one I bought and keep throwing pigeons. I suspect it was
the only trap for the rest of the summer. $160 well spent, if only because my
#2 son was able to finish Shotgun.
Just to make things interesting, #2, who is scared to death of water and
refuses to swim and lessons were worthless since he refused to ever release
the side of the pool, is called on the FRS I'm carrying one afternoon by #1:
"Brad, where are you?"
"In the campsite" (Note: Farthest campsite from waterfront in camp)
"You better RUN to the waterfront, they're looking for you"
#1 and I intervened before they got too far -- #2 only ran a third of the way
to the waterfront -- before the story was figured out. #2 being a
non-swimmer, an adult who came up to do photos for camp promo who knew me
thought we had left camp already (he was only off by a day) so he took #2's
tag and went out in the speedboat to take pictures.
Waterfront director evidently had a cow to see a nonswimmer in a boat, calls
on radio and is told there are no kids in the boat, and starts Lost Bathers
Drill. Waterfront is closed and staff is starting to dive before we could get
it straightened out and #2 stops running out to the waterfront to get chewed
out for something he didn't do. #1 says to me "Imagine hearing the lost
bather called in on the radio is a member of your family...."
The commissioner/photographer who got in the boat will probably never live
this one down. I feel so bad for the staff I'm apologizing to all of them.
They keep telling me its not the fault of either #2 or myself, but still....
To be continued.....