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Campfire stories & poems

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Everyone's heard the traditional campfire stories and epic poems - The Cremation of Sam McGee, the Tell-Tale Heart, Hiawatha, even Jabberwocky.


What are your favorite campfire stories that no one else knows? Ghost tales, humor or mysteries? Do you prefer prose stories or ones that rhyme? Which ones are best for Cubs vs. Boy Scouts?

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Although the name might be different depending on area nd story teller...I love the story of Lonnie Butts.


The scout who couldn't swim. More about the buddy system than anything else, but a great ghost story!


Our ACM told it at a pack campout next to a big lake right before a 2 mile night hike.


2 days later, my son was googling Lonnie Butts on the internet! LOL!(This message has been edited by scoutfish)

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I can do


The Cremation of Sam Magee


Casey at the Bat


Mudville Nine


The Voyageur


The Ballad of WIlliam Sycamore


A Rainy Day in Camp


curent favorite is "Leetul Bautiste"


That is all fom memory, I had down Polonius Advice to Laertes and the Henry V "Band of Brothers" Speech down but it reallt doesnt rhyme and the others do


When I do a Poem, I get comments from adults and youth as to how can I rememeber them, and I ask who their favorite sports team and their starting line up and show them remembering can be done.


Favorite story from my youth was the Scoutmaster who found a rare bird so rare they called it a Rare-ee and the trouble he had getting rid of it as it doubled in size every week(This message has been edited by OldGreyEagle)

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The Monkey's Fist

Wicked John and the Devil (yes, I know there is no such thing)

that one is sometimes the lead-in for the story of Jake(or Jack)-o-my-lantern, another pretty good one.

The Wonderful Tarbaby Story

There's also a great story from the Appalachians about the deepest snow of all time, and a pretty good depiction of survival with a very humorous twist at the end. I just can't seem to find a title for it.

The Big Toe (sometimes called, Where's My Big Toe?)

I have a few I concocted myself as well. I try to measure the effect...it's nice to get a little sleep. ;)


We also have fun playing campfire games.



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Several of these I have not heard of. I'm guessing they're regional favorites. Round here, local Native American stories/legends featuring Glooscap (several different spellings including Kluscap and Gluskonba) are popular. Glooscap is the folk hero (like Paul Bunyon or Pecos Bill) in these tales. Among the Wabanaki, he is considered the first human and has been granted special powers/strengths to help his fellow humans. One tale that has become a favorite (as in those present drop to dead silence while it is told) is Glooscap and the Four Wishes:





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Lonnie Butts expanded ( somewhat - embelish at your whim!).



* THis was told sitting right next to a 9 acre lake.*


Lonnie Butts was a boy scout who went to Camp Whatchagonnacallit.


Lonnie Butts was a scout who could not swim. He always avoided any and all swimming activities or events that required a swimming merit badge.


So one year, he gets tired of missing so manty fun activities with his fellow scouts. He takes the swimming lessons. He has trouble and it's really hard for him, but by the next to the last day of camp, he earns his Beginner card.


Well, the next day is the last day of camop, and hois last day to earn his swimmers' badge/card, chip( whatever you call it).


So that night, after the campfire and after everybody goes back to their tents and cabins, Lonnie sneaks out to the lake to get extra practice. He is in his swim trunks and carrying a towel.


At this point, you explain how the tag board system works.


Lonnie hangs his name tag on the "Scouts in the water" board, hangs his towel over the gate at the end of the dock, climbs over and runs down the dock and dives in. He hits the bottom because it's to shallow and immediately breaks his neck.


Now, had Lonnie foloowed the rules:

1) He'd be in his tent.

2) aside from that, He'd have his camp buddy/ swim buddy at all times , who could have talked him out of swimming at night..

3) and who could have pulled Lonnie from the water and gotten help.


But since Lonnie ignored the Buddy system, he broke his neck, was paralyzed and ended up drowning..



The next moring, nobody thought anything of an empty bunk. A few noticed he was missing from breakfast, but the news traveled fast once his towel and nametag were found!



Now, that was many, many years ago, but sometimes, when scouts are at camp and ...being the boys they are - and they sneak around at night .....sometimes...strange things happen.


Rumour has it that every now and then, a scout sees a ghostly figure of a boy walking down to the lake's edge and carrying a towel....and just as he nears the gate...he dissapears!


( at this point, somebody tossed a big rock in the water!)

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