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We were on a bike trip up in Wisconsin, near New Glarus, a pretty picturesque tourist area. the boys had gotton ice cream at a local shop across the parking lot and were milling around, talking to some local boys, one of whom talked to everyone in the ice cream parlor and was trying to impress our boys with his double thumb. A couple of our boys came bounding into the bus, quickly pulled on their sweatshirts over their uniforms, made a few adjustments to their clothing, grabbed a couple of baseball caps and put them on backwards and left in a hurry. I watched silently and when they left asked "What was that all about?" one of the other boys replied, " oh, they think they're going to impress those local kids with how cool and "big city" they are!" I looked at our SPL who was barely containing his laughter, and said, " I suppose they missed noticing that this town is about twice the size of ours?" and our SPL replied "and besides, just how "cool" can you look, when you dress like that but pop out of a rickety, rusty, 1950's school bus with "BSA TROOP 159" painted across it? yeah, they're really COOL!"

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  • 4 weeks later...

Comments on a recent thread brought to mind this event.


I love songs, there probably isnt a situation that you can think of that I cant come up with a theme song to match. Last year for our winter cabin campout I thought of something that I thought the scouts would like, I can do about 30 campfire songs without reading lyrics. But for our campfire I wanted to do something different.


We had a lot of parents with us on this outing, one is an older retired Navy Chief, in fact Chief is his nickname and I dont actually know his first name. Well, it was getting late and he retired to his bunk. (or rack as he called it)


After the kids had sung themselves out, I had the lights in the cabin turned off, and I sat in front of the huge stone fireplace that heats the cabin, (sleeps 40). I told them in a very low voice that I am from Illinois, that the mid-west actually has quite a sea-faring history, all the cargo that is carried across the Great Lakes, and I had a story about one of the ships. So with no lights and only my sihlouette against a dying fire I start reciting as dramatically as I can...


The legend lives on

from the Chippewa on down

of the big lake they called "Gitche Gumee.

"The lake, it is said,

never gives up her dead

when the skies of November turn gloomy.


(Gordon Lightfoot's Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald)


place is sone quiet, I dont think the kids had heard the song before, or they couldnt place it and were all totally enthralled.


Just as I got to this part


...The dawn came late

and the breakfast had to wait

when the Gales of November came slashin'.

When afternoon came

it was freezin' rain

in the face of a hurricane west wind...



The Old Chief who had long ago fallen asleep rolls on his back and starts to snore as loud as I think it is possible, one by one I can see the kids in the firelight start to smile, smirk and laugh. I got thorugh it ok, but somehow a poem about a boat sinking with the old Chief sawing logs in the background doesnt make for as dramatic a scene as I thought.


Although it wasn't the memorable experience I had envisioned, every kid there talks about it and I guess thats the point, after all we are in the business of making memories, regardless of how the are remembers.


The worst thing about it all, is that I snore worse than he does, so I couldnt say a word!(This message has been edited by OldGreyEagle)

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About 10 years ago when I was an ASM, our troop was holding a campout that I could not attend. Parents were supposed to pick up their sons at the campground, and all came except for the mom of one TF scout. Finally, after waiting about 40 min the SM told the boy to put his gear in his car and he'd give him a ride home. When the boy did, a note fell out of his bag. The note said "Dear Mr.C. I can't be there on Sunday to pick up my son. Please give him a ride home" (I'm Mr. C. and I live near this boy's family) The SM asked the boy why he didn't tell anyone about this note and he answered that him mom told him to give the note to Mr. C. but that Mr. C never showed up. So much for following mom's directions to the letter.

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