Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Webelos Scout to Boy Scout, part 2

...I rousted the SPL a little before 7.  He in turn got the woodstove going and the patrol cooks moving.  They cooked for the new guys to give them an idea of how it happens and some options that didn't involve instant oatmeal.

We launched into an aggressive session of Wilderness Survival.  We would spend the day mixing the action items (build three fires without matches, demonstrate three ways to purify water) with the "book work" (memorize the seven priorities of survival, first aid, discussions on panic and good morale).  

Mid-morning we had our first eye-opener:  hail pounding on the windows and metal roof of the cabin.  Outside the cabin door, it was an inch deep in spots.

"Are we spending the night out in THAT?!?!"

Our training on building and finding adequate shelter took on a whole new meaning after that.  

A quick lunch and the Scouts were turned loose to get their shelters set up for the night.  Older Scouts were to do it, too, even if they already had the merit badge--and they were expected to inspect and make suggestions for the new Scouts.

Each Scout was allowed their sleeping bag and 10 essentials.  That's it.

They were given until dinner time, then much cooking happened, campfire stories were told, and they trucked off into the dark to find their shelters and settle in for the night.  It was supposed to get down to 30 degrees overnight, and I expected a few to straggle back to the cabin.

But not one did.  A Coleman lantern burned from the back of the cabin to help orient them in case of emergency.  All Scouts were within 150 yards.

More freak weather--high winds kicked in overnight, adding windchill to the mix.  Still, no one came in.

The following morning at the crack of dawn, I headed out to check on everyone.  (Plus I was tired of keeping the woodstove going...)

Each Scout was found sleeping soundly, warm and in good spirits.


David T. Copeland said...

Thanks for the great story. It is nice to read about the adventures of others.

FamilyMan said...

Quite welcome! It was a great learning experience. All of those former Webelos Scouts just completed their Scoutmaster Conferences for Tenderfoot last night. Woo!