Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A Day In Summer Camp

The 1979 edition of the Boy Scout Handbook had a rather entertaining section written in the second person—very rare—which we used for a skit. Just imagine the trouble a bunch of clowns can get into with this text and you'll start to get an idea.
FROM the 1979 edition of the Boy Scout Handbook, page 145:

A Day In Summer Camp


You awaken to an exciting new day with your best friends. You look out through the open tent door and see a smiling sun in a blue sky. You jump out of bed, grab soap and towel, and join the others for a morning wash. A few moments later, you are back in your tent. You straighten up things, bring blankets out for airing, and get dressed.

The patrol cooks of the day sound off: "Come and get it!" Not a moment too soon! You're positively starving!

After breakfast, there's work to be done. Your camp must be made spic-and-span in a hurry. It is. Just in time, too. The troop leaders are coming around the bend for the morning checkup. Your patrol gets the honor flag of the day. You knew it would.

You and the whole troop gather around the flagpole. Old Glory goes aloft. Your eyes follow the flag—red, white, blue, against a clear summer sky!

After the ceremony, you're ready for the day's activities.

First there is work to be done. Your patrol has decided that your campsite needs a few improvements and additions. There's a clothesline to be put up. There's a raised fireplace to be built to make life easier for the cooks. With all of you working together, the jobs are on the way in no time at all.

What's next? Perhaps this is the day you have planned to go adventuring. What'll it be? An exploration hike along that ancient overgrown trail? A nature hike, looking for animals and birds, rocks and minerals? An orienteering race, cross country with map and compass?

Hurry now! There's the call for swim! What a glorious feeling to jump into the lake and strike out for the diving raft with your buddy. Up on the raft and back in the water. Up again. In again. Not a care in the world.

"All out!" And, a moment later, "Lunch, everybody!" The patrol cooks are doing themselves proud. Every scrap of food disappears.


Afternoon in camp has a way of rocketing by. So many things to do. More Scoutcraft. Perhaps archery or marksmanship. And then, of course, another swim. And maybe not just a swim. Maybe an exciting waterspouts event with patrol contests in swimming and lifesaving, rowing and canoeing.

Time to get supper ready. You check the duty roster. It's your turn, with your buddy, to build the fire and haul in the water while another buddy team goes about the cooking.

Supper is probably the eating highlight of the day. It is also an opportunity for good fellowship.

After the cleanup, the whole troop gets together for an hour of action and fun. It may be a vigorous game of capture the flag. Or it may be a game of volleyball or soccer.


Darkness is falling. The campfire is about to start.

CAMPFIRE! There's nothing in the world that can compare with sitting with your best friends in a close circle, under the spell of the fire, watching the flickering flames, having a wonderful time together.

As the flames soar upward, the campfire leader opens a program that's a mixture of fun and seriousness.

Scouts with special abilities do their stuff. Each patrol puts on a skit. There may be a couple of campfire games.

And lots of songs. When the fire burns low, your songs turn into the soft, melodious kind. You end with Taps.

Day is done, gone the sun

From the lake, from the hills, from the sky.

All is well. Safely rest. God is nigh.

You walk back to your tent, silently. You crawl into your sleeping bag. A moment later, you're fast asleep.

Happy dreams! Tomorrow is another day. It will be full of excitement and surprises. That's what every day is in the camp of a real troop of real patrols of real Scouts.

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