Scout Camp Is for Heroes

by Richard R. Gailey

Print Share

    or “Beans for Breakfast?”

    Our camp near the ice caves at Banff, Alberta, was the scene of my first effort at getting along with guys who couldn’t cook, who argued over who got to light the fire, and who complained more than I did after a long hike. It wasn’t quite like home, but we set up camp and decided on rules to make things run smoothly.

    The first night my feet were freezing, and I wanted to climb into my sleeping bag to warm up and go to sleep. I learned a lesson when the patrol leader suggested that a better way would be to do what the group wanted and warm my feet by sitting near the fire for a while instead of going to bed. Another time a fellow hurt his ankle. This meant he had to be carried down to camp. Some of the boys had to stay with him until everyone else finished exploring the caves. We solved the problem of who was to stay, and other similar problems that came up, by the discussion/vote method. “Choose a number from one to one hundred,” the patrol leader would say, and then if you chose the wrong number, you smiled, stayed, and cleaned camp or buried garbage.

    Scout camps help fellows become real friends. We learned to help each other, to serve, to give in sometimes, and to abide by the rules of the camp for the benefit of all. If casual friends can get along and have a great time living together by the common consent method, I guess real families ought to be able to, too.

    Richard Gailey scouting in Canada