Edited by Jon C. Halter
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Secrets of an expert tracker
I took two new Cub Scout moms on a hike during our winter family weekend at the council camp. We came across some distinctive animal footprints in the newly fallen snow, and I identified them as rabbit tracks.
Later, we found some deer tracks and, finally, two sets of tracks side by side. I pointed to the larger set and said, "Those belong to a German shepherd and the smaller set was made by a brown and white mixed dog, probably terrier and beagle."
Amazed, the moms looked at me, and one asked, "How could you tell the color and breed by the tracks?"
I got very serious, knelt down, and pointed closely at the tracks. "See how this one follows the other?" I said. "Look real close and follow them for about 50 yards, then look up and you can see the dogs on the road, watching us right now!"
A remembered reward
In 1948, I was 13 and desperately wanted to attend Scout camp but could not afford the fee. Fortunately, the Richmond Kiwanis Club arranged for jobs for Scouts to earn the necessary funds, and for most of the summer, I worked at various tasks for 35 cents an hour.
But the fee money, sent to the council office in Kansas City, was somehow late in arriving. So when I boarded the bus to Osceola, Mo., with the rest of Troop 324, I wasn't sure if my camp fees had been paid or not.
Shortly after arriving at camp, I was directed to report to the office. I was petrified, for I knew some error had occurred and I would be sent home.
Instead, there sat the Scout executive of the Heart of America Council, H. Roe Bartle. He exclaimed that he just wanted to shake the hand of the Scout whom he thought practiced the "thrifty" point of the Scout Law as well as he had ever seen.
He wished me well, and I spent two glorious weeks at camp. Of such was the greatness of the man who became known as "The Chief" and the influence he had on hundreds of Scouts.
Bobby L. Stock
An award for a special Eagle
We were helping my son Wesley plan his Eagle Scout court of honor when he said, "Mom, I've got an idea!" He shared his idea, and we set out to include it in the program.
The ceremony was truly memorable. When it came time for the new Eagle Scout to say a few words, he took the podium and told how a very special man had become part of our Scout troop, how we had met him at a Veterans Day parade and he had visited our next meeting, bringing his Eagle Scout medal to show the troop. As he had held the award in his hand, however, its badly deteriorated ribbon had started to come apart.
Impressed by the award and the man, the Scouts determined to buy him a replacement.
"Mr. [George] Dennis is an Eagle Scout and received his Eagle award in 1931!" Wesley announced. "Would you please come forward?"
Mr. Dennis had been part of the Eagle Escort for Wesley's ceremony, and he was dressed proudly in his Scout uniform, with his original merit badge sash, troop neckerchief, and handmade slide.
"It is my pleasure to present you with this replacement Eagle award medal," Wesley said as he pinned on the award.
And it was also a pleasure for all of us, watching the new Eagle Scout present a new pin to an Eagle Scout who had received his original award more than 50 years ago.
A 'culinary experiment'
(Editor's note: The following first appeared in the August-September 2000 newsletter of the Connecticut Rivers Council, East Hartford, Conn.)
It has been brought to the Gourmet's attention that I forgot one little, tiny ingredient* in last month's recipe. Knowing full well some of you ran right out and tried this misguided culinary experiment, I was forced to take to the trail and [prepare] this gastric delight ... in front of a dozen Scouts and parents.
Some [refused] to even give Jelly Dogs a try, [but] the few who continued with the experimental dish were treated to a very tasty treat. The combination of ingredients formed a delightful barbecue sauce. Along with the hot dogs, we added meatballs, which took to the sauce very well.
[However] the added jar makes the meal a little more to handle on the trail, [and] cleanup was not exactly a piece of cake. All things considered, a very tasty dish.
The Gourmet is sorry if anyone tried the hot dogs in just jelly (a little peanut butter might have helped that abomination). Please do not [blame the contributor of last month's recipe]. The mistake was [my fault].
The Camp Fire Gourmet
The Reindeer Scouts
For several years, our troop has prepared the "Santa Claus float" for the annual Christmas parade in our small town. Ours is the last float in the parade and the only one with a Santa on it.
We wanted to include all our Scouts on the float, so we built a sleigh for Santa, and the Scouts act as reindeer "pulling" the sleigh. They wear their uniforms and Santa hats and stand inside a harness, which they hold up. The entire display is on a 30-foot trailer, pulled by a truck.
The first year we participated, about halfway through the parade, someone in the crowd, seeing the Scout uniforms, yelled out, "Santa, you finally got some reliable transportation!"
We all cracked up and knew we had a winner.
November-December 2001 Table of Contents
Copyright © 2001 by the Boy Scouts of America. All rights thereunder reserved; anything appearing in Scouting magazine or on its Web site may not be reprinted either wholly or in part without written permission. Because of freedom given authors, opinions may not reflect official concurrence.