Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Camping Survival Skills


For over twenty years, my Husby served as Scout supervisor.
This included acting as a leader on numerous scout camps.
A true test of one's manhood.
Or at least one's patience and endurance.
These camps were held, invariably, in the great outdoors.
Woods. Mountains. Streams.
Wild animals.
They glimpsed many, many of these latter.
But the animals they saw most were the cute, little furry ones who ran in and out of their campsites.
Made messes.
And stole food.
Squirrels.
The original camp robbers.
On one camp, there was a particular little scamp.
A little bolder and craftier than others like her.
She got into one too many bags of treats.
One of the scouts, one who had aspirations to play major league, threw a rock at her.
Hit her square.
And knocked her dead.
I don't know which of them was the most surprised.
My Husby looked at the chagrined boy and decided this was a perfect teaching moment.
One did not waste what was given in the woods, he told the scouter.
He made the boy skin the squirrel out.
Clean it.
And cook it.
Unfortunately, the lesson was rather lost.
It was a young squirrel, tender and succulent.
Rather tasty.
The boys talked about the incident throughout the rest of the camp.
And into the next season.
And winter camp.
Attended by the younger brother of the first scout.
Who now had some big shoes to fill.
Or so he thought.
Again, there was an abundance of squirrels.
He chose one.
Took aim with his rock.
And hit it with one shot.
So far so good.
After enduring the getting-to-be-standard lecture from his scouter, he skinned the squirrel out.
Cleaned it.
And cooked it.
And suddenly discovered that not all squirrels are the same.
This one, a rather elderly male had been surviving on winter fare and was . . . nothing like the first.
Tough, stringy and decidedly . . . un-tasty.
Unhappily, he chewed his way through it.
Then hung up his stones and throwing arm for good.
Some records just aren't made to be broken.

10 comments:

  1. Oh, the poor brother. Too bad he his to eat his mistake, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope he learned. I understand he's one of the supervisors on camp this week. Eep!

      Delete
  2. Yes, some records are not meant to be broken. I loved reading this one and the lesson learned. I am smiling..........I am very familiar with scouting. My husband was a scout leader for many years and we have three boys who earned their Eagle and also three son-in-laws. I must share this story with them.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Good life lesson, though, eating one's mistakes...

    Pearl

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe if I made fewer mistakes, I'd weigh less. Just a thought . . .

      Delete
  4. I could just see him taking aim with a rock and discovering that it was a bear instead of a squirrel...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, the who would be eating who?

      Delete
  5. OH my goodness your husband is a hard core Scout. I just took my daughters Girl scout troop fishing and getting the girls to touch the bait and fish was an experience, can't even imagine what they would do if I had them skin, and cook one, LOL

    ReplyDelete

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