Thursday, July 15, 2010

Scout Camp Memories

After many decades, I still have fond memories looking back on my scout camp experience. I was probably 10 or 11—at that vulnerable age just shy of the terrible teenage years.

I went to camp two years in a row and the first year was, by far, the best. Although, the 2nd year taught me much more about life and relationships.

The first year, four of us friends who grew up together, went to school together and played sports together, resided for two weeks in a three-sided Gypsy Camp cabin. While there was some mild bickering amongst our quartet, we remained fiercely loyal to each other and pretty much stuck together. As I remember, we came in 2nd in the end-of-camp talent contest performing a skit to the tune of Junior Birdmen.

This is the way I remember it:

Up in the air Junior Birdmen
Up in the air upside down
Up in the air Junior Birdmen
Keep your noses off the ground

When you hear the doorbell ringing
And you have your badge of tin
Then you know, Junior Birdmen
That you sent your box tops in.

(If you have another version, please post it, or post your favorite camp song)

The 2nd year wasn't quite as much fun. We graduated to the next level; a full-size cabin with 8 scouts, one of which was the daughter of the head counselor. "Lynn" (not her real name - I'm afraid she'll find me and beat me up, again) was a real, uh...snot. It was either done her way or she ran to her mother to squeal on how mean we were being to her. Like the four of us who grew up together, "Lynn" had 3 life-long friends in the cabin with her. Only difference was, they couldn't stand her either.

As stressful as that was, I learned some valuable lessons:

1) Those in charge are not always kind to the masses.
2) Life is not always fair.
3) I'm never going to be able to get along with everyone.
4) I can rise above injustice and have fun in spite of disagreeable people.

So, to all you Junior Birdmen out there..."Keep your noses off the ground!"

I have no idea what that means, but it seems like a good way to end this blog post.

'Tween time-travel series, Cynthia's Attic.
Download the series on Kindle today!

Mary Cunningham Books
Quake/Echelon Press


Eileen Williams said...

I love your stroll down memory lane and, boy, can I relate! Scouting was an amazing experience and you got to eat smores to boot!
My favorite song was "Make new friends but keep the old--one is silver and the other gold." I've thought of that many times now that I'm older and it's truer than ever!

Mary Cunningham said...

Who could forget s'mores, Eileen! Definitely the best part of camping.

I look back on those days as memory-building and character-building.