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This Camp Is Bananas!

, , , , , , , | Learning | February 20, 2022

This happened some years ago. I was one of the leaders at a scout camp for around twenty scouts, age ten to fourteen or so. One of the activities that we always have on any scout camps is a “night run”. This means we let the scouts go to sleep for an hour or two, and then after midnight, we wake them up with some kind of noise, ask them to hurry out, and then give them a task to do in the dark.

This camp was during the wintertime. Anyone unfamiliar with the weather on the Faroe Islands should just know that you do not want to sleep in a tent during this time of the year unless you are absolutely sure you want to catch a nasty flu. It’s just wet and miserable. All the scouts were sleeping in a long low-rise building with loads of rooms on either side of a long hallway.

This year, we wanted to make the night run about a murder mystery. The leaders responsible for waking up the scouts had borrowed a smoke machine because they wanted to fill up the hall with smoke. After it was full enough, they would make a huge amount of noise as if there was a fire and then chase all the half-awake scouts up.

The next part I was told afterward since my task was further away from this building.

The leaders had started to fill up the hallway with smoke, which turned out to smell like bananas. After just a tiny amount of smoke had come into the hall, the real fire alarm went off! The leaders got very surprised since they either had forgotten these alarms or they for some reason didn’t think this smoke would set it off.

But even more surprised were they when non of the scouts came running out. Not one! After opening some doors, they found out, that all of the scouts were still sound asleep, while the alarm was blaring away in the hallway.

The leaders had to personally bang on each and every door to wake up the scouts, who came out in a daze and acted like there wasn’t a fire alarm going. Even after they got out, the leaders found out that three or four scouts had just gone back to sleep! The leaders weren’t too happy about that.

Now, as I said, this happened some years ago, and the building was already at that point a bit old and needed an update. This update has since come for the whole campsite, and the fire alarm has also been changed for a better one. But I am very, very glad that this was discovered during a night run and not during an actual fire!

They’re Not Scouting For Trouble

, , , , | Right | January 17, 2021

I am an adult leader for Boy Scouts. Every year, we knock on doors in the neighborhoods surrounding the church building where we meet to pitch our flag fundraiser. Homeowners pay us a fee and we put up flags in their yards during several holidays throughout the year, and then we remove the flags and store them until the next holiday.

We put flyers on doors the week before and then the boys go out — in pairs accompanied by an adult leader — on Saturday mornings starting at 10:00 am. The boys are instructed to ring the doorbell and ask to sign people up. If no one answers, they leave another flyer on the door and move on to the next house.

I am in charge of the fundraiser, so my name and phone number are on the flyers in case of questions. I get a call from a number I don’t recognize at about 10:45 am on Saturday.

Me: “Hello?”

Caller: *Male voice, gruffly* “I have a question for you.”

Me: “Yes?”

Caller: “Why would I be interested in your fundraiser today if I wasn’t interested on Wednesday?”

Me: “I don’t understand.”

Caller: *Volume increasing* “You left a flyer on my door on Wednesday and I threw it away, but then you came again and rang my doorbell and left me another flyer today.”

Me: “Well, the first flyer was meant to give a short explanation of the fundraiser and to let people know we would be coming to sign people up this morni—”

Caller: *Cutting me off* “You came too early!”

Me: “Too early?”

Caller: “Yeah. You guys rang my doorbell and woke me up! Don’t you know that people like to sleep in on Saturdays?”

Me: “I’m sorry that the boys woke you up. We do purposefully wait to start ringing doorbells until ten because—”

Caller: *Cuts me off again* “That’s still too early! You woke me up! And you woke up my son, who’s sick and needs his sleep!”

I’m a little worried that the son has some kind of medical condition and we’ve caused a problem, so I pause.

Caller: “And I’m not the only one! I’m looking down the street at your boys and nobody is opening the door for them! Everybody’s asleep at this hour! I went out and told them to leave people alone because everybody is sleeping!”

Now I’m more concerned that he yelled at my boys, so I’m a little worked up.

Me: “I must ask you not to harass my boys! I assure you that plenty of people are awake and happy to talk to us at this hour. We’ve been doing this fundraiser for fifteen years and we’ve never had a complaint that this is too early.”

Caller: “What are you going to do for me?”

Me: “What do you mean?”

Caller: “Your boys rang my doorbell and woke my son up! What are you going to do?”

Me: “I guess all I can do is apologize. I’m sorry. We certainly had no intention of waking anybody up or causing any problems. Honestly, though, we are probably not going to change our time next year on the basis of one complaint. Maybe you can give me your address for next year or you can put some indication on your door that you shouldn’t be disturbed if you—”

Caller: “But it’s too early! What do you think the police will have to say about this? Huh?”

Me: “If you want to talk to them, you know they can get in touch with me. But it sounds like we don’t have anything else to discuss. So once again, I’m sorry for waking up your son—”

Caller: “You woke me up, too!”

Me: “I’m sorry about that, too. Goodbye.”

He never told me his address. When the groups returned, I found out which one had had some dude come out and yell at them. They said they rang the doorbell, waited about fifteen seconds, and then left the flier.

They were on to the next house when they heard the car from the first house screech backward out of the garage, not perfectly straight, so it slammed right into the other car in the same driveway. The boys and adult leader stopped and stared, and then the man got out and started yelling at them — an adult plus a seventeen-year-old and an eleven-year-old — to leave people alone because people were sleeping. He then turned around and stormed into his house… leaving the cars.

Older Than The Stars

, , , , , , | Learning | October 21, 2020

It is 2005 and I am volunteering as an Assistant Scoutmaster for a Boy Scout troop. While we are at a summer camp, I am walking with one of the eleven-year-old first-year scouts. I am nineteen but I guess at his age, that seems really old.

Scout: “Mr. [My Name], do you remember the moon landing?”

Me: “Uh… that happened seventeen years before I was born, [Scout].”

Scout: “Oh.”

Scouting Out The Helpers

, , , , | Right | October 13, 2020

I volunteer as a Cub Scout leader for my son’s troop, a group of eight boys about nine years old — volunteer, as in Nobody Gets Paid For Doing This. We have a lot of fun meetings, trying to earn various badges, and the boys always have a good time.

At the end of one meeting, a father comes into my home to pick up his son, instead of the boy’s mother, who has always picked up her son in the past. 

I introduce myself to the father.

Father: *Angrily* “When are they going camping?! I thought scouting was all about camping!”

Me: “We would really like to do that. We were hoping to go camping this spring.”

Father: *Still angry* “They should have gone camping a dozen times by now! Why aren’t they going camping all the time?!”

Me: *Fake excited* “Oh, my goodness, are you volunteering to organize a camping trip?! The boys will be so excited! What date are you thinking, and where do you think we should go?”

He literally recoils, stepping back two paces. 

Father: “Well, uh, well…”

Me: “The other leaders and I all have jobs, and it takes time to plan the meetings and do the activities. It is so nice that you are willing to do this for the boys.”

Father: “[Son], come on. Your mom is waiting for us,”

And he practically ran out the door.

We did manage to have a couple of family camping trips with the troop. It was no surprise that this dad offered zero help with planning and did not attend.

Realization In Horrific Harmony

, , , , , | Learning | February 6, 2020

(Our Boy Scout troop is visiting a museum. One of the boys is diagnosed with ADHD, but his parents don’t like him being on medication and regularly have him go without it. As a result, he can be a handful to deal with at times. At the end of the trip, we’re all in the gift shop when a friend and I notice the boy with ADHD grabbing a harmonica from one of the racks and walking with it over to the cash register. Realizing what will happen later, we both exchange horrified looks and immediately turn to one of the assistant scoutmasters who drove up in his own car.)

Me: “Say, is it okay if we ride back with you?”

Assistant Scoutmaster: *confused* “Umm… okay, I guess?”

(So, while the rest of the troop loads up in the van to head back, we get in the car with the assistant scoutmaster. Halfway back, we stop off at a gas station. My friend’s mother, who came along with for the trip and has been riding in the van, gets out with a very annoyed look on her face.)

Me: “Let me guess. [Boy With ADHD] was playing the harmonica the entire time?”

Friend’s Mother: *through clenched teeth* “Non… stop.”

This story is part of our Boy Scout roundup! This is the last story in the roundup, but we have plenty of others you might enjoy!

23 Crazy Stories About Camping, S’mores, And The Great Outdoors!


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