This is just a small list of the things I learned in Scouting. These are by no means in any kind of order, be it chronological, level of importance, or amount of pain. Just listed as they came back to me.
While I was at the very least present for each event, I may have not been directly involved with said event.
I will endeavor to avoid names, but should they be necessary, know that they have been changed to protect the innocent, assist with ongoing therapy, or simply comply with probation mandates.
Many of these same lessons were re -proved in the Marine Corps. I may have to put together a list of those wonderful life lessons.
And now, without further adieu,
“What I Learned From Scouting.”
1. The leaves of the stinging nettle plant, while highly effective as toilet paper, are not recommended to be used as such.
2. A full can of Cutter insect repellent, after being in a campfire for approximately a minute and a half, will suddenly and violently spread said campfire across roughly half a group campsite, resulting in over $400 of ruined gear.
2b. When a HALF full can is used, the campfire spread is nearly double, with close to $2000 in gear damage.
Who could have guessed.
3. An old school bb-gun, (the kind with no pressure limiter) when pumped over ten times, can shatter the plastic adjustment straps on the back of a Boy Scout ball cap.
The resulting welt was larger than a golf ball, and bled.
4. Head wounds bleed. A LOT.
5. Gravity works. (Usually against you)
6. Fireworks rockets won’t get you any further out on a rope swing.
7. Fireworks rockets don’t necessarily extinguish when they go under water.
8. Third degree burns SUCK.
9. When one Scout is doing something stupid, like throwing their knife into the tabletop, another Scout can easily top the stupid, by trying to grab the knife at the same time the first Scout goes to pull it out.
10. It is possible to get 87 stitches, at one time, in the palm of your hand.
11. After a Scoutmaster cuts 88 corners off your Totin’ chip card, the only thing you get back is one letter of your signature.
12. Some Scouts, when seeing a nearly severed hand, will vomit. This is always funny and will be used against you mercilessly the rest of the time you are in Scouts. Yes, Scouts are sick in the head.
13. Arrows fired straight up, may in fact come straight back down.
14. When you bring a Scout into the ER with an arrow in his leg, it is possible for the other four involved to be arrested on charges of “Being Stupid In Public.” (All five were later released to the custody of their parents, where suitable punishment for “Being Stupid In Public” were administered.)
15. With proper training, coordination, and teamwork, a motivated 8 man water-balloon slingshot team can overcome a smaller 3 man team that has control of the high ground and take command of said strategic spot. (In all fairness, they shot first.)
15b. While in possession of said high ground, it is possible for the 8 man team to at last find out the effective range of their monster water-balloon slingshot.
15c. The maximum range of a monster water-balloon slingshot, when fired from an elevated position, with a nice 20% grade on the backside, is well over 300 yards. This is also the effective range for an area target. (This covers nearly three quarters of a Scout Jamboree encampment area.)
15d. The maximum effective range on a point target is 200 yards. At 200 yards, a water-balloon smacking the plywood sides of the shower enclosure sounds REALLY cool. (We later learned that the sound we were hearing was the plywood shattering. Sorry, our bad.)
15e. It takes several seconds for a water-balloon to travel 200 yards. In that space of time someone may try and flee the shower, only to have that incoming balloon plow them in the side of the head.
15f. A one pound water-balloon, moving at sufficient velocity to travel 200 yards and still have enough energy to shatter plywood, is more than enough to render a half naked 14 year old COMPLETELY unconscious, and take him off his feet in a sideways cartwheel. Also, at 300 yards, said one pound balloon is not stopped at all by ANY form of tent material, be it nylon, canvas, aluminum or fiberglass tent polls, (we later learned. Again, sorry, our bad.)
15g. Teamwork is NOT always productive.
16. A skunk is ALWAYS an area effect weapon. They are NOT master snipers, who only take out the idiot poking them with a stick.
17. An electric fence can provide hours of entertainment to a troop of Scouts. (One has to wonder if the brain damage exists from birth, or do we do it to ourselves.)
18. At 30 MPH, snow is no longer fluffy, but has the consistency of cement, and packed snow/ice is effectively a cheese grater.
19. Bored Scouts with access to a nailing gun will ALWAYS result in a visit to the ER.
20. The short length of time it takes a Scoutmaster to retrieve qualified supervision and instruction on the operation of a trebuchet, is twice as long as it will take the troop to determine if the trebuchet can be used to make a Tenderfoot fly. (Please reference #5. if there are any questions about the results of this test)