Attached below are stories that occurred during Mike Ingles' 25 Years
Safety issues in all of the stories attached have been
It is also a
known fact that youngster's thinking process is not fully developed till they
reach the mid 20's. What we adults can figure out in about an
hour, the same situation will take these youngsters hours to accomplish the
same (or better) solution. Allow them to have the extra time - you
will be very impressed of what they can accomplish. Failed ideas are also
a learning event for the Scouts.
Dish washing. We try to teach the Scouts to figure out answers to
situations. Patrol duties normally include clean up. That
responsibility includes putting the wash water on to heat while the Scouts eat
- that is to have the wash water hot enough for when clean up starts.
When meal ends, the wash buckets are lined up starting with a pre-rinse, then
soap, then rinse, then the sanitize bucket. An older / experienced Scout
had the clean up duty on this particular campout. Figuring out a solution
to a problem (forgot to see that his chuck box had dish soap), he thought about
a substitute to the missing dish soap. After several Scouts washed their
dishes, the question was put to the Clean up Scout of why was the dishes so
slippery. Searching for the reason of why the dishes were so slippery, he
realized that the alternate dish soap was not a good solution. Hand
sanitizer only has alcohol and hand lotion. .
The phone call nobody wants to
get. A few days before our yearly trip to
Goshen, a mother called me and she was very upset. Her son could not go
to Goshen with us because he was in the hospital. Her son "tried to
end it all". Her son dropped out of Scouts. For years, I
wondered what happened to him. On one Saturday as my troop was spreading
mulch around our sponsoring Church, a young man came up to me on his skateboard
and said "Hi Mr Ingles". It was the Scout that was in the
hospital. He was a Medic in the Army, serving in Alaska, and was home on
leave. He wanted to stop by and say thank you for the several years he
had with the troop. It was the good Scouting memories he had that helped
him get through his stress.
In 2017, I received an e-mail from the Scouts mother. her son had a 14 year old son who joined Scouting and his son's troop did nothing during the summer and wanted to go to Goshen as an independent with another troop. I provided a point of contact at NCAC for her to contact. Then she shared another bit of news, her son had a seizure earlier that year and did not make it. Sad to here that.
U haul Trailer - I use to rent a U Haul trailer to transport the troop
chuck boxes and Scout's equipment. On one weekend when I picked up the
trailer, which was brand new, I thought of a joke to play on my Scouts.
After the trailer was loaded and the Scouts I was transporting was on board, I
said that I needed to check the trailer door to see if it was properly
closed. While getting ready to exit my van and check the trailer door, I mentioned
that the trailer was brand new and it had a newly approved safety device - it
had an emergency parachute. I got some very puzzled looks as the Scouts
jumped out and ran to the back of the trailer to see this new emergency
parachute. They figured out that since I was serious most of the time, I
do joke once in a while.
Skunk - At 2 am one
morning at Goshen, a scout was awaken by noise coming from the picnic table
situated about 10 feet from his tent. Hearing the noise, the scout
decided to tap on his tent wall to scare the critter away. Well as luck
may have it, it was a skunk which turned and fired the spray towards the source
of the noise. The outer wall (door) of tent got sprayed and the tent door
was just opened enough to allow the spray hit the sleeping bag edge. Glad
the scout was not looking out the door at that time.
Scouts learned a very valuable lesson about where not to store
food. Don't leave food out on the table and do not store food in the
Matches - During one campout, the scouts
were looking for matches to start the cooking campfire. Conversation went
like "go get the matches", "Look in the chuck
box", and "are they on the picnic table? ".
Not finding any, I suggested that a skill within the Wilderness Survival MB
was to start the fire without matches. Scouts that did not have that
skill asked me to show them how to do that ( I am also a MB counselor
for that badge) and I proceeded to show them. After I started the fire, I
put it out. To everyone's surprised look, they asked me why I put
the fire out. I replied that they asked me to "show them how to
start a fire without matches" which is what I did. Then
I proceeded to hand them the material to start the fire. For the
next half hour, each took a turn and did start a fire. I told them later
that I did carry extra matches but that was a teaching opportunity I could
not pass up.
I only teach how to start a fire without matches with the
stuff one would carry on a campout. Use of a 9 volt battery
and steel wool that does not have soap in it is nice to know, but does one
normally carry these items? Within Wilderness Survival MB, one
learns to always carry on an campout items like a whistle, pocket
knife, pocket type rain gear (available for about a dollar), compass,
etc. See the Wilderness Survival MB book for a more
utensils - Scouts can be forgetful when
packing the chuck box. At breakfast, the plans were to have
pancakes. In inventorying the chuck box, they forgot to check
on the chef set. Looking everywhere, they realized that they forgot
to pack the chef set which had the pancake turner they needed. I was
silent in offering any suggestions then one scout offered the idea of having
"scrambled pancakes", That is, cooking pancake just like one
would cook scrambled eggs. That worked. Use of a clean off stick
from the woodpile worked. Very interesting breakfast. I failed to
mention while the Scouts were discussing a solutions that I carry an
extra chef set. Did not have to offer my extra set. I was very
pleased that they figured out a solution.
Scoutmasters have been known to carry extra
Campout on an NFL Football field. I received a call from NFL Coach (forgot
his name) some years ago and he left me a message. The Coach called
me by name and asked if my Arlington troop was going to join in on spending the
afternoon with the team and doing an overnight on the field. Being
very puzzled, I called the NFL Coach back to ask for more information.
What teams and what weekend was this to happen. After getting more
information, I figured out there was a misunderstanding. The game
was something like the Giants at Dallas. Dallas ? I thought to
myself. I asked if he realized that my troop was in Arlington
Virginia and not Arlington Texas. We laughed at the sequence
of events and I wished his team well in the upcoming game.
Scout went to hospital
set the stage, we were at Camp Bowman (Goshen Reservation) and on our second or
third day of the week. It was late afternoon and the scouts were
returning from their afternoon classes and getting ready to cook dinner.
Time was about 4 pm (sundown is at 8 30). Weather was light rain in the
I was approaching my tent, I listened to a loud cry for help as one of the
scouts had fallen. Other adults and I rushed to the sound and found one
of our scouts laying on the ground next to a large log. Asking what had
happened and I was told that the scout tried to walk the top
of the log as if it were a balance beam and the slipped off of the log.
He fell forward and hit his chest and was complaining of the pain in his chest
first aid skills kicked in as we did not move the scout for fear of causing
more injury to a possible broken ribs situation. Our runners
(actually should have been fast walkers but I suspect they actually ran) to get
the first aid person at Bowman’s first aid station. Ambulance was called
and it arrived in short order. The Paramedic determined that our scout
needed to be seen by the ER so they put the scout on a back board and applied a
neck brace then asked for the medical record (authorization to render
emergency medical services).
was the year we only had one copy of the medical forms and they were on file at
Bowman’s first aid station. I asked for the record and was told that the
form was needed to call the parent. A short argument happened and I
remembered that the Scout Application had the same authorization on the reverse
side of the form. Back then, the Scout application was half sheet size
and the reverse had the medical form / authorization on it. I had the
application with me in my tent and ran to get it. The paramedic accepted
the form and we were off to the ER and I went with the scout to the ER.
was not going to argue with the Bowman Staff member for that may have delayed
the needed time to get the scout to the ER.
the way to the hospital with the emergency lights going and driving at a
fast clip, cars were passing us. I asked the driver why cars were passing
us and was told they do that all the time up there. I thought of a
few words but did not speak them aloud.
something else came to mind. Our scout frequently got car sick easily and
I wrote a note and passed it to the paramedic. He wrote “thank you,
I needed to know that “.
prior to departing from Goshen, I asked how we would get back to camp and was
told that we needed to send another adult in a private car to pick us up, which
we quickly arranged prior to departing camp in the ambulance.
arrived at the hospital and as the scout was being examined by the ER
Staff. I located the pay phone and used my credit card to call our
Scout’s parents. You may have guessed it, the Bowman Staff had not
called the parents. I gave the parents the direct number to the ER and
they did call and got updates on their son’s condition. The ribs
were not broken and there was no sign of internal injuries.
approached me that our scout was ready to go back to camp then he told me that
both scouts were ready to go back to camp. Thinking to myself
- what both scouts. The Doctor showed me the other scout - a
cub scout that had arrived by ambulance earlier with reaction to a bee
sting. I asked if he came with an adult and was told no. I
asked if the cub scout ‘s parents were called and was again told no. I
asked to see the Cub Scout’s medical form then I went to the pay
phone. Using my credit card, I called the Cub Scout’s
parents. I identifying myself and indicating that I was at the
hospital with their son. I give the ER’s direct number and as
soon as I hung up the phone, the phone in the ER rang. The parents did
speak to the ER staff and their son and learned that my call was not a
spoke to the Cub’s parents again and asked their permission to transport their
son back to Goshen and we would again call them from Goshen to say that we have
then, our ASM had arrived with his car so we could get back to Goshen.
Since my ASM was only 19, I drove the car back to
Goshen. It was dark then and getting foggy so the trip was slow.
delivered the Cub Scout to the Cub Scout camp’s admin office where we
asked to use the camp phone so we could call the parents and have the cub speak
to the parents directly.
I finish this story, I have a policy that if a Scout is sick or injured, that
the parent be immediately called. I am also a parent. A
parent can tell a lot from just hearing their son’s voice.
to the story. We arrived at the Cub Scout Admin office and called
the Cub’s parents. They were relieved to hear that their son was back in
camp. I also spoke to the parents and provided more information on who
I was and my home address if they needed more information in the
Scout admin staff did not have anyone available to escort the Cub back to his
Cub Pack so my ASM, my Scout, and I walked the short distance to the Cub
Pack’s camp. Upon arriving, all of the cubs and parent came out and
treated the returning Cub as if he was a returning hero coming back from
talking to the Bowman staff and staff at the NCAC Bethesda office, procedures
have changed and they are now required to send a Goshen staff member with any
sick/injured Scout in addition to placing a call to the scout’s
parent – that is now the procedure.
that, our own troop now carries a duplicate set of medical forms to any camp
for just that reason.
back at these events, part of the blame is that the Cub Pack should have
sent an adult with the Cub when being transported to the hospital. It was
possible that the Cub Pack did not know that the hospital was even in the
picture and learned after the Cub scout was on his way to the
hospital. I don't know.
closing to this story, I did receive a thank you from the Cub Scout’s parents
after we returned home. They were very appreciative on what we did
for their son.
have looked over my old notes to track down the Cub Scout to see how he is
doing. This happened more than 20 years ago and I could not locate the
of this writing, I am 70 with 25 years as SM, 4 as Committee Member, and 9 as a
Scout (Eagle Scout 1964) and I still do a good turn daily - that
good turn back then was a bit stressful but well worth it. This was
also much more than a “good turn”.