While I was stationed in Germany I inherited the Eight Ball troupe
of 200 plus boys ranging all the way through the scout ages, ranks and
achievements. It was a wonderful group and we had many Scouting adventures.
We were invited by the local German Boy Scout Council to join them
in a friendly but competitive camp-out. We had only about 30 that
could make it because of Little League Baseball tournaments that
weekend. Several of the scouts were newly graduated Webelos in
the Tenderfoot program.
We went into the Black Forest and located our camp area early
that morning. We set up our tents and everything was going just
fine when the German Scoutmaster came to visit our camp. He explained
that we should rearrange our tents near a large clump of trees
and that we needed to secure all of our food items up in the trees.
He then explained that we were camping in a game reserve and there
were numerous wild animals in the area. He suggested cutting
some limbs and building a fence around our area.
About six in the evening we had finished fixing up our camp the way the
German Scoutmaster had instructed us and were cooking our evening meal.
All of a sudden one of the scouts yelled out, "BEAR! BEAR!"
Everyone scattered, running as hard as they could. I checked to make
sure that no one was left in camp and then I took off also. That old
bear came sniffing around the fence and walked around looking
for a way to get in. All of the boys had climbed up trees and we
just watched until the bear got tired and slowly lumbered off down the mountain.
After I was sure the bear had gone I got all the boys back into the camp.
Little Timmy was shaking so hard that his teeth were chattering. I held him
close and tried to let him know that everything was fine. He looked up at
me with a flood of tears just waiting to burst, but he held them back like
a true Scout. "That b-b-bear m-m-made ch-chill bumps r-run
up m-m-my sp-p-pine," he said.
I said, "Donít you mean the bear made chill bumps run 'up and down' your
"Oh, n-n-no, sir. They w-were too s-s-scared to m-make the return t-trip."
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