What it Was, Was a Bear
By David May

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 spine, Timmy?"

"Oh, n-n-no, sir. They w-were too s-s-scared to m-make the return t-trip."

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