Chapter 2

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Chapter 2

The morning dawned crisp and cold, the campfire already burning, re-ignited from coals by Scouter Steve and Scouter Mike. The first of the Scouts wandered over to the fire after using the latrine to huddle around it with hands in sleeves trying to stay warm.

One of the first to come out was the Scout, Carl.

“Hey, Carl,” Scouter Steve said cheerfully. “How did you sleep?”

In reply, Carl plopped himself down by the fire and held his hands over the flames to warm them. “I froze,” were the only words he muttered.

“Did you change into dry clothes before bed like we told you?” Scouter Mike asked.


Scouter Steve poured a cup of steaming hot chocolate. “Here, Carl. Have some of this. It will help you warm up.”

Carl took the hot chocolate and held it between his hands while he sat and shivered. Scouter Steve watched him for a few moments before he turned to Kyle and Martin, two of the Scouts lounging around the fire.

“Okay, gentlemen. Why don’t you get things going for breakfast? Wake up the others if you have to.” He nodded to himself as the two patrol leaders began to organize the few Scouts who were up and awake. 

Scouter Mike smiled. “Well, now that they’ve got that going, I’ll grab a few of the first years and we will plan the Scouts Own.”

“Sounds good,” Steve said. “I’ll stay here and keep an eye out on Carl.”

“There’s always one who doesn’t listen, isn’t there?” Mike asked.

Steve grimaced. “Yup. Always one Scout who thinks he is smarter than the rest. And we all end up suffering for it.”

“Well, good luck with him. We’ll be back in time for breakfast,” Mike said with a wave. He grabbed three of the first year scouts who were just coming back from the latrine and talked to them for several minutes before he grabbed another leader, Scouter Jeremy, and took the group off into the woods.

Scouter Steve grabbed an armful of wood and built the fire up while the camp woke and breakfast was made. Carl didn’t move a muscle the entire time, huddled and shivering beside the fire.

By the time Scouter Mike, the three first year Scouts and Scouter Jeremy returned, water was boiling and breakfast was well under way.

“How did the planning go, Mike?” Scouter Steve asked.

Mike shook his head. “We found this really beautiful spot, and we were getting everything lined up for Scouts Own when we heard something banging around in the woods. I thought it was a deer or maybe a moose rummaging, but it was making way too much noise. And, it was coming toward us, not trying to avoid us, despite all the noise we were making.”

“What were you thinking? A bear, maybe?” Steve asked.

“That was my thought, although, it is pretty late in the year for bears to still be up and about. They’re usually hibernating by this time.”

“You’re right about that,” Steve said. “Still, what else could it be?”

“Could have been a hunter, I suppose,” Mike replied. “Bear or hunter, I didn’t really want the boys near it. I think we should just do a Scouts Own up here at the camp where we have better control of our surroundings.”

“Sounds good,” Steve replied. “While you have been getting everything ready for Scouts Own, the patrol leaders, Kyle and Martin have been doing a great job organizing everything.”

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