Local Boy Scouts learn the cold truth | SummitDaily.com

Local Boy Scouts learn the cold truth

Vail Daily/Randy Wyrick

EAGLE – More than 110 Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts and Weblos, and dozens of their parents and friends descended last weekend on Sylvan Lake south of Eagle for their annual Klondike Derby. A number of Summit County Scouts were in on the action, along with those from Eagle County and other areas of the state.

The Klondike is a winter gathering at which Scouts learned a little about many of the manly arts, such as firestarting and meat cooking, and that meat and fire are the two great elements of guy cuisine.

They also learned first aid, which can come in handy when the manly arts go awry.

While Boy Scouts were learning the manly arts, they also learned a bunch about life.

A coat is not just something you wear when your mom gets cold. The temperature might be falling faster than the needle on a Cadillac gas gauge, but you can always shed a layer.

It’s like money. You stack it up in layers. If you think you have too much you can always take a trip to Bermuda or buy a boat or do something good for people.

Learn something new as often as possible. Several girls were among the Scouts doing all kinds of Scout stuff. One turned out to be a rifle-shooting savant.

Like a laser, the rifle instructor cut straight to the heart of the issue.

“Girls shoot better than boys. You know why? Girls pay attention.”

It’s OK if your arrow doesn’t hit dead center every time, or hardly at all. Take your shots, in archery and in life. Your biggest regrets will be the chances you did not take the things you did not try and the adventures you did not attempt.

Do it right and sometimes other people still don’t get it. At one station, Scouts were required to tie a bowline (that’s a knot and if you don’t know how to tie it, don’t worry about it. Hardly anyone else does, either). They secure a rope around their waists. Then they pulled their dog sled (they were the dogs) over an obstacle course – logs, deep snow … you know, lessons that will help them later in life, if, later in life their vocational choice is to be a dogsled-pulling cook in a logging camp. Or specialize in pulling struggling companies out of the really deep stuff.

One Scout tied a perfect bowline, he says.

“That’s not right,” the judge said, encouraging the Scout to try again, as the Scout tied another bowline exactly the same way.

“That’s the stuff,” the judge said, effusive in his praise.

The Scout says the judge was looking at it from a different perspective, so the knot looked different the second time.

Either that or the kid really did tie it correctly the second time without realizing he’d messed up the first time, because he was also looking at it with fresh eyes.

It’s that perspective/point-of-view thing.

It’s good to push your paradigm. Just because something is designed for a specific purpose doesn’t mean you can’t use it for something else.

Take the tomahawk, for instance.

Scouts chop kindling with tomahawks, which is good. They also throw tomahawks, which is better.

It’s fun to chop kindling and kindling is helpful when you’re starting fires in pursuit of your cooking merit badge, which generally combine the two great elements of guy cuisine, chunks o’ meat and fire.

But it’s more fun to sling sharp objects through the air at chopping blocks with playing cards stapled to them.

Also, little guys should throw little tomahawks.

No one donated so much as a drop of blood to the flying


The girl tomahawk throwers did not throw like girls, and no one suggested that they did, which helped keep peace to a maximum and bloodshed to a minimum.

It is written, “Blessed is the man whose quiver is full.” A full quiver holds five arrows.

Some philosophers and theologians claim it was actually written about children, although that’s an awful lot of arrows to keep track of.

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