Monday, August 1, 2011


About two weeks ago I attended scout camp as a volunteer “adult” leader. I had also attended scout camp the previous two years but was not looking forward to this year’s expedition since the troop was going to a camp that did not have good bathroom facilities. (Fortunately, they had been somewhat upgraded from nasty to only disgusting.) The so-called trails weren’t really trails but paths of pain. The pain was provided by the rocks that inundated the rising and falling paths. The size of these rocks ranged from the size of a quarter to that of a box. After three days of traversing the paths of pain, my fiberglass cane got caught between two boulders and as I moved forward with the cane still stuck, it shattered. This was a problem for one who had no depth perception, poor eyesight compounded by the shadows of trees falling across the paths of pain.

Additionally, my right ankle was succumbing to the rigorous terrain and the pain was becoming considerable. (The disease that messed up my eyes also affects my ligaments. Aren’t I lucky !)
I asked the camp director if there was a walking staff left from previous weeks, two hours later he gave it to me at the Scoutmaster meeting. Unfortunately it was too short and I could not use it effectively or safely. I realized the more I walked around the more likely I was to slip, trip and fall while on the “trails”. With disappointment, I informed the real adult leaders that I would not be able to remain because I was concerned for my own safety. (HadI stayed, it was very possible I’d end up with a compound fracture from slipping, tripping and falling on the rocks.) Usually, I can overcome most obstacles and my mobility is fairly good but I also know my limitations and the chances of injuring myself were high. Moral of the story: Don’t go to Tom Hale scout camp in Oklahoma!


  1. I'm so sorry for your bad experience. It was probably difficult to face your limitations head on like that but I guess it comes down to dealing with it in a dignified way and it sounds like you did. I hope you're able to replace your cane. I didn't know they were easily breakable, or maybe it was just your rough terrain!

  2. You're not fooling me! You just wanted a good excuse to get away from those bathrooms :-)

    Can't say as I blame you, though...

  3. I just got called to be the 11-year-olds' scoutmaster for my ward. After the Marine Corps, I think just about any restroom facility is going to be fine in my book. It might be the 11-year-olds I will have a problem with.