Wilderness Survial

May 11, 2012
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This is a real story based on facts. The events might not sound real but this story is based on man vs. nature.
It was the summer I’ve been waiting for. Our Boy Scout troop decided to go out of council for summer camp. We usually go to Camp Mitigwa in Boone. Instead of Mitigwa we decided to go Camp Tomahawk in Wisconsin. Our scout master told us that there may be bears at the camp, so as boy scouts, we had to be prepared. Accordingly, we had to watch a video about what to do if we see a bear or encounter a bear. It also talked about bear safety. After the scout meeting I went home and told my mom that there were going to be bears at the camp. When my mom heard this, let’s just say she wasn’t really happy about me going to camp. My mom said that she “wasn’t raising bear food.”
It was the week before Father’s Day and my grandparents came to our house to see me before I went to camp for a week. We talked for a while then we went to the church parking lot where the Boy Scout troop usually gathers before our outings. We had to wait for everyone to come to the parking lot. After everyone arrived, we said our good byes to our parents and then we hit the road to Wisconsin. My thoughts were jumbled. This was going to be an interesting experience. I will be a long way from my home and my parents. I hope I don’t get home sick. The car ride was pretty boring. My legs were aching; it was my first time driving for several hours.
Our troop finally arrived. When we got there we had to check in, which took a while. We went to our campsite and found a friendly surprise. Our materials for the camp site were already there, so we dropped our bags and chose our tent partners. We set up our tent canopies and we had to get our mosquito nets out of the package.
Mosquito nets were essential because there were a lot of mosquitos there. The tents were not like camping tents. We had a balcony and we put green canopies over our heads, so we had to use our scout skills to tie the knot so the canopy will stay up. The camp supplied us with cots to sleep on, so that was pretty comfortable.

In our campsite we have a flag pole, so every morning we raised the flag in our campsite. After that we did a camp flag ceremony, and then we went to the mess hall to eat breakfast. Before we ate we had to have a camp prayer. After the meal was clean up time, the favorite time of the meal. Yeah! Afterwards, we went out for the morning merit badges. Then for lunch it was back to the mess hall. After supper we went back to our campsite and build a campfire and just talked around the blazing crackling fire. Before we go to bed, someone had to douse the fire with buckets of water.
One of my merit badges was wilderness survival. The instructor was a really nice guy and really cool too. It was about the sixth day of the week and the merit badge counselor told us the rules. One of rules was that the only camping supplies we could bring had to fit in our pockets, for example matches. We ate dinner first then we went to our location where we usually do the merit badge. The camping merit badge group was also going to join us. We were walking for a while then we finally got to our location. First we had to walk through a wild prairie. The campers were going to set up their tents in the prairie. We walked farther until we got to the woods. Our wilderness survival group had to find some materials to build our shelter out of wood, and find some plants to fill the holes in our shelter.
Night fall came so we turned on our head lamps to see in the dark. Everybody wanted a fire, so we had to get supplies for the fire’s fuel. It was as black as pitch and even though we had flashlights I wouldn’t even move. Other scout members that were doing this merit badge asked me to help to get wood for the fire. I wouldn’t do it. I know for a fact I was not hallucinating but probably my mind was playing really mean tricks on me. I started seeing ghosts and other phantom things. I was really afraid that there was going to be a bear wandering around. The night went on. We tried to sleep and took turns tending the fire. It was my turn to sleep and I barely even slept 10 minutes.
The sky suddenly got darker and the clouds covered up the bright shiny stars. Everyone looked up and we just thought it was nothing so we just let go of the idea that rain could come. We went on with our jokes, games and messing around. When we heard thunder rumbling, I was thinking is rain really going to come? On such a beautiful night nothing could happen. The stars had been as bright as flaming fire balls. The temperature was just right. Then we felt a few rain drops hitting our heads. Everybody was thinking it’s going to be fine; it’s just going to be a few sprinkles. But no, everybody thought wrong, even me.
It just started… the thunder was rumbling, it started raining cats and dogs. The rain felt like needles against my skin. There were really bright flashes of lightning. It was pretty close to the trees. I thought it would start a forest fire. The air had damp smoky smell. The fires that we made were already extinguished by the rain. When the rain hit we dashed into the shelters that we made. My shelter had 2 other people from my troop. It was not that comfortable. I was really tired so I yawned but when I yawned of course I had to bump into the shelter that we worked hard to build, and then it collapsed on us. Thankfully no one got hurt, but we were pretty much stuck in there. It was a nightmare in reality. It was really scary being in a dark, gloomy forest and it was supposed to be a really beautiful night. No one felt the need to check the radar when we left. I have no clue why I was thinking this but I was saying to myself, what if there was a forest fire? What would we do? Would we burn up and die? One of my friends in the shelter was crying that he wanted to get out of this situation, so I got up and went with him to look for the wilderness survival merit badge instructor or at least the camping merit badge instructor. When I got out of the leaking shelter, I felt like a drowned rat, and I was terrified that I was going to be struck by lightning. I really wanted to help my friend but I was also scared. My friend was shouting, “Help, someone!” I said in a composed manner, “Calm down, you are freaking me out! We are going back and it can wait until tomorrow.” After I told him that he was kind of reluctant but he went back in the shelter.
The next morning….
Day break finally came; it seemed it would never come. Every one was cold but luckily someone brought this tinfoil material …whatever it was it kept us warm. I wore a sweat shirt and it shrunk. Because all the rain soaked in, it seemed forever until the instructor got us. We just wanted to get out and change clothes.

We got back to camp, shivering and happy that we earned our wilderness survival merit badge.

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