Ole Man as Mentor

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As the silver embers of last nights fire witnessed the pale glow of the morning sun, another day of adventure was borne to those who would dare. Boys slowly awakened with the soreness of the prior days activities but the eagerness for today’s challenges. The chill morning air greeted their sleepy eyes as they smelled coffee brewing. The seasoned campers pulled on their clothes in their sleeping bags as the first time campers stood shivering in the cold putting their clothes on and hurrying to the newborn fire.

The Senior Patrol Leader read the duty roster and ensured the staff was well on their way to fixing Breakfast. As was his routine, he departed for each patrol and resuscitated the heavy sleepers who always seemed to be the morning cooks. Each group was unique in its make up. One might know the art of cooking as another would get a fire going with ease. Sharing skills made them an independent team.
As the SPL helped nurse each patrol, Ole Man had already planted the seeds of this days objectives in the mind of the SPL the prior night. They were always the last to see the bright stars on every campout. Ole Man and his SPL were like Master and Apprentice – one imparting the wisdom the other needed to lead. Although Ole Man knew the answers, he awaited the question so that the process of forethought and leadership grew in his apprentice. The apprentice began to understand the reasons why some boys acted the way they did and why Ole man treated each boy uniquely. So with this knowledge secure in his SPL’s mind, he became an extension of Ole Man visiting each patrol, reminding key figures of their part in the day.

When Breakfast was over, boys responsible for each program would teach other boys a new skill. A light lunch followed with another afternoon program before each boys favorite game – Capture the Flag. As the pangs of hunger grew in each boy, the game would end and Dinner begun.

While Dinner was being prepared, the SPL was busy on his tour of the patrol sites organizing the evenings game and campfire. Each patrol practiced its song and skit, ate dinner and cleaned the area before the evening game began. If it was an early sundown, the flashlight game was the favorite.

Unbeknownst to each patrol, members of the staff patrol had prepared the campfire site as the evenings game drew to a close. An assembly was called as the SPL led the group to the campfire site. Laughter came easily as skits were performed, stories were told and songs were sung. Announcements were said and scout vesper sung before each scout made their way back to camp. The Bugler blew taps as boys nestled in their sleeping bags for the night. Lights went out but whispering could be heard as Ole Man and the SPL made their first evening check of each tent. Snoring replaced whispering as the two sentinels of camp – Ole Man and the SPL discussed the days events before the final bed check….Mentor Continued and Summer Camp coming soon. By John Ryan 

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