Twas the Night Before Training

Twas the night before training at Rum River Camp
Julie was tenting, the weather was damp
Mark seasoned the ovens, smearing oil with care
Dreaming of cobbler which soon would be there

The leaders were quickly unloading their packs
Dave mentioned spasms might knot up their backs
Steve loosened his woggle and took off his cap
Then plopped in his chair for a ”Scoutmaster’s nap”

What noise from the campsite, a deafening crash
Joy tore through the woods killing aspen and ash
She tripped on a tent stake, tumbling into their site
Then climbed to her feet with amazement and fright

The Coleman was casting the fog all aglow
Unable to light what was crunching below
With Critters around her, some near, others far
A ”four-beader” stood where there was none before

A crispy Scout uniform, all polished and new
Joy knew from her knots this four-beader was Sue
She took in the scene, and smiled at the throng
Then beckoned the Critters to join her in song

Now Eagles and Beavers and Bobwhites and Owl
Let’s all demonstrate how we really can howl
But wait, Joy saw more, Bear and Buffalo, too
Even Antelope, Fox, less a Raven (a zoo!)

As we gathered in song ‘neath the jamboree fly
The clouds were dispersing, revealing the sky
So out to the axe yard we started to go
Behind the four-beader, her trainers in tow

Knee-deep in shavings, Stuart stood there
Except for the wood tools the axe yard seemed bare
Inspecting a hatchet, new-shiny and sharp
He wielded it deftly, missing our tarp

Off to the knot board we marched in a flash
Bob was there, ready, with mountains of stash
Bowlines and sheet bends and square knots we tied
We finished with whipping, poles lashed side-by-side

Tinder and kindling were put to the test
Todd and Dwight would decide who was best
Out came their Hot Sparks, metal shavings made fine
Which patrol, first, incinerates the twine

The charcoal was glowing; a glorious smell
With all this food Herb knew we’d eat well
Mark wrapped the wieners in Pop-n-Fresh dough
While watching our bellies continue to grow

We needed a hike, that would relieve our distention
Al was reserved while demanding attention
Nature, he said, gives us trails filled with leaves
In private, he thought I hope no one heaves

Nature was finished, First Aid next we learned
Fractures, concussions, and where not to get burned
Jeff flipped his ‘lid and Rolf didn’t approve
Do that again, I will definitely move

And move we did, due north it appeared
Magnetic declination was what we most feared
Our compasses steady with ”red-in-the-shed”
Mike finished our training and soon it’d be bed

But not before supper, a program, and ‘fire
We heard about safety and lit fires with wire
We finished with Chapel, our training complete
While learning a lot, many friends we did meet

We closed with a ”Minute” from four-beader Sue
We had our suspicions training wasn’t quite through
She raised up her hand with three fingers in sight
Wood Badge training for all, and to all a goodnight.

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