Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Water. And Soap

Okay, yes. This is different generation. But the dirt is the same . . .
For many, many years, Husby served as a scout leader.
Babysitting. With sticks.
And fire.
Their experiences were many and varied.
Their close calls?
Equally many and varied . . .
For one of their camps, Husby had chosen a spot in the mountains.
A stream fed by a slowly-melting glacier flowed musically past their camp.
A tiny trickle that begged the building of a dam.
Which, with great industriousness seldom seen by any of the boys’ families, was finally completed.
Water began to pool.
Now they had a pond.
Did I mention that said water issued directly from a glacier?
Right. I did.
Well, that meant it was cold.
Or more accurately: C.O.L.D.
Husby, ever the leader, told the boys they would need to use their new construction for the purposes of cleaning their camp-begrimed bodies.
They smilingly declined.
At the end of three days, his urging took on a more—insistent—note.
Let’s face it. Three days of camping with no soap and water can make even the least fastidious among us—umm—cringe.
And head upwind.
Husby was standing with one of his older scouts on the edge of the pond.
I should probably mention that Husby had already ‘done the dirty’—or the ‘clean’ as it probably should be called—when he had scrubbed himself shiny in the frigid waters the day before.
Now he was encouraging his boys to do the same. Admittedly, his ‘encouragement’ was couched in the form of: “Son, you have two choices. You can go in willingly. Or I throw you in.”
The young man’s response? “It was easy for you, Scouter. You have much more body fat than I do.”
I will close with these words: The young man only got one choice.

P.S. On a more positive note, he and his laundry were cleaned at the same time.

10 comments:

  1. Never tell your leader he's ... um ..... heavy on the body fat.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep. That'll get you a quick trip to the showers . . .

      Delete
  2. I LOVE this line: "...with great industriousness seldom seen by any of the boys’ families..." -- isn't that the truth! What motivates kids is not what we think will motivate them. As your husby also found out :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmmm . . . maybe we all need a cold stream running through the house . . .

      Delete
  3. Brr. I felt the glacial chill reading that.

    ReplyDelete
  4. That reminded me of the time my husband and I took my son and his friend fishing and an overnight camp out. The little boy kept taking his fish off of his hook with his T-shirt and was carrying worms in his pocket. Well, he started to go lay down in our tent and I thought my OCD husband was going to stroke out. He drove both boys to the shower house.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Scrubbing in frigid water? Yikes! I can't think of anything worse. A pot of water being warmed over a campfire has much more appeal. I have enough trouble splashing cold water on my face in our much milder winters.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There was a reason Husby went on those camping trips WITHOUT me. Me and cold are not good friends! :)

      Delete

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