So there we were last Friday, all set up on our campsite in our little 5'er on a lakefront site enjoying the peace and quiet. Ducks quacking, geese honking, birds chirping, squirrl's chattering, no crowds, no kids, no barking dogs, 60 degree's and blue sky; just nice winter camping in Georgia. Saturday morning dawned nice but heavy rain was forecast for Saturday evening stretching through all day Sunday. We went to do a little antiquing Saturday midday and got back to our 5'er around 6p Saturday evening. The end of a nice day.
Then we saw them. All of them. I've never seen so many on one campsite. Approximately 20+ upper middleschool & high school age kids with all of their Boy Scout regalia. 12 tents were pitched on the RV site directly across from us. In the entire 100+ camnpsite campground with no more than a half dozen RV's parked in it, these kids just HAD to pick the RV site directly across from us to pitch their troup campout.
And were we glad they did. We've not seen a more well behaved group of young men in many, many years. It had already begun to rain lightly when we arrived back at our campsite around 6p Saturday evening. All of the Scouts were outside milling around their campsite and tents doing whatever it was that Boy Scouts do. We didn't hear any swearing, yelling, or whining. About 10p I took our two dachshunds out to potty before bed time and all 12 tents were blacked out, the whole campsite was blacked out; everyone had turned in and there was complete quiet. It was so quiet I could hear the individual rain drops hitting the ground even though 20+ young men were camped not 50' from us.
Next morning when I took our dachshunds out for their morning pee in 38 degree temps and a steady rain, all the boys were up and around making breakfast, doing chores, horsing around a little, doing whatever it is young Boy Scouts do in 38 degree rain. And again, not one swear word, no yelling, no fighting, no fussing, no complaining about the rain and the cold: Nothing!!! Just the sounds of kids having fun.
What happened next totally blew us away. A young Scout about high school age came over to our site and politely and cordially invited my wife and I to join the scout troup for breakfast. I was so shocked I didn't know what to say at first. I graciously declined because my wife had just finished preparing breakfast but I felt awful for declining. I also felt awful for initially thinking the evening before that we had been invaded by a hord of kids I wouldn't want to be in the same campground with much less camped directly across from.
And just as quickly as they came, they were gone by mid morning. Curiosity drove me to walk around their campsite later in the day on Sunday afternoon. There wasn't so much as a scrap of paper or bottle cap left behind. In fact there was no evidence what so ever that a troup of 20+ Boy Scouts had camped there. It was one of the most amazing experiences we've encountered in a long time.
I hope we get the privilege of camping near a troup of Boy Scouts again some day. Next time I'll be more prepared, as the Scouts say, to enjoy having them around.
I have had the same thing happen with both Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.
They always leave the campsites cleaner than they found them.
One Senior GS troop from Iowa was camped straight across the road from me; they were there to spend a few days at "Six Flags Great America".
One night we got a bunch of rain and the forecast was for more rain for the next day. One of the leaders came over and asked if there was anything to do in the area on a miserable day like that. I directed them to the Jelly-Belly plant (free tours) and the three free museums, all in Kenosha about 12 miles away.
On the morning when they left to go home, the entire troop came over to thank me and presented me with a box of GS cookies.
Extra Class Ham Radio operator - K9ERG (since 1956)
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As I began reading your story, my thoughts wandered to how disruptive this group of kids might have been, but quite the opposite was true. Thanks for the story. It was heart warming to read and just goes to show, not everybody thinks only of themselves. Thanks
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As a retired Boy Scout leader of 32 years, your experience warms my heart. Thanks for telling it. A Scout is Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent.
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