Be Prepared

A long time ago, I used to be a Boy Scout. I would have been around 10 years old. Just old enough to cause trouble without getting caught. We would have 2 meetings a week. The first, a standard regulation meeting on Monday nights, then a “be prepared” Thursday night.

Just about anything would happen on Thursday nights. So each of us brought everything. From hatchets to frying pans, matches to flashlights ( you get the idea ). All we could guess that it would be out in the bush somewhere and we would be given a challenge of some sort.

I remember one Thursday night we were given: Kindling, Water, butter, 1 egg, and pancake mix. The first group to make and flip an edible pancake wins. The hunt was on for fire wood, we all had Dad’s newspaper ( of which he will be mad when he goes to read it ) for tinder, of course matches. What 10 year old doesn’t. I had the bowl, some one had a wooden spoon, and one would light the area with his flashlight.

I had the honour of digging out the fire trench with my hatchet, the tinder (newspaper) was placed loosely in the pit, the kindling in a tee pee shape (hey, we studies our scout manuals), and I had the additional honour of lighting the paper. The challenge was to win golden match award and light it with just the one match. As usual, I did not disappoint.untitled

We put the mix in my bowl (mom’s going to be pissed as well), added the egg, then the water I got suck with the job of mixing it. Our fire was too high unless we wanted to cook in the tree tops. We removed the piece that was combusting the most and gave it to another group that was having trouble with their fire – I thing we won a merit badge for that one – our fire calmed down after that.

Next was heating the cast iron pan, unfortunately cast iron heats up, handle and all, very quickly. Someone had actually brought winter mitts … prepared. They worked just long enough to finish our challenge. The pan was buttered and then the mix put in. We all waited for the bubbles to form. Then we panicked, no one had a flipper. We were going to lose the challenge. I stepped up and knew what to do.

I grabbed the pan handle and flipped the pancake. I had never tried that before and it showed. I managed to decorate the cedar tree with raw pancake mix. At least it wasn’t burned. We cleaned up and left the place like we had never been there by Boy Scout standards. Except for my pancake hanging from the cedar bough like a Christmas decoration.

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