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Off the beaten path...

✉️ Letter from Camp


Dear Mom and Dad,

Our scoutmaster told us all to write to our parents in case you saw the flood on TV and worried. We are OK. Only one of our tents and two of our sleeping bags got washed away. Luckily none of us got drowned because we were all up on the mountain looking for Chad when it happened.

Oh yes, please call Chad's mother and tell her he is OK. He can't write because of the cast. I got to ride in one of the search and rescue jeeps. It was neat. We never would have found him in the dark if it hadn't been for the lightning. Scoutmaster Long got mad at Chad for going on a hike alone without telling anyone. Chad said he did tell him, but it was during the fire, so he probably didn't hear him. Don't worry it didn't hurt anything very much, just burned part of the chow hall. Scoutmaster Long said we will have to wash the black stuff off of the meat that used to be in the cooler, but he said it would be alright. Did you know that if you put gas on a fire, the gas can will blow up? The wet wood still didn't burn, but one of our tents did. Also, some of our clothes. John is going to look weird until his hair grows back.

We will come home on Saturday if Scoutmaster Long gets the car fixed. It wasn't his fault about the wreck. The brakes worked OK when we left. Scoutmaster Long said that with a car that old, you have to expect something to break down; that's probably why he can't get insurance on it. We think it's a neat car. He doesn't care if we get it dirty, and if it's hot, sometimes he lets us ride on the tailgate. It gets pretty hot with ten people in the car. He let us take turns riding in the trailer until the highway patrolman stopped and talked to us. Scoutmaster Long is a neat guy. Don't worry, he is a good driver. Especially when that wheel came off when we were going around this steep curve. In fact, he is teaching Terry how to drive. He only lets him drive on them mountain roads where there isn't any traffic. All we ever see up there are logging trucks. I'm glad Terry wasn't driving when the wheel came off. We probably would have went off the cliff.

This morning all the guys were diving off the rocks and swimming out in the lake. Scoutmaster Long wouldn't let me because I can't swim and Chad was afraid, he would sink because of the cast, so he let us take the canoe across the lake. It was great. You can still see some of the trees under the water from the flood. Scoutmaster Long isn't crabby like some scoutmasters. He didn't even get mad about the life jackets. When I can, I will tell you how we lost them. He has to spend a lot of time working on the car, so we are trying not to cause him any trouble.

Guess what? We have passed all our first aid merit badges. When Dave dove in the lake and cut his arm, we all got to see how a tourniquet works. Also, Wade and I threw up. Scoutmaster Long said it was probably just food poisoning from the leftover chicken. He said they got sick that way sometimes from the food they ate in prison. I'm so glad he got out and became our scoutmaster.

He said he sure figured out how to get things done while he was doing his time.

I have to go now; we are going to town to mail our letters and buy bullets. Scoutmaster Long has a big pistol and he is going to teach us how to shoot it. The reason we have to buy more bullets is Jimmy threw all of the others in the fire. It sure was a loud noise. It was neat though, it sounded like a bunch of bees flying out of the fire. Scoutmaster Long said not to tell anyone because some of the tents got holes in them from the bullets and he said he is not supposed to have a gun, but he didn't say why. Don't worry we put duct tape over the holes in the tents. Scoutmaster Long says that is the best stuff to fix anything. He should know, the seats in his old car have it all over them, so does the dash.

Don't worry about anything. We are fine.

Love, Cole

P.S. How long has it been since I had a tetanus shot?

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