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ea Boys


How do you teach first-year campers the skills that will get them excited about Scouting? Learn from the staff


at this innovative Maryland camp. by mark r ay photogr a phs by chri s usher


On a Wednesday morning last July at the Del-Mar-Va Council’s Rodney


Scout Reservation, staff members Tommy Golden and Aaron Schilling told a group of campers about their Tuesday—a day they’d barely survived. Among the calamities that befell them were cuts and scratches, blisters, broken bones, nosebleeds, bee stings, both hypothermia and heat stroke (in dizzying succession), and an encounter with an elusive, bear-like squirrel that’s distantly related to the jackalope. Not really. But Tommy and Aaron weren’t


just telling tales. They were demonstrating, with humor, the serious first-aid techniques they’d used to heal their “wounds.” To show how he’d gotten sunburned while lying on the parade ground, Aaron flopped down on the ground like a beached starfish, covering himself completely in dust and dry leaves. When Tommy told how to stop bleeding, he offered this advice for keeping


a victim calm: “Say he’s bleeding rainbows. That might make him happy.” In between their antics, the young staffers—17


and 15 years old, respectively—gave some essential knowledge that covered every malady listed in the requirements for the Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class ranks. Appropriate, since their audience consisted of 17 participants in the Scout reservation’s popular first-year-camper program called Brownsea. It’s named after Brownsea Island, the site of Robert Baden-Powell’s first experimen- tal Scout camp in 1907. As the skit continued, Jeff Bedser looked on


with amusement and approval. An assistant Scoutmaster with the Brownsea boys’ home unit, Troop 66 in West Windsor, N.J., Bedser shepherds them through their first year in Scouting. Now in his second year at this northeast Maryland camp, Bedser believes in Brownsea. “They come out of this program very well equipped,” he said. “They


MARCH • AP R I L 2 0 1 1 ¿ S COUT ING


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