Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Nature's Own

In 1987 Horseshoe Bend moved it's camp fire ring up to the side of a hill that, in my opinion, was a great improvement. It's a beautiful site for a camp fire, open, breezy, and it overlooks the camp. In the place of the old camp fire ring moved the Skills Area. In later years it became the Nature area, then the First Class Emphasis Area. Anyway, the Skills staff that year were a high initiative group. They had no trouble taking any time off they had and using it to build bigger and better pioneer projects for their merit badge classes to emulate. Where most of the pioneer projects were built was a circular clearing in the trees (old camp fire ring remember) and around that clearing is a creek that runs until the middle of June then dries up for the rest of the summer.

There was a new camp director that year and he felt there were lots of unbroken things that needed fixing. On the least destructive side of his list of things that needed to fix was his idea that the stream around the Skills Area needed... goldfish! So off to town went the business manager to get a few goldfish. I'll be the first to admit they didn't look half bad swimming around in a "tidal pool" of the stream but I did wonder where they were going to go after the stream dried up as it always did. Turns out, I needn't have worried.

A day or two later when talking to one of the Skills Area staff at lunch I asked about how the goldfish were doing. "Oh, didn't I tell you?" he said. "We showed up this morning to find a raccoon carefully washing the last of the goldfish before wolfing it down like the others."

Money well spent.

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