Well, here goes. So, my wife, Lou, and I were with the Thunder Ridge camp staff. Camp Director, Nick Hutchinson, and Program Director, Brad Lundell, had spent many hours of our staff week training all staff in the required stuff that all camp staff members have to know (per the National Camp School guidelines). And our heads were kind of spinning with all of the information.
Wednesday came and all of the young staffers were kind of on brain overload. So, it was really great news when Brad announced that in the afternoon we would all take a hike down “to the lake”. Darryl Alder – of the council office in Provo was here that morning to conduct first aid training. He heard of our pending hike trip. He brought up a couple of us “old guys” (and unfortunately, I was one he brought up) and said that the reason the guys need first aid and CPR was for guys like Larry and I going on the lake hike. He then talked of the hike. He said, “It’s easy to get down the trail to the lake and it is only about a mile down there.” But then he added, “But that return trip is horrible. It feels like it is five miles or more. … I felt like I was going to die before I got up the hill and back to camp.”
The trip sounded kind of ominous! My wife quickly determined that she did not want anything to do with the return trip so she arranged to ride back in a car. I decided that I could probably make it – if I took it slow. We got plenty of water and joined the single file line of staffers led by Nate Deming, our C.O.P.E. Director. And we were off …
The hike down was beautiful as we made our way down through the forest. We descended quickly. Lou (not used to such activity) had to go real slow. Most of the group were way ahead of us but a couple of staff guys held back with us – doing their good turn with the old folks.
We got to the “Little Thunder” Lake and I loved the little lake – more like a pond. It was small but it was surrounded with tall pine trees. It was a beautiful, secluded spot. I compared the pond to the “lake” at my home council’s Camp Geronimo. Both “lakes” were similar. Though small, the lake/pond was pretty nice.
We had quite a while to wait for the Utah Fish and Game Department to arrive with a shipment of fish to “stock” in our lake. (That was a main purpose of our trip down there. The Camp Director thought it would be fun for us all to watch the fish stocking process at the lake.)
As we got there the Fish folks were not there. So, to take up time, Nate led us in a many fun games. He is truly the game geru. He had a great game with two sides of guys (and gals) lined up with a tarp held high between them. Then on signal, a staffer from each side came forward to the tarp. Then as the tarp went down, the two guys had to try to be the first to say the name of the guy on the other side. The guy who got the other guy’s name out first – took the other guy with him back to his team. And there were more. The games were really great and brought the staff together more as a team.
Then we got the word that the “fish guy” had arrived. But the guy turned out to be a “fish lady”. And it was quickly evident that this was not her first fish stocking tour. She had an assistant with her and she was teaching him the ropes. I had to laugh as she tried to back her fish truck down the bank to the edge of the “lake”. She hit a downed aspen log and had to try it again. She did better this time. She got the tank truck down to the lake as the staff moved to get out of the way. And when the truck stopped, the staff pulled in closer to the truck and the lake for a better view.
The “fish lady” scooped out a mass of flopping fish from her tank and into her net. She handed the giant net down to her guy helper. He was a little guy and the full net was a bit of a strain for him. He went down to the bank and he flipped the net high up into the air – like a juggling act – and the fish went up about two feet above the net. The fish then flopped down into the water. They were a bit stunned and they just sat there for a bit. But then soon they took off and were gone to the depths of the lake. We soon saw several of them jumping around out in the middle of the lake.
Then the “fish lady” got us all psyched up as she told us that she had a giant fish in her tank that was 6-7 pounds. Wow! With her net, she swished around in the tank a few times and soon brought out a giant fish in the net.
We all moved closer and took all of the photos that we could. We thought that she was going to put the fish into our Little Thunder Lake but she said, “I would really like to leave her here with you but I don’t think that she would survive since your lake is too warm for her.” (She acted as if she knew the big fish well and was a personal friend “to her”.) We were all disappointed but the “fish lady” put “her” back in the tank. She and her helper then tested our lake water and made a report. Soon they were on their way.
So, that was our big fish story. But, the good news is that our lake is now stocked and ready to have the fish caught by our Scouts over the summer. And how great is that! Five hundred fish there for the catching!
And with the fish thing done, it was time to head back up the hill. My wife went off with the camp director’s wife in her vehicle. And I headed off with the staff – to tackle the giant hill. And the war stories continued about how bad it was going to be. This time Nate was with me and stuck by me. I didn’t set any [fast] speed records but just took it slow and easy. And after one step up after another, I soon found myself back at camp. And my wife was relieved that I was there alive. She was glad that the newly trained first aid guys did not have to do their practical on me.
Author: Kevin V. Hunt | thescoutblogger
Scouting Historian, Author, Blogger, Speaker, Scouting Veteran, and Camp Director
Best wishes along your Scouting Trails … Kevinthescoutblogger
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