Have you ever noticed that some people can be very demeaning yet be oblivious to their own behavior? I think we all have said something that came out far differently than what we meant it to come out as. Things like, "well, that was stupid" or "stop acting incompetent" or "it doesn't matter, you look great in anything..." These are things that make you cringe when you hear them come out of your mouth yet it is too late to stop or reverse the impact. Perhaps even worse is when you hear from a second party who relays to you how upset the individual at the receiving end of your little quip was. These are the times that you wish life had a reverse button so you could go back and either stop or change what you say.
I was at work the other day when a colleague passed me and nonchalantly said, "were you up at your little camp this past weekend?" I don't know if it was the fact that I was not in a good mood or it was the way he said it to me, but the fuse was lit. I turned around and laid into this particular person, asking about what he meant by that statement. I think I caught him off guard because the amount of back peddling he did would have gotten him into the Guinness book of world records. He was just trying to make small talk when he made that little quip. I am sure after we parted ways he made a mental note not to bring up that topic again.
Why did I go off? Well, first of all the camp is not little; 440 acres of prime timber and a mile and a half of waterfront, numerous buildings, 45,000 gallons of fresh water storage, 4 active wells, countless flush toilets and showers, a 550 foot pier and a 400 person dining hall. This multi-million dollar facility is more than just "little" it is an active facility requiring ongoing professional and volunteer maintenance and generates a significant net profit to fund its activities as well as those of the Chief Seattle Council. It is not "little" in the fact that it affects over 3,000 scouts and scouters who come during the 8 week season nor is it "little" in the program that is offered. It is not "little" when looked upon as an active part of the Pacific Northwest history. We may be "little" in some aspects but the camp is huge in regards to how it affects people who spend time there.
Yes, those are some of the reasons why I went off. More importantly though, it was my reaction to the perceived dismissal of a fantastic program in a single statement. Most people outside of scouting don't know what the scouting program offers or the values that it instills in young men. Many look upon the program as a bunch of bratty, pre-teen boys running around in uniforms run by morbidly obese individuals who wear ridiculous uniforms along with a campaign hat who have a nasty habit of allowing pedophiles to infiltrate their ranks. I find it interesting that those people who view the program in that manner consider themselves "open-minded" yet hypocritically stereotype a historical program in that manner. Harsh words? You bet, but I am not going to have the good work that many scoutmasters do as well as our dedicated staff members be denigrated in any way due to the mis-actions of a few. It is amazing the questions I get from people who don't understand the basis of the BSA program yet feel free to have an opinion based on a TV newscast or an op-ed piece in a questionable printed publication.
I can easily denigrate numerous programs I see in my community as being nothing but "fluff" programs that add nothing to the individual and more importantly, nothing to the community as a whole. However I don't because it is obvious that it is important to that (or those) individual(s) or it simply may be just fun. What they believe in or what they do has no bearing on me unless it interferes with my course in life. So yes, I laid into my colleague for his presumptuous, yet minimal statement which really was not much about what he said as opposed to how he said it. There is nothing little about our camp and there is nothing little about the BSA program. I don't think he will make small talk with me anymore.
Snow at camp, at least 1/2 foot but enough to take out the power. Thank goodness for a generator as we can fire that up and get the Traeger out.......nothing like a good steak along with oysters cooking with snow falling all around you.