Not Quite Normal

This entry relates to yesterday’s entry. Another main requirement of Firecrafter is to:

Plan, prepare, and conduct a campfire program.

The requirement has additional clarification:

The Scout and his Scoutmaster should select the time and place of the campfire. Not more than one candidate may conduct any activity. Before beginning this requirement, the Scout should be thoroughly trained in the skills required to complete this requirement successfully. This requirement will be graded on an equal basis with those of all other candidates. Scout will be provided a grading sheet at the beginning of their candidacy. They will be carefully judged on each of the points of the grading sheet. It is preferred that three Firecrafters grade the activity, but who, or even one will-qualified Firecrafter may do the grading.

As anyone who has attended one of these campfire programs knows, these campfires have themes. That was the first order of business. At one point, I remembered that some of my fellow scouts, the scoutmaster, and I would tinker with coming up with different songs. One of the songs had a line like: "If the world were upside down, then the sky would be green and the grass would be blue." I felt that line was appropriate to my life and my troop. My ideas were converging along the line of "Not Quite Normal." I would not describe my life as normal. I would not describe the majority of my friends as normal. It definitely seemed appropriate. I came up with some ideas for program contents including a nine part rendition of "If I Weren’t a Boy Scout" using only three people. Fire programs frequently start with the song mentioned in the previous post. There was a backwards version of which I was aware, so my program started with that version instead. Some of the scouts liked the impromptu show "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" so I thought that would fit into the program. I had other ideas as well, but I do not recall them anymore. Fire programs also frequently close with what is called a scoutmaster’s minute. It is a candidate talk related to the theme of the campfire. I asked my scoutmaster to expand the upside down world song and sing, rather than say, it. In addition, the melody of the song was played on a normal acoustic guitar that was missing all but two strings. That also fit in with the theme.

As with the fire by friction set, I built the fire at the very beginning of the week. Since it had been raining, I covered the campfire with a tarp and put some rock and wood on it so it wouldn’t blow away. The fire program was set for Wednesday when my family and many other scouting families visit during the week. I prepared for the fire by removing the tarp. Strange, there was a mouse nest at the very top of the fire. I suppose it wanted out of the rain since the fire was essentially in a giant puddle from all the rain. The fire program went well. I had one of the other scouts light the fire. It never really did anything other than smoke due to the wetness. The program went fine though, for the most part that is. That mouse nest apparently had an occupant that was deeper into the fire lay. About half way through the program, a mouse comes running out of the fire. It was blocked in one way by performers so it went another way. That way was blocked by the audience. It was quite a spectacle. Above all, it certainly wasn’t normal.

The fire program finished, and I was asked to gaze into the dying fire as the evaluators graded the program. What was interesting is that I can hear pretty well if I focus on it, so although I was several yards away, I could hear what the evaluators were saying. I knew I had passed. When I was called over, I pretended I didn’t know and was told that I passed. One of the evaluators asked who the hot girl was that got asked to participate. I told him that it was my sister. The evaluator was a bit embarrassed, but it was funny. I called my sister over. It was yet another not quite normal event.

All in all, the night went well. Even the things that were not planned such as the mouse running out of the fire fit with the theme.

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