Baloo's Bugle

April 2008 Cub Scout Roundtable Issue

Volume 14, Issue 9
May 2008 Theme

Theme: Leaf It to Cubs
Webelos: Outdoorsman & Artist
Tiger Cub Activities


Murphy Was A Scouter
Baltimore Area Council

Everyone knows Murphy’s Law. Well, it is a little known fact the Murphy was actually a Scout Leader. In my continuing quest to learn more about Scouting, I have begun to locate a number of his quotations, which I now offer to share with everyone. Murphy traveled throughout Canada, the USA, England and Australia, so some of the terms listed here may have a regional flavor.

  • Scout Leaders who fail to show up at Leader’s planning meetings are automatically volunteered for the next least favored instruction or activity.
  • The last Scouter who quit will be held responsible for everything that goes wrong - at least until the next Scouter quits.
  • No matter how long or hard you shop for a particular piece of camping gear, immediately after you’ve bought it, it will be on sale somewhere cheaper.
  • Under the most rigorously controlled conditions of time, planning, material acquisition, skill testing and training, Cub Scouts will invariably do as they dang well please.
  • The time spent on consuming a camp meal is in inverse proportion to the time spent preparing it.
  • Any tent peg, when dropped, will fall immediately where the tent will be placed and directly underneath where you will place your sleeping bag.
  • Interchangeable parts - aren’t.
  • The chance of a piece of bread falling with the buttered side down, is directly proportional to the amount of mud in which you are standing.
  • Leakproof seals - will.
  • Never eat prunes when you’re famished.
  • Matches are always at the bottom of the rucksack (backpack) when you need them.
  • Matchboxes always open upside down, spilling the contents.
  • The size of the fire is inversely proportional to the need, (for example - a glimmer for cooking and a roaring inferno for the campfire singing).
  • The Map you bring is the wrong one, someone has just used the correct one to light the fire.
  • The number of tent pegs is always equal to the number of guy-ropes, less one.
  • There is always a rock buried where you want to drive in the tent peg.
  • The strength of the wind (and rain) is inversely proportional to the number of people putting up the tent.
  • Meals are always eaten before the Leader has time to eat.
  • The Leaders sausages (hot-dogs) are always the ones that fall into the fire.
  • Lights out, for Scouts, is defined as the time to start having fun.
  • The weight of rucksacks increases with the distance traveled.
  • Contents of a rucksack always increase in size when you try to repack them.
  • Contents of the rucksack reverse position after packing, in proportion to their urgency of need (most needed items at the bottom).
  • The carrier of the First Aid kit is always the furthest person away from the emergency.
  • The size of a cut is always greater than the biggest Band-Aid available.

Here is another Murphyism –

Fifteen Steps to Building a Campfire
Baltimore Area Council

  • Split dead limb into fragments and shave one fragment into slivers.
  • Bandage left thumb.
  • Chop other fragments into smaller fragments
  • Bandage left foot.
  • Make structure of slivers (include those embedded in hand)
  • Light Match
  • Light Match
  • Repeat, “A Scout is cheerful” and light match.
  • Apply match to slivers, add wood fragments, and blow gently into base of fire.
  • Apply burn ointment to nose.
  • When fire is burning, collect more wood.
  • Upon discovering that fire has gone out while out searching for more wood, soak wood from can labeled “kerosene.”
  • Treat face and arms for second-degree burns.
  • Relabel can to read “gasoline.”
  • When fire is burning well, add all remaining firewood.
  • When thunderstorm passes, repeat steps 1 through 15.