June Cub Scout Roundtable Issue
July 2008 Theme
Aquanaut & Geologist
THOUGHTFUL ITEMS FOR SCOUTERS
Thanks to Scouter Jim from Bountiful, Utah, who prepares this section of
Baloo for us each month. You can reach him at
firstname.lastname@example.org or through the link to write Baloo on
CS Roundtable Planning Guide
Thank you for the rocks, the wind, the water, and the
woods. Help us as we learn to take better care of your gifts.
Most of the Scout Camps I
attended as a youth, were involved in someway with water, great or small, lakes,
rivers, or streams, we spent part of our time near of on the water.
My first camp, as a new Scout,
was a winter camp; on a small stream know as Mill Creek in Mueller Park Canyon,
north of Salt Lake City, Utah. From this small stream, I filled my canteen for
drinking water and took the water I used to cook the first meals I had ever
cooked over a campfire.
My first weeklong summer camp
was at the Great Salt Lake Council’s Bear Lake Aquatics camp near the Utah-Idaho
border. We spent a week, swimming, boating, and playing in the crystal blue
waters of the Bear Lake, and looking for the Bear Lake Monster. (See story
West of the town where I was
raised is the Great Salt Lake. In 1971, the Great Salt Lake Council held a
Conservation Camporee on Antelope Island in the Great Salt Lake. Antelope Island
is now a state park with its own herd of Buffalo. We spent the weekend hauling
rocks, boy to boy, in a bucket brigade all the way up the mountain to the top of
Buffalo Point, building a trail that is still in use today.
Farmington Bay Bird Refuge is
a freshwater bay on the southeast side of the Great Salt Lake. It is home to
millions of migrating shorebirds and waterfowl, and in the winter, nesting
grounds for migrating Bald Eagles. In 1970, the father of one of the scouts in
my local troop worked for Utah Fish and Game, now Utah Wildlife Resources, in
waterfowl management. He recruited our large troop of Scouts to do a Saturday
cleanup of the Farmington Bay Bird Refuge. We worked hard all day long filling
a full sized dump truck with the trash that had floated, blown, or been carried
into the bird refuge. As a reward for our hard work, the next winter, we were
able to camp in one of the State owned cabins used by the rangers at Flaming
Gorge Reservoir on the Utah-Wyoming border and learn to ice fish. We exchanged
a day of hard work cleaning up a bird refuse, for a fun day of fishing on hard
water. Not a bad trade.
Growing up in the second
driest state in the nation, I am very aware of water and the issues related to
it. In the west, battles have been raged over water for as long as anyone can
remember and they rage on now. Las Vegas is trying to take valuable underground
water from a valley of farmers and ranchers in Utah and Nevada.
Environmentalists are trying to get the government to drain Lake Powell on the
Utah-Arizona Border to expose Glen Canyon. A group known as Utah Rivers Council
is pushing to protect many rivers of Utah from dams and development. In one of
America’s driest states, these are fighting words and arousing concerns on both
sides. But rather than fighting over water, it would be better to give
July would be a great month to
take our Scouts outside and do a water conservation project. Clean up a river
bank, or a lake front, and enjoy a cookout next to the water, and maybe even wet
a hook. There are many activities we can do with water, but why not give a
little back in the process. The times we gave back as youths are some of the
times we remember most in our lives. Not only does it help someone else, it
makes us all feel better about ourselves and the contributions we are making to
The Bear Lake
The story was written in
1868 by Joseph C. Rich and was sent to the Deseret News Newspaper. It goes as
"The Indians have a tradition
concerning a strange, serpent-like creature inhabiting the waters of Bear Lake,
which they say carried off some of their braves many moons ago. Since then, they
will not sleep close to the lake. Neither will they swim in it, nor let their
squaws and papooses bathe in it.
Now, it seems this water
devil, as the Indians called it, has again made an appearance. A number of our
white settlers declare they have seen it with their own eyes. This Bear Lake
Monster, they now call it, is causing a great deal of excitement up here. S. M.
Johnson at South Eden was riding along near the Lake the other day when he saw
something a number of yards out in the lake which he thought was the body of a
man. He waited for the waves to wash it in, but to his surprise, found the water
washed over it without causing it to move. Then he saw it had a head and neck
like some strange animal. On each side of the head were ears, or bunches the
size of a pint cup. He concluded the body must be touching the bottom of the
lake. By this time, however, Johnson seems to have been leaving the place so
rapidly he failed to observe other details.
The next day three women and a
man saw a monstrous animal in the lake near the same place, but this time it was
swimming at an incredible speed. According to their statement, it was moving
faster than a horse could run.
On Sunday last, N. C. Davis
and Allen Davis of St. Charles; Thomas Sleight and James Collings of Paris, with
six women were returning from Fish Haven when about midway from the latter place
to St. Charles, their attention was suddenly attracted to a peculiar motion of
waves on the water about three miles distant. The lake was not rough, only a
little disturbed by the wind. Mr. Sleight ways he distinctly saw the sides of a
very large animal that he would suppose to be not less than 90 feet in length.
Mr. Davis doesn't think he was any part of the body, but is positive it must not
have been less than forty feet in length, judging by the waves it rolled up on
both sides of it as it swam, and the wave it left in the rear. It was going
south, and all agreed it swam with a speed almost incredible to their senses.
Mr. Davis says he never saw a locomotive travel faster, and thinks it made a
mile a minute. In a few minutes after the discovery of the first, a second
followed in its wake, but seemed much smaller, appearing to Mr. Sleight about
the size of a horse. A larger one followed this, and so on until before
disappearing, made a sudden turn to the west a short distance, then back to its
former track. At this turn Mr. Sleight says he could distinctly see it was of a
brown color. They could judge somewhat of the speed by observing known distances
on the opposite side of the lake; and all agree that the velocity with which
these monsters propelled themselves, was astounding. They represent the waves
rolling up on each side as about three feet high. This is substantially their
statement as they told me. Messengers Davis and Sleight are prominent men, well
known in the country, and all of them are reliable persons, whose veracity is
undoubted. I have no doubt they would be willing to make affidavits to their
Was it fish, flesh. or serpent? Amphibious,
or just a big fib, or what is it? I give up, but live in hopes of some day
The Deseret News ran the story
July 31, 1868. Great excitement followed. A news staff member during the next
month quizzed many Bear Lake people and found hardly a person who doubted it.
However, the inevitable
skeptics did appear on the scene.
The Indians had taken a great
deal of interest in stories of the monster and claimed that their ancestors told
them about a monster. They were telling some pretty good-sized stories about the
In 1874, a traveler named John
Goodman came through the Bear Lake Valley. He described an Indian legend about
two lovers whom, upon being pursued by some of their fellow tribesmen, plunged
into the lake and were changed by the Great Spirit into two large serpents.
However, this is just a legend.
The description of the Monster
was the following: A creature with a brown-colored body, somewhat bigger in
circumference than a man, anywhere from 40 to 200 feet long. Its head was shaped
like a walrus without tusks or like an alligator's, and the eyes were very large
and about a foot apart. It had ears like bunches, about the size of a pint cup.
It had an unknown number of legs, approximately eighteen inches long, and it was
awkward on land, but swam with a serpent-like motion at a speed of at least
sixty miles an hour. No one ever described the back part of the animal since the
head and forepart was all that was ever seen. The rest was always under water.
Make believe? No one knows for
sure. Come on up to Bear Lake and find out for yourself.
Quotations contain the wisdom of the ages, and are a
great source of inspiration for Cubmaster’s minutes, material for an advancement
ceremony or an insightful addition to a Pack Meeting program cover
Water and air, the two
essential fluids on which all life depends, have become global garbage cans.
Jacques Cousteau (1910-1997)
Water is fundamental for life
and health. The human right to water is indispensable for leading a healthy life
in human dignity. It is a pre-requisite to the realization of all other human
The United Nations Committee on Economic, Cultural and Social Rights, Environment
News Service, 27 Nov 02
From birth, man carries the
weight of gravity on his shoulders. He is bolted to earth. But man has only to
sink beneath the surface and he is free. Jacques
Cousteau (1910-1997), Time, 28 March 1960
Clean water is not an
expenditure of Federal funds; clean water is an investment in the future of our
Shuster, U.S. Representative, quoted in The Washington Post, 1/9/87 *
Rivers are roads which move,
and which carry us whither we desire to go. Blaise
Pascal (1623-1662), “Thoughts on Mind and Style,” Pensées, 1660
But we have not used our
waters well. Our major rivers are defiled by noxious debris. Pollutants from
cities and industries kill the fish in our streams. Many waterways are covered
with oil slicks and contain growths of algae that destroy productive life and
make the water unfit for recreation. "Polluted Water—No Swimming" has become a
familiar sign on too many beaches and rivers. A lake that has served many
generations of men now can be destroyed by man in less than one generation.
Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973) 36th U.S. President,
Special Message to Congress, "To Renew a Nation" 8 March 1968
No one has the right to use
America's rivers and America's Waterways that belong to all the people as a
sewer. The banks of a river may belong to one man or one industry or one State,
but the waters which flow between the banks should belong to all the people.
Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973) 36th U.S. President,
signing the 1965 Clean Water Act
My soul is full of longing
For the secret of the Sea,
And the heart of the great ocean
Sends a thrilling pulse through me.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882), The Secret of
The face of the water, in
time, became a wonderful book- a book that was a dead language to the uneducated
passenger, but which told its mind to me without reserve, delivering its most
cherished secrets as clearly as if it uttered them with a voice. And it was not
a book to be read once and thrown aside, for it had a new story to tell every
day. Mark Twain a.k.a. Samuel Langhorne Clemens
A river seems a magic thing. A
magic, moving, living part of the very earth itself.
Laura Gilpin, The Rio Grande, 1949
Let the rain kiss you.
Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops.
Let the rain sing you a lullaby.
The rain makes still pools on
The rain makes running pools in the gutter.
The rain plays a little sleep-song on our roof at night--
And I love the rain.
Langston Hughes (1902-1967), April Rain Song,
Rain is grace; rain is the sky
condescending to the earth; without rain, there would be no life.
John Updike, Self-Consciousness: Memoirs, 1989
The sea-shore is a sort of
neutral ground, a most advantageous point from which to contemplate the
world....There is naked Nature, inhumanly sincere, wasting no thought on man,
nibbling at the cliffy shore where gulls wheel amid the spray.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), Cape Cod, 1865
Roll on, thou deep and dark
Ten thousand fleets sweep over thee in vain;
Man marks the earth with ruin—his control
Stops with the shore
Lord Byron (1788-1824), "Solitude," Childe Harold's
The frog does not
The pond in which
American Indian proverb quoted in Water Wasteland by
David Zwick & Marcy Benstock, 1971
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