Once I was a young boy scout at my first summer camp. I was having one of the best weeks of my life. Up until now, that is. I was just getting to my campsite when the sun was setting.
An older leader stopped me, “You guys have to find an outing to go on, the adults will be leaving for the night.”
Realizing that I would have to sleep on my own without adults I knew, I began to frantically ask older scouts I knew. I found my older brother’s friend Dante. He said I could come with him on his outing. My friends and I packed our bags and followed Dante.
It was a wilderness survival outing, which meant that the older scouts taking the merit badge make their shelter from things they found in the woods. They would then spend the night in it. Thankful I was not an older scout, I set up my tent and climbed inside with my friend Matt. We were asleep before you could say thunderstorm.
And awoken by one—before you could actually finish the word.
“What are you saying?” I mumbled in my sleepy confusion.
“Might be a tornado, we gotta go!” Ethan shouted from the entrance to the tent, his silhouette illuminated by the deluge.
We scrambled for our things and Ethan howled, “Leave them! We’ll come back later!”
We listened and looked for our raingear. Matt threw his on, but I quickly realized that in the hurry to leave last night, I forgot to pack mine. Thinking fast, but not smart, I grabbed my pillow and threw it on my head and ran out of the tent.
We were immediately doused. I was shivering and soaked. Let me tell you, if you’ve ever had a memory foam pillow get wet it will not forget it. To this day it is still rock hard. Once we caught up with the group, we joined the march towards some supposed shelter. I was not taking any of this well. Without a raincoat or rain-pants, I felt exposed. For comfort, I looked for my brother’s friend Dante. After passing a few rows of muddy marchers, I spotted what looked like a Dante.
I immediately began spewing:
“Where are we going?”
“How much further do we have?”
“Are we going to die?”
Dante looked at me and laughed, “Nice raingear.”
“Am I going to get hypothermia?”
“Are we going to die?”
“Is there a tornado coming?”
Put off by the sheer calmness he had about him, I couldn’t comprehend how he was smiling.
“Is he enjoying this?” I asked myself, while repeating in my head that we were surely going to die…
Dante has accepted we’re going to die, that’s why he’s happy.
After what seemed like hours, I wondered if we were ever going to make it wherever we were going. Eventually, we got there, mostly dry except me. Our leader unlocked the dining-hall doors and we rushed inside. He said to have a seat, and that we would sit out the storm here.
Soon after sitting down, I had to use the bathroom. Once there, I noticed the shower stalls, and I thought man it would be so nice to take a warm shower right now.
Well, I’m already wet…
I opened the stall and turned on the faucet. I started to take off my clothes and I realized they’re already soaking. So I kept them on. I stood as the water grew warmer. Eyes closed. Not a thought moved through my mind.
I was so worried that I was going to die, but the fact is, everything turned out perfectly fine. It actually lead to this amazing shower…
Looking back, the water tells me, “You were so worried that you were going to die; yet everything turned out fine. In fact, it led to this blissful shower.”
I sloshed out of the bathroom, no more or less wet than I’d entered. I sat back down with my friends and began to play cards. I felt like when you’re in school with your friends and you’re trying not to laugh, but in trying you make whatever it was, hundreds of times funnier. I could no longer care less about the storm that raged on, outside.