In the previous blog entry I wrote about scary campfire stories. This time I would like to share with you a couple of experiences regarding the Wolfen story. The first time I told the Boy Scout about the wolfen was over 25 years ago. The troop was attending a camporee and we had a few Webelos Scouts staying with us. We were sitting around the campfire Saturday night when the boys first heard about these creatures.
I must have done a very good job of telling the boys about the wolfen. Shortly after I got home from the camporee I received a phone call a parent of one of the Webelos Scouts. He was a little upset that I would tell such a story to young Scouts who would become so scared they could not sleep during the night.
Okay, the lesson was learned. Do not send the boys to bed when they think there really is wolfen that could attack them during the dark night hours. So I changed the end of the story. Now, after I tell them all about the wolfen and how viscous they are, I look the new listeners in the eyes and tell them that the most important thing to remember about the creatures, the one things that will save them from being attacked during the night, is to remember that they are not real, that they are fictional creatures from a book I read.
There always seems to be the sigh of relief and maybe a nervous chuckle, from the new boys after I tell them the wolfen do not exist.
One winter, while we were at Parker Scout Reservation, we invited another troop that was also there that weekend, to join us for a campfire program at our building. We had a large fireplace so it would give us a little of that outdoor campfire feel to the skits and songs.
The program ended with me telling the Scouts from the other troop about the wolfen. I also told them, at the end of the story, that the wolfen were not real creatures. The boys laughed and told me they knew all along that I was just telling them a story.
But yet, when the other troop left us to return to there own building for the night, the boys were huddled together tightly around their scoutmaster. My troop giggled as we watched them from our windows.
A few years later, that scoutmaster told me just how much the boys in his troop were frightened by the wolfen story. As his boys prepared to go to bed that night one Scout needed to visit the latrine outside of their building. He did not want to go out there by himself so he asked a buddy to go out with him. His buddy did not want to be standing outside all alone so it was finally decided that the boys would go to the latrine in groups of three. No one wanted to be outside alone, just in case that the fictional wolfen were not truly fictional.
It appears that even though I tell the Scouts that there is no such thing as the wolfen, their imaginations do not always get the message.