Lessons in Stupidity, Part Two

on May 23, 2007 in Lessons, safety

If you have been a Boy Scout leader for any length of time then you have probably given your troop a “lesson in stupidity” at least once, whether you wanted to or not. It is inevitable.

In the previous blog I wrote about one of the lessons in stupidity I gave to the troop about ten years ago. Recently, during a cooking demonstration at a troop meeting, I gave the boys another unplanned lesson.

The demonstration involved making an apple cobbler using a dutch oven. After lining the oven with tin foil and adding the ingredients, we placed the oven in the campfire ring. One Scout began using a shovel to place coals on top of the oven, but just placing one or two coals at a time. This one-sy two-sy thing was too slow for me. (Impatience is the number one cause of lessons in stupidity.)

The shovel being used was the type that had a ring that could be loosened to change the angle of the shovel blade to the handle. I decided it would be quicker to have the blade at a ninety degree angle to the handle for moving the coals so I asked the Scout if I could have the shovel for a moment. I unscrewed the ring, and even though I had just watched him moving hot coals with the shovel, I grabbed the blade to change it’s angle, and immediately let go of it as I discovered how hot it had become.

D’oh! Ouch!

I could have slapped my forehead for being so stupid, but I was already in enough pain. I ended up with a nice big blister on my index finger of the right hand, and a small blister on another finger. Needless to say, I was extra careful during the rest of the meeting. So were the Scouts.

I sometimes think that we Scout Leaders need to give these “lessons in stupidity” to remind ourselves that we are not the almighty know-it-all leader of the troop. These lessons humble us. After all, we are mere humans. We feel pain. And we do stupid things once in a while.

Have you given any “lessons in stupidity” lately?

One Response to “Lessons in Stupidity, Part Two”

  1. lone star scouter says:

    I like the scouts to see me when I make mistakes. As far as the cooking, I was banned for life from cooking in the troop the first month with them. Something about greese and fire, french bread in foil with flames, and oh yea the pan with water blazing. But I am allowed to do KP duty. But with five star camp chefs, I’m ok with that.

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