Because Nothing Says Survival Like Getting Robbed At Boy Scout Camporee

When you think back to your first boy scout camping, what do you remember the most? Do you remember hiking through tall mountains? Maybe, setting up your tents and makeshift kitchen? How about helping cook for your entire patrol? For me, my first camping trip was a life-changing experience — but not in the way I expected. It was life-changing in a way that made me realize that you always have to be prepared and know what exactly is going on around you.

Because nothing says survival like getting robbed at boy scout camping. Let me start off by saying, I have nothing against the boy scouts. After all, I’m a Scout Citizen Awardee (they now call it Eagle Scout) and it was some of the best times in my life. So you’re probably asking yourself where I’m going with this. Well, on my first day of boy scout training I got robbed.

Scout Citizen Award (1976–1994)
Scout Citizen Award (1976–1994)

It was my first boy scout camping trip. I was having a blast exploring the campsite and collecting different merit badges when thieves hit our campsite and stole something that wasn’t even valuable to anyone else except for me — my backpack of clothes.

I was a 6th grader at the time, so having three days off was a big deal for me. I remember how excited I was packing my things and making sure every single item in my bag would be needed. The night before the trip, I couldn’t sleep because of the excitement. When we got on the jeepney early in the morning, I could feel it — this was going to be an awesome weekend. And it started as one.

My first camping trip is still an unforgettable experience. It might have been a story of trauma, but it’s also one of the first times in my life I felt like I can survive on my own and that there was this place I can go back to — even if it wasn’t home — whenever I wanted.

This might not have been the most enjoyable experience, but it taught me a few lessons. One of them is to be prepared. The Boy Scouts of the Philippines’ motto is “laging handa” (always ready) and that is exactly what they mean by it. In my case, I was under prepared and was the victim of other people’s appalling actions. This taught me that I should always prepare myself for anything. If you are, there will be no worries in your mind; you’ll just enjoy yourself and know that things will work out.



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