The Great Outdoors



(It must be a word; my mother used to use it.)

This is sort of a continuation of AROUND THE KAMPFIRE in the last issue of THE WAYNEDALE NEWS’ outdoor page. I spoke of Scouts not knowing how to handle eating utensils and improper methods of eating.

I found out that not all people (scouts) like salads. Why? I’m not sure unless, it takes time to chew, which most teenagers don’t like to do. Fast foods? I’ve never seen food disappear so fast as when I watched my own sons ‘inhale’ chow at mealtime when they were growing up.

Yes, we made them take time out from their busy schedules to set at the table and eat a proper meal at proper times (breakfast and supper) and eat it properly (hand in lap, no elbows on the table, chew with mouth closed, one person speaks at a time, etc.) and we taught them to cut their own meat when they were just big enough to handle a sharp knife safely (we started them out with table knives) – I would guess their age to be about the time they were starting 1st grade. How many of you still cut your child’s meat for them?

The kids astonished their grandmother and grandfather when they came to our house for a meal right after they all learned the art of handling a sharp steak knife. Their Grandma nearly fainted watching them carve a hot dog; their Grandpa was amused and delighted that he would not be called on to cut their food for them any more. Now to what I started to tell you earlier about another incident that happened at Boy Scout summer camp involving salad this time.

A big bowl of tossed salad was put on every table at every evening meal. The first boy nearest the bowl would take a portion of the salad and pass it on to the next boy. They watched me, and they would take a small portion and look at me. I would either nod yes or no as to the amount they took out. The bowl would go all around the table and I made sure each boy took a portion. I figured that the salad might combat all of the junk foods they would be consuming and none of them would become constipated on my watch.

At the first evening meal one boy passed the salad bowl along to the next scout without taking any. I said, “Whoa, back up there. Take some salad.” He informed me that he didn’t like salad and that his mom didn’t make him eat it. I said, “First of all I’m not your mother and I want you to take some anyway; I don’t want a sick boy on my hands. We will be here a whole week and I want everyone to eat some salad at each evening meal.” He reluctantly took a little; I nodded “No”. He took some more and then I nodded “Yes.” He then passed the bowl on.

The next evening his dad showed up to spend the rest of the week camping with us. At the evening meal he watched his son take a goodly portion of salad and then pass the bowl on to him. He said, “Son, you don’t like salad; how come you’re eating it now?” The boy said, “Mr. McCune makes me eat it.” The dad turned to me and said, “How did you get him to eat his salad?” I said, “I didn’t give him a choice. I’m not letting anyone get constipated if I can help it. He didn’t reply out loud but he did smile and whisper, “Thank you.”

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Ray McCune

He has lived in Waynedale for over 45 years. He has taken to his lifelong dream of being a full time Outdoor Freelance Writer and author. Ray has authored one book and has written Kampfire Kookin' as well as other outdoors articles for the newspaper. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer