Down Neck Boy Scouts

by Jack Keegan


Saturday morning we the members of a Down Neck Boy Scout troop, walk up Ferry Street to Wilson Avenue to catch the #31South Orange Bus. Boarding the bus, we deposit five cents for the trip that will take us to South Mountain Reservation. In what seems like forever we travel thru the Newark Business district, now up Springfield Avenue to South Orange Avenue. Following this street we finally arrive at our destination, leaving the bus we are required to pay another nickel, suburban fare zone.

The scoutmaster leads the troop into the park and picks out a site where we will perform our scout chores. Our first task is to gather dried and broken tree limbs and twigs that will be used later in building a fire to cook our rations. Next we perform First Aid, making a triangle bandage to be used as a sling for a broken arm. Pressure points are noted, a tourniquet is fashioned from a handkerchief and a tree branch, the handkerchief fastened around the effected limb, the branch in rotated to tighten up the kerchief stopping the flow of blood. We also practice stopping nosebleeds,and using smelling salts to revive unconscious persons.

Next it's time for knot tying- we practice the following knots -Clove Hitch, Carrick Bend, Overhead Knot, Sheet Bend, Bowline, Square Knot, Half Hitch much time is spent in tying knots. Hopefully we will use them some time in our life experience.

Now the Scoutmaster invites us to see a fire starting demonstration. Using a bow, a round stick and some dry moss he attempts to start a fire. Pushing the bow back and forth the dowel rotates and a little spark is formed, this is transferred to the moss which now glows and begins to burn .To this little fire, twigs and later branches are added and soon a camp fire is up and running. Now it's time to bring out our victuals, which are canned baked beans, hot dogs and marshmallows, and we are about to cook them. Struggling to cook over a camp fire is not easy,in any case the beans come out hot, the frankfurters may not be well done but they hit the spot.We then roast marshmallows over the fire.

Then it's cleanup time, from the nearby falls we obtain fresh water to fill our canteens, wash the utensils and douse the fires. Making very sure that the fire is out and the area is policed, we are about ready to make the trip home.

We now walk out to South Orange Avenue to catch the Public Service Bus # 31 for that long trip home, on the bus we deposit a nickel for the fare.Down we go on South Orange Avenue , thru the Newark Business District to Ferry Street and Wilson Avenue, deposit another nickel, suburban fare zones and exit the bus. We walk along Ferry Street to Down Neck and home. A wonderful day was had by all.


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