A Troop sets camp in a secluded area by a lake in the mountains. Just at the edge of the clearing stands an old trapper’s cabin. As all SM’s do at the campfire, this SM tells the following tale:
Many years ago this land was sacred hunting ground for the (pick your tribe) Indians in this area. The game in this field was always plentiful — until the white man came and built that cabin. The tribe elders were enraged at this encroachment, and sent their best warriors to oust the intruder.
The leader of the raiding party had seen this intruder, and knew him to be an old man with little spirit, so instead of harming him, they decided to scare him out. The Indian crept up to the house and gently _wrapped_ on the wall.
This attracted the attention of the home owner, but finding nothing there, he went back to his work. Again the Indian _wrapped_ on the wall. This cat and mouse game went on for the majority of the night. The white man was becoming afraid of this mystery noise, so he reached for the shotgun he kept over the mantle. The next time the Indian _wrapped_, the man was prepared and de-capitated the Indian with a single shot. The tribe elders, on seeing how easily the white man conquered their best, banned all people from setting foot in their sacred hunting ground. To insure this, the medicine man called on the spirit of the be- headed warrior to guard the land. It is said that on dark rainy nights, the warrior can still be heard prowling around the old home.
Once the story was told, the SM bade the boys good night and all turned in.
As can happen on spring nights, a thunder cloud began to build and soon the campers found themselves in a wind that was taking the tents away, and drenching them with cold ice water. The leaders decided that the safest thing would be to seek shelter in the old house. The boys eagerly moved into the old house, except for the troop cook — he was thinking of that old Indian and really didn’t want any part of the house. So, just in case he took two of his biggest pans with him for protection.
The storm raged on, but the boys had settled down inside the cabin. Suddenly, a faint noise could be heard, _wrap, wrap, wrap_. Most of the boys didn’t hear it, but the cook heard it well. Soon all the scouts were up listening to the _wrap, wrap, wrap_. The SM went over to the side where it appeared to be coming from and the noise stopped. ( A number of cycles here to build up the suspense. However, the cook was given pans for a reason — he’s the skittish one of the group and is liable to swing at anything.) The noise has grown in volume and intensity, and the SM has realized that he must go outside and fix whatever is loose on the house. He takes the senior scouts with him, which unfortunately is the cook. (Suspenseful) they walk around the house and find that the _wrapping_ noise is coming from a hole in the stone fireplace. The SM carefully inserts his hand into the hole and removes a roll of wrapping paper going _wrap, wrap, wrap_.
-end of story-
Now to expand on the concept. 1. The corny ending will take the stress off of the story, helping reinforce the thought that it is not real. Besides a laugh is a good thing to create at a campfire. 2. The whole story can be spiced up to make it as thrilling as you want. It won’t take too much imagination and a little acting to keep them on the edge of their seats. 3. The cook is a pressure release in the story. He is very high strung and can swing at anything from his own shadow to the scoutmaster. Use him in humorous ways to take the edge off of the story as you go. 4. Taylor the story to your group. If your group is young and gullible, use the cook a little more. If they are seasoned campers, pour on the suspense. We usually find a good mix works wonders. Keep in mind that young boys/girls can fix their minds on something like this very easily and they will not sleep in the wood, especially new Scouts.
You’ll know you did well when you hear that catch phrase _wrap, wrap, wrap_ echo around the camp for the next few days.