As Stake YM President, Dallas had the "privilege" of organising a Father/Son camp. It was organised for the Friday night just gone at a Scout camp. The actual camp grounds are located in a beautiful national park and had a few bunk beds as well as camping facilities. Fathers and their sons started showing up at around 5pm Friday. I was helping with the orientation of each group and it was fun to see the little boys that were camping for the first time. I think their dad's were just as excited!
As part of the festivities, Dallas arranged to have a big bonfire with roasted marshmallows. He was moving a large log down to the area where the fire was to be when the one of the smaller boys asked what he was doing. The news spread like wildfire (no pun intended) through the group of boys.... there was to be a big fire and there was going to be marshmallows as well!
After hefting one enormous log down to the pit, Dallas decided to enlist the help of a few big men. He spoke to one of the dads and asked if he could organise a few other dads to help with the wood carrying. Dallas had to start off the BBQ dinner first and then he'd be back down to supervise the firepit. Once the BBQ was organised, Dallas found the Dad to see who he had rounded up. Now, I know you can get a gaggle of women, but what do you call a small cluster of boys?? whatever you call it, Dallas had it. The Dad had found some help - it just presented itself in the form of many boys ranging in age from about four to twelve. They were so excited to get this fire going. So down they all went to the fire pit, Dallas, the Dad, and the over-excited boys. Dallas soon organised those boys and had them picking up any type of wood and throwing it in the general direction of the where the fire was to be.
Once enough wood had been collected, it was time to start the fire. All the eager boys clamoured around Dallas as he struck a match. As he did so, he began to have visions of third degree burns and unhappy parents, so he suggested that they go find the perfect marshmallow roasting stick. This didn't have the desired effect as they were soon huddled around him asking if their particular stick was good for roasting marshmallows. So as soon as the marshmallow sticks had been found, they were ordered to sit a little further away on some rocks. Dallas didn't think this kind of order would be well received, but I guess those boys were so happy to be just a little close to some fire, they stayed put.
At this point, Dallas was so worn out from all the preparation during the day, he just seemed to lose all fire starting skills. Shouts of encouragement and suggestions came from the direction of the rocks where the boys sat. "Blow on it", "oh, it's gone out", "IT'S just smoke!", were just some of the comments made from the peanut gallery. Poor Dal, pressure from all sides and all he wanted to do was sleep at this point. Suddenly from amidst the "suggestions" came a small chant "Fi-re! Fi-re! Fi-re! Fi-re!" A few more little voices joined in, getting stronger with each "Fi-re!". If Dallas didn't get the stupid fire to start soon, anarchy would soon be reigning. It was only then that one of the dads who had come down to watch, took pity on Dallas and asked if Dallas would like him to try. With a sigh of relief so loud it almost drowned out the chanting, Dallas threw the box of matches towards him. Cheers arose from the chanters as the fire was almost immediately lit and started to gain momentum.
It was later, when Dallas was relating the story to me, that I was reminded of another pack of boys and some fire - that story didn't end so well!