Boy Scout in Your Bed

The only light in the heavy canvas tent glowed from our flashlights.

The sounds of crickets and potential homicidal maniacs filled our heads, as a we swore we heard twigs snap and the thud of footsteps.

We sat on top of our sleeping bags as we stretched “lights out” a bit further – the summer night’s heavy blanket of sticky air far too warm to crawl beneath.

We smelled of Deet and sweat, the remnants of our first day.

De-spidering our tent, my friend terrified of the daddy long legs claiming it for their own. Over forty spiders removed and tossed into the brush behind us.



Learning what a “latrine” is and reconsidering camp as a good idea.

Water balloon fight.

Fruit punch served in the mess hall.

Jumping into the cold lake and basking on the shore.

Meeting a “rival group” to be bested at all competitions and teased.

Everyone smashing s’mores together with blackened marshmallows while I stuck to my perfect golden brown ones, passing on the crackers and chocolate.

And songs. Always there were songs. Some familiar, most new.

We giggled with our flashlights as we sung a secret version of The Girl Scout song to a familiar tune – always careful to never voice the altered words in front of the counselors.

Once a Girl Scout went to camp, went to camp

Went to bed without a lamp, without a lamp

Found a Boy Scout sleeping in her bed

And this is what the Girl Scout said, Girl Scout said.
Boy Scout Boy Scout, you must stay, you must stay

You cannot go away, go away.

Because remember what the camp director said

Every girl must have a Boy Scout in her bed.

We laughed again, the idea of Boy Scouts in our beds at the age of ten still innocent and slightly revolting.

“Lights out in there!” a counselor called.

We obliged.

For a few minutes.

This time we clicked on our flashlights, hiding most of the light beneath our bags.

“Kelly? There’s a spider above me,” my friend squeaked at me, suddenly clamoring to get into her sleeping bag for protection.


“Please get rid of it.”

I heaved a sigh, pretending it was a monstrous chore. I crawled off of my covered cot and walked to hers, plucking the daddy long legs from above her head by its freakishly long eighth leg. I opened the back tent flap and tossed it into the bushes behind.

“Thank you.”

“No problem. That’s what best friends are for.”


About Kelly K @ Dances with Chaos

Kelly K has learned the five steps to surviving of motherhood: 1) Don't get mad. Grab your camera. 2) Take a photograph. 3) Blog about it. 4) Laugh. 5) Repeat. She shares these tales at Dances with Chaos in order to preserve what tiny amount of sanity remains. You can also find her on her sister blog, Writing with Chaos ( sharing memoir and engaging in her true love: fiction writing. It's cheaper than therapy.
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12 Responses to Boy Scout in Your Bed

  1. mrsbear0309 says:

    Visiting from TRDC.
    I always wanted to go to a sleep-away camp. It sounds about as much fun as I’d always expected it was.
    We had many altered songs and rhymes growing up that made us giggle and blush. I love that you included yours and that it was so sweetly naughty.
    Thanks for the peek at what I was missing out on. 😉

  2. So sweet! I still remember The Girl Scout Code (and even a little of the sign-language version) from when I was a kid. Fun memories.
    Came from TRDC.

  3. jen says:

    I went to a summer house a the beach every summer. It saw same kids every year; i couldn’t wait to get there and see those kids again when summer came. I imagine it being something like summer camp, the stories, the songs the giggling and those special friends. What fun it was to read your summer camp story.

  4. What tune is it to? I don’t know this one and consider myself a major camper wamper.
    You must teach me!

  5. Frelle says:

    I have a memory like this from a camp in southern illinois the summer after 5th grade! Thank you for the great flashback, and as always, your storytelling has me smelling the bug spray and seeing the spindly spider legs dangling from your fingers and hearing the hysterical giggles from tween girls who ought to be sleeping 🙂

  6. May says:

    Learning what a “latrine” is and reconsidering camp as a good idea.

    This says so much with so few words! And boy do I relate!

  7. angela says:

    I love this! I went to sleepaway camp a couple of times, and you captured it so well.

    Also, I am still a giant baby and need you to come camping with me in a couple of weeks to get the daddy long-legs off my tent. Eeek!

  8. Love this! It sends me back to Girl Scout Camporees, camping in tents, on the ground, on cots, under the stars, and even in a barn. It reminds me of meeting the boys up and over the hills after our leaders went to bed and glow stick adventures. And I’m glad to know you’re willing to rescue your friend from a spider overhead! Thanks for zipping me down memory lane. :>

  9. Carrie says:

    I only went “away” to camp once and it was not nearly as fun as that. No tents, just a bunch of snobby girls whose parents had oodles of money 🙂

  10. Haha – I was the friend that killed the spiders.
    What a great memory 🙂

  11. Renee says:

    And homicidal maniacs. I love it.
    Btw, I’m always in the market for spider catchers. I can do the daddy-long-legs, but those hairy ones that jump, not so much.

    Loved this piece, you had me in the tent, and wondering if camp is such a good idea.

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