Wednesday, May 1, 1985

Babes in the Woods

In which the Boy Scouts of Troop 236 battle wild boars (sort of) on a camping trip in the Italian Appennine mountains

When I was 13 and living in Rome, I was a Boy Scout in Troop 236. Now, a lot of the boys in the troop were diplomat brats, or the children of wealthy folks, and other groups who carry more clout than painting professors—though Dad did have mucho clout when it came to the troop, since he was Scoutmaster.

Through the connection of some boy's father, we got permission to go camping one weekend in a national park/nature preserve in the Abruzzi Mountains, a preserve that was normally severly off-limits to the general public.

We had a grand ol' time, hiking in the forest, learning to make spaghetti alla carbonara with pancetta bacon brought by an Italian boy and powdered egg brought by a military brat, then setting up our tents on the soft carpet of needles that lay thick beneath the pines of the forest.

Noises in the Dark

At some point in the middle of the night, we were awakened by this horrible crashing noise and throaty grunting sounds coming from the inky blackness of the forest.