Boys Weekend

Fall 2004

October 8-10-04


By Tim O'Rourke

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The weather was once again unseasonably warm and pleasant for most of our 14th? annual Boysweekend event, held, as it has been for the last several years, at the Green River Reservoir, site 21. Several of the boys arrived early on Friday, as has become the tradition, including Bob, Joe, Jon, David, Stan, Roy and Shane. The early arrivals parlayed with the ranger, who agreed to let us settle up on Sunday for the site. He’d apparently had no problems with the initial quantities of ‘supplies’ and the exuberance of our early party arrivals. Later in the day, however, he passed along a message, through some later comers, that he’d heard we might be carrying ‘firearms’ and that ‘no hunting’ was allowed on State Park land. He’d also gotten wind that we had a cannon in our possession and passed along the message that we should not shoot the cannon off after 10 PM on Friday, but, by all means, to ‘blast away’ on Saturday. Apparently the friendly, yet $$ conscious ranger had fond childhood memories himself of shooting off a cannon with his dear old dad. So the stage was set for a weekend of only slightly controlled campfire fun with the middle-aged men who get together to laugh, sing, tell jokes and forget about their responsibilities for a couple of days.

Reports from the Friday, early arrivals group, as told to this writer, included conversations with some young and ‘fairly wimpy’ chaps from a UVM outing club who were still on Site 21 when our BWE scouting party first arrived. They told of being visited by a group of terrorizing raccoons, who ravaged one of their tents for food the night before. Other Friday arrivals included an extreme biker friend of Stan’s, Scott Danis, a UVM Admissions Dept. programmer (excellent fire tender), and two of Shane’s friends from work at the Almartin Service Dept, Bill and Matt; all were first timers at the BWE. Later arrivals on Friday included, Chick, Mal and then Tim, who arrived well after dark. Then, early Saturday morning, but while all the boys were still up and around the campfire, Chick’s cousin and recent, but regular participant at the Boysweekend Forum, Ned Halpin, arrived shortly after 1 AM for his first visit to the Fall Event. Also on Saturday, a third friend of Shane's from work, Jim Barrett, arrived by kayak. Jim had visited briefly last year and returned to spend Saturday night around the campfire. He too was a welcome addition. Chick, who never quite made it last year (I won't dwell on that story here), had to leave early himself on Saturday for, another BWE first, his mother-in-law's birthday party!

Well, before the Friday evening activities of random cannon blasts and raucous merry making, and just after the evening meal of boiled crustaceans (Not certain of the exact timing here, as I arrived after dark), a masked bandit, of the four-footed variety, did show up without fear to try and make like this was his territory. According to first hand reports, he was certainly bolder than the average campsite terrorist, but he quickly met his demise from a swift, pre-emptive, strike by the fast thinking, DP, who with 3 quick shots, had him; and I don’t mean with his Nikon… There were no further attacks from the forest dwelling creatures for the balance of the weekend. It’s hard to tell exactly what may have kept the vicious tent bandits from further attacks, but between the example made of this first, bold, ring-tailed, venturer on Friday night and the on-going pyrotechnics of Stan and Bob, with dueling cannon blasts over the course of the, coupled with an awe-inspiring, yet very spiritual, funeral pyre of old Rocky on Saturday night, there’s a good chance that Site 21 will be varmint-free for quite a while!

As usual the weekend was different things for different folks. For some it culminated with a long, hard ride through the woods on their expensive mountain bikes on Saturday. For some it was drinking coffee and then experiencing the quiet, overlook from the fragrance-free, plastic, latrine, while catching up on the latest Paris Hilton adventure from the pages of Jon’s annual contribution, ‘The Star’ magazine. For some it was, heaven forbid that I even mention it, the dreaded ‘pegs game,’ which made them smile and feel like they were a part of something? Somehow this strange game has managed to infiltrate our annual, boys-only event. All I can say about this, is, it takes a big man to get excited about moving his little pegs around the board… Someday, when I’m wearing my ‘pajamas in the daytime’ maybe, just maybe, I’ll understand. But until then, I will accept my friends, and the friends they bring (hopefully they will all feel comfortable to return again next year), who attend our fall event and with them I will continue to sing the Boysweekend Chorus, loud and clear, ‘We don’t hurt anyone, and we can’t offend anyone, ‘cause we’re the only ones there!!! Of course, Rocky the raccoon might not concur, but heck, we must stand firm against those who would terrorize others. May this year go down in Boysweekend history as the year of the coon!

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