I was never a Boy Scout. I wanted to date a few Girl Scouts! I soon realized that by joining the Boy Scouts there would be no “mixers” or exclusive rights or easy access to the Girl Scouts. This is false advertising in my opinion. I never understood why others do not think as I do. So I did not join.
To know me would be to understand that as a young teenager I had two thoughts:
- Have fun
- Meet girls. Try and woo girls. And everything that Webster says ‘woo’ means.
I was always mesmerized by girls. So if I could meet girls then I would have fun… Boy scouts didn’t offer either.
Regardless. They are closing down a Houston Boy Scout Institution, Camp Strake.
Why do you think I care??? Because I have two great memories from this place. And they both fit snuggly into my two teenage categories; fun and girls.
Back in 1983ish when I was 13-14 years of age. I was indoctrinated into the Methodist Chuch through Confirmation. This was a relatively easy process of accepting God. Most of my peers at the church joined Confirmation to focus on God. Don’t get me wrong, I am a Christian and I did (and still do) fully accept God as my savior. I just had a side benefit to Confirmation. I could spend a week at Camp Strake with my buddies in one cabin and the girls that were going through the process in the next cabin. Think about this! A cornucopia of fun… God, Girls, and Fun!
Boy did we have fun! We studied, we ate in fellowship, we prayed, we told stories of our lives, etc… And we sang! But after the organized activities concluded we had “free time”.
Free time consisted on my trying to figure out a way to convince little Kathy Wheatley, beautiful creature with snow white blond hair, how to allow me to kiss and fondle her. I often think back and reminiscence about her… or maybe fantasize? I lost track of her after that glorious week at Camp Strake but still think of her.
Bed-time came and lights went out. My two best friends that happened to be brothers, Jason and Jeff, made a distraction so I could slip out the window and meet little Kathy Wheatley. Kathy and I wandered down on the dock of the small pond. Bathing in the moonlight I fell in love for one of the hundreds of times in my life. Thank you little Kathy Wheatley for the memory.
Sneaking back in the window, I fell onto the bunk that Jeff was sleeping in. This created a huge ruckus. Candy, cookies, pillows, crap started to fly across the bunks. A huge throwing fight ensued. Damn we must have been loud. The associate preacher (our chaperone) busted in the room clad in boxers and socks. B.T. Williams began to shout for us to shut up! We all pelted him with our full arsenal. His anger disappeared as he dove behind Jason’s bunk and joined in the fight! I’ll always respect Rev. BT. Not only for his mentorship but his ability to have fun. On the bus ride back Rev BT walked by me, placed his hand on my shoulder and whispered, “She is a cute one… Did you enjoy the pond in the moonlight?” Then walked away.
Thank you Camp Strake for the opportunity. Thank you Rev BT. Thank you Jeff. Rest in Peace Jason.
I drive by Camp Strake on I-45 often and think of that experience. The road sign that announced the exit is something that will no longer be there.