I almost fought a scout leader on a church youth trip. True story. (to expound on the comment I left for Emily’s post on anger)

I had been youth pastor for about 12 hours. It was one of those “changing of the guard” or “passing the torch” camping trips with me, the former youth pastor, and 5 of the boys. We were in the middle of Oleno State Park and our campsite was next to some boy scouts. As I was setting up camp, I hear, “DON’T CUT THAT LIVE TREE!” screamed from the other camp. I looked around, and one of my boys had the machete and a timid look in his eyes.

Did that just really happen? Did someone just yell at one of my kids? I started to get warmer. After a few minutes to calm down, I bee-bopped next door to have a little talk. I found “the guy who was doing all the yelling” (that’s what I named him, the clean version anyway) and began to explain that we were a church group, not boy scouts, and if they had problems with my boys that they should speak with me instead of yelling across the forest.

Yeller explained that the boy was cutting into a live tree.

I explained that the boy was a live boy who came to the woods in part to get away from his father who yells at him like that. Yeller felt about thiiiiiiis big. Of course I made up the part about the boys father, but it was better than a cage fight to the death.

It all worked out for the good, however, because they invited us over for tacos that evening. I think they saw my survival skills and feared for the welfare of my boys.

It was probably the best trip I have been on as a youth pastor. There are plenty more stories about that trip, but I will save them for a later date.