This is Part One of my “I Can’t Clickhole” series, where I take headlines I wrote when attempting to get hired by Clickhole, and turn them into full articles. This will either convince you that Clickhole’s missing out, or they totally dodged a bullet. Hopefully the former.
Still think adventurism is dead? Still convinced that today’s youth would rather waste their days playing phone games and Playing with their Boxes at Station X, rather than hike the steepest trails or climb the tallest mountains? Well, have we got a faith-restoring tale for you, as 11-year-old Boy Scout Jacob Moonhouse just spent seven days and six nights not at a Hilton, but camping alone in the wilderness thanks to his entire troop leaving him behind! Talk about building character!
Moonhouse, while working on earning his Tenderfoot badge, accompanied the rest of Troop 619 out of Blue Ball, Pennsylvania on a phone-free, computer-free, and just plain technology-free camping trip in the Blue Knob mountains, where he was to complete his mile walk/run, showcase his tent-pitching skills, and demonstrate his first aid skills to the Scoutmaster. He got even more adventure than he bargained for, however, because on the very first night, the Troop decided the weather wasn’t right, and they should head back. They forgot to inform young Moonhouse, who awoke to find himself alone.
Doesn’t that sound amazeballs?! What better way to awaken the body, mind, and spirit than being lost in the wood, all alone, without even a note from those whom he thought were his friends regarding where they went, why they left, and where they could be found? What rejuvenates a mind poisoned by reality TV and smartphones better than the terrifying realization that you are so invisible and unimportant to the world, a dozen-plus of your peers and several theoretically responsible adults would just up and leave you behind, not out of maliciousness, but because you are truly that forgettable? It truly adds some soul to the fifteenth time you scream at the top of your lungs for somebody, anybody, to find you and bring you back home to mother!
But don’t think young Mr. Moonhouse shirked his duties while shivering in the cold, weeping, and praying for rescue from a land he knew nothing about and couldn’t navigate out of, because some kid stepped on and crushed his compass while moving on to God-Knows-Where. Not this intrepid young Scout! He picked himself up and fulfilled all the requirements necessary to achieve Tenderfoot: he did ten more push-ups than last time he was tested, finished walking his mile in record time (only stopping to sob and curse the heavens three times), cooked himself a delicious meal, explained both the buddy system and the “importance of eating together as a patrol” to a squirrel, and performed a picture-perfect taut-line hitch! The first aid he performed on himself after tripping over a tree stump and shattering his ankle was rather impressive too.
Meeting the cooking requirements proved rather difficult, as the children and adults who had shattered his ability to trust took all the food and supplies. No matter, as Jacob is a fine, resourceful young man who just happened to be so, so alone. He quickly learned that roast squirrel is delicious, and technically that meant he and the squirrel were eating together. Just like the badge requirement says! And for dessert, he picked himself many a handful of delicious berries, most of which weren’t poisonous at all! That diet got old after a week or so but a starving Scout can’t afford to be picky, so squirrels and berries it was, with the occasional worm on the side. As long as he told himself they were just like Gummy Worms, only more wiggly, he found himself quite capable of controlling his gag reflex. Good man!
In short, aside from being exposed as a pitiful nothing to everyone around him, and left utterly alone to fight off a fate not altogether different from Alexander Supertramp of Into The Wild fame, this camping trip was a total success! Truth be told, the only thing young Moonhouse lacked was a Scoutmaster to record his many accomplishments and make them official. But that’s OK — he’s young, and nobody gets it right the first time. Just remember to not be totally abandoned by everyone you trusted next time, Mr. Moonhouse, and you’ve got this!
And yes, we’re saying “next time,” because the search party finally rescued Jacob two weeks later. He was stick-thin, gaunt even, but that’s OK, because we all know how kids are struggling with the obesity these days, right? Plus, now he’s got more character than he knows what to do with, something we should all strive for in today’s character-light, safety-heavy world.
Jacob’s not done, either. When asked about his plans to go for his Second Class badge, he said, “Leave me alone … why? WHY? … Just wanna be home, Mommy … Don’t make me go back out, they hate me. They all hate me! WHYYYYYYYYY?”
If only we could all be as much a trooper as this little Trooper!