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“I am the Mom who chased the bear out of Boy Scout camp.”
Whenever anyone asks me to name something interesting about myself, that’s what I’m able to tell them. It’s one of the defining life events I’m most proud of. But upon further reflection, I discovered that my moment of bravery taught me something very important about my son, and his daily struggles with Asperger’s Syndrome.
Picture a pitch-dark night, sleeping in a pup tent with my son at a Boy Scout campout weekend. Somewhere, just outside our tent, a noise is gradually building to disturb my sleep even more than the pinecone under my sleeping bag. A raccoon? A fox? Now, I’ve never heard a bear before, but if I had to guess what one sounds like…. Well, that would be it.
What would you do?
I had the honor of telling this story at the 2014 National Storytelling Conference. The theme of the event was, “Fire and Light.”
(Illustration by Frank Stockton, "How to Survive a Bear Encounter," Scouting Magazine May/June 2013)