Lillian Roy.

Girl Scouts at Dandelion Camp





They will have to build one, like we did, to pass a test in carpentry, remarked Julie.

I think Bettys suggestion better than the one Ruth made last night that we chop up the furniture for kindlings, now spoke the Captain.

Well, I didnt really mean that, you know! I only said it when I had to go and collect damp wood for the fire, admitted Ruth.

That evening as the scouts sat about the camp-fire, Mrs. Vernon remarked: I wonder if you girls realize how much you have already improved in this one month of camp-life?

They then began to compare notes.

Julie isnt nearly as impulsive as she used to be, said Betty.

But she still has enough left to find fault with, laughed the Captain.

And Betty isnt so preachy as she was when we weeded dandelions on your lawn, commented Ruth.

Betty is beginning to have more confidence, too, added Julie, gazing at her twin in a speculative way.

What about me how have I improved? eagerly asked Joan, looking from one to the other of her companions.

You oh, Joan, you are hopeless! laughed Julie, whereupon Joan fell upon her and they had a rough-and-tumble time on the grass.

Thus endeth every serious lesson I try to teach, laughed Mrs. Vernon, when the contestants came back to the fire.

I say, scouts: can any one see the improvement in Verny? now called Julie, in rebuttal of the Captains last words.

But the girls refused to testify, and then a new subject was introduced. I am sure I heard thunder just then.

I thought I saw a flash a little time ago, added Joan.

Maybe we had better get our things in under cover, then, and be ready to go to bed if it rains, suggested the Captain.

Consequently a mad scurrying took place and the scouts were cozily housed when the rain came down.

The next morning Mrs. Vernon said: I have been waiting for spare time to give you scouts a few lessons in first aid, but now that we expect new members in the Patrol, it may be just as well to wait for them. Many can learn as easily as a few individuals.

Still, that need not keep us from having a few tests, replied Joan, who looked for some fun in this practice.

True; and if you have a little lesson now, you ought to be able to help the new members when they come in, added Mrs. Vernon.

All right lets begin, said Julie.

My first question will be: What would you do for first-aid in case of accident?

Julie giggled: Id take mighty good care not to have one! I call that genuine first-aid.

The others laughed, and Mrs. Vernon said: You are right of course, Julie, but that is not what I mean. Because there are many people who meet with accidents, who need aid at once. And there are nine-tenths of the people who know nothing about rendering help properly. However, during the last ten years, due a great deal to scout work, I believe, the schools are taking up this work and teaching children just what to do.

We never had it in our school, said Betty.

Maybe the town is too small to pay an instructor, but all city schools teach first-aid, Im sure, replied the Captain.

Now, girls, let us be serious in this lesson.

Drop your skirts and practice in your bloomers, as you can move about easier that way.

The scouts did as they were told, and then Mrs. Vernon said: Well try Betty first, as she is the lightest of you girls.

Now let us pretend Betty went in swimming and was taken suddenly with cramps. She sank. One of you saw her disappear and called on the others for help. You ran to the waters edge and saw some one swim to shore with her; no one but you scouts knew how to revive her, so you went right to work to save her life.

Now, Betty, stretch out on the grass just as you would if you had been dragged in from the water in an unconscious state, advised Mrs. Vernon, helping Betty to repose as she should.

The three scouts watching, giggled as this sort of work was fun. When Betty was in the right position, Mrs. Vernon called:

Now scouts, loosen her clothing as quick as possible because every second counts with her life.

If she has on corsets, unhook them immediately that respiration may not be retarded. If she has on a skirt with tight belt, or other close-fitting garments that prevents circulation, undo them at once, or even cut it open if it can be accomplished in no other way. Now she ought to breathe. Tell me, can she draw her breath easily?

Can she! Shes breathing so hard that Im afraid shell explode unless she has a chance to laugh! retorted Julie.

The scouts all laughed, but Mrs. Vernon remained serious, as she knew it would never do to give Julie encouragement.

Now then, empty her lungs of water by laying her, breast downwards, and holding her up by the middle. Julie and Joan do that.

Betty was very ticklish, and the moment Julie took hold of her sides, she squirmed and giggled. Julie tried to be severe.

Teacher, this drowned scout wont let me get a good grip on her side. I fear she will have to expire unless she rolls over at once.

Even Mrs. Vernon had to laugh at Julie, and Betty said: Well, Ill roll over, if youll make Julie stop tickling me.

Obliging little Betty then rolled over face downwards, but in a second she was up on her feet, squealing and shaking herself. Every one was surprised, and Julie said aggrievedly:

Now whats the matter?

Oh, I saw a nasty fat spider running in the grass right under my nose! I wish some one else would drown for me, Verny.

The girls laughed, and Julie added: Its bad enough to have you get cramps and drown without inviting us to follow suit!

Here, Betty, get down in this short grass where there will be no plump little spiders, advised the Captain.

Betty complied, and then the two aids again took their places beside her.

Now we will begin again. Take Betty by the middle, girls, and allow her head to hang down for a few moments to take the water out of her lungs.

This lesson was done well, then Mrs. Vernon said:

Now turn the patient face downward on her breast and give artificial respiration.

Explain, Verny that long word is too much for me, said Julie.

You press the lower ribs down and forward towards the head, then release. Repeat this action twelve times to every minute.

Now Julie and Joan worked with a will, and Betty found herself revived far enough to object to their energetic treatment. She had had five respirations administered, and her first-aids were giving the sixth, when Betty kicked out with her heels and tripped Joan over upon her face.

My! This dead one came to mighty quick, Verny. We must be powerful good treaters, laughed Julie.

Scouts, I am sure Betty is well along the road to recovery, so we can go on to the next lesson, laughed Mrs. Vernon.

The next thing to do, is to place heated bottles of water at Bettys feet, and rub her arms and legs briskly, but be sure to always rub towards the heart, said the Captain.

Must I have more treatment? asked Betty, plaintively.

Sure! Youre not all alive yet, laughed Ruth.

Julie and Joan began rubbing as they had been told, but Betty suddenly sat up and said: Last night you said I was becoming more self-confident! All right, now I am so confident that you two girls are each going to get a big kick, that youd better get out of my way quick!

Scouts, dont give up, called Mrs. Vernon, laughingly. Betty is doing fine, so you must not stop such treatment.

Then you come here and take my place, said Joan, who dodged the kick too often for comforts sake.

But she must be put in a warm bed, and give her hot drinks, you know. With plenty of fresh air, I trust she will be as well as ever, said Mrs. Vernon.

But Betty had managed to kick both her nurses and that ended the lesson.

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN THE SCOUTS MEET JOHN DUNSTAN

The following day while the scouts were washing the dinner dishes, a young man came across the plateau. He was dressed in nice clothes and wore a straw sailor hat. As he neared the camp, he lifted his hat and smiled.

Why its the hunter! cried Julie, dropping the dish-mop and drying her hands on her apron.

So it is where is Verny! added Joan.

Didnt you know me, ladies? asked the visitor.

You looked so different the other day in your hunting clothes, said Julie, smiling graciously.

Ruth and Betty had gone to find the Captain, and now they came back with her.

This is John Dunstan, Verny, said Betty, simply.

The young man was invited to sit down with them, and being a genuine son of Nature, he felt quite at ease anywhere, so he began to chat with Mrs. Vernon.

Granny told me about the scouts calling on her, said he, showing how much he appreciated the visit.

Yes, and we are going again, as we enjoyed our first one so much, said the Captain.

She says you had a son in the aviation field over there, continued John.

Yes, and I do so want to talk with you about that; but first, let me ask you if you knew of those convicts being at large in the woods the last time you were here to help the scouts finish the roof?

That was why I wanted to see you, said John. I had reason to believe that two tramps were somewhere about this mountain, and I feared they might start for the village. If they did, they would come across this camp, and I didnt like to think they might annoy the scouts.

You didnt know they were convicts, then? said Julie.

If I had, do you suppose I would have allowed you girls to win the honor of catching them? I would have taken them myself.

How could you all alone? said Joan.

The same way I rounded up five Huns when they shot down my plane on their side of the battle-line. I managed to get them, too, and marched them across No Mans Land at night, and brought them in prisoners to our Captain.

Oh, oh! tell us all about it? entreated the girls.

Some other time, scouts, but now I want to answer this ladys questions, said John, laughingly.

Only tell us this much is that what you got the medal for? begged Julie.

That, and one other trick I turned, said John, without any sign of self-importance.

My boy enlisted before the United States entered the war, began Mrs. Vernon. Because we had no air service, he entered the Royal Flying Corps in Canada. He was with them until we declared war on Germany, then he wanted to fight under his own Flag. It was in his first battle as an American Flyer that he was shot down.

I was with the Royal Flying Corps, too, at first. But I didnt get your name, Captain, so I really do not know the name of your son, said John.

Oh, dont you know my name it is Vernon; and my boys name was Myles Vernon. He was a Lieutenant in the Lafayette Escadrille.

Why Mrs. Vernon! Myles and I were flying and fighting together when he was shot down! That is the very battle I was just telling of, when I bluffed the Germans into such fear that they gave up and marched across to the American lines as my prisoners.

Oh, oh, really! How happy I am to find some one who saw him at the last. Do tell me all you know, my boy, for we had very little information to console us.

John then told how bravely Myles fought and how he had shot down three planes of the enemy before they got him.

I saw his plane burst into flames but he managed to get into his parachute and cut loose. Then as he dropped nearer the earth, a machine gun riddled the parachute and he fell.

I know he met death instantaneously, for I fell very near the same place, and saw his body immediately afterwards. I was handed the personal effects he had with him, and had charge of them while I spoke to the interpreter who took down the name and address. Then I had to give them over to their authorities.

Mrs. Vernon, I saw the Germans place his body on a bier and carry it away to a house removed from the line of battle. And some weeks later, I visited the lovely little farm where he is buried. It is cared for by a mother who lost three sons for France, and now she takes the greatest joy in caring for the flowers she has planted on American Boys graves.

I can tell you of many valiant battles Myles Vernon fought, before he was killed in that one. I saw several of these fights myself, and my friends told me of others when they heard Myles was gone.

Oh, I am so happy to hear this. I feel as if you are the direct answer to prayers. Long have I desired to hear about my boy from some one who knew the facts! cried Mrs. Vernon, with eyes streaming.

But were you not injured when your plane fell that day? asked Julie, eagerly.

By some strange freak, the wings caught in a giant tree and stuck there. The upper branches were broken and hung down from the impact, but the lower boughs and trunk stood up firmly beneath the terrific jar. I was so shaken up that they thought my neck was broken, and I pretended to be a great deal worse than I was, because I believed I could find a way to escape.

They left me with the doctor and a few nurses, and when it was learned that I was partly recovered I had to help them. It was the freedom accorded any one who assists in looking after the sick prisoners that opened a way for my escape.

The scouts were so anxious to hear all about his experiences that he entertained them the greater part of the afternoon. When he finally stood up to go home, he was begged to come again very soon.

I will tell Granny that you expect to come up and call on her again? said he, shaking hands with Mrs. Vernon.

Yes, but be sure and come down to see us soon, wont you? said she.

John left, and Mrs. Vernon excused herself for a time. She went in the old hut, and Julie leaned over to whisper: Now shell go and cry herself to pieces!

No, Julie, I think she is going to pray out her thanks to God for His mercy in sending her such glorious news of her boy, returned Betty, gently.

And Betty was right. For when the Captain returned to the scouts, her face was shining with a radiance that seldom was seen on her face.

Girls, where shall we have the new members build their hut? asked she, as if nothing had ever caused her to think of aught but the scouts and their work.

Why not move Hepsys shed along and have them use that site for their house? suggested Joan.

After much planning and arguing, it was decided that the new members could choose their own site and choice of building. They may prefer to live in a tent for all we know, said Ruth.

The four scouts worked hard all that week to present as fine a camp as could be found to the new members, and when the five girls drove up in the car to taste the joys of a scout camp, they were duly impressed with the order and neatness of everything about the camp.

How these nine girls formed a Troop of splendid Girl Scouts, how they won badges for prowess in many tests and trials, and how they were the envy of all the school-girls in Elmertown, is too long a tale to tell here.

But this much can be said: The reward for the $1000 was paid over to the scouts, and the Captain placed it in the Bank of Freedom, to the account of Girls of Dandelion Patrol. That was the beginning of their savings to pay expenses of a Camp in the Adirondacks the following season.

And how they finally went to the much-longed-for camp where Mr. Gilroy welcomed them for a whole summers visit, is told in the second volume of the Girl Scouts Mountain series, called Dandelion Troop in the Adirondacks.

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