What do you mean you’ve lost the entire troop!

It was a long evening, when I went to quickly pick my son up from cadets. As I arrived at the cadet hut, I noticed that there was something missing – Cadets! The troop leader and his assistant were standing outside by their cars. The cadets had been dropped off in another part of the town, earlier that evening. Armed with compasses and OS maps they were navigating their way (in small groups) across town to the cadet hut. In theory.
‘What’s going on?’
‘We’ve lost them.’ said the assistant.
‘Lost them? How can you lose an entire troop?’
‘Well they’re off road and we’re in cars.’
‘Mmmm so you’re saying there are no adults with them, keeping an eyes on them?’
‘No’ piped up the troop leader irritably ‘ But we have mobile phone contact with each group.’
‘Oh so you do know where they are?’
‘Kind of.’
Confused? I was. What he meant was that he could ask the lads where they were. The problem was that they didn’t know! Fifteen minutes later, the first group arrived. Thomas wasn’t amongst them. He sent me a text to say he was going to be late, (then helpfully turned off his phone) It’s about now I am wishing that I hadn’t lectured him on not wasting battery power. Ten minutes later a number of groups come in. No Thomas! It is now around forty minutes after he was due and it is beginning to get dark. Not wanting to cause a fuss that my child’s group is still missing (presumed dead or badly beaten up by the local youths) I ask if there is a plan of action e.g. phoning them and asking for a street name. This suggestion is taken up.
‘The problem is that they keep moving’ said the assistant.
‘perhaps ask them to keep still?’ I suggested.
Then they didn’t have a road map – luckily someone had a sat nav. So off they went to collect the group by car. Whilst I sat willing Thomas not to refuse taking a lift from the stranger I had just sent to pick him up. It seemed like an eternity until they eventually arrived.
Later we looked at where he had been. He basically had to walk from west to east for 3 miles. What his group had done had walked west to east for 2.5 miles then walked east to west for two miles and then 3 miles north. All the leader could say was
‘I think they might need more practice with compasses!’ You think!

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~ by envisioningutopia on May 3, 2012.

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