I always find it interesting after a hard first days work in setting up camp how any boys club group took to their first evening. As darkness set itself over Big Bass Lake, the Haunted Island in the distance took on a whole new identity for the boys. During the daylight hours it appeared rather tame but now it looked most foreboding to te kids.
The Salesian Boys Club kids had set up camp in a drizzle that day. The rain had ceased about 7pm that night and the boys found themselves huddled around their first campfire. With the fire making their vision even less tha before it made that first campfire almost unreal. Even the commode, perched some fifty yards from camp, seemed to be a most perilous walk.
What the boys would realize is that once they left the campfire area to ready themselves for bed, their vision would be better suited to see much better. Timmy still said that the island looked spooky and that the commode walk would be somewhat difficult for him at night. Jughead thought it was more peaceable at night without all the boats roaring about the lake.
Some of the boys took a brief night swim before retiring to bed. But you could feel fear in all of them as darkness covered the area. At the same time, the longer they embraced their circumstances the better it got. Those that went to bed right after the campfire never gave their eyes time to adjust to the darkness. The plain fact is that those boys couldn’t wait to get to the safety of their tents.
Half the boys, though, spent some time away from the campfire either by swimming or walking about the area getting used to their new environment. The longer they did that the more comfortable the night became to them. I’ve always found that first night a most enjoyable character study of the boys. And these kids would help the more fearful adjust during the second night of darkness.
For me, evening was always most pleasant as it was the only time I had to myself once the kids were all in their tents. Yes, night-time was a great time at Big Bass Lake.