Near Pitch Dark at Big Bass Lake


Pitch darkness! After each evening’s campfire was over, I put out the fire with water and the boys on each trip began readying themselves for bed. Some took down some clothes off the clothesline while others stood in line for the commode. And then some of the boys joined me at the Pointe as we gazed at the thick darkness permeating the air and the hundreds of stars above us.

Big Bass Lake stood before us enveloped in thick darkness with the waters as dark as pitch. The Haunted Island was a darkened shape before their eyes on a sea of black while young eyes glanced skyward at the twinkling dim lights. Chris marveled at how dark it was being a member of the Hoffman Estates Boys Club. His younger brother Billy stood right next to me shivering as a light wind had begun to permeate the area.

Whenever the campfire was put out quite became the order of camp as the boys scurried about with whatever they needed to get done before bedtime. Some lingered at the beach as they sat in the metal rowboat taking in the darkness before them. On each passing day the boys adjusted themselves to this darkness so that it no longer overwhelmed them as it had the first two nights.

And, within ten minutes of assembling in their tents it was all quiet until the next morning. I kept the boys quite busy during the day so that their sleep would be welcome each night. That provided me a few moments of reflection in the thick darkness each night before I turned in. Day is done!

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