Almost all Bynum boys belonged to the RAs (Royal Ambassadors) which was a Baptist youth group.
Sometimes, the RA leaders would take us on a weekend trip to a cabin up on Cheaha Mountain. I dont know who owned the cabin but it was rather large and very rustic.
The first time I went on that trip, the experienced members wanted to take the newbies on a Snipe Hunt. I dont know if many of you know what a Snipe Hunt is all about, but, it is a sham just to embarrass someone.
I had already had this experience when I joined the Boy Scouts at Bynum but, I went along to see what would happen.
We were each taken out into the woods that night and put in separate places alone . in the dark. We were given a sack and told to capture the snipes when they were driven to us. And it was cold.
I stood there where they put me with that stupid sack, freezing my tail off until I couldnt take it anymore. So, I could see the lights of some of the members milling around the outside of the cabin and I made my way back through the woods.
When I got to the cabin, all the leaders and experienced members were milling around in the front laughing and joking around. So, I went in through the back door. I made my way to the main room and sat down in front of the fireplace to get warm.
After about 15 or 20 minutes later, I heard the bunch our front start moving back into the woods. They were going to get the newbies and bring them back inside and make fun of them.
When they all got back and counted heads, panic set in. I could hear them outside calling and running around looking for the missing kid (me). I waited until they came back inside to get warm and I sneaked back through the back door and came around to the front. I stood there for a while and listened to their panic and then I walked in and announced that I had been chasing my snipe and the doggoned thing had got away from me.
For one thing, they were relieved I showed up. For another thing, they were all puzzled at what I could have been chasing. I made up all kinds of descriptions of what a snipe looked like. The leaders just looked at me and shook their heads in wonder because they had no idea that a snipe even existed.
I got the last laugh and they got the trick pulled on them. No more snipe hunts were held on later trips to the cabin. For quite a while afterward, some of the clueless boys asked me if I really chased a snipe.
I tried this on my boys later in life. My oldest just looked at me and said Dad, you gotta be kidding. A snipe is a small bird.
I guess our generation was more naïve and less aware of things. But, our little world was more fun. Can, in your imagination, just see a kid in the woods at night chasing a mythical animal with a sack?