Jul 8, 2012

Bear Claw- A Cautionary Tale

Over the years one of my favorite things to do is go to Girls' Camp. At 18-years-old Ward Girls' Camp director was my very first calling in the church.  I've been to many a girls' camp since then but the one I'm blogging about today is probably the best! (Definitely better than the one in 1976 when I was 9-month pregnant!)


Ten years ago we were camped at Camp Nawaka in the San Bernardino Mountains in Southern California when we had a midnight visitor the first night of camp. Two of the Stake leaders doing bed checks encountered a *teenaged* bear, and felt like there were more *lurking*. About half an hour later there was a racket in the kitchen/mess hall. The next morning they found that Mama-Bear had broken in, opened the commercial refrigerator, pulled out several half gallon containers of milk, stomped on them, pulled down several bags of freshly baked cookies and had herself a midnight snack of milk and cookies. She even snuffled her bear-nose on the menu white board to find out if we were serving anything else she'd like. When she saw that we were having a potato BAR the next day, she ran away! She didn't want no B[e]AR! So the next day Liz wrote a note to the bear, complete with fanged, snarly-face!

bear- go home

That first day on our hike we passed a dead bear (not the aforementioned bear). It had been there for quite some time. It looked like a bearskin rug stretched over the bones... you know:  fur, paws and head complete with sticky-out tongue. Several people said they'd like to get the paw for the claws.

Well, you know *Little-Joanie*... I went and got that paw!

dead bear

I wrapped it in several layers of garbage bags and a Ziploc bag and took it home. But the process of getting the claws off the foot was daunting!

I tried a hacksaw, then pliers...


... and even some brute strength.


I finally decided that the only way to get just the claws was to cook it. Fortunately I have a barbecue grill with a side burner. I stunk up the whole neighborhood! If my reputation hadn't been on the line, I would have ditched the whole stinking mess in the trash!

I turned those claws into necklaces and presented them to some of the *key* leaders at the Girls' Camp awards ceremony in August.

bear claw necklace

**Now we get to the cautionary-tale part...

I was asked to go to girls' camp this year as part of the kitchen crew (frankly, MY VERY FAVORITEST JOB). So Wasatch and Uinta area bears beware! I play for keeps! (Yeah, and I will be wearing my bear claw necklace all week long!)



glynrd said...

I love this story.

Laura H said...

Oh my goodness. BBQ bear claw??!!