“Scrape, Scrape, Scrape” high pitched screeching sounds fill the tiny cabin. I turn to the other three girls who wore an identical petrified look in their eyes. “Scrape, Scrape, Scrape” penetrates our eardrums, once again adding to the growing panic. I attempt to evaluate the situation as best as my 4th-grade self can. We are in our seemingly “safe” camp cabin full of eight girls and two high school counselors in a separate room. “Scrape, Scrape, Scrape” dread begins piling up in the pit of my stomach.
It’s the shovel man! ” a cabin mate blurts out. I huddle next to the girl quivering beside me, using her radiating body warmth to substitute for the chill in this grave of a room. “Creak” the door inches open. We were initiated into the myth of “The Shovel Man” at Camp Seymour. It was 4th-grade outdoor ed at Ordway. In the past, our outdoor trip was held at a different location, but this year the school chose Camp Seymour. The rowdy, eternally long bus ride came to a halt, as we reach our final destination.
I leap off the bus, gazing around in awe. It was unbelievably spectacular! I see plenty of friends, a camp schedule complete with canoeing, archery, a scary campfire story, a reptile room, and best of all, no parents were in sight! I am assigned to cabin six, named Nisqually. Hannah, 17, and Lia, 16 help us unpack. On the walk to dinner we chat about what activities we want to participate in the next day. I loved being surrounded by all my friends and being adventurous, but a longing for my bed and my family sprouts into my mind.
My homesick memories get cut short by the blaring microphone. “Attention, Attention! ” Everyone falls dead silent and stops munching to glance at the counselor speaking. “After dinner, we will be telling a scary story at the campfire. If you dislike scary stories you can hang out in the game room till we are done. ” The butterflies in my stomach die down. I’m thrilled, since scary stories are my favorite! A friend taps my shoulder to inquire, “Are you going to the story? ” “Yes, of course, I love scary stories! A fearful look glazes over her eyes, I know she doesn’t want to attend the bonfire. “It won’t even be creepy, it’s probably about bigfoot or something we’ve already heard before! ” She seems a little torn whether she wants to go, but nods her head anyway.
Dinner concludes as we file out to the log benches parallel to the crackling bonfire. Fiery flames provide comfort as the frigid breeze chills our skin. I huddle next to my friend and try to contain myself from the anticipation of the story. The chattering fades as three counselors take the stage. In 1905, Camp Seymour was constructed as a camp for the youth of the Tacoma YMCA. They built the cafeteria, cabins, and the tennis courts. ” “This is so boring, it’s not even creepy, I feel like I’m in history class” whispers a voice behind me. “One weekend in 1954, a group of boy scouts and their leader had the camp all to themselves, with the exception of the groundskeeper.
The groundskeeper was a very old man who was tired of his hard labor job, which required him to bring many tools with him, like a shovel. “One day the boy scouts were all very tired from hiking and retired to their cabin early. The boys heard a scraping noise dragging across the door and the walls of the cabin. They woke up their leader to investigate. He opened the door and shined his flashlight, but only saw pitch black darkness. He cautioned the boys to stay inside and left to have a look around. 30 minutes passed and he had not returned. The boys agreed to go outside and solve the mystery”. “I know this is not going to end well” I mutter to my friend under my breath. She nods in agreement.
The group of boys went missing, until a group of campers discovered bones buried in the forest near the cabin. As for the groundskeeper, he was never seen again. Campers have reported hearing a shovel scraping on the doors of their cabin. So make sure to keep your cabin locked at night, and don’t answer the door, or you may end up like the boys. ” I try to push the thought that I could be the next victim of the shovel man into the back of my mind. Our counselors call us over to go back to the cabin. We change into cozy pajamas and climb into warm, welcoming bunks.
Everything is peaceful until the dreaded noises of the shovel echo through the cabin. Looking back at my encounter with the “Shovel Man”, also known as counselors pranking the campers. More than anything, it reveals how a scary event in your life can turn out to be completely different than it seemed at the time. For me, my imagination ran wild and I believed I was in a “near death” experience, when in reality it was just a harmless prank. It is important to keep things in perspective when you are in a frightening situation and not act in the heat of the moment.