Nite Trek 2013: Barter Big or Go Home
May 6, 2013
It was the afternoon before Nite Trek 2013 and I could tell that Karl was bored. I had been trying to interest him in a couple of other “missions” but to no avail; the sunshine and the hammock were too overpowering a force for him. In a last ditch effort, I challenged him…”Take this cookie (vanilla cream) and walk around camp and see what you can get for it. ” While this intrigued him, he didn’t nibble, so, what the heck, I thought I’d give it a try. Karl and a few others tagged along to see how it would go. Well, this is how it went…
At the first site, I said “Hi! I’m from Couteau scouts and I have this wonderful cookie. Would you like to trade me something for it?” , “No” (that was the short answer.) Well, not to be defeated, I tried again. “No” (Actually it was mostly blank stares). Third time the charm. This time I was able to trade the one cookie for three pieces of licorice. A start! At the next campsite, I said “Hi, I’m from Couteau scouts and I had a cookie which I traded for these three pieces of licorice, would you like to trade?” From this group I got not one, but two bags of chicken noodle soup. (Ok it was from my wife and I recognized those bags as being from our own camping box…and several years old at that!!”) Moving on…”Hi! I’m from Couteau Scouts and I traded a cookie for three licorice, which I traded for these two bags of chicken noodle soup, would you like to trade?”. “Hmm how about 4 individual juice flavor pouches?” Sure!
As you can imagine, the story continues, at each campsite the introduction grows…for the juice pouches I traded for three homemade cookies and a bag of doritos. For these I traded for a whole box of Girl Guide cookies! Not bad, a 24 fold increase in my investment. (Actually it wasn’t too surprising as it was Girl guide run event AND cookie sales had been dragging….) I traded the box of cookies for 6 badges and a neon orange whistle; which may have been a step backward. I traded three of the badges for two glow sticks. I traded the glow sticks for three bags of chips. I traded two bags of chips for a fully loaded hot dog (ketchup, relish, mustard AND onions). Each time I opened the bargaining with a recap of where I started and where I was…it was kind of like “One hand; One hand, Two ducks…”. I traded the remaining bag of chips for a PB & J “trader” (where trader means a small hand made craft the guide was willing to trade). I traded that for two dessert cakes. For one of the desserts I got a Cadbury chocolate bar, for the other I got a small bottle of bubbles. At this point I had a fully loaded hot dog, a Cadbury chocolate bar, a bottle of bubbles, a neon whistle and three badges. Some of the scouts had tagged along and were “helping” me carry the items; and I seemed to be gathering a bit of an entourage. A couple of scouts even ran back to get some of their own stuff to trade.
At the final campsite I said: “Hi I’m from Couteau Scouts and I traded a cookie for 3 licorice sticks, which I traded for 2 bags of chicken noodle soup. I traded the soup for 4 juice pouches and traded those for 3 homemade cookies and a bag of doritos. I traded the three homemade cookies and bag of Doritos for a box of Girl Guide cookies, which I traded for some badges and a neon orange whistle. I traded some of the badges for glow sticks, which I traded for three bags of chips, two of which I traded for this fully loaded hot dog. For the other bag of chips I got a PB&J trader, which I traded for two desserts. I traded one of those for a chocolate bar and the other for a bottle of bubbles. What would you like to trade me for?”
I traded the badges for a key chain flint-and-striker and a couple of other “traders”, and I traded the chocolate bar for a box of Hostess Chocolate Cup Cakes, and that’s where it ended. I, of course, showed off my gains back at my camp, ate the hot dog and some of the cup cakes (gave away the rest), traded the bottle of bubbles for my daughter (yes my daughter’s friend made that astute trade), and also gave away the neon orange whistle and striker (to Karl)….not a bad way to meet some people and walk around camp.
I can’t wait for CJ2013…maybe I’ll start with a paperclip…
Scouter Mark Paetkau
1st Couteau Scouts
Nite Trek 2013