As mentioned in other stories I have known Julie for a very long time, with the advent of the website we were talking about what got me started which I have always claimed was seeing the casual nakedness of the Germans while on a camping holiday in Wales. Then she reminded me of an event which I had completely forgotten almost two years prior to Wales.
At the time we were both members of the guides in what was I feel a very progressive troop, in my time with them I learned (among other things) basic woodcraft, rock-climbing, hand gliding and canoeing. It was during a trip to Kielder reservoir that I was taught how to paddle a canoe, after a few hours on the water when we were all soaked to the skin, and just about exhausted, our leader called us in.
Once we were close to the shore we climbed out of our canoes, plunged into the cold water and carried them safely to the transport. When all the canoes were put away everyone was standing around waiting to be told where to go and get changed, having arrived wearing bathing suits under our clothes it had not occurred that there would be no changing facilities.
There were several family groups using the picnic tables on the shoreline including a group of scouts who were camping at the reservoir for the full weekend. Seeing us still standing there and staring she simply commented in her usual loud manner “Christ sake, I don’t know what you’re worried about just get changed… I’ll stand here you can go behind that hut over there, no-one is going to look”.
So the entire group of girls all tried to hide behind the end of the hut with half of us keeping watch while the others changed quickly and efficiently. Well… at least at first, it did not take long before we started trying to push people out into the open once they were in a state of undress while giggling like schoolgirls, which in truth is what we were. I was as guilty as anyone for pushing people out with one girl briefly ending up out there completely starker’s… the leader shouting out that we needed to settle down and finish getting changed, her attention having being attracted by the cheers from the scout group.
I’d just put my shirt on when one of the group dared me to moon the scouts, I could see that one way of another that I was going to end up getting pushed out there but tried to talk my way out of it by saying “I will if you will”, surprisingly she agreed. So we both quickly dashed out flicked up the back of our shirts (to cheers) and ran straight back behind the hut laughing, fortunately fast enough that our leader did not (or claimed not) to know who had did it as we were all wearing the same uniform.
At this point she stood by the hut while we finished getting changed to prevent any further silliness and had us pull the trailer all the way to the car “since we obviously still had too much energy”. When Julie mentioned this to me it all came flooding back, especially the slightly embarrassed cowed looks of everyone as we pushed the trailer up the bank past the scouts (who remarkably did not have the common decency to offer to help!).
I’m still not sure how I forgot this event and in truth still feel that the Welsh camping holiday was the point at which I actively became an exhibitionist; this little streak was probably a very minor event at the time and the sort of game everyone plays growing up. The diary entry for this week was quite long encompassing the end of the summer term, several events, two birthday parties and that I was excited about going on holiday in a few weeks so the only mention of this incident reads “Me and Clare mooned the boys on a dare, Abi (the leader) was upset with us but looked like she was trying not to laugh”.
Julie may have a point and I was just not aware of my tendencies at this time (she argues I was all too willing to join Clare, and half the troop would have had to be involved to make me do something I did not want to when there was a nice solid paddle close to hand)… then again she often mentions how we rarely wore swimsuits when we played in her paddling pool in the summer and claims this was obviously the true beginning.
Well I better get back to work, lots to do and so little time.