Boys and You!

We are camping this week. Each year the Greenwald clan packs up and heads for the hills. This year we will be at the Cataloochee camping area in the SE portion of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It is great for the whole family to be together.

Every year is an adventure, and every year we have with us at least three very attractive teenaged girls who almost always attract attention. One year we were camped by a stream, and every teenaged boy soon learned that the quickest route to the stream was ALWAYS by our campsite. Yeah, right.

So, going into the wild with attractive females requires some preparation. A few years ago I stumbled across an article on the GSMNP web site which was originally titled ‘Bears and You’. So, I pasted it in my word processor, and replaced every occurrence of the word ‘bear’ with ‘boy.’ The results were not just humorous, but actually in many respects wise. I reprint this hear for your fun and enjoyment!


Boys in the Park are wild and their behavior is sometimes unpredictable. Although extremely rare, attacks on humans have occurred, inflicting serious injuries and death. Treat all boy encounters with extreme caution and follow these guidelines.

Encounters Along the Trail
Remain watchful.

If you see a boy at a distance do not approach it. If your presence causes the boy to change its behavior (stops feeding, changes its travel direction, watches you, etc.) – YOU’RE TOO CLOSE.

Being too close may also promote aggressive behavior from the boy such as running toward you, making loud noises, or swatting the ground. The boy is demanding more space. Don’t run but slowly back away watching the boy. Try to increase the distance between you and the boy. The boy will probably do the same.

If a boy persistently follows or approaches you, typically without vocalizing, or paw swatting, try changing your direction. If the boy continues to follow you, stand your ground. If the boy gets closer, begin talking loudly or shouting at it. Act aggressively and try to intimidate the boy.

Act together as a group if you have companions. Make yourselves look as large as possible (for example move to higher ground). Throw non-food objects such as rocks at the boy. Use a deterrent such as a stout stick if you have one. Don’t run and don’t turn away from the boy.

Don’t leave food for the boy; this encourages further problems. Most injuries from boy attacks are minor and result from a boy attempting to get at people’s food. If the boy’s behavior indicates that he is after your food and you’re physically attacked, separate yourself from the food and slowly back away.

If the boy shows no interest in your food and you’re physically attacked, fight back aggressively with any available object – the boy may consider you as prey!

Help protect others, report all boy incidents to a park ranger immediately! Above all, keep your distance from boys!

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2 thoughts on “Boys and You!

  1. Anonymous

    Wonderful advice, especially for your crew of girls. I love the last line. In the interest of practicality I’d add, “Above all, keep your distance from boys…until they are at least 27.”Staci

  2. Gus&Adri

    Laughing with you! The ending paragraphs seem to say that the old adage is still true: “The way to a man’s (boy’s) heart is through his stomach.” Plus, some of us have experienced the fact that teenage boys have hollow legs. –ae

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