TBT: Sharing Facilities

When I was fifteen, I participated in Rayado, which is a program at Philmont Scout Ranch, a Boy Scout backpacking camp in New Mexico.  My grandparents had taken groups of Scouts, boys and girls, for decades.  I had already been twice and wanted to push myself even more.

Rayado has gone through a lot of changes over the years, but fundamentally, it’s intended to be the ultimate experience for the mind, body, and soul.  For that reason, unlike the rest of the camp, it’s not co-ed.  So I was with a small group of girls from all over the country.  We hiked 300 miles in 20 days and experienced a wide range of surprises and activities.

{Quick side note.  If you read my post about early interactions with my future husband, you’ll recall I said he had heard about me over the summer before we met and was fascinated. It was specifically this trip that intrigued him. As it happened, he was at Philmont at the same time and had hoped to run into this girl who would participate in such an activity.}

Anyway, like I said, the group was all girls. One of them had chosen to cut her hair absurdly short before the trip. She looked very much like a boy. We all knew she wasn’t and if she was with us, people might figure it out, but if she was on her own, she was going to be mistaken for a boy.

Now, Philmont has acres and acres of land to hike over. Obviously, people hiking all over the place will at some point, need to use the bathroom. Hikers were taught how to relieve themselves in the absence of a bathroom without harming the environment, but there were also bathrooms… of sorts… in the more populated areas.

There were two types of these. They were called “pilot copilot” and “pilot bombardier”. The “pilot bombardier” style was simply two seats back-to-back out in the open somewhere. There were no walls. Just seats going down into pits. You opened the lid and waited for all the flies to exit. If they didn’t, then you found a tree somewhere nearby.

The “pilot copilot” style was more common in the heavily populated areas like major camps. These were side-by-side seats into a larger pit and there was a wall around them. No door though. Just a doorway.

So one day, the girl that looked like a boy headed to a “pilot copilot.” The rest of us were sitting nearby waiting. While she was in there, a (from my recollection, tall, dark, and handsome) guy walked in. We all sat up a bit and wondered what would happen. We were surprised when he didn’t immediately come back out – that’s what normally happened if a gender mismatch occurred when someone didn’t call to make sure it was empty first.

Inside, she was sitting on one of the seats when the guy walked in. He nodded, walked over to the other seat, whipped it out of his pants, and began peeing. She turned beet red, pulled up her underwear and pants in one quick motion, and fled the building.

By the time the guy came out a few seconds later, she was safe in our group and we all burst out laughing when we saw him. I’m not sure he noticed her in our group or knew what had happened or why all those girls were laughing. Suffice it to say, we made it a habit to guard the door in the future.

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