Flash Back Fridays


Jim and I had worked with Peter at ‘Woodlands School’ in Nanaimo when we first started teaching. Later he came to the Lodge with a group of students including his son, Peter Croft Jr., who is now a well-known rock climber. Peter Sr. was an active par- ticipant at the ‘School Trustees Envi- ronmental Workshop’ held at the Lodge in 1975.

Peter Croft Sr.

Peter Croft Sr.

Peter tells this story:

The rain was relentless and a gusty wind was boxing the compass. 28 Grade Nine students were divided into pairs and scattered among the trees. They were learning ‘How to survive in a British Columbia rain forest’. Each pair was given a can of cold chicken soup. The task was to light a fire, heat the soup and drink it.

An hour later, there were a few smears of smoke, which I encouraged with “splendid, splendid!” However, survival by hot chicken soup was unlikely. My chief effort was to try to disguise the fact that I was as helpless as the students. But we were trying. We were doing our best and getting very wet and cold.

Then Jim appeared, looked around, grinned and offered no help or suggestions. However, he called me aside and I supposed I was about to get some good advice on chicken soup survival. “Come along here Pete, I’d like your opinion on something.” And then: “So how do you like your steak?” I thought this was some kind of a joke. “Oh, medium-rare” I quipped with a grin. Another couple hundred yards around a rocky outcrop, there was a ledge below an overhang and a furnace of a fire going with no smoke. “Medium rare you said, didn’t you Peter?” He had left his nephew, David Boulding, in charge of three enormous steaks. The rain and wind had increased to a force seven storm. And I ate the best medium-rare steak of my life; warm, dry and sheltered. Jim said (professor-like) that there was an important lesson to be drawn from our steaks. But he never said what it was, and I never asked.