by: Jason Emery
Source: From an old man who lived at Camp Belzer before Jeff became director.
This is a story about Camp Belzer and some of the creatures that live here. According to a man I met a couple of years ago this whole story is true to every last detail.
Once upon a time there was a man named Jerimiah Johnson who was a loner, that is to say that he did not even associate with people. He decided to become a hermit in the area which had become Belzer scout camp. He was different than most men because he disliked all the lying and stealing that went on in the world, and still does. When he moved into the woods, he found traps set by hunters who had no desire to eat all the animals they caught. The hunters just killed for the fun of it. In Jerimah's travels around Belzer forest he found a bobcat trapped in one of the contraptions the hunters had created to kill animals. He freed the bobcat and nursed it back to health, by feeding it and bandaging its wounds. He named the bobcat Scurlock, possibly for his father whose nickname was Scurlock, but no one knows for sure. It took a long time for the bobcat to heal but during that time Mr. Johnson and Scurlock became the best of friends. They did all things together and complimented each other; when they did work, Scurlock would drag the wood and Jerimiah would cut it. These two would eat together and they even slept in the same bed. There was a well in the Belzer forest that they would walk to each night to draw water for dinner. Neither would admit it, but it was also one of the best spots to watch the stars at night.
As I already said, they would walk to the well every night together, but on one particular night, the 31st of October, they were walking to the well and it was an eerie night. There was a storm rising in the east which seemed an odd direction for a storm to be coming from. Jerimiah thought this storm was an evil one. The wind whipped through the trees, ripping off the tops of the weaker ones. The dislocated tree tops toppled to the ground with a huge crash smashing all things underfoot. The lightning strikes were of a pale, bluish color. Jerimiah sensed the evil of this storm; it seemed that the spirits of the world wanted something, but Jerimiah knew that it was none of his concern. The storm worked its evil spell, lacing evil through all of the forest. Just as Jerimiah reached the well, the lightning struck it, causing a super bright flash. Along with the flash, the lighting ripped the spirits from both Jerimiah and Scurlock. It worked its evil spell on the two, twisting their bodies and souls together. This new contrivance of Bobcat and Man became known as the Belzer Beast!
This creature still wanders Camp Belzer, it runs free and is uninhibited as a predator in its search for food. If you ever see it, you will know. It runs hunched over with its front paws dragging on the ground. It has large fangs and a dripping muzzle, blood-red, luminescent eyes. The lightning seemed to change the eyes to favor those of the serpent. Its claws are razor sharp and nearly unbreakable. You should never fear this Beast for he is a friend to all scouts. He is a wily creature, knocking down tents and tipping over water cans. One thing the Belzer Beast can not stand is the senseless abuse of plants or animals. It is a believer in the jungle law which says, kill only what you are going to eat. If he ever finds you attacking animals or plants, beware of his wrath.