Courage Under Pressure

I've read more than one place that you can't know how someone will react when under pressure or actual danger. I realized that I had actually already experienced something like that quite a few years ago, interestingly enough.
It was a number of years ago, I think I was like 12 and I was on a Boy Scout camping trip to a place called Yellow Mountain. The campsite was actually an old barn about a mile hike from the parking lot, on top of the mountain. We got therein the early afternoon and set everything up, then we hiked out to the actual top of the mountain and ate lunch or dinner up on the rocks. The wind was blowing strongly enough that I could stand at about a 45 degree angle off of a formation and it would hold me up. I love wind.
Before I left dad had given me his old construction jumpsuit in case it got too cold, and I had this on because it was pretty chilly. Probably around 40 or 50 degrees.
After dinner we came back to the barn, which was a really old two story one. Totally wasn't air tight or anything even close to it, but it did keep most of the wind off of the tents, which we set up on the second story. If I remember correctly a group of people actually camped out in sleeping bags on the ground level but were gone by the time we woke up.
So we all went to sleep. I was sharing a tent with a guy whose name I have since forgotten, but sometime in the night some kids from another tent snuck over and removed one of the support poles of our tent, so it fell down on top of us in the middle of the night. Wasn't a huge deal to fix, probably took like five minutes. Of course we then had to go take one of their poles out of it's holder as well. Fair play and all that. At this point it wasn't all that cold, but it was chilly, being on top of a mountain and in a barn.

As I remember it, this is similar to what the barn looked like.
After that incident nothing bothered us until the morning. I remember barely waking up a few times because I thought my head was brushing the side of the tent, which felt wet for some reason. Turns out, when I actually got up, my head wasn't brushing the edge of the tent. It was poking out of my sleeping bag, and the air was so cold it felt like it was wet.
Apparently it had snowed sometime in the night, and was snowing when the leaders woke us up, which was, I would guess, around 5 or 6 AM. It was snowing quite hard outside, we couldn't see very far, and it was cold. I later heard one of the leaders say that it was below zero.
For some reason quite a few of the kids hadn't packed warm enough clothes, although who's really ready for below zero weather on a camping trip? But it was cold enough that the leaders brought everyone into the giant tent to warm up, well they brought most of the people in, the tents still had to be taken down so we could hike back to the cars and get off the mountain. There were only, if I remember correctly, about five people helping pack up the tents for upwards of twenty or thirty kids. There was me, three other, older, scouts, and one of the leaders. The jumpsuit dad gave me kept me warm enough to help them pack everything up and be in the first group to hike down the mountain to the cars. At one point I got too cold and had to take a break in the tent where everyone was, to warm myself up a little bit. But I didn't spend too long in there, there was things to be done, after all.
We successfully got everything packed up and carried quite a bit of it down the mountain, then we drove off to a McDonalds and had hot chocolate. It was there I learned how cold it had actually been. And that at least three of the kids had advanced stages of hypothermia and two had minor frostbite. Now that I reflect back on it, there seemed to be a lot more danger in the situation than I remember at all. As I remember it, there were just things to do and I could help do them, so I did.
I don't tell this to brag on myself, it was just a revelation that I had that I wanted to get down somewhere.


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