The KAPE Patrol

I remember starting many clubs as a kid, but the one that probably lasted the longest was the Kcap patrol (later changed to Kape patrol).

The KCAP patrol (pronounced “CAP”) was something we conjured up about the time I was deeply interested in environmental issues – I was probably 10 or 11. KCAP stood for “Kid Cop Animal Pollution” patrol. The original Kcap patrol consisted of Me, my best friend Nathan, my sister Shelly, and probably whoever else happened to be lingering around that day. We started it one day when we discovered that Mike, one of our bully neighbors, was setting off fireworks on people’s lawns. We decided we needed some kind of patrol to protect the neighborhood from such bandits. So we conjured up a quick patrol, made a few membership codes, and got out our skateboards. We rode on our knees, not being very steady on our feet – and rolled down the street, looking for trouble. Fortunately or unfortunately, we never found any. We did find one firework on a neighbor’s lawn, but couldn’t find the culprit. Fireworks were a violation of our new pollution code, and we intended to bring a stop to it.

We never saw any more signs of trouble, so we called off the case.

A few months later, we changed the name of our patrol to the KAPE patrol, using the same pronunciation as before, but this time it stood for “Kid’s Animal, Plant, Environmental” patrol. We thought this a much more inclusive name, and we voted unanimously on it’s implementation. We also re-designated it’s members. Now it consisted of me, Shelly, Nathan, my other sister Maria, and eventually my younger brother Jake. We held weekly meetings and made plans of how to save the world. The KAPE patrol had many meeting places, but by far, the best was the junk house.

One day we were playing at Nathan’s house, having a jolly time, when Nathan’s dad came out and spoiled our fun by telling Nathan he had to pick up the toys and junk around the yard and put them in the shed area. The shed area was the leftover foundations of what used to be a shed, and which was now a 10′ X 10′ area that they used to simply put stuff. Devastated for having to put our activities on hold, we decided to use the task to our advantage.

We started by gathering the larger junk – especially the large flat items, such as screen doors, child-gates, and wood flaps, and made the basic frame for a club-house. We made sure it had enough room to fit the whole KAPE patrol. Then we piled the rest of the junk around the frame, including bikes, old Christmas trees, chains, yard toys, and tools, leaving only a small inconspicuous opening in the back. When we finished, it looked like one massive junk-pile. The yard was clean, and we had the best hideout in the neighborhood! We climbed inside, and found it to be a spacious and well secreted clubhouse. We posted lookouts and located enough peak-holes to spy out Nathan’s backyard, our backyard, and the side porch where his parents would likely come out looking for him. We assigned each member of the KAPE patrol a different lookout spot.

That clubhouse lasted a long time – until Nathan’s younger siblings discovered it. Then Nathan’s parents tore it down, considering it to be a safety hazard. Disappointed, we moped about it for awhile – that is, until we learned how to make a wikiup in the backyard… but that’s another story.