I’ve written about compasses in previous Blog posts, like my History of the Compass post and my post for National Boy Scout Day, but today is Marooned Without a Compass Day and so we’ll be discussing the lack of this simple, lightweight device that features a magnetized needle on a free-rotating pivot so it can always show which direction you’re facing.
Consistently observed on November 6 every year, Marooned Without a Compass Day poses the age-old, desert island scenario in which you have to choose which friend, what favorite book, or what most valuable item you would want to have along with you in this extremely isolating predicament. At first glance it seems to me that if you were Marooned Without a Compass, the number one item to choose would be a compass. But, on second thought, if you’re Marooned…then what good is a compass?
As explored in the movie ‘Castaway’, starring Tom Hanks, being marooned is something that will certainly put a damper on your day and quite possibly the rest of your life.
When you take a look at the dictionary definition of the word ‘maroon’, it’s pretty specific to say that to truly be marooned means to be deserted on an uninhabited island/coast with no hope of escaping unless fate should have it that you are rescued (this is what pirates did to crew members who didn’t obey orders, by the way. It’s basically why the word ‘maroon’ exists—unless, of course, you’re talking about the color).
So, if there’s no hope for escape on your own, what good would a compass be anyway? A compass might be helpful as you navigate the land, but there are other ways such as star position and orienteering skills to help route your exploration of the island (if the island is big enough to ‘explore’ in the first place). If you’re lucky, maybe a tree will be growing moss which only grows on the shaded, north side of a tree trunk.
So being marooned without compass isn’t the end of the world—just being marooned, period. But at least if you were marooned, you’d finally get some peace and quiet all to yourself. You could finally reread your favorite book if you happened to bring it along! You can celebrate Marooned Without a Compass Day by asking your friends what person or item they’d bring and what they would do if they were marooned without a compass.
You can ensure that, should you ever be marooned on a desert island, you have a compass by picking out your own magnetic Compass from Everything Summer Camp and taking it with you everywhere you go! As always, thanks for reading, folks!