The scrambled egg theory of the brain - up to 16 years old the brain is not solidified yet.
Shep is in the Boy Scouts, the Moose Patrol, and the Jamboree is coming up. Shep was a junior patrol leader in Troop 41
Martin, Howard Emde, Shep, and Flick decide to build a Hot Air Balloon for their project. He describes how they made it from plans found in a magazine.
Making Kerosene, Parafin, and Excelsior mix for fuel.
Shep hesitates for a while about telling the rest of the story which he eventually does tell.
It seems they underestimated the effects of the fuel. Martin lites it and there was a great cloud of smoke and the heat rose the balloon high up into the air in a ball of flame. It comes down and burns down 1/3 of Warren G Harding School.