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Bob White

Tornado hits scout camp

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A news bulletin just came on that a tornado has hit a scout camp just outside Omaha. There are fatalities and several injuries reported.

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Four confirmed dead in tornado at Boy Scout camp

 

http://www.desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080611/NEWS/80611078/

http://tinyurl.com/6aby8g

 

June 11, 2008

 

A tornado tore through a Boy Scout camp in western Iowa this evening, killing four Scouts and injuring dozens more.

 

The camp is the Little Sioux Scout Ranch, located between Blencoe and Little Sioux, about one hour north of Omaha in Iowa's Loess Hills.

 

Arli Hasbrouck, a spokesperson for the Boy Scouts of America's Mid-American Council in Omaha, confirmed that four Scouts were killed in the tornado. She did not know how many were injured.

 

She said 100 youths, aged 14 to 18, were at the Little Sioux Scout Reservation for a week-long leadership training camp called Pahuk Pride.

 

[excerpted]

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According to the Mid-America Council's newsletter, Pahuk Pride is their NYLT course.(This message has been edited by MarkS)

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As someone who has lived and managed the results of a disaster at a summer residence camp, I can understand and believe what these young men are going through tonight. It's dark, it's scary, and it's painful.

 

But out of the hurt and terror will come strength and brotherhood. Those men will be bonded closer together through a process with more fusion then any leadership training could ever provide. My own experience led me to choose a career path in emergency management, and to this day, I credit a fiesty little storm that tore my camp to shreds and put a tree through my car's windshield with giving me a bump in life to a different career path.

 

He who serves his fellow man is amongst his fellow man the greatest.

 

God bless those boys in Iowa tonight,

Prayers to their families.

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This camp belongs to My Council. My son almost went to this camp but he decided to go to our regular camp to finish up some merit badge work. I have seen several people I know on news reports tonight. All I can ask is that we all pray for these Scouts and their families.

 

My wife is not happy about our son going to camp next week. He says he wants to go but, I can tell his Mom doesn't want him to. I have always felt our Council has poor procedures for weather emergencies at our Council Camps. After my first year at camp when a wall cloud came through and we had no area for shelter, I have always made my scouts find a place to go in our camp site in the event of a weather emergency. I told my son to get under the tent platform and to cover his head with a blanket or pillow. Like most camps our camps have few buildings with basements.

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I see others have already picked up these reports. This is a sadness, indeed. Prayers for families, Scouts, Scouters, and staff.

 

For Joe McDoaks: I've been on Commissioner staff at both my Scout camps. Severe thunderstorms and tornadoes are in the top 5 of disaster response plans. There are not a lot of structures suitable for severe storm shelter, let alone tornado shelter on our camps. Frankly, Plan A is the nearest significant ravine.

 

I'm grateful both our Reservation Rangers are key players in their County emergency management staffs.(This message has been edited by John-in-KC)

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The Omaha World Herald http://www.omaha.com/ has detailed coverage including several eyewitness text accounts, a log of update reports from yesterday, and a gripping 14 sec video of tornado - you hear the warning siren and 'There ain't no scouts up there.'

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Reading various news reports, I am both very saddened for the losses and extremely proud of the scouts and their leaders. The lifeskills that the scouting program trained these young men with allow them to help others and themselves through this tragedy.(This message has been edited by OneHour)

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I just watched the live briefing on CNN.com. The SE was asked, "did you give any thought to evacuating the camp, since we knew the storms were approaching out of Nebraska"? I understand he is going through a very difficult time, but his reply was "we camp every month and there are always severe storm warnings. They knew what to do." That's going to be hard for the public to swallow when you have four dead scouts. The reality is we have severe thunderstorms every summer too, and the response is to get everyone out of the water and back to their campsites.

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I don't know scoutldr's specific frame of reference for "out of the water" but we also suspend all water based activities - BSA lifeguard, open swims, Small boat sailing, canoeing, SCUBA, etc. when we get severe storm warnings or any lighting also.

 

I'm surprised that getting the Scouts out of the water elicited a comment.

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National has recently announced that they are coming out with a course on incliment weathter that will be mandatory effective in Jan. 09 I wonder if this incident will be noted in it.

 

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