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Bob White

Tornado hits scout camp

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zippy: General best practice in case of a thunderstorm is to pull everyone out of the water - pool or waterfront.

 

At the summer camp where I worked, we had a storm emergency drill at least once a week, usually on the first full day of camp. But there weren't any buildings with basements, except perhaps the ranger's house, and it's pretty flat territory (no ravines).

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Yes, another sad story worthy of a few prayers for those affected.

 

The fact is we're an outdoor based organization. There are some inherent risks with that. With forethought and prudence many can be managed.

 

Drop a funnel cloud in an area where there are a 100+ people spread over a 1000 acres or more where there are little or no structures designed to take such weather, be it a trailer park, scout camp, or subdivision built on slabs with no basements, and your likely to have problems, serious problems. The reports I read, indicated the storm virtually formed very close to the camp, giving little or no warning. It's not like they were being tracked and warnings posted in their path.

 

I'm sure there are lessons to be learned from this event, but if the same thing were to happen at our council camp, on a high volume week where there might be 1,000 scouts in attendance, the results would likely be much worse and short of building hurricane or tornado shelters to house the whole camp in such infrequent events, I'm not sure you can do much more than that what John in KC or Joe McD described.

 

I know our camp watches the weather closely with some many people in tents. There is a plan for extreme weather events, but it is similar to the response the camp involved did, and that's to gather as many as possible in the dining hall, latrines and other structures in camp. None of those structures would survive a tornado or hurricane, but would likley protect occupants from falling tree limbs and lightning. Fortunately tornados are pretty rare in our part of the country, but no unheard of either.

 

Tough news to see.

 

SA

 

 

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I have not seen any indications that there were Scouts in or on the water. So I was a bit confused by that phrase.

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To the credit of the scouts and SCouters in the camp, they responded extrememly well after the devistation according to the Governor...While in the midst of the wind, strong rains, and lightning storm following the tornado, and while emergency crews were trying to cut their way through a lot of fallen trees blocking their way in, the scouts set up a triage shelter and began caring for the wounded and peparingthem for transport.

 

He said the injuries could have been much worse if it were not for the actions of the scouts during the emergency.

 

I agree with others that when out in a camp you just do the best you can do. Our Tent platforms are ony 4" high sso i do not see them as a viable protection. Also if a tornado can reduce a hoiuse to toothpicks I wouldn't cont to much on a tent platform.

 

Most camps you throw on a rain suit or poncho and lay as fat as you can on the side of a ravine and make as small a target of yourself as you can.

 

One year at a summer camp when we had severe storms and tornado warnings they tried to pack everyone into a dining hall that was way too small and had 8ft high windows all the way around us. I refused to go in choosing instead the relative comfort and safety of the ravine.

 

(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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As I watched the news develop on CNN last night, I couldn't help but think about my son who is at our Scout camp for staff week this week.

I had already been wondering if they would have special severe weather drills this year, after a tornado (or severe winds) went through camp during staff week last year. Thankfully the weather only took some trees down and blocked some road ways. The first full day they were there this year, we had severe thunderstorms with hail that were very near camp, and have had severe thunderstorms each evening they have been there. I expect that a tornado drill will now be incorporated in their training this week, and will also likely be incorporated in the program for each week of camp.

 

As I continue to pray for these Scouts and Scouters and their families, I will also say a prayer of thanks that they were "prepared" and are handling the rescue and recovery process as well as they apparently are.

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Ditto to all that has been said above.

 

Not that it should be foremost on anyone's mind right now, but the news stories make it sound as if many of these young men should be nominated for and be awarded one of the meritous action awards sometime in the near future.(This message has been edited by molscouter)

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While I pray to God that none of our sons will ever be in a situation like this, its our job to train them, to be prepared.

 

Sad and awe-inspiring story of the heros these Scouts are.

 

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From my watching and reading various news sources it appears that the ravine, draws, ditches were the best places to be. From what I caught it seems that all of the deaths and the majority of the injuries were those who sought shelter in the wood frame buildings, including the Camp Ranger whose house has apparently been destroyed. Well, Fox just clarified with a picture, the Rangers house was scrubbed of structure leaving a pile of furniture and personal belongings.

 

They definitely need to look into the awards picture for these Scouts - it would seem that a number of meritorious events took place.

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The headline tornado hits scout camp just made my heart stop. My oldest son and my younger brother are both at camp this week. The relief you feel after seeing that it wasn't here but in another state almost makes you feel guilty. My families prayers and wishes go out to the families of the scouts that died in the storm and hopes for full recoveries go out to those injured.

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The latrines at our camp are poured concrete reinforced structures that will/should hold up any falling trees. It's a little something in each campsite. Going to a large structured dining hall with lots of windows and no basement didn't offer me much reassurance.

 

Living in a tornado prone area, it's always a do your best proposition. My heart goes out to the families of the recent storm, but this kind of thing can happen any time or any place in this part of the country. I've been through tornadoes, lightning strikes (15' away on Mt. Baldy just inside the treeline), blizzards and earthquakes, none left me feeling very impressed, lucky, yes, impressed, no.

 

Fortunately these boys took their Scouting seriously and learned what they needed to do when the time arrived. From the reports coming in, some of the boys survived only because their buddies knew what to do.

 

Stosh

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First, welcome to all the folks who are posting for the first few times, even as I feel saddened at the loss of life caused by this tornado.

 

Scouter&mom, you took the words right out of my mouth: my own son is at NYLT this week (our council calls it "Cedar Badge"). We've had nothing but extremely hot & dry weather, but I worried nonetheless for his safety, albeit from a different set of risk factors.

 

I hope our staff is as prepared to handle an emergency as the Little Sioux staff were.

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I have been wondering all day since hearing and seeing the news stories about the wisdom of our camp, who insists on herding all of the scouts and leaders into buildings when warnings are present. These are NOT fortified buildings, but the typical camp buildings. As Bob and Gunny have said, I wonder if being outside of the buildings in a ditch somewhere is not the safest place. Anyone have any idea if the herding of personnel into buildings is a national policy, and if so, should it be re-evaluated?

 

 

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