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pchadbo

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That's okay!

Lost with a map and compass; 200 yards from the main trail.

"Around 2:30 p.m., the hikers called another troop member to say they were lost."

"State police sent a helicopter outfitted with infrared technology."

 

WoodBadge 22nd Century will probably incorporate this scenario to demonstrate EDGE.

 

E - Enter the woods.

D - Don't have a clue

G - Get your head outta your a** or it's going to be

E - Expensive...

 

Leaders don't need woodscraft. They can practice conflict resolution, instead.

 

Mommy!

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joebob that is funny and very true.

 

I still believe IOLS is woefully in adequate.

 

Uninjured.....lost with a cellphone, map and compass and couldn't get out. I would resign ASAP. an absolute embarrassment to scouting.(This message has been edited by Basementdweller)

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http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Newsroom/News_2011/news_2011_Q4/sr_Gilmanton_scouts_110711.html

 

"New Hampshire Fish and Game reminds hikers to be prepared with appropriate gear, including warm clothing and lights, as the days shorten and the nights grow colder. It is also important for hikers to stay together when venturing out as part of a group."

 

Yep, be prepared.

 

My 0.02

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Aw shucks, outdoor skills aren't important...stupid old maps with those complicated folds, pesky compass with the needle wiggling every which way...as long as you learn leadership theory and management principles, and attend merit badge universities now again, that's what scouting is all about.

 

Plus, if you received map/compass training for Second Class (briefed while sitting on a log, and a few practicals on the parade field) it's against BSA policy to "retest" you on skills you've already been signed off on...after all, we don't want to potentially embarrass anyone.....

 

And the leader? Sure, he might have had the minimum training (don't know for sure), but if he'd gone to Woodbadge, a capstone, once in a lifetime, mountain top experience, he would have had the opportunity to hone his outdoor skills to the peak of perfection...oh, wait a minute, scratch that...wrong century, wrong course.

(This message has been edited by desertrat77)

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I AM SO SAD AND EMBARRASSED, and I wasn't even there! You had a map and compass with you, and you didn't know how to use it.

 

WOW

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" At 1:15 p.m., they left the main group at the summit of Straightback Mountain,...."

 

So if splitting up wasn't a bad enough idea( even with an adult).....

 

"... and were last seen heading west on a trail leading towards Mount Anna and back to the camp."

 

They started out being on a trail when they left. So they left the trail, and then became lost?

 

"Hey, this is too easy following the trail...lets just go for broke and make a new one!"

 

 

 

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I see we have a bunch of Scouters with little experience hiking in mountainous terrain.

 

Get 200 yards off a main trail on a tree covered mountain (Straightback has an open summit, Mount Anna has a tree-covered summit) and you can easily get lost and not find the trail.

 

Your map and compass are only good if you have an idea of where you are - but even if they had known in what general direction the trail might have been in, making a beeline for it in those types of mountains just might not be possible.

 

Those who have hiked these kinds of trails, common in New England and the Appalachians, know how easy it can be to miss the trail blazes (which aren't nice, pretty signs but usually painted marks on a tree which fade or are rubbed off)and get off on an un-blazed side trail system that can turn you around in a heartbeat and drop you in a place where it's hard to get out of. Heck, you might even cross the trail you're supposed to be on and not even realize it - sometimes the main trails look like nothing more than side trails.

 

By western standards, they're barely hills, but they can be very tricky to navigate at times.

 

These folks did exactly what we're supposed to teach them - when you get lost, stay where you are, and try to contact help. Back in the 70's, it meant carrying a whistle. So what if it's a cell phone - think of it as a modern day whistle.

 

What would have been embarrasing is if they called while lost in a corn maze.

 

Imagine what you folks would be saying if these folks just soldiered on, trying to find their way off the mountain, and one of them plunged off a cliff.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Also, check out the comments at the end of the article.

 

The public expects scouts to be proficient in the outdoors. I share their expectation.

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Calico: "I see we have a bunch of Scouters with little experience hiking in mountainous terrain."

 

Does hiking the AT from Georgia to Maine count?

How about leading patrols all over the Cascades and Ft. Lewis, in the dark?

Did a little bit of ice climbing out of the Harvard Mountaineering Cabin (which smelled really bad!) in the White Mountains, but I admit that I have never hiked in NH when there wasn't snow on the ground.

 

You got me!

These were obviously well trained scouts and leaders who represent BSA's present approach very well. I should be proud to be associated with them!

 

Mea culpa, mea culpa...

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Calico,

 

Can understand some of where you are coming from. I've been with "misplaced" youth before, and have been "misplaced" myself a time or two, especially when following the directions the wife is giving me (but that's a different story ;) ).

 

Anyway there ways to figure out where you are on a map if you have a compass. Simple triangulation does work. May not be as accurate as GPS, but it does work to give a location. Once that is found, then navigate to where the trail should be. Those where things I was taught to do, and have taught to scouts. I've also used those skills, especially at Vicksburg Military park. They have an outstanding, very challenging cross country hike. I admit I did not complete the trail the two times attempted (once was after a hurricane or tornado hit the area and caused some real damage that forced turning back as well as the park to close the trail until repairs could be made, another time after making it to where where the last monument, which were also markers for to shoot azimuths for the last leg, was stolen. How you can steal a monument without folks noticing is beyond me).

 

And I agree trail markers are not always the greatest. While I personally like signs, I have used those faded painted spots on trees. But working as a team can solve that too.

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So, assume the 31 year-old leader had to spend the night lost on the mountain with the two 14 year-old scouts.

 

Would it still be a YP violation if he huddled by himself for warmth? What is the technique for cutting down pine branches with your cell phone to make a shelter? How many branches does it take to make 'separate accomodations'? And how do you tape the branches back in the morning to be sure that you're following LNT?

 

Okay, I'm being nasty.

Sorry.

What level of incompetent boob gets lost in one hour, and can't backtrack where you've just walked?

I can't control my incredulity.(This message has been edited by joebob)

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Wow, so many pure enough to cast the first stone, especially with such a dearth of real information. I re-read the article, here are the actual details that were reported or could be found independently.

 

They got lost, and knew it, in mountainous terrain. They reported themselves lost to their fellow scouts. Less than two hours later the sun had set. In two hours of searching ground teams hadnt been able to find them. After two more hours of search by ground and helicopter they were found. After they were found they hiked the last hour out. They themselves were not the ones who called in the authorities.

 

We do not know if they quit, we do not know whether they had matches, lighters, a good leatherman tool, or any other useful items that would have helped them if they did end up out all night.

 

I dont know whether these guys were completely over their head to begin with, or whether they got unlucky and misplaced but then made good decisions, or whether it was somewhere in between. But neither does anyone else just based on the article.

 

We dont know if they were hunkered down waiting to be rescued or whether they were on the verge of self rescue when they were found. A while back we debated the merits of both those plans as they applied to a 17 year old scout rescued in the same mountains.

 

I am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. I have also been misplaced with my scouts. The idea of a trail can be pretty shifty there this time of year, you cant really see a track since the forest floor is knee deep in fallen leaves I think snow may actually be the easier ground cover to navigate. And it couldnt have been too easy for them to get back on track when you consider how long it took to find them using both ground and air search.

 

Those are not kind mountains. One of my all time favorite signs is a cautionary one at the top of Wildcat Mountain ski area: These mountains will be as cold, dark, and lonely tonight as they were two hundred years ago

 

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