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pchadbo

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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... etc. etc.

 

Yah, sure. But dealin' with that is normal outdoorsmanship. It takes an ordinary amount of skill, which any First Class Scout should have.

 

Plus it is November in New England, eh? Gettin' snowed on hard would also be normal. Goin' out on a long hike without headlamps/lights, without adequate layers, etc. Again, to my mind that doesn't show even an ordinary amount of skill that any First Class scout should have.

 

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.

 

Yah, and if that's what we're really teachin' shame on us. Hug-a-tree is good advice for a 6-year-old "lost" in a front-country park. It's terrible advice for someone off-trail in da backcountry. Absent fancy technology and some luck, staying put off-trail in da middle of a forest is an almost certain death sentence. Some hunter is goin' to find da bodies 5 years from now. It just ain't possible to successfully grid search backcountry under canopy over da kind of area that would be required.

 

What's necessary if you're goin' to travel in these conditions is da ability to self-rescue, eh? That's what Scouting should be teachin'. How to get yourself from where yeh are to a spot more likely to be picked up by searchers, or how to signal, or just how to navigate well enough to get yourself un-lost.

 

Gotta agree with da majority. This was a case of "cell phone reliance" at its worst.

 

Beavah

 

 

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Thanks pchadbo.. My co-worker mentioned something about this and I was unable to find the article on it.

 

I will not throw stones, simply make the comment that depending on your cell phone in those mountains is not a good idea.. Reception there is awful..

 

Also I don't think they stayed in one place, unless they kept the cell phone on and had the battery get eatten up by constant roaming.. They had reception and then lost reception, which might indicate they moved out of cell phone reach and were attempting to find their way out..

 

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Moose as an IOLS trainer in the area this occurred you SHOULD to have an opinion about what happened. If memory serves you were also very vocal about supporting a test out.

 

This could have been a student that passed thru your course for pete sake.

 

 

Prevention.......Do not split group. Actually have the skills you think you possess. BSA Adult training needs to be more than do you best.

 

Remember your sons life may depend on it.

 

 

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Hey Basement,

just gonna defend Moosetracker a little here, I have been through one of her IOLS trainings, and there was a segment of almost 2 hours on map/compass and orienteering including a short orienteering course. Was it the best I've ever seen, nope that was 20 years ago in hunter safety, but was it adequate for the leader who had shown up and admitted to never using a compass before to lead her patrol through the course, yup. Besides, the guy that got lost was from out of state and out of Council. May be wise to question the IOLS class he did take but I'm pretty sure it wasn't the one 2 to 2 1/2 hours from his Troops home. ;)

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PCHA......I wasn't attacking moose saying her course stinks.......I was attacking her idea of testing out. This is exactly why there should not be a test out or the test out is tough enough to make sure the adults have the advertised skills. I know for a fact that 90% of my districts adult leaders could not handle themselves in the backcountry, heck they can barely handle themselves in the front country.

 

 

T2 being lost is a fantastic experience and ever scout should have. I was lost as a scout found my way out, no big deal. scared to death at the time.

 

So being lost what did you learn?????

 

My point is they were lost less than 1 hour after leaving the group. They should have known their relative direction of travel, They should have pulled out their compass and and simply reversed their direction of travel and been back to their starting point. My other point is rescuers were to them in 30 minutes and they walked out in 40 minutes according to the articles.

 

Looking at the map, There are a number of roads less than 1 mile from any point on straight back mountain. I am going to guess they should have heard the traffic(This message has been edited by Basementdweller)

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This past summer, I went camping with the family in the Appalachins of NC. We did various trails, stayed in a national forest, etc, etc. My wife thought I was going overboard carrying a daypack with the 10 Essentials and some other stuff "just in case" everywhere we went. Only used the food and water in the pack, but that was OK.

 

Told wife about this article. She couldn't understand how that could happen to scouts, especially if they had a map and compass with them. I mentioned they may not have been prepared to stay over their alloted time. And that's when she brought up why i carry extra stuff that she thinks we don't need when we go on hikes and what not.

 

Yes we do not know all the details of the situation. And yes the media does like to take things out of perspective. But from what is being presented, it does not look good for BSA. And I think form that we can all agree.

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Reason I will not have an opinion, is that I agree with others that there is not enough information to go on to have an opinion with.. I am sure in the coming months I will hear more, but then you have to question what is truth and what is rumor.

 

IOLS is just that INTRO.. The map & compass course is enough to give the basics to people who do not have a clue.. Allow those with some knowledge to pick up a few neat tricks they didn't know.. Enough to bore the accomplished to death..

 

As Pchadbo states we do a decent map & compass for a 2 to 2 1/2 hour course with the assumption you are starting with the novice.. Hopefully it is enough to peak the confidence and interest in the subject so that they learn more.. I would not recommend novices to go straight from an IOLS class into the backcountry..

 

Who is to say this adult has taken IOLS or not anyways.. It is not mandatory around here yet..

 

As for the group splitting up. Not a good idea if they are not accomplished backcountry hikers. But, not unheard of. Look at some of what Kudu promotes that troops should be like... Troops might camp together (or not) and then each patrol takes off on a patrol hike on their own. Hopefully scouts with good backcountry skills, but still groups that seperate for the hike, and groups with no adult leader..

 

These people may have thought themselves experts and were not.. These people may have been expert enough but what was left out of the story is what would show that.. Or these people may have talked to others who gave them false information of the difficulty of the trail..

 

Reminds me of when I (not a great snow skier) asked someone if a ski slope was easy or hard.. Got the answer very easy. Friend and I went for it and soon found our mistake as we got to ski jumps that we just kind of tumbled down, me landing next to a huge pile of bloody snow from the last victim with skiers jumping over my head..

 

 

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Holy Toledo! Moosetracker is female? Wow, you just never know, do you?

 

These mountains will be as cold, dark, and lonely tonight as they were two hundred years ago

To me, these words are like the Siren's call. Cold, dark, and lonely...what could be better?!

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Why the surprise? Females can't be opinionated and stubborn?..

 

Never hid the fact, I have referenced it a few times.. Mother of MooseTheItalianBlackSmith (or whatever very long name he gave himself).. References to my husband from time to time.. And have noted my opinion was from a female point of view from time to time.

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Looks like a good what would you do scenario to give to your scouts. Let them think through and talk about what should or should not have been done, as well as what type of equipment they should have had.

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Men,

 

The internet bites.

Since it's public knowledge, if you look a little bit, you'll find that the lost leader was an Eagle Scout and OA member:

 

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/william-sherwin/2/a1/839

 

Scroll to the bottom.

 

Times are changing...

 

Editted to add that he achieved Eagle in 1997. I guess times had already changed 14 years ago.

 

(This message has been edited by JoeBob)

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Basement asked what lessons my scouts and I learned when we got "misplaced" on a hike. We learned to invest in better maps. We were using a map issued by the State Park service and it did not have any topographic features. Somewhere along we missed a trail junction and ended up down in a valley rather than up on the ridge where we should have been. We were still well inside civilization and so it was no big deal except we wanted the more strenuous route rather than ending up on a canal tow path. But we learned a lesson and haven't left home without a good topo map since.

 

This got me thinking about how as an organization we should transmit the lessons learned from incidents like the one in this thread. So I spun a new thread to discuss that.

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I tried to spin this to a new thread but kept getting error messages. If some one else can spin it I would appreciate it.

 

Anyway here's my question:

 

How Can BSA Help Us Learn From each Other's Mistakes?

 

So what happens next with the story of those lost scouts and leader? How should the BSA take this and help the rest of us learn from it? Gary said its a good what would you do scenario, but we dont have enough information to really develop a good answer for that.

 

Shouldnt there be an after action type report made of the incident? One that does have all the facts: why did they separate, what equipment did they have, what was their plan, what did they do wrong or right? And then shouldnt that report be transmitted out to the rest of us so we can learn from it and review it with our scouts?

 

Does anyone know if there will be some official BSA study made of this and will it be transmitted? Or is this another opportunity for the organization to go out and close everyones mouth, bury the information, and pretend this kind of thing doesnt really happen in our organization?

 

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Good thing this guy wasn't hiking the trail along the South Rim of the GC. Probably find all of them at the bottom of the Abyss.

 

More confidence building for us on the sidelines.

 

Thanks.

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Comment regarding the map is pertinent to this discussion as well. If the map was NOT a topo of some kind, then it is fairly useless for locating yourself. Without terrain being accurately discernible on the map, it is not a very good tool, even with the compass. Though, even an up to date FS map would be somewhat useful if you know "how" to do it. Of course, topo's also have issues, in that half the trails in use today are NOT on the topo maps; so you need to overlay with current trail info.

 

While I am fairly confident in my orienteering skills, I have to admit that I need to go back an update myself in using GPS devices, and learning the newer grid systems on the updated topo's. Am still living in range and township; though most of our older topos of the area are still very usable.

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