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Boy Scout Camper Killed by Falling Totem Pole

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Boy Scout Camper Killed by Falling Totem Pole

 

 

 

Monday , June 18, 2007

 

LOYSVILLE, Pa.

 

A 13-foot totem pole fell and struck a boy on the first day of Boy Scout camp, killing the 9-year-old, police said Monday.

 

Tyler O. Shope, of Shermans Dale, died of head and chest injuries Sunday afternoon, Perry County Coroner Michael Shalonis said.

 

The boy's parents were nearby when the pole fell, and his father helped lift it off him, Shalonis said. No one else was injured.

 

Campers were arriving at the Hidden Valley Boy Scout Camp near Loysville, about 25 miles northwest of Harrisburg, for a week of camping, police said.

 

The boy was waiting outside the camp's health lodge to have his health records reviewed at the time of the accident, officials said.

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Ouch.

 

Every Scouter's nightmare is the day when despite good planning and practices, the odd event happens and God calls one of His children home on our watch.

 

Lots of times poles experience rot below ground level if moisture is retained in da soil. That can be very difficult to detect with an ordinary visual inspection.

 

My heart and prayers go out to this boy and his family, and to the Scouters and Staffers who have to live the nightmare this week. May the Great Scoutmaster keep 'em all in da hollow of His hand.

 

Beavah

 

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HVSR is our "winter camp"...we travel there in January to camp in the cabins and go skiing and to Gettysburg...both easy day trips.

 

I can picture in my mind that Totem Pole and the Health Lodge...right near the "Cub World" ... I sure hope God explains all this to me one day...I don't get it.

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A terrible tragedy. Freak accidents happen and remind us to live each day as if it were our last. Nothing will comfort the Scout's family, but I believe that the shock of this event will has some unknown but important effect in the life of someone else - perhaps a fellow camper.

 

Several years ago I lost a close friend and colleague. He was camping in the Lincoln National Forest when a tree fell on him. A freak accident. How are we changed?

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Follow up stories:

 

Totem pole victim, 9, loved tractors, tools

 

Officials probe why totem pole fell

 

I know all of our totem poles at our camp are made from phone poles. Our master carver worked for the phone company and had connections (he was featured in Scouting a while back). I would never have thought to check a phone pole for rot, but it is still not clear how this one was constructed.

 

Ed

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A telephone pole can rot too, especially if it has been cut off at the bottom.

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My father worked for Commonwealth Edison for many years in Chicago, he was a lineman back when the guys wore the safety belts and strapped spikes to their boots to climb poles. Even with the high pressure creosote soaked utlity poles, they always circled the pole a few times doing a visual inspection and would "sound" the pole, by rapping on it and listening for the appropriate echo. Bucket trucks ended this practice and extended my father's career. But, the point is, utility poles rot, the creosote prevents this for a very long time, but eventually the pole will rot. If the pole is encased completely in concrete, that time is very long off, if its just planted in the earth, its much sooner, it might not be a bad idea to rap any poles in around in a camp, especially if you have an older utilities worker around who can "listen" with you

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