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ScoutNerd

BSA outlook after a tough summer...

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hi all, it's good to be back, the summer was long and hard, and I'm actually glad to be back at school (that's how hard it was, jk :-D)

 

The Utah safety topic by fgoodwin got me thinking, and wondering if we could make it a bit broader (not to steal his thunder but...)

What do you guys think of all the erm...troubles the BSA had over the summer? Between deaths at Jambo, drownings here in NM and other places, a few lightning strike deaths, and a lost scout in Utah, we have to admit the BSA didn't have a very successful summer. What do you guys think? Is these things the program needs to work at, or are individuals not following the rules and/or common sense enough?

 

I know this is probably a touchy subject for a lot of people. I'm sorry if it strikes too much of a nerve and I hope no one misunderstands my motives here. I'm still completely for the program, I ask only wondering if we need to work to improve, or rather what we should work to improve.

 

The incident with details I'm most familiar with is the NM rafting death. Since my camp is in the immediate area, and we know the troop, and I was the SSD/SA instructor, I had to be familiar with it. In that case there was nothing anyone really did wrong. A freak current pulled the kid out of the boat, and the PFD was torn off (it was good condition before they embarked). It can't be called anything more than a freak accident, but still is there anything that the boy scouts can or should do about any of the incidents of the summer? or is there anything the boy scouts have already started putting into action? (I'll admit, I've purposely kept myself out of the scout loop for about a month, just to recover from a tough summer, but I'm back now)

Anybody know/think anything about any of this?

 

-Curtis in NM

"Ego numquam pronunciare mendacium, sed ego sum homo indomitus."

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"... we have to admit the BSA didn't have a very successful summer."

 

The boys in our troop had a GREAT summer.

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I have to agree with FScouter on this one. (It doesn't happen all the time.) What had a bad summer, perhaps, was the general national perception of the Boy Scouts... in fact in some areas that perception has had a "bad summer" that has lasted five years and isn't getting any better. But for individual units, Scouts and Scouters, life goes on, and perhaps a little better because I think there is probably some more attention being paid to how to deal with getting lost, on safety during thunderstorms, etc. (My son was at summer camp when the electrocution occurred at the Jamboree, and he said they definitely used it as an object lesson for the boys.) Of course, safety should be stressed all the time, but we all know that tragedies and near-tragedies make dangers seem more real, and therefore seem more important to protect against, even though the danger was there all along.

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Of all the terrible things that happened, most of them were freak accidents. In some cases preparation or adherence to the rules could have prevented certain incidents, but not for all.

For example, the 8 year old girl who was killed at a scout camp in NJ was completely chance that it happened to fall. It was perfect weather, the tree did not appear to be about to fall, it was simply a freak accident.

 

Although most scouts had a good summer at various camps etc. National BSA's reputation has suffered.

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I agree that this was mostly freak accidents. Hopefully, we'll learn a little from them and prevent some in the future. I, for one, used them as object lessons for our scouts, especially those that went on our Whietwater trip this summer.

 

You are still far safer in scouting than you are driving to work or to the grocery store. And scouting is a heck of a lot more fun!

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I don't know who might have access to BSA statistics so I will just ask this generally. Does anyone know how many scouts/scouters died while on an event in 2004? 2003? is this data available? I will go out on a limb and say that if this data was found, and the final totals of 2005 added in, I don't think you would see a huge spike. The Jamboree accident was horrible, had it not happened, the heart attack victim would be a side note to a great, if not hot time. I mean no disrespect to the victim. Because of the deaths, everything that followed was under a microscope and anything untoward made national news. Then the lost boy scouts, the lightning strikes made national news and we look just awful. I reiterate, I dont think the "death" toll of scouting will end up being much different in 2005 than 2004.

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I know the water ones off hand... there was a good number of years (not sure how many, but as many as ten) when the water related deaths were down to 0-1, then four all at the same time a few years ago, and last year I don't think there was more than 1. This is just off the top of my head so feel free to correct me where I'm mistaken

 

-Curtis

"Ego numquam pronunciare mendacium, sed ego sum homo indomitus."

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Oh, sure, :-D

that's what I remember of a talk/seminar at NCS this summer. I was there attending the Camp Commish track, and we talked to the other area trainers to learn something about the camp's interworkings, and how each area (aquatics, nature, shooting sports etc) complimented each other. Anyway, long story to say that when we were talking to the Aquatics Instrustors Trainer those are what I remember of the figures he quoted during his talk on water safety rules that Commisioners might have to explain to adult leaders. I figure as long as I remember them correctly they can be reasonably trusted, since the guy I heard them from was the Southern Region's head Aquatics guy.

Well off to class, don't have too much fun while I'm gone :-D

-Curtis

"Ego numquam pronunciare mendacium, sed ego sum homo indomitus."

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