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Scout Leader Dies On White Mts (Nh) Hike

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http://www.wmur.com/news/boy-scout-leader-suffers-heart-attack-while-leading-troop-on-hike/33705776

http://www.necn.com/news/new-england/Boy-Scout-Leader-Dies-From-Heart-Attack-on-NH-Trail-309019451.html

 

A Boy Scout leader Vernon Rippeon 51, of Westminster, Maryland died after suffering a heart attack on a hike Sunday morning (Father's Day).

 

According to Fish and Game officials, Mr. Rippeon was one of four adults leading a scout troop on a five-day presidential mountain hike.

 

They were on the Crawford Path in Bean's Purchase when he suffered a heart attack.

 

CPR was started almost immediately, but it was unsuccessful.

 

Rippeon's two sons were among the group.

 

Scout salute and farewell.

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Same here.  Reminds me of my DD's dad. His dad died after taking his old troop on a weekend canoeing expedition. They had just finished loading the canoes and gear when he had a heart attack.

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I wonder if he had had the mandatory annual BSA physical for "old guys"?  Perhaps would have made no difference.  A coworker dropped dead of a heart attack last year after working out at the Y.  He was a marathon runner and worked out every day.  Already had his retirement papers in, but didn't make it.  I will be 61 this year.  With my BMI and family history, I figure I'm on borrowed time.  My sincere condolences to the family.

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Annual physicals are not enough. Many heart centers now offer stress tests, calcium scoring, CAT-scans of arteries and APOE genome testing to chart your overall risk of heart disease. You can get this from 45 on with most major health plans, at 40 if you are an at risk person. Retest every five years, three if high risk. Great way to find out if you have any blockages or if your diet is right for you. For example, my GP had me on Omega-3s for heart health. Had my APOE genome testing and found out that my genes don't process Omega-3s well; they actually did more harm than good. Knowing heart rate, blood pressure, calcium scoring, BMI, muscle mass, high fiber, low-fat, etc., all help in keeping you fit enough and informed enough to do these things with the boys.

 

If you have insurance that will cover it (even if you don't) I would highly recommend doing these tests. They can uncover problems before they can hurt you.

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More sad details...

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/boy-scout-leader-dies-on-fathers-day-hike-with-troop-2-sons-in-new-hampshire/

 

"It starts to gain elevation quite quickly," Saunders said of the trail, but the group hadn't been hiking that long. "It's one of those odd things. There wasn't any rhyme or reason to it, and it was fairly quickly," Saunders said. "He just sat down on a rock and collapsed."

 

Gunnar Burdt, scoutmaster of Troop 735 of Gamber, just outside of Baltimore, said the nearly three-mile hike to an Appalachian Mountain Club hut was planned by Rippeon, a "high-adventure" outdoors trip in scouting, where "you go do something that's going to push your limits and tests your will," Burdt said.

 

"He was our map guy, our GPS man," Burdt said. "We relied on him heavily for planning these adventures."

 

The group has canoed 100 miles in upstate New York and backpacked in the Colorado Rockies. They chose the White Mountains this year; Rippeon, an avid hiker and scoutmaster before Burdt, had visited the area before with his older son, 17-year-old Ryan, about six years ago.

 

"He was familiar with the area and the Appalachian Trail," Burdt said. "Our plan was to go hut to hut for four days and we would summit to Mount Washington on our last day."

 

Burdt said half of the group had made it up, including Ryan. Others, including Rippeon, his son Patrick who is 11 or 12, and another leader were behind. When Rippeon collapsed, the other leader, an AMC employee coming down the mountain and two other hikers came to his aid, but Rippeon died.

 

Rippeon, a Navy veteran and an engineer, "always lived by the Boy Scout oath and law," Burdt said. "It was very important to him. Boy Scouts was in his blood."

 

Burdt said Ryan is about to earn his Eagle Scout honors, "which his dad is not going to see."

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Edited by RememberSchiff
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Condolences to the family.

 

Dying with one's boots on is one thing, but at age 51, and in front of your 11-year-old son... that's... I don't even know what that is. In time hopefully his sons will be able to replace that memory with those of the many good times they had with him in Scouting.

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Condolences to the family.

 

Dying with one's boots on is one thing, but at age 51, and in front of your 11-year-old son... that's... I don't even know what that is. In time hopefully his sons will be able to replace that memory with those of the many good times they had with him in Scouting.

I agree regarding that trauma, and for sure the sons will miss their dad and I too hope they have plenty of good memories.

My SIL at age 8 watched helpless and alone as his father died of a massive heart attack. It has had a lifelong effect on him. To paraphrase another man, 'Why can't things like this happen to some old man like me, pretty much spent anyway?' Instead of to a father with children still growing up.

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So very sad. I feel for the family, especially the son. I can't imagine what it was like to watch his father die in front of him, especially at that age. I agree with Packsaddle, hopefully the good memories will outweigh that one.

 

My prayers are with the family.

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It's always sad to hear about things like this.  My condolences to his family.

 

It should remind us all to work on getting in better shape.  I just came back from scout camp, and observed that a majority of us are "over 50" (years of age and/or pounds overweight).  Everyone says to me I don't look fat, but my BMI precludes me from going on HA trips.

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Hundreds of thousands of people die every day.  Some way too soon.  Some in "good" physical shape (for their age), some not.  Not enough of them are lawyers and politicians, but I digress.

 

When the Good Lord says its your time to go, you're going, no matter what your doctor said during your last colonoscopy.  Pray YOU get to go out doing something you enjoy, surrounded by people you love (or at least, people you tolerate!) rather than rotting away in a nursing home, forgotten.

Edited by MrBob
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