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Lightning Strike Reindeer

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Practical illustrations of risks due to lightning along with explanation of how the damage occurs are hard to come by.  This involves animals, not people, and thus may be easier to show to your boys. Plus, the explanation of the physics behind a strike (comparing why four footed species are likely to suffer more harm than two-footed) might help scouts understand our strategy of squatting in a broad circle if we can't find shelter.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/31/science/lightning-strike-dead-reindeer.html

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Or tell the story of 23 scouts injured at a June, 2013 NYLT course at Camp Bell (NH). Camp site top of hill, scouts clustered under a tarp with aluminum poles,between tall white pines during lightning storm.

 

http://www.wmur.com/news/nh-news/several-reported-hit-by-lightning-at-boy-scout-camp/20700536

The story-telling is important. But, as with most strike reports, you have to add your knowledge from training and experience to explain why the boys were at increased risk by not spreading out (assuming they couldn't reach a grounded shelter).

 

What I liked about the Times report:

  • Pictures of the aftermath (which you may want to withhold depending on the maturity of your scouts). That would never happen with an human story.
  • A written explanation of the mechanics of high voltage electricity ... especially in relation to mammalian conductors!
  • Why four points on the ground is more risky than two, which is more risky than one (i.e. squatting with legs together).
  • References to other stories of strikes on animals and humans around the world.

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Or you could share incident reviews:  http://www.scouting.org/Home/HealthandSafety/incident_report.aspx

 

Bottom of page - 

 

How to:  http://www.scouting.org/filestore/HealthSafety/pdf/680-056_1.pdf

 

Lightning:  http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/680-056_Lightning.pdf   

 

Highly recommend the LDS video of Sam the Cloud.....

 

Ok, share then. I want to query the incident reporting database for lightning injuries and whitewater rafting injuries at BSA activities in the Northeast in say the last 5 years. How do I do that?

Edited by RememberSchiff

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That's not possible at this time, but you might want to touch base or support your councils ERM committee so that you can have some input.    

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Schiff, this sounds like one of those projects that an improved IT infrastructure could manage. Might be worth sending a note to put your hat in the ring to test it!

 

@@RichardB, I would definitely use the selected incident reports for training (maybe even more so, if it included the field of smitten reindeer). This is something I would pull out of my pack to show once we were out of cellphone coverage and distractions are few. Are they already in printed form (e.g. a flip-book) for purchase?

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