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The month of August was dedicated to Map & Compass skills for our troop. We started the month off with the story of the scout that got seperated from his troop but was found a few days later. I felt it was a good teaching tool, demonstrated by the fact that our boys refered back to it on several occasions.


I ended the month with my Scoutmaster's Minute last night. I told them about Garret and what happened to him. It's a sobering lesson for scouts to hear of "one of their own" who has perished. I reminded them that this is why we use the buddy system, and that they really shouldn't complain about the safety rules we make. God forbid this should happen to any one of us. I think they got the message, let's hope it sticks.

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FYI-Garrett's parents have started a website. May the Lord give them consolation. I keep them and Garrett in my prayers.




Help Find Garrett Bardsley


Garrett Bardsley of Elk Ridge, Utah, a 12-year-old boy, disappeared around 8 a.m. Friday, August 20, just south of Cuberant Lake, off U-150 in Summit County, in the High Uinta Mountains.


Garrett and members of Troop 694, sponsored by the Salem Eighth Ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, were on a camping trip in that area when Garrett disappeared.


He was last seen when he went to change clothes after getting wet while fishing with his father, Kevin Bardsley.


On Sunday, August 30, the major search effort overseen by Summit County Sheriff Dave Edmunds and his trained search-and-rescue teams was been called off.


We Need Your Help!


We are in need of volunteers to continue to help us search for Garrett. Any help we could get would be appreciated.



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to summit911, great job and i really wish i could join you but I live in BC, Canada.


My name is Aaron, age 15, of BC. I was born in Utah however. Garrett was brought up in a chat room by AK-Eagle and it touched me a little and I would really like to see this kid come home alive.


I like the idea of online people using topographical maps to suggest locations. I dont know why the thread on that was locked. I dont think I would be much help but I would love to try. Right now all I can do is pray.

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I'm just wondering, can you drink the water out of any of those lakes/rivers? Could it have helped Garrett stay alive? Also what kind of vegitation grows in the area?


I know the chances of him being still alive are closer to next to nothing but I still have a little bit of hope and God does work in misterious ways...

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Given this most recent episode of having a boy scout lost and presumed dead within yards of his camp I would like to know why the Boy Scouts of America don't train and encourage all boys and men to carry whistles around their necks. I have over 25 years of scouting experience and over 50 years experience in the mountains and what seems to me a simple tool to help even the most seriously injured get help I have yet to get any major movement to adding a whistle to the ten essentials. Is my idea an unrealistic one? That scoutmaster/father violated the basic rule of the Buddy System because it all seemed so simple. What do you think they would give to be able to go back to that Friday morning and hang a whistle around that boy's neck and then send him back to camp. Searchers said they called for him for two days but he didn't answer. How long should a 12 year old be expected to be able to yell for help before his voice gives out? Why do we continually send our children out with men who do not follow the basic rules of mountain safety and do not give those children the equipment they need to save themselves. I am deadly serious about this. I would like an answer and more than that, I would like to know what it would take to make a Take A Whistle campaign go nationwide.

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the BSA does teach outdoor safety including carrying a whistle, personal first aid kit, water and other esentials with you. But it is up to the unit leaders to see that it is taught to scouts and up to the scouts and all the leaders to see that it is practiced.


Is a national program the answer? There was a national program for years on littering, does anyone litter? There has been a national program for decades to prevent forest fires, do we still have forest fires? Does everyone wear seat belts?


Scouting is a national outdoor safety program in itself. What is needed is for EVERYONE to do their part to teach, learn, and practice the skills of scouting.


Bob White(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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Of course you are right in that we cannot get 100% success in any program. However, how many children now wear bike helmets as compared to 20 years ago? How many more people wear seatbelts now because of education (and fines, but that's going too far) We just had our Safety Training meeting and the use of whistles wasn't mentioned, I suppose because it wasn't part of the canned presentation. I have talked to individuals in the last few weeks and they say they never thought of the benefits of a whistle and now will have their children carry one. Specific education is helpful. As a result of my talking about this to a district leader yesterday our sponsoring organization, who is in charge of the November Roundtable, will include whistle training in their program on Hiking Safety.


I read last night from a small town newspaper about the search efforts for Garrett. The article said that Garrett's father watched his son go around the lake to head back to camp. His son strayed off the trail and he had to be set straight again. Then his father watched him go into the woods. Even that wasn't a clue that this wasn't a good situation.


The local news had a huge article about safety and search and rescue. The statement was made by a scout executive that if troop leaders signed a tour permit they are well aware of the requirements for safety. Who ever reads a tour permit before signing it?


This outing was a big one with over 20 scouts and many leaders. What can be done to raise the awareness level of our leaders, parents and boys. Yes, we have the programs in our literature but maybe we need to have some focused training. Certainly our merit badge program/pamphlets can focus on the requirement to include a whistle in our activities.


Any thoughts?...

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Looking at my neighborhood not enough bicyclists wear helmets. Far less than 40%.


How many scouts are seriously injured or killed each year while on a scouting activity. The last figure I heard was less than 2%.


Sure 0 injuries is prefered, but when you consider the activities we do with tools, water, fire, altitudes, and undergound, this is an incredibly safe program. How is this possible? Through lots and lots of training and practice BEFORE we ever do the activity scouting has benn kept extremely safe for Scouts and adults.


What happened in Utah is horrible, but this was not a situation that the BSA did not warn members about, train them to avoid, publish resouces to help them train others and even included the training in the very beginning of their advancement trail. The problem, The Scout, The adult, The unit...didn't do what they were taught.


At some point, no matter what you make available, the bottom line becomes individual responsibility.

People make mistakes. That's what life is about, that's how we learn. Unfortunately this young man made what may turn out to be a life threatening mistake. Perhaps this will be the lesson that makes others finally learn.



(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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Bob:Are you suggesting then that we have done all we need to do and that adding more focus to whistle signal training will not be time effective. Is there a saturation limit on education? I was hoping to raise the awareness level of our leaders and maybe someone will say "Yeah, I can see that a whistle is important and I will train my boys and leaders."


Maybe that is why I have felt like I'm butting my head against a wall. I am speaking to people who already have all the training they need-they just need to impliment it.

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"The statement was made by a scout executive that if troop leaders signed a tour permit they are well aware of the requirements for safety. The statement was made by a scout executive that if troop leaders signed a tour permit they are well aware of the requirements for safety. Who ever reads a tour permit before signing it?




before comment, i wish to state that my and my troop's prayers are with Garrett and his family. i affix blame to no one. we werent there, and i judge no one. as one once said, "there but by the Grace of God go I." all of us, as Scouters, have been awakened to this tradegy as if it happend to each of us as individuals


back to your comment:


"The statement was made by a scout executive that if troop leaders signed a tour permit they are well aware of the requirements for safety. Who ever reads a tour permit before signing it?"


answer: a trained and responsible Scoutmaster (or adult leader)


if we take the boys swimming: use Safe Swim Defense. for canoeing: Safety Afloat. rappelling: Climb on Safely. etc.etc.etc. and always, the Buddy System. period.


a few years ago, i heard the sad news that one of my former Scouts, now an adult, had lost his life in a car accident. he had been thrown from the vehicle, due to not wearing a seatbelt. the belt would have saved his life.


i can remember scores of times, prior to leaving on a campout, & looking into his face inside of a vehicle, & asking "does everyone have their seatbelt on?".


i guess the message didnt stick with him.


that very question is on every BSA Tour Permit.


over the years, i've annoyed many a parent/driver with the same question.


but still i ask it. everytime. it is my job.


Scouting has rules, and those rules protect the youth in our charge. rules that were formed before most of us were born. rules that each day, all of us as Scouters must obey, for the safety of the boys in our charge

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You are so right--trained and responsible leaders read tour permits--or at least know what they say. Having just attended our districts safty training meeting I know that if I were to take some boys swimming that I would have to study and review the swimming safety standards even though I just went through them.


A question for the forum users. What style or format of training left the most impression and or usable information for you? What kind of meeting have you walked away from thinking "I am really glad I attended that. I have learned something that I will use?"

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