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Yet another Jamboree incident

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Is there any good press coming out of this Jamboree?


From this mornings Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/07/28/AR2005072800329.html?nav=hcmodule


IMO, I find the first few paragraphs very misleading. While I'm not quite ready to chalk it up to "liberal media bias" (or LMB in conservative lingo), it doesn't paint a pretty picture.


Story summary - 300 scouts treated for dehydration / heat exhaustion.


I was listening to the radio this morning (104.1, a local DC adult/top 40 station). One of the DJ's of course was saying "after 4 deaths, why don't they cancel the event" and "I know one thing, my kid's never going to a Jamboree". Needless to say, for once, I needed no help in waking up this morning. Then of course they follow up these comments with the usual ignorant listener 5 second phone calls such as "I know for a fact that the SM's and higher ups are all staying in B&B's in the area" - leaving the average listener with the impression that it's just 30,000 scouts left on their own every evening after 8 pm.


They even had one of the medics from a Spotsylvania County hospital (neighbor of host Caroline Co) that treated some of the scouts. She lasted all of 10 seconds, enough to say "they were so pale and dehydrated coming in, what were they doing to them out there?". Gee, way to get both sides of the story.


I would have called in, had they not waited until the commercial break to give out their 800# in about .00001 second of air-time, and then played music and interviewed Gwen Stefani for the next 15 minutes.


I'm still waiting to hear one positive story that's hit the airwaves.


On another note - I'm still looking fwd to heading down on Sat for my first visit.





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Here's another article - finally has a somewhat positive tone to it:



Actually, upon further review - the original story I read is no longer available. They must have updated it with the one at the above link. The original article was titled "Hundreds of Boy Scouts Fall Ill from Heat", the new (or just updated) article is titled "Presidential Visit to Scouts Jamboree is Postponed".


Sorry for the confusion. I guess you'll just have to take my word for it that the newer article is a vast improvement upon the old one!



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I posted this under the heading High Heat, here is the article you reference.


Hundreds of Boy Scouts Fall Ill From Heat


Published: 7/28/05



BOWLING GREEN, Va. (AP) - The Boy Scouts marched onto the field singing, plopping down in the grass to wait for President Bush. But hours later, the news that Bush couldn't make it was drowned out by sirens and shouts as hundreds fell ill because of the blistering heat.


About 300 people, most of them Scouts, suffered from dehydration, fatigue and lightheadedness Wednesday - just days after four Scout leaders were killed at the national Jamboree while pitching a tent beneath a power line.


Temperatures at Fort A.P. Hill, an Army base where the 10-day event is being held, reached the upper 90s and were intensified by high humidity.


"This is hot for me," said Chad McDowell, 16, who lives in Warrenton, Ore. "Where I'm from if it's 75, we think that it's a heat wave."


Half of the 300 who fell ill were treated and released from the fort's hospital. Dozens more were sent to surrounding hospitals, where they were in stable condition Wednesday night, Jamboree spokesman Gregg Shields said.


The more than 40,000 Scouts, volunteers, and leaders attending the event had been standing in the sun about three hours when word came that severe thunderstorms and high winds were forcing the president to postpone his appearance until Thursday.


At the last jamboree four years ago, Bush's trip was also canceled because of bad weather, in which lightning strikes caused minor injuries to two Scouts. He spoke to the group a day later by videotape.


This time, Bush was expected to talk about the importance of Scouting and touch on the Monday deaths of four Scout leaders.


Many Scouts ate dinner at 2 p.m. and stood in long security lines to get a good spot in the open field to see what for most would be their first glimpse of a president in person.


Volunteers distributed water and ice by the caseload, and the Scouts were told they could remove their uniform shirts if they had another shirt underneath - a rarity for an event as important as a presidential visit, most Scouts said.


Soldiers carried Scouts on stretchers to the base hospital, located about three miles from the arena stage. Others were airlifted from the event while Jamboree officials called for emergency help from surrounding areas to transport Scouts during the storm, which brought high winds and lightning.


The illnesses came as many were still reeling from the deaths of four Boy Scout leaders from Alaska. Some Scouts had been watching as the metal pole at the center of a large, white dining tent came into contact with power lines. Screams rang out as the tent caught fire and the men burned.


Killed were Michael J. Shibe, 49, Mike Lacroix, 42, and Ronald H. Bitzer, 58, all of Anchorage, Alaska; and Scott Edward Powell, 57, who had recently moved from Anchorage to Perrysville, Ohio. Shibe had two sons at the Jamboree and Lacroix had one.


Three adults were injured, and one returned to the Jamboree after being released from the hospital.


On Wednesday, Shields said the group had ignored scouting teachings by putting the tent under a power line and leaders had taken the "somewhat unusual" step of hiring a contractor to help with the task.


"Boy Scouts are taught not to put their tents under trees or under power lines. I don't know what happened in that case," Shields said.


An investigation into the accident was incomplete.


Scott Cameron, 57, of Anchorage, volunteered to fill in as a troop leader after the accident. He said the Scouts are getting through their grief.


"We'll be fine for a minute and then just break down," he said. "But we've had an awful lot of help."




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Even with the exaggerations from the press it seems that Jambo officials were not very prepared for the expected heat wave. There should have at least been water stations set up all over to prevent dehydration and heat exhaustion. Whenever you have to call in emergency help you have to expect the worst from the press. With better preparation by the BSA this whole incident could have been avoided. After all isn't our motto Be Prepared, it sure didn't look like it in this case.

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Misleading exaggerations from the press is bad enough without our own ranks adding to it. It's incorrect to say that BSA did not think to provide water for 40,000 participants. Drinking water is everywhere and the place is crawling with water buffalos. You can't fault BSA if 300 boys and adults didn't drink enough. You can fill a boy's water bottle but you can't make him drink.

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F scouter


If there were so many water buffalos as you claim on site why did they have to fly in emergency water and ice supplies, I think your information is faulty, as well as being unnecessarily hostile.


Whether you agree or not there was not an abundance of drinking water available and if you have ever drunk water from a water buffalo that has been sitting in the blazing sun for days you would know that all it is good for is washing and cooking, it really isn't very drinkable. Another point, the BSA did not deny the charge that there was not enough drinking water for all the participants. So F Scouter I think you need to recheck your facts before you attack. These kinds of errors of judgement will put future jamborees into jeopardy.

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My Webelos II is getting excited about the 2010 Jamboree despite the press...

Like Fscouter said, he you can provide the water, but you can't make the scouts drink..

With Jambo so near to a military installation, I would have surmised that someone knows how to supply water in vast quantities...but then again, some scouts/adult volunteers have never known this type of climate or heat and need to be educated accordingly...

I can't help think that many of the boys who attended will have sought after patches and stories for the rest of their lives and be a GREAT source of inspiration and guidance for other scouts who did not attend...

Many lessons learned...many more to be learned...

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Easy Backpacker, I didn't see anybody attacking. In fact it said in the article I posted that water and Ice were being handed out by volunteers "by the casefull". I think it was truly a case of leading a boy to water but can't make him drink. We had that same problem at daycamp here with our cubs. They were too interested in talking or day dreaming that it was hard to get them to drink. In fact our BB instructor told them that if they didn't need to use the bolo before they entered his range they hadn't drunk enough and needed to have a couple of cups of water while they waited until the next opening.

Boys will be Boys and you can't make them do anything.

"Volunteers distributed water and ice by the caseload, and the Scouts were told they could remove their uniform shirts if they had another shirt underneath - a rarity for an event as important as a presidential visit, most Scouts said." It seems to me that no one was overlooking the problem of the heat.


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Hold on..as a dad of a participant who has been in touch with my 14 year old every evening via CELL PHONE (thank you Verizon COWs and my insistance that he take one) I can tell you that there is more water then you can shake a hose at. At subcamp 11 there are many sources of water there and throughout the camp. He says it is not a problem.


Face it a heat index of 116 is just a bit beyond the norm combine that with excited boys and the activity in the arena field under that sun and you will get heat problems. Many of these boys will have the same issue when football practice starts up in a couple of weeks.

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Taking someone from Montana or Michigan or Alaska and plopping them down into Central Virginia is a thermal shock. Our Humidity here is legendary, and those of us that have lived here all our lives are used to it. We've had it since May. It takes about a week of exposure to get acclimated to the heat, and during that time, activity should be slowly ramped up. Even the military ceases all unnecessary physical activity under the black flag conditions we have been having for two weeks, and they have trained for it.


Unfortunately, the Jambo participants are so excited, they want to hit the ground running and quickly got dehydrated. The gallons of caffeinated sodas being sold at the trading posts probably aren't helping much. Most kids won't touch water if they have a choice. If you did an epidemiological survey of those heat casualties, I'll bet there is a geographical pattern...the boys from Florida, Louisiana and Texas probably don't think it's any big deal. It's a matter of acclimatization more than a matter of water.

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Exactly what "bad press" from the "liberal media" are you referring to? The articles mentioned here all seem to be pretty straightforward.


Under conditions like those at Jambo, you really can't just fall back on "you can give the Scout some water......". It really is incumbent upon the leaders to make sure that they're Scouts are keeping hydrated. This isn't one of those "lessons" we teach our Scouts by letting them fail on occasion. Heat is serious business. I'm sure that they're doing the leaders are doing the best that they can, but hopefully, they'll learn something from this for the next Jambo.

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> "...the Scouts were told they could remove their uniform shirts if they

> had another shirt underneath - a rarity for an event as important as a

> presidential visit, most Scouts said." It seems to me that no one was

> overlooking the problem of the heat. Kristi


Except for Scouts who don't wear TWO shirts to stand in the sun for three hours in the upper 90s and high humidity. God forbid that THEY take their shirts off for an event as important as another presidential no-show.


> I'm not surprised all of this "bad press" is spewing out of the liberal media.


Fox News is reporting that the liberal media created the 300 sick Scouts with Photoshop!

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This is third hand, as I spoke to a mom whose son is at Jamboree. He explained to her what was happening Wednesday afternoon and evening. Many scouts traveled (walked from their sub camps) a long way to get to the arena where the President was to speak on Wednesday evening. The boys had to pass through metal detectors and were not allowed to bring anything with them into the secure area, not even water bottles. They were told there would be water there. I don't know if her son recieved any water, but our troop seems to have weathered that afternoon/evening without incident. I haven't heard from my son since around midday on Wednesday, so I don't know what his perspective is. It does sound as if there were those in need of water and did not have it at hand.

I understand the need for security, but I would think a scout would be allowed to carry a water bottle into the arena.

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