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Yet another Jamboree incident

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Kudu wrote > "...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


I quoted the whole sentence so nothing could be taken out of context, which you turned right around and did. With your quote it looks like I am all for only allowing boys to remove shirts if one is wearing two. The first part of the quote was the relevant part. Let me re quote that part alone to clear this up for you. "Volunteers distributed water and ice by the caseload"

Please don't do that, it could confuse people who haven't read the previous messages.


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I used ellipses to indicate that I was replying to only part of the quote.


I have re-read your posts a couple of times and I can't figure out what you are trying to say. Is it your position that handing out "caseloads" of ice and water to 40,000 Scouts justifies making them keep their shirts on?


That seems odd, since you and others are saying that the Scouts are to blame for their own heat sickness because they refused to drink.

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I don't agree fully with the removing shirts as long as another one is under it, however it really would have compounded the heat issue to have added a severe sunburn to the mess. I live in an area that was seeing the high temps as well and will tell you that the sun was brutal.

As far as the water issue I was merely stating what was said in the article because some post were insinuating that the scouts were being asked to drink from water buffalos. The water was available so there seems to be no fault to the BSA, it falls on the shoulders of the boys, units, and adult leaders to follow through and actually drink the water.

The only thing that bothered me about your post was that you seemed to think that I was for making them keep their shirts on and that the shirt issue was the way that "no one was overlooking the situation".

If fact I was only quoting the article about the water being distributed but made the mistake of quoting the entire sentence which included the reference to the shirts. It was by the water and ice being handed out that I was refering to the situation not being overlooked. To which you responded "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."


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I was at summer camp in Texas. It was HOT and though we as adults reminded boys to drink plenty of water we still had several boys become sick from heat. One boy that I helped had a full water bottle hanging around his shoulder. But told me he hadn't drank any water all afternoon.

IMHO there should be no sodas sold at any scout camp of camporee. Most boys will drink the sugar filled sodas before they will drink water.

At our summer camp each table received two pitchers of water at each meal. Each table had 8-10 chairs. In order to get "bug juice", or tea those water pitchers had to be refulled. Which means that every person at that table had to drink 1-2 glasses of water at each meal.

Even with that, in the heat, in the sun, running around, boys, and adults still had problems.

The old saying "you can lead a horse to water but you can't force him to drink" BSA can not stand over a boy or an adult and force them to drink water. It is that persons responsibility.

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Does it seem to anyone else that the sudden increase is Scout "accidents" boil down to not following training or the field, BS and SM handbook, and G2SS? I mean boys dieing for kicking logs in the river (leave no trace??), scout dieing due to falling off cliff, lost in woods, lost in wood (found thank god) all left without buddies. Adults pitching a tent under power lines? In the Navy when we had a rash of incidents we had a safety shut down to retrain and invetigate what went wrong. Perhaps BSA should do the same.

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I think you nailed the issue on the head. It seems to me a general lack of following standard procedures at this jamboree. Why were supposedly experienced leaders pitching a tent under power lines, even a rookie scout wouldn't make that mistake. As far as the water issue, did you see how many of the adults were passing out from the heat, many of them grossly overweight. What kind of message does this send to the rest of the country concerning the quality of the BSA program,training and leadership, not very good. Look I love scouting for all the years I have been involved, but there are no excuses for the lack of leadership and guidance at this jamboree. It is not the press who is at fault, all they do is report the news in a way to get an audience. When things start to go wrong the management,the BSA needs to do some serious quality control and quickly before another problem pops up. Like any event the buck stops at the top, BSA National.(This message has been edited by Backpacker)

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did you see how many of the adults were passing out from the heat, many of them grossly overweight.


Is that a fact or a supposition? How many of those that suffered dehydration and/or heat exhaustion (passed out?) were adults, and what were their weights? How many were overweight (grossly)?


there are no excuses for the lack of leadership and guidance at this jamboree.


What lack of leadership and guidance?


When things start to go wrong the management,the BSA needs to do some serious quality control and quickly before another problem pops up.


What things are going wrong?? Are you referring to the tent pole incident? Dehydration? What exactly would you suggest the management do?

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How about an INDEPENDENT "Inspector General" in BSA - NOT reporting directly to the paid organization but to the National Executive Board? One that had REAL power and authority - with REAL repurcussions.


It seems clear that BSA has been having MAJOR problems with training of late - my GSA counterparts are ASTOUNDED that BSA allows leaders near kids without REQUIRING training. Stop the knee-jerk blame assignment - "Its not OUR fault! They didn't follow procedures!" Find out what went WRONG and keep it from happening again.


Unfortunately BSA has a tendency to automatically "spin" ANYTHING that goes wrong instead of looking at what happened. This applies to all the incidents out west where SE's were knee-jerk reacting before knowing anything - saying how "Procedures were followed" (even though somehow a lifejacket "came off" in the current and the leaders missed their exit point and ended up in worse rapids than planned for....and boys were acting dangerously near a river throwing logs in - wearing only sneakers in back country!?).


My favorite is BSA's trying to say "Unsupervised Scouts (at a Scout Camp) were responsible for the fire that caused $14 million worth of damage in Utah. Huh? There are SO many things wrong with that scenario....how about fire safety rules, adult supervision.... just who IS in charge?


BSA has too much of a focus on protecting its image - and the careers of paid staffers - than protecting boys. And this applies to far more than deaths and injuries. What about the recurring enrollment fraud? How many people REALLY believe BSA is committed to ending this practice when "goals" still remain paramount for evaluating paid staff? If they can't make the numbers, too many are willing to fake them.


Give someone (paid staff or volunteer)an EFFECTIVE way to deal with problems within BSA. You might end some of the cover-ups and other problems arising when the paid staff running things are the same people you want to complain about. If BSA would deal with enrollment fraud and such INTERNALLY volunteers wouldn't have to go to the FBI and the media.


It is in BSA's own interest to make clear to ALL that they care more about DOING what is right more than LOOKING like they're doing right.


ANY criticism of BSA - no matter how valid - seems to now be viewed as an "Attack" and is twisted into "blaming" the evil liberal media. THAT is a authoritarian tactic - hide behind ideology when your own actions cannot be defended by fact.


Well, BSA IS having problems and is NOT dealing well with them.


Is it the fault of the media for reporting four dead leaders - who IMPROPERLY and UNSAFELY were erecting a tent under power lines? (sorry, no way to dance around that. someone screwed up in a major way - and for a change BSA was right to say someone didn't follow safety rules - but NOBODY around didn't see this happening? nobody said "WAIT A SECOND!?)


Is it the fault of the media that a few hundred kids suffered from heat exhaustion? Water or not, What about "Be Prepared?" Sorry, but leaders should be making sure that boys have water and ARE drinking it.


At the same time there are reports of food poisioning in TWO summer camps with hundreds sickened - a story NOT being widely covered. What goes there?


What ever happened to admitting an error and working to correct it? THAT is what I was taught as a Scout.


And regarding Jamboree.....At the same time (and NOT knowing the circumstances) one has to wonder about having boys mustered and waiting for a President who didn't show. Perhaps Bush deserves some blame here. He has a few thousand boys waiting for him in 100+ degree heat and he doesn't show......


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I have two sons there and they were not just waiting for a no-show again president. They were waiting for the opening ceremony of their once in a lifetime experience. Yes it was hot, yes they were not allowed to take in water bottles or anything after having dinner at 2:30 in the afternoon. They went thru metal detectors and removed belt buckles and they sat in the sun watching people drop all around them. After three hours of waiting they were send back to their sub camp because the show was cancelled and bad storms were coming.

My boys are overwhelmed by it all but it's a once in a lifetime experience and they are usually overwhelming! They are hot and they are tired but they are having a ball. They are making the best of the situation and having the time of their lives. I know that if they had the opportunity they would both do it again

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Just spoke to my dad who is a volunteer at the Jamboree. He said the medical staff was begging those in charge to postpone the event from the morning. Those running the show said they didn't want to cancel with the president coming and all. Maybe afraid of political fallout, who knows. Then the security measures went overboard when they made boys dump out their water bottles. Water was available inside, but not enough of it. Apparently there were long lines, and probably some boys, thinking they were fine, didn't mess with the hastle of refilling them. When boys started dropping, they realized the mistake they made and called off the show.


Bad part about this is there is lots of blame going around. If you don't like the president, you'll blame him. If you don't like the boy scouts, you'll blame the leaders. From my POV, Jambo leadership dropped the ball on this. Secret Service didn't help things by making them dump out their canteens.

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The overweight Scouters theory is supported by the newsclips I saw of the treatment area. Looked like most of the patients were adults. Some of the kids in the clip looked a little on the heavy side, too.


I'm betting not too many Florida or Texas Scouts were among the victims. They deal with that kind of weather at summer camp all the time.


The fact is, no mass activity like a jamoboree can prepare for every eventuality and have everything they need on hand. You know when you go to something of that size, whether its a jambo or a rock concert, you just have to be prepared to take care of yourself (and your kids). I think it's a little soon to dump it all on the jambo staff. I have a couple of friends on staff there and will wait to hear what they have to say about it.


I'm sure that President Bush's cancellation was due to the Secret Service, but I think he probably should have overridden them and gone anyway. It didn't make him look very good, I'm afraid.


The BSA just can't seem to get a break these days.

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Helping from a distance has its' draw-backs. One thing goes wrong, and then another and then it looks like a calamity from the comfort of the arm-chair. Our leaders have been trained and so have the boys. When Scouts engage in activities that are high adventure or there is unexpected weather changes, problems can easily happen. Note that once the problems occurred, first-aid was administered and people were taken care of as soon as possible. Also note that once they figured out there was a problem, they tried to prevent it from getting larger. They contained it. They gave out water. Having thirty thousand plus people in any one area will bring about unexpected events. Putting up a tent that has poles 20 feet high is difficult and if you have ever tried it, you would know that one can get easily blinded by the size, weight, and amount of canvas. It looks like they were trying to keep the Scouts away because of the dangers and they forgot about their own situation. Affixing blame from across the country or from news reports isn't helpful because it may sound an unnecessary alarm. It is frustration, sadness and the resulting anger from these tragedies that we feel. It is anger that is felt when an accident happens that appears to be so easily averted. It is a kind of desperation that is felt when one cannot reach across the country and pluck people up and make them do the right things. We should make a conscious effort to trust our leaders to use their training and Scouts to know what is best. The BSA has a good record that has stood for many years and we should trust that even now.


(This message has been edited by Fuzzy Bear)

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I'm far too lazy to read all the reports that the media had on the Jamboree.

While I am a skinny little old fellow, who is used to being active at Scouting activities, we did have with us as an ASM a 53 year old who is not that active and might be considered over weight. We had a couple of Scouts who were also a little on what might be called the chubby side.

Before the mobilization to the first canceled arena show, we were informed that the only water bottles that were allowed would be clear bottles.

As part of the fee the boys paid we had included a fanny pack with two gray plastic water bottles. Before our Scouts could leave the Troop site each day they had to show that these were full. Of course on the day these didn't work. We however had parents staying close to the site and a few calls brought water in clear plastic bottles by the case full. Water in clear plastic was also available in the vending machines at $1.50 a bottle or from the trading posts at $2.00 ?? A bottle.

At our troop site we had Igloo coolers full of iced water and iced Gatorade. Before we took off we made sure all of our Scouts and leaders were throughly hydrated.

They all wore hats /caps and wore a T-shirt under their Scout shirt, along the way I said that they could remove their Scout shirt as long as they put it on again to go through the security check point. We made sure they were all Sun- screened - even if the SM didn't do such a good job on his knees!!

At times when we stopped along the route we had toasts. We toasted just about everyone from the President to the Queen of England, just to make sure that our Lads were drinking.

There were water stations along the way and the only problem I ran into was a twit.

Where sub-camps four and five met with the other sub-camps was a water station. I told our guys to refill, the guy who was trying to keep the lines moving wasn't very happy, he didn't want the line to stop and tried to give me a hard time. I informed him that he was starting to annoy me and he went away with his tail between his legs. Nothing but nothing was going to allow me to compromise the well being and safety of the Scouts in my charge. He did try telling me that there was another water station further along the route. I was really annoyed when there wasn't and was very upset when I thought that he had lied to me. Even if he didn't know, he should have not said that there was. Thankfully I can be a real right royal pain when I need to be.

When we went to go through the security check we were told not to throw out any water that we had by the people at the check point and I was a little upset when I see Scouts with colored Nalgene water bottles. In fact the check point staff seemed to be unaware of the instructions that we had been given. After clearing security we found more water stations and were asked to send four Scouts up to collect more bottled water, each Scout came back with two cases.

We didn't have any problems with Scouts and dehydration. Sure along the way we passed maybe a dozen or so Lads and leaders that were in distress. Sure it took a long time to hike in, but we passed the time singing camp-fire songs along with some Heavy metal head banging tunes!! The troop behind us had a Lad with a penny whistle and we sang along with them, they joined us in our toasting, we toasted the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the great State of Connecticut.

Of course we were all a upset when the show didn't go on, but the Scouts understood that storms were coming and it was in their best interest.

Maybe we did make the best of a bad job, but while I see it what we did as a waste of half a day, our Scouts choose to go and had fun along the way. We weren't moving fast enough to cause any distress to our "Bigger Guys" And all in all we were fine.


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You girl scouts over in sub-camp 4 had a short stroll in the park getting to the arena! ;) Try walking the 3 miles (one way) from sub-camp 17. I'm not sure what the Southern Region ever did to tick someone off enough to always be banished to the boondocks, but I'd be willing to bribe them to get a little closer to the action.


Sorry I missed you and I hope you got the patch and hat pin I left for you. It was a classic Jambo chase. I showed up at your camp and they said you had headed to the action center where OJ was working. I headed to the Confidence Course and they said you had left 10 minutes earlier. I asked every short, skinny, grey headed guy I saw if they were Eamonn. I'm sure I passed you on the road somewhere.

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Thanks for the Patch and pin.

Some time back Terry used the term "Herding Cats", I kinda think this could be applied to finding people at the Jambo. We had parents who came a couple of times and never did get to see their son.

Maybe if the Explorer restaurant is open in 2010 we can all meet there?

I did get to meet Hops and Bob White and a couple of others.

But I only got to see OJ 3 times.

I will send you a PM.


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