Thursday, June 12, 2008

CNN: Four killed by tornado at camp were Boy Scouts

(CNN) -- "Boy Scouts dived under picnic tables and were buried under a collapsed chimney when a deadly tornado hit their camp in western Iowa, survivors said Thursday morning.

The tornado at the Little Sioux Scout Ranch killed three 13-year-old Scouts and a 14-year-old staff member who also was a Scout, said Lloyd Roitstein, president of the Boy Scouts of Mid-America Council. Forty-eight Scouts and staff members were injured. ..."

The camp had 93 older boys taking an advanced junior leader training course alonf with 25 staff members.

The CNN article quoted leaders at the camp who described how the boys immediately began rescue and first aid on their fellow scouts who were injured. In this time of tragedy, it is good to hear that many boys were able to put their training to effective use.

Please pray for the families of the victims and the survivors in this time of struggle.


Brian Spenst said...

I was at this camp back in 1985-1986 as a Boy Scout. I was at a Jamboree that escaped a close call during that time. We were getting ready for dinner when one of the scout masters came through the camp telling us to head for the cabins. We got as far as the stage when the storm hit. Luckily the tornado came perpendicular to the valley where the camp sits so it jumped around us. I do not remember any serious injuries but I know that several of friends lost most of their camping gear when the storm plucked their (thankfully empty) tents and tossed them into the trees and surring farmland. This story comes as a shock to me and brings back memories of that storm. My heart goes out to the boys and the families of those killed.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry but I have to point out that the adult leaders of the campout are probably trying to get the attention away from their responsibiities. They are responsible for the death of the 4 boys. It was their responsibility to watch the weather forcast and they could have canceled the campout! The boys are not military and they do not have to go, "rain or shine" as the adult leaders often proudly say!

Anonymous said...

This is a tragedy! God bless the kids! But can we PLEASE stop calling everyone heroes!!! The Press calls everyone a hero.....this proud word has lost its meaning!

Denis Hancock said...

Anonymous #1:
(1) It was actually the Governor of Iowa who made the statement that I attributed to one of the leaders.
(2) This was not a short camp out; it was a week long leadership training course.
(3) The camp had no warning of the tornado. The nearest town had a power failure, and the sirens failed to go off.
(4) Apparently the camp still had power and its own siren, because one of the staff turned it on, thereby giving at least a few seconds warning to get under shelter.

Denis Hancock said...

Anonymous #2:
You have a point there, but in view of the emerging facts that these boys made some pretty good decisions in the aftermath of the tornado, it is certainly a credit to them and to their leaders.

Denis Hancock said...

Thanks for your comments. My son's troop goes to a camp here in Missouri, and tornadoes are not that uncommon. In his first year as a camper there were tornadoes all around, and some heavy winds leveled tents. He will be a fifth year camper this year, and by last year they had installed sections of culvert in or near the camp sites where the boys are instructed to go when the warning is given.

MB said...

Denis: I was concerned that your son was at this camp. Glad to see that he is okay. That is sad that four people lost their lives!! I feel bad for their families.