Skip to comments.Four Boy Scout Leaders Killed in Electrical Accident at Jamboree Opening in Virginia
Posted on 07/25/2005 6:18:31 PM PDT by SandRat
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You reference your posts #30&45. It seems as though myself and several other posters her are simply telling you that they disagree with your suggestion to either cancel the jamboree or to cancel GW's address to the scouts. As for GW seeming insensitive, who would he be insensitive to? ACLU, NAMBLA, liberals? Horse pucky. Among other things, scouting is designed to teach kids to accept responsibility, to be self sufficient, to be motivated and a leader.
The ONLY basis for cancelling or sending those troops affected homewould be if the mass consensus of the adult scout leaders determined it would be in the best interest of the scouts to do so.
Sorry, but your previous statements really don't sound like statements I'd be expecting to hear from a retired Army Chaplain.
A sorrowful bump for you, Kathy in Alaska. What a beautiful post you created. :)
Thank you for that, SandRat. I'm going to print that off and keep it, and share it with others. Beautiful!
The Duke did have a way of putting out there.
Thank you again for your posts. It is through you that I learned that the victims of this horrible accident were troop leaders from our own state, Alaska. I had just gotten off the phone with our son who lives in Anchorage, and we had been talking about this horrible tragedy. He must not have heard yet either that they were Alaskans. Sad no matter where they were from, but this sure hits close to home.
God bless their families, friends and fellow Scouts. sob
That was long ago and in SE Asia and they caught the dickens for it.
I'm with you, x.
Sadly, the "proper thing" gets harder to find every day.
Waiting for the 10pm news. I'll post if they know anything new.
News report that all leaders are believed to be from Anchorage. The one name released, Mike Schibe, had his 15 year old twins with him. They will catch the first flight home. Lots of scouts watching the tent going up...a pole contacted the overhead power lines. Several power stations knocked out. Chaplains provided for all. TRAGIC accident. God be with all the scouts, youth and adult.
Picture of the tent and overhead wires via the "Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star"
Photo by Rebecca Sell, The Free Lance-Star
I believe you just might be the only one here to agree with me. :>)
See #30 & 45
As an Army Chaplain I can speak to you of training exercises canceled because of deaths.
However, I think I've been clear enough about my reasons. I stand by them. Respect for life, proper mourning, and in the President's case, putting him in a difficult position.
Prayers for the men and for their families. How sad.
>>As an Army Chaplain
... you have your head right up there.
If you had counseled that to my units, you would have been 'short-sheeted' real quick, to use a BSA term, and you know it.
The only way to show respect to these guys is with a salute and a carry on. I've never known, in 40 years, of an Army guy, or a BSA, who would have asked for more. Or for less.
As much as I respect you on this site, I cannot believe your so full of it on this topic.
I can cite occasions when the same was done on training exercises. Deaths brought them to a grinding halt.
You know I'm correct.
I believe it would have a negative impact on the scouts if they went home early . . . more than if they stayed.
Also, see #30 & 45
See #30 & 45.
However, I see nothing wrong with teaching the boys a lesson about the value of life. In any case, one other reader suggested that the returnees be limited only to those groups that were immediately affected or had relationships with the deceased men.
I could agree with that. In fact, there's no way that those groups should remain.
Training is not supposed to kill people. What do you call it after a fun event has people killed....an "almost" fun event???
Training exercises are training exercises. You don't send 4 divisions home, then, do you?
You are a fraud, sonny. Skip your way back to safety.
John Wayne's Scout Law bookmarked, bumped, and saved. Thanks.
I've got lots of years to put against such a silly statement.
However, I've seen an entire Grafenwoehr rotation sent home. The point is this: training is not supposed to kill people.
Anyone who doesn't realize that they'll call a safety standdown as soon as a death occurs hasn't really been there that much.
Another thing....your "send 4 divisions home" comment.
We do not have a single training center that can handle 4 divisions. You should realize that. It's telling that you don't.
We don't have even one that can adequately handle 1 division.
So do I, and don't call me silly. Again, a safety stand down is a safety stand down. I've seen a Corps stay in action, with a calm, dedicated, reasonable approach to an adverse incident. Training didn't kill anybody. What the people did killed them. The lack of training killed them. Stay in place to learn, to be trained. Your kind of hand-wringing is useless, will kill more people, and above all, shows disrespect for those who lost their lives. Also, I've never met an Army Chaplain so proud and brave as you. </spit>
If you don't like the term "silly" then perhaps you need to re-read your #120 and comment on it.
I don't have much to say to someone who thinks we have sites where 4 divisions train at once.
I've already said what I wanted to about the issue but the Chaplain is right, you've gone ballistic first.
Did these leaders have their son's in the troop?
I can't imagine the shock they are all in. :(
This is another statement that demonstrates a deficit of experience. Equipment failures kill, faulty plans kill, accidents are real, and they kill.
The notion that an entire Corps has been training at one site is simply out of touch with reality.
You're not worth my time.
Memory Eternal for those who are now reposed.
Not in this discussion, I'm not. And proud not to be.
Thanks. You're right, I tried to stay cool, but failed.
My boys just got home from summer camp with merit badges completed, and I'm starting to wish they would skip the upcoming white water trip. Nervous motherhood issues..
I serve with pride as a merit badge chair and fair chair for a great district in Washington state.
Everyone can offer something to Scouting by becoming a merit badge counselor. Call your local council and find out what you can teach to the next generation.
Disrupt 40,000+ people for the sake of 4? Why?
See #30 & 45
I have no problem limiting the return just to all those groups associated with the deceased men.
What a bunch of moroooons ... as bugs would say.
Perhaps it's time to disband the bsa .... I thought it was just the local units that had become overrun with incompetent panty waists. But it seems the problem runs pretty deep.
When the leaders at a JAMBOREE can't even pitch a tent with out getting people killed, then something is WRONG with the system that let them be in charge.
I know of a troop who abandoned their tents and went to a neighboring farm house to spend the night , because they found "poison ivy" in the area. Then the 2nd night , after moving their tents, they abandoned them again for the "protection" of a leaders basement ...... it almost rained.
The one scout who thought that perhaps the adult leaders were over reacting just a bit was disciplined, ridiculed and cut from the troop.
The bsa is not what it once was.
Alaska Scout leaders die near D.C. JAMBOREE: Three men from Anchorage, one former Alaskan are electrocuted.
By KATIE PESZNECKER and LISA DEMER
Published: July 26th, 2005
Last Modified: July 26th, 2005 at 02:23 AM
Four Boy Scout leaders were killed in Virginia on Monday, the opening day of the organization's national Jamboree, when a metal tent pole they were holding hit a power line and apparently ignited the canvas tent above them, according to Scout officials and witnesses.
Officials late Monday confirmed the leaders who died are Ron Bitzer, Michael Lacroix and Michael Shibe of Anchorage and Scott Powell, who moved to Ohio last year.
A fifth Alaska Scout leader, Larry Call, and an unidentified contractor were hospitalized with injuries, according to Boy Scout officials. Call is being treated at a Virginia hospital burn unit, said his wife, Paula Call.
No children were seriously injured, but about 30 Alaska Scouts saw the accident happen some time between 12:30 p.m. and 1 p.m. Alaska time at Fort A.P. Hill, an Army base about one hour south of the nation's capital.
Karl Holfeld, an Anchorage father, said his 15-year-old son, Taylor, witnessed the accident. Taylor was on his cell phone talking to his mother in Anchorage when the accident occurred.
Thanks for the link, Theupman.
Four Scout leaders killed at jamboree
Officials probe fatal accident
Date published: 7/26/2005
By KRISTIN DAVIS and MELISSA NIX
Four Boy Scout leaders were killed yesterday in the worst tragedy of the National Boy Scout Jamborees 68-year history.
An electrical accident apparently occurred when a tent pole came in contact with a power line late in the afternoon of the opening day at Fort A.P. Hill.
The men were adult Scout leaders from the Anchorage, Alaska, area, said Bill Haines, Scout executive and chief executive officer of the Western Alaska Council.
All the young Scouts with the Alaska group are fine, Haines said.
A contractor and another Scout leader were also injured during the accident. One was taken to Mary Washington Hospital; the other was taken to VCU Medical Center in Richmond, said jamboree spokesman Gregg Shields. Their conditions were not immediately available.
The names of the victims were not released last night. Families of the deceased were still being notified, Shields said.
Scout spokesman Bob Dries said last night that there are no plans to cancel the rest of the jamboree. The first day of the quadrennial event began in high spirits, with thousands of Scouts arriving by bus in bright shirts, carrying brand-new camping gear.
But just before 5 p.m., military police, fire and rescue workers rushed down Lee Drive shouting at pedestrians to get out of the way.
Scouts and Scout leaders were headed down Lee Drive, in the eastern part of the Army post, toward their campsites.
A small crowd of curious onlookers gathered near the scene, called Subcamp 7. Some pedestrians continued their trek, barely pausing as smoke rose from a large white tent several hundred feet away.
Meanwhile, men in full protective gear rushed into the smoking tent and returned carrying what appeared to be a covered body.
The scene was cordoned off with yellow tape, and the tent sat drooping and lopsided several hours later. Power was shut down in that area of the post and workers from the Rappa hannock Electric Cooperative arrived on the scene.
News of the tragedy spread slowly across the sprawling Army post, where more than 35,000 Scouts from across the United States have gathered for the 10- day jamboree. Scouts went about their late-afternoon routine, picking up food items and heading back to their posts to prepare dinner.
Most Scouts seemed unaware of the deaths.
Jamboree officials said they did not know the exact circumstances of the accident, nor did they know the voltage of the power lines.
A thorough investigation is under way, Shields said.
He said counselors and chaplains were made available to the Scouts affected by the tragedy. Haines said the four victims were longtime Scout leaders with Troop 711, which together with Troop 712 brought 80 Scouts, and eight leaders to the jamboree.
The father of a Scout from the Alaskan contingent said all the Scouts had been removed from the area of the accident.
Its now an investigation scene and its closed to everyone, he said in a telephone interview. The Scouts were moved to Army barracks on the post and chaplains and counselors are spending time with them.
The father, who did not want to be identified, said his 17-year-old witnessed the incident. Hes a very stoic type but this will hit him later, the father said.
He noted that some of those killed likely were parents of Scouts and others were longtime leaders. How it will affect them you just never know.
On Sunday, Boy Scouts volun teer Albert Puff, 57, of Stella, N.C., was taken to a local hospital where he died of an apparent heart attack, said jamboree spokeswoman Renee Fairrer.
There have been two accidental Scout deaths in the jamborees 68- year-history. In August 1997, 16- year-old Robert Combes of Fin leyville, Pa., died after the mili tary Humvee he was driving overturned on a winding gravel road near Wilcox Road and A.P. Hill Drive.
Combes, a youth staffer at that years jamboree, was crushed beneath the 7,700-pound vehicle, which was used to transport ice and cold drinks between camp sites. He was not trained to operate the truck but convinced another teenager to let him. Three other teens were injured in that accident.
In 1977, a Scout attending the jamboree at a state park in Pennsylvania was struck by light ning and killed.
Gov. Mark Warner issued a statement last night, offering his condolences to all those affected by the tragedy. He said he wished to reassure the parents of the Scouts that they were in good hands.
All of us hope and pray that the remainder of the 2005 National Jamboree will offer a safe and educational experience for these young men and their adult lead ers, he said.
Free LanceStar reporter Edie Gross and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Date published: 7/26/2005
So who is the total loser who put 'zot' in the keywords?
Don't give me that BS about "humor is how we deal with tragedy", someone is just a slimy jerk going for juvenile humor.
I quit Scouting after Webelo's. (big mistake)
I'm making it up now as a Cub leader. (Webelo and Tiger) I can't wait till my boys are old enough to do stuff like the Jamboree.
Or being the Pop-Corn Kernal, the emegency point of contact for outings, publicity, historian, transportation coordinator,.........................
Back in may we had a long time Adult Leader on the District Committee pass away. At the funeral service we had over 60 Scouts in uniform (adults and youth) then when the casket was being brought out of the church we had 10 uniformed Scouts on each side of the sidewalk that gave and held the Scout salute until the door on the hearse was closed. We also had over 45 Scouts graveside.
weaponeer's #78 is exactly right.
Tragedy is part of life, and each of us have to learn to deal with that. There is no better environment that I know of for children to learn the proper attitude.
During my 8 years as counselor at Scout camps, plus 5 other years as a Scout myself, there were many injuries and several deaths - ranging from lightning death of a Scouter, many Scouts witnessing a (non-Scout) helicopter crash into the lake, broken bones and sprains, and burn injuries from fire-fighting. Never did we send anyone home or terminate the activities. We DID have memorial services, and we honored the life and MEANINGFUL DEATH of the Scouters, and used injuries as lessons, and prayer opportunities.
I appreciate your "respect for life" attitude, but must ask you reconsider this situation yourself. It is my opinion that by taking a "cut and run" attitude, that dishonors the attitudes that these Scout leaders were working to instill.
In this case, if anything strongly out of the ordinary is to be done, I believe it would be far better for each Scout to all chip a buck into the hat, and fly the families of those Scouters into the Jamboree for a memorial service to honor their lives.
You're going to continue to be "Just a lonely voice crying out in the wilderness..... LOL!"
Duke's expansion and explanation of the Scout Law ought to be required reading for all youth, not only Scouts. I have seen it several times over the years, and thank you for reposting it.
My 8yo daughter will be seeing it tonight.
I believe it would have a negative impact on the scouts if they went home early . . . more than if they stayed.
EXACTLY! Imagine the outcome of those alternatives five or twenty years from now. I've been there. Far better for all concerned to carry on.
Prayers in the Name of our Lord Jesus for the families of those killed, and for all those in attendance at the Jamboree. May they be comforted and find strength during this time.
Thank you for linking this very informative article Kathy. Our troop has several attending the Jamboree. My heart is heavy this morning.
Prayers up for these men and their families.