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Four Boy Scout Leaders Killed in Electrical Accident at Jamboree Opening in Virginia
COX.Net AP Story ^ | July 25,2005 | MICHAEL FELBERBAUM, Associated Press Writer

Posted on 07/25/2005 6:18:31 PM PDT by SandRat

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To: xzins
I'd echo what so many others have said -- canceling the Jamboree is not the solution. Over 40,000 Scouts and leaders are involved -- many with fixed-date airline tickets home and at least one year of planning this event under their respective belts. Boys have paid anywhere from $750 (no-frills trips from the Atlantic seaboard) to $4000 (Pacific Northwest) to attend.

The accident was tragic. Although it is possible that the Troop involved may go home (each Jamboree Troop has only four leaders, and the accident apparently killed them all), it's likely that four of the thousands of volunteer Jamboree staff members will step in if requested. Although technically all of those killed were "adults," as stated in the story, one was likely the Third Assistant Scoutmaster who by Jamboree regulation is between 18 and 21 years old. An adult perhaps, but a youth too.

I'm certain there will be respectful moments of silence and/or prayers formally held within each of the 800 Jamboree Troops, at the opening ceremonies, at the religious services held on the Sunday of Jamboree, and perhaps at the closing ceremonies.

I speak as a Jamboree Troop Scoutmaster from 2001, and as someone who was scheduled to be a Jamboree Troop Scoutmaster this year (but who had to drop about two months ago, after 8-10 months of planning, because of a job change). The Scout Spirit will live on through Jamboree, and that Spirit will include respectful prayers for the families of those involved.
151 posted on 07/26/2005 8:24:45 AM PDT by Scoutmaster (You knew the job was dangerous when you took it, Fred)
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To: SandRat; ghostcat

"... and a good old Eagle, too" C-19-96
"I used to be a Staffer ...." C-31-02

I was a Troop Guide at the latter Course; it was our Council's first "Wood Badge of the 21st Century" course. A bit of a change, certainly, and there was some grumbling from the old guard. I never minded the old instructional methods of occasionally putting you in a trick bag and letting you figure your way out; that's real life, isn't it? But not everyone responded well to that, and the additional emphasis on management (and consequent de-emphasis on outdoor skills) is probably necessary and useful. But what that means is that we as leaders need to identify those Scouters who lack outdoor skills and get them trained up to speed on them.


152 posted on 07/26/2005 8:52:13 AM PDT by RonF
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To: SandRat
Greg Shields just gave a press statement:

"As we communicated yesterday, four BSA leaders were killed in an electrical accident at Fort A.P. Hill between 4:30 and 5 p.m. yesterday, while setting up camp. The four individuals are Michael J. Shibe, 49, Mike Lacroix, 42, and Ronald H. Bitzer, 58, of Anchorage, Alaska, and Scott Edward Powell, 57, of Perrysville, Ohio. Three other men were also injured in the accident. One is a Boy Scout leader and two are contract workers. They are in stable condition. The injured leader is Jay Lawrence Call, 43, of Anchorage, Alaska.

One Scout suffered minor injuries that did not require hospitalization. Our hearts go out to the families of these devoted Scout leaders who gave so much to their sons, their troops, and their communities.

At this point, although it does not show in the transcript, Mr. Shields had to stop to gather his composure.

A thorough investigation into this accident is underway. We will share any additional information as we can.

Today, at the 2005 National Scout Jamboree, the Army has instituted a day of safety stand-down in preparation for up to 25,000 visitors on Wednesday for the opening show. Entry of guests will be restricted on Tuesday, participants will be reminded to drink plenty of water, and we will be reviewing safety precautions. As planned, the public is invited to visit the jamboree from Wednesday, July 27, through Tuesday, August 2."

153 posted on 07/26/2005 9:05:04 AM PDT by RonF
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To: RonF

Tragic. Was it a lightning strike or some other kind of electrical accident?


154 posted on 07/26/2005 9:10:24 AM PDT by Ditter
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To: Ditter

It appears that the gentlemen involved were setting up a tent that used aluminum poles to hold it up. Apparently they were setting it up underneath some electrical wires, and contacted a wire with one of the poles. What we may have here is a fatal error of judgement.


155 posted on 07/26/2005 9:16:17 AM PDT by RonF
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To: SandRat

Whatever happened to hosting the jamborees at Gettysburg?


156 posted on 07/26/2005 9:18:43 AM PDT by MHT
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To: xzins

Perhaps a memorial service will be held during the Jamboree. I think that could be comforting to all of the Boy Scouts and their leaders.


157 posted on 07/26/2005 10:18:09 AM PDT by Chena (I'm not young enough to know everything)
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To: RonF

An easy variant is to have the candidate sit on the ground and put a big tarp over them so all edges touch the ground. Then tell the candidate that they have something on that they don't need and to remove it and hand it to the instructor. You'd be surprised at how long it sometimes takes before they realize that the unneeded item is the tarp.


158 posted on 07/26/2005 11:20:12 AM PDT by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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To: MHT

My guess is the Environmentalists crying that it was destroying/damaging a National Treasure or whatever.


159 posted on 07/26/2005 11:21:53 AM PDT by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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To: SandRat

Prayers on the way.


160 posted on 07/26/2005 11:42:59 AM PDT by Luke (CPO, USCG (Ret))
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To: SandRat

My prayers are with these men, and to all who mourn their passing.


161 posted on 07/26/2005 5:59:43 PM PDT by GreenHornet
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To: AFPhys

Yes, I'm clearly in the minority on this one. I will stick by my 30 & 45, though.

I believe my concerns will be met by just the groups affected returning to their home area. That might be the entire Alaska contingent, but it would be the best way to acknowledge the lives lost and to support the mourning of the families who have lost so much.


162 posted on 07/27/2005 3:17:36 AM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It!)
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To: Scoutmaster

See my #162. Thank you for your support of these young men.


163 posted on 07/27/2005 3:19:54 AM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It!)
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To: SandRat; Chena; armymarinemom; All

Scouts carry on in Alaska

by Sean Doogan - Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Anchorage, Alaska - In Anchorage, the Western Alaska Boy Scout Council is trying to cope with the loss of four of its leaders. Any group, whether it be a patrol, a troop or a local council is only as good as the people who lead it. Officials says when Ron Bitzer, Michael Lacroix, Michael Shibe and Scott Powell were around, things were very good.

“On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country, to obey the scout law.”

Every Boy Scout learns the Scout Oath and tries to live by it. Tuesday at Camp Gorsuch, scouts continued their daily routine. Four roses and flags lowered to half-staff were the only visible reminders of Monday's tragic loss at the National Boy Scout Jamboree in Fort AP Hill, Va., thousands of miles away. The flowers were placed there by a camp staffer who knew the fallen leaders.

The rest of the story

Several other stories can be accessed at the bottom of the page.

164 posted on 07/27/2005 10:21:11 AM PDT by Kathy in Alaska ((~ www.ProudPatriots.org ~ coming soon ~Operation Semper Fi ~a field hospital~)
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To: Kathy in Alaska

Thank you for posting this. My heart just aches for everyone so I can't even imagine how those who really knew these fine men in person must be feeling. My deepest sympathies to everyone who knew and loved them. :(


165 posted on 07/27/2005 10:30:05 AM PDT by Chena (I'm not young enough to know everything)
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To: Chena

Thank you for that. Scouts are strong and will carry on. I didn't know any of the leaders, bit I work with the man who read one of the wives statements.


166 posted on 07/27/2005 11:11:35 AM PDT by Kathy in Alaska ((~ www.ProudPatriots.org ~ coming soon ~Operation Semper Fi ~a field hospital~)
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To: SandRat

finished my ticket in January. recieved my beads in Febuary


167 posted on 07/29/2005 8:49:14 PM PDT by ghostcat
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To: ghostcat

Is there an Owl in the house?

Back to Gilwell......

Will get my beads on the last day of the next 3 day session for this years class.


168 posted on 07/29/2005 8:51:52 PM PDT by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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To: RonF
I was a little disappointed with wood-badge 2000. I felt that it was too much desk time not enough outdoor time. While it is important to learn leadership skills I feel we need to reemphasize the outdoor skills. I'm an adviser in the Order of the Arrow and it is amazing how few people have decent outdoor skills, both youth and adult.
169 posted on 07/29/2005 9:00:18 PM PDT by ghostcat
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To: RonF

Wood-Badge W7-591-4-04
Vigil 2000


170 posted on 07/29/2005 9:06:11 PM PDT by ghostcat
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To: SandRat

Congratulations and keep up the good work!


171 posted on 07/29/2005 9:09:33 PM PDT by ghostcat
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To: ghostcat

I'll buy the issue of not enough outdoor time. I'd rather have a patrol camp be the center of activity both weekends. But the lack of outdoor skills cuts both ways. Is Wood Badge, advanced unit leader training, the place to be teaching basic outdoor skills? There's now a separate outdoor skills course for that (back in my generation, all the Dads had been in the Army). People should take that if they need to learn those skills, or hang out in a Troop a while and learn them from the other leaders and kids.

With WB 2000, you can get a Den Leader in there that has no outdoor skills at all, mixed in with someone like me who has all kinds of outdoor skills. There's no way that he or she could ever be put on equal footing with me. In fact there's no reason for them to do so, if the Den Leader is going to be a Cub Scout leader for the next 6 years like my Pack's late Cubmaster. So WB now concentrates on the leadership issues, and leaves the outdoor skills as a separate issue.

I agree that there are many fewer people with outdoor skills. We need to teach them that, but perhaps not in Wood Badge.


172 posted on 07/29/2005 9:33:27 PM PDT by RonF
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To: RonF
You make an excellent point. It probably isn't the place for basic skills. I don't mean to imply that the training wasn't excellent, because it was but it just felt more like a business seminar than a scout training to me. I guess the truth is that I feel that Scouting as a whole is seems to be drifting a little bit away from the emphasis on the outdoors. An good example of this is the Order of the Arrow, for 75 plus years it was the national camping honor society of scouting now it is known as the National honor society. I guess I'm just old school, one of those ol farts who look back with rose colored glasses at the old days
173 posted on 07/29/2005 10:18:31 PM PDT by ghostcat
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