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Boy Scouts 'All Started Screaming'
wyway via drudge ^ | 07.26.05 | LARRY O'DELL , JEANNETTE J. LEE

Posted on 07/26/2005 9:43:37 PM PDT by Coleus

Boy Scouts 'All Started Screaming'

Jul 26, 9:28 PM (ET)

By LARRY O'DELL and JEANNETTE J. LEE

(AP) A day following the deaths of four Boy Scout leaders at the National Jamboree, Boy Scouts line up...
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BOWLING GREEN, Va. (AP) - They were deeply devoted to the Boy Scouts, traveling thousands of miles to the woods of northern Virginia for 10 fun-filled days of fishing, archery and storytelling beside the campfire. One of their first tasks: Set up a large tent.

But the task went terribly awry when they lost control of a giant tent pole and it hit some nearby power lines, killing four Scout leaders as horrified youngsters looked on, said Bill Haines, a Scout executive in Alaska.

Karl Holfeld said his 15-year-old son Taylor, witnessed the accident and was on his cell phone to his mother back home in Alaska when the electrocutions occurred.

The boys "all started screaming," Holfeld told the Anchorage Daily News. "He said, 'Oh my God, oh my God, the tent is on fire, they're being burned!'"

 

(AP) Task Force Public Affairs officer, Maj. Vince Mitchell, speaks to members of the media during a...
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The Scouts spent Tuesday reviewing safety procedures and mourning the deaths of the four men, but said the event would begin Wednesday as planned, with an evening speech by President Bush. A memorial service will be held during the opening ceremony of the Jamboree, which draws more than 40,000 Scouting enthusiasts from around the world.

Scout adviser David Tracewell, 54, of Kansas City, said that the mood "became very somber" as word of the tragedy spread around Fort A.P. Hill - a sprawling Army base about an hour south of Washington.

"These scout leaders ... get to know these kids very well," he said. "I'm sure these kids are devastated. They're their mentors, their leaders that become like their second dads."

The dead were identified as Michael J. Shibe, 49, Mike Lacroix, 42, and Ronald H. Bitzer, 58, all of Anchorage; and Scott Edward Powell, 57, of Perrysville, Ohio. Shibe had two sons at the Jamboree and Lacroix had one; the three children all returned home to Alaska.

Three other adults suffered minor injuries.

 

(AP) A day following the deaths of four Boy Scout leaders at the National Jamboree, a group of Boy...
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The event was closed to visitors Tuesday. Boy Scouts spokesman Gregg Shields gave few details about the accident and was unable to say how long the investigation might take. Army officials are assisting.

"Our hearts go out to the families of these dedicated Scout leaders who gave so much to their sons, their troops and their communities," Shields told reporters, his voice choked with emotion.

Scout Kenny Suggs, 17, of Baltimore said he did not hear about the accident until Tuesday morning when the scoutmaster told the troop what happened.

"It was pretty frightening," Suggs said.

The victims came from many different professions, but they had one thing in common: They were all avid Scout leaders.

 

(AP) A day following the deaths of four Boy Scout leaders at the National Jamboree, a group of Boy...
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This was Shibe's third national Jamboree and his four sons were all Boy Scouts, according to Meg Stapleton, who is assisting the family. The two oldest, Brent and Neal, are Eagle Scouts whom Shibe had taken to a previous Jamboree.

Powell retired to Ohio about a year ago after living for 30 years in Alaska, where he ran a Scout camp. He accepted an invitation to the Jamboree - the last slot for an adult - when he was back in Anchorage this month for the camp's 50th anniversary, said his sister, Anne Rentfrow.

Powell taught scores of boys how to rappel, how to safely use knives and axes and how to find their way through the thick Alaskan forests using a compass. He also had a penchant for storytelling that came in handy in the glow of the campfire.

"He was the quintessential 'Boy,'" said Wayne Starr, a district commissioner for the Boy Scouts in Alaska.

Bitzer is a retired attorney who worked in scouting for years and gave up his law practice to work with the organization, Starr said.

 

(AP) Boy Scout spokesman Gregg Shields speaks during a news conference at Fort A.P Hill in Bowling...
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"Scouting was what he loved. He spent many, many, many hours working with Scouting," said troop scoutmaster Ken Schoolcraft. "It was a way for him to help others."

Shields said he knew of no Scouts other than the victims' sons leaving the Jamboree.

Anna Mazi of Fort Meade, Md., whose 12-year-old son, Brian, is attending his first Jamboree, said she had no fears for her child's safety.

"I trust the judgment of the leaders who are there with them," she said. "I still have confidence in the Boy Scouts and the training they go through."

White House spokesman Scott McClellan said Bush would stick to the focus of his original speech on service and choices - while touching on the tragedy.

 

(AP) Boy Scout spokesman Gregg Shields speaks during a news conference at Fort A.P Hill in Bowling...
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"These parents were there doing their part to help their children have a better understanding of service and leadership and making the right choices in life."

But, McClellan added: "Those parents would want the Boy Scouts to continue forward in their important work."

The Jamboree, held every four years since 1937, runs through Aug. 3. Scouts ages 12-18 are to spend 10 days camping in tents and doing activities that include archery, fishing and a GPS-based scavenger hunt.

There are about 400 electrocutions each year in the U.S., and about a quarter of them are related to power lines, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.---

Associated Press Writer Larry O'Dell contributed to this story from Bowling Green; Jeannette J. Lee contributed to this story from Anchorage.


TOPICS: News/Current Events; US: Virginia
KEYWORDS: boyscouts; bsa; bsalist; fortaphill; jamboree

1 posted on 07/26/2005 9:43:41 PM PDT by Coleus
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To: Coleus

A real tragedy...


2 posted on 07/26/2005 9:46:10 PM PDT by scripter (Let temporal things serve your use, but the eternal be the object of your desire.)
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To: Coleus

a big ol' eagle scout bump.
what a tragedy. prayers for all.
ronnie t.


3 posted on 07/26/2005 9:47:46 PM PDT by 537cant be wrong (vampires stole my lunch money but left me with my bus pass. damn!)
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To: Coleus
I don't mean to sound insensitive or uncaring. I think the deaths of those men is a tragedy. Nevertheless, there is one fatal flaw in the actions of those Scout Leaders. They did a very poor risk assessment in the setting up of this tent. Using tall metal poles in the vicinity of high power lines is not the brightest thing to do. Again, I do apologize if my opinion offends, but let's hope others learn from this mistake.
4 posted on 07/26/2005 9:59:16 PM PDT by phoenix0468 (http://www.mylocalforum.com -- Go Speak Your Mind.)
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To: Coleus
There are about 400 electrocutions each year in the U.S., and about a quarter of them are related to power lines.

Several TV stations have lost their news trucks (burned up) when the operator raised the truck's microwave antenna into an overhead power line. Anyone that works under or near power lines should have safety training.

5 posted on 07/26/2005 9:59:58 PM PDT by vox humana
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To: Coleus

A terrible tragedy
With all of the base closings on the table why doesn't the Govt donate some of those unused facilities to the Scouts in areas where a better camp or a new camp is needed? Just a thought


6 posted on 07/26/2005 10:00:21 PM PDT by kublia khan (absolute war brings total victory)
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To: Coleus
A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, thrifty, obedient, cheerful, brave, clean and reverent. It applies to the adults as well as the boys. I know. Much of my successes in life, I owe to a dedicated Scoutmaster, Dr. Carl A. Zapfee.

I thought of him when I read this story originally. I thanked Dr. Zapfee's widow, Denise, for "sharing him with us" at his funeral. And I stood at attention with the Scout salute, as he passed by the last time, in his casket.

"A man never stands so tall, as when he stoops to help a boy."

Congressman Billybob

Latest column: "South Pacific" Lesson about Muslims

7 posted on 07/26/2005 10:00:47 PM PDT by Congressman Billybob (Will President Bush's SECOND appointment obey the Constitution? I give 95-5 odds on yes.)
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To: Coleus

This is just heartbreaking. Prayers for all affected.


8 posted on 07/26/2005 10:04:46 PM PDT by Fudd Fan (fiat voluntas Tua)
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To: Coleus

Prayers for their families, and for all the boys.


9 posted on 07/26/2005 10:05:22 PM PDT by Egon (By the way, I took the liberty of fertilizing your caviar.)
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To: phoenix0468

These people are volunteers. They more often than not hold down full time jobs and make time for the kids on top of that.

While your comments are probably accurate, people do stupid things. I'm not sure assessing blame is necessary here.

I was very sorry to hear about this and wish nothing but the best for the grieving families and scouts.


10 posted on 07/26/2005 10:06:27 PM PDT by DoughtyOne (US socialist liberalism would be dead without the help of politicians who claim to be conservative.)
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To: phoenix0468
you have to realize they were in new territory probably using new equipment. Most campgrounds don't usually have wires like that nearby so it wouldn't have been on their minds. A "jamboree troop" is not your normal troop, you have a scoutmaster from a troop picked by the council to represent a "jambo troop" and most of the boys come from within the local Scout Council.

Even though they went on one or two practice trips in Alaska, being in VA with kids you don't really know, the stress and the excitement of it all, the leaders are not the same. I could see how an accident like this happened. I'm wondering how high the lines were.

11 posted on 07/26/2005 10:07:09 PM PDT by Coleus (Roe v. Wade and Endangered Species Act both passed in 1973, Murder Babies/save trees, birds, algae)
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To: Coleus

When I was in scouts, I recall the tent poles being either wooden or aluminum. Was this tent post steel?


12 posted on 07/26/2005 10:12:37 PM PDT by eagle11
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To: Coleus
"I trust the judgment of the leaders who are there with them," she said.

Sorry for this tragedy, but I would not entrust my kids to 4 adults who play with long metal pole around power lines, this is an ultimate stupidity, total ignorance, poor jugement, and childish carelesness.

Fortunately no kids were hurt.

13 posted on 07/26/2005 10:22:33 PM PDT by Anticommie
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To: DoughtyOne; phoenix0468
........ people do stupid things. I'm not sure assessing blame is necessary here.

Well, actually, as is the case in military after-action analysis, assessing screw ups can save lives in the future.

As my namesake wrote 21 centuries ago:

".........there are two ways by which all men may reform themselves, either by learning from their own errors or from those of others; the former makes a more striking demonstration, the latter a less painful one."

14 posted on 07/26/2005 10:28:10 PM PDT by Polybius
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To: phoenix0468
I don't mean to sound insensitive or uncaring. I think the deaths of those men is a tragedy./i>

Neither do I. I'm trying to understand WHY the ADULTS were putting up the tent. I mean, maybe scouting has changed, but the whole purpose of being a scout is learning and doing. Not having parents or parental figures do work FOR YOU..

15 posted on 07/26/2005 10:31:28 PM PDT by Experiment 6-2-6 (When the disbeliever sees this, he will say, 'How nice if I was also turned into sand.')
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To: Anticommie

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1451323/posts?page=11#11


16 posted on 07/26/2005 10:37:22 PM PDT by Coleus (Roe v. Wade and Endangered Species Act both passed in 1973, Murder Babies/save trees, birds, algae)
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To: Coleus
Most campgrounds don't usually have wires like that nearby so it wouldn't have been on their minds.

You don't have to have power lines in your mind, but I don't believe neither of the four people raising the pole did not see the power lines when raising the pole.
When you are raising a pole, your head goes up and your eyes follow the end of the pole, power line is not a needle on the sky background, you have to be blind or under some kind of influence not to see it.
This is one of those tragedies which should never happen. The victims paid the ultimate price for their recklessness.

17 posted on 07/26/2005 10:38:56 PM PDT by Anticommie
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To: Anticommie
You obviously have never erected a large tent. They were raising the pole from inside the tent, and could not see the power lines overhead.

Your callous and ignorant comments are totally uncalled for in this instance.

18 posted on 07/26/2005 10:50:15 PM PDT by TXnMA (Iraq & Afghanistan: Bush's "Bug-Zappers"...)
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To: Polybius

In the event that you have a friend going to put up a circus tent, by all means, warn them.

I'd hate to think a family member or friend of these folks would cruise through this thread and read some of the comments made on it.

This is a time for sympathy, not explaining what a foolhardy thing these men did.


19 posted on 07/26/2005 10:58:49 PM PDT by DoughtyOne (US socialist liberalism would be dead without the help of politicians who claim to be conservative.)
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To: Coleus
But the task went terribly awry when they lost control of a giant tent pole and it hit some nearby power lines,

Accidents do happen, even if we try to claim that they never should. I will accept that these men were "doing their best." Heartfelt sympathies to all. I would hate losing any of my fellow Cub Scout leaders and I would punch anyone of spoke ill of them.

20 posted on 07/26/2005 11:12:07 PM PDT by Ruth A.
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To: vox humana
Several TV stations have lost their news trucks (burned up) when the operator raised the truck's microwave antenna into an overhead power line.

And several soldiers in Europe have lost their lives when they failed to stow the big antenna on the rear of their comms jeep after field maneuvers and drove under the low-hanging electric trolley lines back at their garrison.


21 posted on 07/26/2005 11:14:59 PM PDT by FreedomCalls (It's the "Statue of Liberty," not the "Statue of Security.")
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To: DoughtyOne
In the event that you have a friend going to put up a circus tent, by all means, warn them. I'd hate to think a family member or friend of these folks would cruise through this thread and read some of the comments made on it. This is a time for sympathy, not explaining what a foolhardy thing these men did.

This was not a "circus tent". It was a large tent much like the ones that our Boy Scout troop takes to Camporees. I'm an Assistant Scoutmaster myself.

The poster made apologies in advance before he pointed out that it was a very dangerous thing to do.

In the coming year, at their next Camporee, you can bet your bippy that every Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmaster in America will be looking up for power lines before putting up their Troop's jumbo tent.

The rest of America would also benefit from such paranoia.

22 posted on 07/26/2005 11:15:25 PM PDT by Polybius
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To: Ruth A.

My heart goes out to these men and their families. We can all learn from what they did, but it will take quite a few man hours to piece together all the facts of this case. I would hope the men were aware of their situation, but odd things do happen. The big Aggie bonfire tragedy comes to mind.


23 posted on 07/26/2005 11:22:24 PM PDT by LloydofDSS (Christian supporter of Bush and Arnold.)
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To: Polybius

Ah, you can't understand that I'm talking about a large tent much like a circus tent? Ah, nevermind. Evidently you guys think a whole coven of tent raisers are going to come by this thread and you'll save lives. At some point this gets rather dilusional. Later...


24 posted on 07/26/2005 11:39:32 PM PDT by DoughtyOne (US socialist liberalism would be dead without the help of politicians who claim to be conservative.)
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To: Congressman Billybob
When our pack is together, they are all "my children". I can't imagine the depth of grief they must all feel. My prayers for all of them.
25 posted on 07/27/2005 2:59:18 AM PDT by Caipirabob (Democrats.. Socialists..Commies..Traitors...Who can tell the difference?)
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To: DoughtyOne
This was not a "circus tent". It was a large tent much like the ones that our Boy Scout troop takes to Camporees. I'm an Assistant Scoutmaster myself.....Polybius

Ah, you can't understand that I'm talking about a large tent much like a circus tent? Ah, nevermind. Evidently you guys think a whole coven of tent raisers are going to come by this thread and you'll save lives. At some point this gets rather dilusional. Later......DoughtyOne

These Scoutmasters and Assistant Scoutmasters were at a Boy Scout Jamboree and not setting up Ringling & Brother's Circus.

The tent in question is similar to the large tents many Boy Scout Troops have and take to Camporees.

What "circuses" have to do with all of this only you seem to know.

My point is that a senseless tragedy whose cause is swept under the rug lest feelings be hurt remains senseless and the victims have died in vain.

A tragedy whose cause is analyzed and where the lessons learned are incorporated into future safety protocols has at least served the purpose of saving lives in the future.

26 posted on 07/27/2005 7:24:16 AM PDT by Polybius
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To: TXnMA
You obviously have never erected a large tent. They were raising the pole from inside the tent, and could not see the power lines overhead. Your callous and ignorant comments are totally uncalled for in this instance.

My comments were not ignorant, ignorant were people who lost their lives by raising the pole from inside the tent without checking for any obstacles outside. After all they were outside the tent before they get inside weren,t they?
I said in one of my post I am sorry that this tragedy happened and that this tragedy should have never happened.
And I stand by my comments, it was not my ignorance that this tragedy happened, if I was in charge there it would never happen.

27 posted on 07/27/2005 12:36:06 PM PDT by Anticommie
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To: DoughtyOne
I'm sorry I haven't responded sooner. I realize my post may have sounded harsh, but there is a level of responsibility here. Those scout masters, and I do feel for their families, would not have been in this situation had they taken the time to assess their situation, and their environment. This is a very necessary process for any group to endeavor in. Not just the military or the Boy Scouts.

Please do not think I am saying these scout masters are too blame for anything but their own demise. But their fault was not having a better sense of awareness of what they were doing and where they were doing it.

These children may not even take that lesson away with them. Their memory will only focus on the tragic consequences and and not the proper planning that should have come prior to it.

I am not so insensitive as to not feel remorse for anyone who has died in a tragedy such as this. I guess people like me also think about the whatfors and whys of a situation as well.

phoenix out.
28 posted on 07/27/2005 3:53:06 PM PDT by phoenix0468 (http://www.mylocalforum.com -- Go Speak Your Mind.)
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To: phoenix0468

I think your post was fine. I'm not sure why I was so hardnosed myself. I appreciate the nice response and appologize for my comments. You were providing a service and I'm think I was wrong to object as I did.

Take care.


29 posted on 07/27/2005 4:30:32 PM PDT by DoughtyOne (US socialist liberalism would be dead without the help of politicians who claim to be conservative.)
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To: Polybius

The reason the term circus tent was used was because it had a center pole and was raised from inside. Design was like a circus tent. Not that it was a circus tent.


I think the reason the leaders failed to see was was going on was that it was late 4:30 pm it was in 100 degree heat and they were heat stupid and focused narrowly on getting the tent up for shade. Remeber these people were from Alaska and had a long trip and not accustom to the heat.

When a person is exhausted and overheated they do not think too well and get very narrowed focused at the task at hand. Plus They were inside the tent.

I would have thought that when they planned the placement they would have seen the overhead wires, but evidently did not to their fatal error.

This is a real tragedy and these were experienced leaders. I am not denigrating the dead but this is from human error. Nature is not always forgiving of mistakes.

My son is also at the Jamboree and he is the person who raises the dining tent. I sure hope he would have seen the wires in a similar situation. I think he would have since I have overhead wires in my yard at home and we are very consious of them with ladders and such.

I am glad to hear that one of the injured is returning to the Jamboree. I immediately thought about this accident that these leaders are fathers and have their own sons ussually at the Jamboree. One of the dead had twin 15 year old boys that saw their father die. This is a horrific tragedy.


30 posted on 07/28/2005 6:50:08 AM PDT by Rhiannon
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