Re: A Hot Time...continues (long)
Todd Tingblad (TINGBLTN@CNSVAX.UWEC.EDU)
Fri, 30 Jun 1995 12:49:59 -0500
After seeing my weather report on Tomahawk Scout Reservation come up (if only
in part), I thought it might be nice for all of you to know how the remainer
of the week went.
The hot temps continued in the upper 90's. However, that was nothing
compared to Friday Evening...
At about 4:00 PM it started to rain...finally. At Sioux Camp at Tomahawk,
meals get delivered to the troopsite for dining under patrol dining flys. It
was at 6:00 PM and food delivery time, we found out that we were 11 meals
short. The food service was not very good (taste, quality, quantity, and
I made the walk to the Sioux Program Building to report the problem to the
camp director. They radioed for more food. The Scoutmaster was hard at work
tiring to get all the advancement done for the Court of Honor that night. As
she was still waiting for more MB cards to arrive, I headed back to see how
the troop feeding was going. No sooner did I return, than the rain turned to
HAIL. From that sight, I know the ride was only just starting...Bad Weather
No sooner did the hail stop, but the Scoutmaster returned with the work all
done. The skies opened up again. This time, lots of rain and very high
winds. While standing under one of the dining flies, I grabbed the canvas
and it felt like a machine vibrating at full speed. I order everyone out of
the fly just before it all started falling down. Off to the troop trailer we
all ran, 23 scouts and 8 adults.
The winds passed, and so we went out to see the damage. Two of three dining
flies down, 8 of 16 tents down. Lots of scout equipment wet, but still
usable. So we got the tents back up and all the personal gear under cover
again. Out of the blue, it happened again, the heavy rains and a noise not
part of the Tomahawk normal noises. A TRAIN!!!
For those of you who have not guessed it, it was a TORNADO. Again, we ran to
the area were the trailer was. This time, it was not into the trailer, but
onto the low protected ground for the only protection available for this type
of storm. Three scouts did not follow the troop. Instead they found
protection under the sites elevated Baker Tent. These three (all 14 and 15
years old) saw it, the tornado. Thankfully, it stayed out in the lake and
never came down to the ground, it stayed in the sky.
Now we had a real mess. All but 5 tents were down. Everyone's gear was
totally wet and unusable. We were the lucky ones. The troopsite next to us
had used their troop's tents...backpacking type tents. All were basically
bent into knots. We had the camp's old BSA issue Wall Tents. No damage to
the tents, just wet gear.
With all the water, the damage, and kids lossing it (fear) the adults opted
to get out. Because of the central parking lots, only one vehicle was down
in the site. All but myself drove off to get there vehicles. I had the
scout pack up their stuff. Some were ready to leave right then. It was
quite the time trying to get these kids to just leave their gear packed in
their tents once we put them up again.
Soon our commissioner, camp director, safety officer, reservation director
and asst. reservation director were down in our site. The troop next door
was almost ready to move out as our vehicles returned to start our departure.
It was a real traffic jam. If all of that was not enough, the Food Truck
(Muck Truck) comes to pick up our empty food containers...RIGHT?!!.
We got our trailer out and loaded with person gear. Everyone had a BSA legal
seat for the hour ride home. We return turned home at about 11:15 PM to a
welcome group of parents. Of all things, one of the parents called us wimps
for leaving camp. We had put her out by having to come and get her son at
11:15 PM. All were told to return to the pick up spot at 5:30 AM the next
morning for the return trip to camp to clean up the site.
On Saturday morning, while we cleanup up the site for checkout, the Muck
Truck brings in Breakfast for the first time on time for the week. Cheackout
went while until I said that I did not want to be any closer to a Tornado
(100 yds). The Camp Safety told me that I should have sent someone to him to
report the tornado as it was happening. Sorry Safety Officer, I was busy
with 23 scouts and you were 1/2 mile away from me. I can't out run a
The scoutmaster of the troop to the north of us than send that they had heard
it too and 5 of his scouts became very scared. Later, I learned that the
Director of the Reservation had watch the tornado from Main Admin and did not
sound the alarm I was being scolded about.
As we started the ride home again, the scoutmaster's car broke down still in
camp. One rear wheel bearing went out. It's going to cost her a lot of $$$
for towing and repairs.
All is well for now. I am sure some of these scouts are going to be more
fearful of heavy weather for years to come, but no one was hurt.
That's our troop's latest adventure from Northern Wisconsin.
Todd Tingblad -- TINGBLTN@UWEC.EDU
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City