Back from Haliburton WOW!
Gary Sherwin (sherwin@SUNSHINE.PGH.WEC.COM)
Mon, 17 Jul 1995 12:03:19 EDT
Subject: Tornado in Camp
Subject: Cellular Phones.
Fellow scouts and scouters:
Just got back from a week at Scouts Canada Toronto Region's
Haliburton Scout Reserve. We took 16 boys and 8 adult leaders.
We worked for a year to earn the required $220 per person.
US$ 56 per person camp fee, US$ 2500.00 Bus Transportation and
the balance for food and fuel and other expenses. We left
Yukon, PA. USA (about 35 miles east of Pittsburgh) at 00:15:00
July 7, 1995 and headed for Haliburton (about 150 miles north-east
of Toronto). On the way up, we did whirlwind tours of Niagra Falls
and Toronto (by subway, trolley and walking) and arrived in Haliburton
at about 15:00 EDT. THE CAMP IS FABULOUS, THE STAFF IS MORE THAN
EXCELLENT! THE PROGRAM IS AWESOME AND SO IS THE SCENERY AND SMALLMOUTH
BASS FISHING. If you are looking for a complete troop adventure,
call Scouts Canada Camping Division at (416) 490-6364 and they will send
you a video and camp brochure. Try it, you'll love it. Our boys and
leaders can not wait to go again. Probably in 2 or three years.
Only wish they could learn to control the weather HA HA HA which was
also beautiful except for our last day when we had the challange of
camping through a tornado. The storm struck at about 02:30:00 and
broke off numerous trees, four of which did more than just fall in
the woods. We had one scouter knocked over by a tree as he sat up in
his tent upon being awakened by the storm (sprained sholder, one
broken tent pole), One scouter pinned by a tree (assorted bruises, one
broken tent pole), one scout pinned by a fallen cedar (minor bruises and
abrasions, Pin cussion perforated tent), and one first year scout
pinned by a 16 inch plus diameter tree (Bruised hip, Tent undamaged
except for the hole in the side where one of his two buddies cut his way
out to go for help, and the general shredding it suffered when we cut it
apart in our rescue effort). The boys and leaders followed their training.
Our mock disaster type first aid drills paid off. We brought the boys out
of their tents near the edge of the woods and had them huddle in the clearing
near the lake, The trees along the lake were now lying on the ground, and
provided a little shelter from the rain and wind. Trees continued to break
off after the main storm passed. The phones were out so we signaled for help
with our emergency signal whistles. We received immediate aid from our fellow
scouts and scouters of Third Highland Creek Troop Toronto, which was camped
nearby. When the injured boy had been extricated and the storm and lightning
had subsided (When we didn't see any more ground strikes) I and one of my
assistants took our rented but damaged motor boat across the capsized boat
strewn lake, through the darkness to the administration area for help.
(We did not know the extent of our scouts injuries and were affraid that a
local weather characteristic of returning storms might bring further disaster)
We figured we had about 15 minutes to make the crossing before the storm might
return, so we decided to risk the crossing) We notified the camp
administration of our situation and helped gather stretchers and back-boards.
Shortly thereafter, our injured scout and scouter were evacuated by pontoon
boat to the main-land and thence to the local hospital. The situation was
handled professionaly and efficiently by the Staff of Haliburton and the local
hospital. We are deeply indebted to all of them and to Third Highland Creek,
Toronto Troop. At this point, all involved are none the worse for the wear
(a little anxious about storms, a little tired and a little sore but that's
all). It was a relatively sleepy and quiet bus ride home. We have decided
that a Cellular Phone is a viable piece of troop emergency gear. A dollar a
week dues increase would pay the fees and provide much more effective emergency
communication than trying to reach a land line. At least this is true in the
areas we normaly camp in. The parents agree.
Yours in Service
Yours in Scouting
I used to be an Eagle NE-V-19-20
Eagle Scout Class of 1967
Vigil-Wagion Lodge 6
(Mr.) Gary W. Sherwin SM
Troop 461 Yukon, Pa.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City