Guide to Safe Scouting_Broken bone at Scout Camp
Keith Sutton (ksutton@U.WASHINGTON.EDU)
Thu, 14 Aug 1997 13:55:21 -0700
Dean Hayes posted on Tuesday August 12 (heavily edited)
> Did we break the rules (probably)? How badly? What would you have done
> in a similiar situation? Backgound:
> ...Our troop was at camp... one of my scouts fell and broke his ankle...
> got him over to the camp's medical lodge.The medic said that it looked
> like a bad sprain, but you couldn't really tell without an X-ray. The
> nearest telephone 16 miles away, The nearest hospital is 60 miles.
> Given the late hour of the day, we kept the scout as comfortable as we
> could overnight with the plan of transporting him home the next day.
> On Wednesday, the leader drove to the nearest telephone and called the
> scout's parents to let them know what happened and got him home early
> enough so that the parents could take the scout to their doctor... we
> <then> found out that the ankle was broken.
Dean this sounds like a scenario I've seen at Camp Fife in the Grand
Columbia Council. In my case my troop was asked to provide additional
adult leadership over the period of time the other troop's scoutmaster was
at the hospital with the scout. Basically because this was at a certified
Boy Scout Camp any negligence as to the safe scouting rules being followed
is totally at the door of that council. I feel sorriest for the scout in
pain with a broken ankle; however, you did have him looked at by the
camp's medic. Realistically the camp has to assume responsibility for not
notifying the parents or seeking further medical aid (they simply radio
the local sheriff or hook up a cell phone to the huge satellite dish on
the site. As a parent my objection would be "Why was he not treated?" and
I would be asking the SE that question (the words "subjected to pain and
suffering" would also cross my lips). There simply is no excuse for the
camp staff not to seek aid for what is perceived to be a serious injury.
Rather than say the rules were broken by your troop, I'd say the rules
were broken by that camp and thus that council. The camp can insist you
take a main role in this, but the way you express the background sounds as
if the camp was not living up to its responsibilities and was bogusly
ceritified by the NCS (but that's just my ever so humble opinion). I would
have insisted the camp and therefore that council secure medical aid for
an injured scout on their property asap if I especially did not have the
means to do so myself.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City