June 12, 2008

"When [my hip] popped back in, I was standing up trying to pull bricks off the kids..."

A vivid, articulate account of the tornado that hit the Boy Scout camp. What an impressive 15-year-old.

35 comments:

George said...

"The north and south winds met where the house stood, and made it the exact center of the cyclone. In the middle of a cyclone the air is generally still, but the great pressure of the wind on every side of the house raised it up higher and higher, until it was at the very top of the cyclone; and there it remained and was carried miles and miles away as easily as you could carry a feather."

Unreal.

Even more amazing, there was one survivor.

Honza said...

These are the types of kids the Boy Scouts help create -- and yet cities like Philadelphia are withdrawing all public support (whether monetary or moral), even though inner city Philadelphian kids need the Boy Scouts more than ever.

Jamie said...

I loved that even after he was no longer able physically to assist in rescuing his fellow scouts, he was still talking the right talk to the other guys: reminding them that younger kids looked up to them, and if they freaked out it'd open the door for everybody to freak out. As I admired his presence of mind, I was profoundly moved by the emotion in his voice.

Sign this kid up NOW... for pretty much anything. He's already shown he can handle not only himself but leadership.

TROBlog said...

The vast majority of Boy Scouts are impressive so this shouldn't be a surprise. I'm proud to have raised three Scouts and postive they would have acted with courage and compassion in a simliar circumstance.

My prayers are with those boys and their families.

MadisonMan said...

honza it is really pretty despicable to make a political point on the dead bodies of children. How about waiting a week?

I lived through a disastrous flood while camping with my boy scout troop. A very maturing event.

Drew Cloutier said...

Scouting attracts some remarkable kids, but it forms many more. As a Scoutmaster and father of three Eagle Scouts, it is remarkable the changes you see in boys when you teach them skills and give them responsibility.

Madison Man, Honza's point was not made "on" any dead bodies (God bless them and their families) but on the actions of a survivor. Are people not allowed to criticize the war in Iraq at anytime within a week of a death in the fighting?

downtownlad said...

Thank goodness none of those kids in that camp were gay.

TROBlog said...

Thank goodness none of those kids in that camp were gay.

Well, that was predictable.

Hoosier Daddy said...

honza it is really pretty despicable to make a political point on the dead bodies of children.

Actually Madison Man compared to DTL's further down, honza's is downright comendable. In fact, I think its spot on.

rhhardin said...

It's an entertainment story. That's why it's on the wires.

rhhardin said...

I was pretty remarkable at 15, like most people are.

The helplessness of children is a soap opera narrative, written for an audience of mothers.

Most people are not aware that Boy Scouts carry around concealed knives.

It was the first thing you bought.

TitusEverythingsComingUpRoses said...

Why did God do this?

Was there some gay event happening?

That is generally want the theocon wingnuts of the right make of awful natural disasters or man made disasters.

I saw some of these kids on tv and they were amazing.

Omaha1 said...

As you can probably guess, I am from Omaha and the storms last night were terrifying. Personally I suffered no damage but I spent an anxious evening watching the weather for several hours as they passed through our area. We just had a tornado in our town last Sunday.

It is heartbreaking that four fine young men were killed, but the actions of the scouts after the tornado passed were nothing short of heroic. They immediately fell back on their training and organized themselves to help the injured. The entrance to the camp was blocked by debris and trees, and while waiting for the rescue personnel to reach them, the scouts were doing triage and first aid.

I know that some people disagree with the scouts' attitudes toward gays, but I believe there is a great deal of value in their programs and the kind of men that they help boys grow to become.

Omaha1 said...

DTL, FOAD.

TC said...

The Boy Scout motto is "Be Prepared." These young scouts acted so bravely in the face of tragedy because they were prepared.

Below is what every Scout says before every meeting, in case madison man, downtownlad, rhhardin or others forgot it from their Scouting days -- although I doubt they were ever truly scouts even if they were members of a BSA troop. Read through these items and tell me how anyone can justify not supporting the Boy Scouts and the upright young men the program produces. Objectively it just can't be done.

The Boy Scout Oath
On my honor I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country
and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong,
mentally awake, and morally straight.

The Scout Law
A Scout is:
Trustworthy
Loyal
Helpful
Friendly
Courteous
Kind
Obedient
Cheerful
Thrifty
Brave
Clean
Reverent

TROBlog said...

The helplessness of children is a soap opera narrative, written for an audience of mothers.

Most people are not aware that Boy Scouts carry around concealed knives.

It was the first thing you bought.


Only after you earn your Whittling Chip Card that says:

1. I will treat my pocketknife with the respect due a useful tool.
2. I will always close my pocketknife and put it away when not in use.
3. I will not use my pocketknife when it might injure someone near me.
4. I promise never to throw my pocketknife for any reason.
5. I will use my pocketknife in a safe manner at all times.

rhhardin said...

Only after you earn your Whittling Chip Card that says:

1. I will treat my pocketknife with the respect due a useful tool.
2. I will always close my pocketknife and put it away when not in use.
3. I will not use my pocketknife when it might injure someone near me.
4. I promise never to throw my pocketknife for any reason.
5. I will use my pocketknife in a safe manner at all times.


Real scouts never heard of it. Obviously it was written by hysterics.

MadisonMan said...

I actually recall saying only the oath every meeting. I was trying to remember the order of the adjectives this morning while I was listening to the video clip. Trustworthy is easy -- but is the next loyal or helpful? Odd what the passage of decades does to the memory.

Hoosier Daddy, I don't see why the point has to be made while people are lying bleeding, that's all. Maybe I'm just grumpy 'cause I'm in the wrong time zone. At least it's sunny here!

save_the_rustbelt said...

Well, we certainly get a variety here. Speaking as a 45 year veteran:

Most of those remarkable young men will grow into remarkable adults.

And we will be the better for it.

This is somewhat reminiscent of the tail end of Hurricane Bob hitting the 1985 Jamboree in Virginia. The wind had barely died when the boys were up putting the camps back together.

Training does pay. Character pays even more.

Trooper York said...

I have been a Boy Scout and a Scout leader for 40 years. Ever since I joined Troop 265 when I was ten. But we were from Brooklyn so along with leatherwork and orienteering we taught the kids how to cook pasta and go to the race track for the trotters at Monticello and how to wheel an exacta. Also an important learning experiance.

Jeff with one 'f' said...

"When [my hip] popped back in, I was standing up trying to pull bricks off the kids..."

These Scouts obviously didn't learn the lessons of Katrina as brought to by Brian Williams, et al: when natural disasters strike, hang out and do nothing until the Federal government bails you out. Then live in a hotel for three years on Uncle sucker's dime while Spike Lee makes a documentary about you.

Ooops- my bad. The Boy Scout of America doesn't give out merit badges for "victim". No wonder the left hates them.

MadisonMan said...

No wonder the left hates them.

I'd say a more accurate statement is that "the left" -- as if that can be defined -- is against government-sponsored, or government-subsidized, discrimination. My own opinion is that the BSA is free to have whatever policies they decide upon. I am free to criticize those policies.

TC said...

Madison Man: Thanks for making my point for me. Regardless of how long ago it's been since one was in a troop every Boy Scout will remember those words. Each word and in proper order. I bet if we ask trooper or rust belt they could say the oath and the law as easily as the Pledge of Allegiance. You haven't forgotten the Pledge too because of the passage of years, have you?

MadisonMan said...

No I haven't. I can even sing the National Anthem, with gusto, and in key. I do confess that I often omit the part of the pledge that was added in the 50s. Call me an originalist.

I also change the Creed in church. God's Church, instead of His Church. What if God is a woman?

That reminds me of a story I heard once. It seems a very devout man prayed as dictated by his Holy Book. He made more than the required pilgrimages to religious sites. He helped the poor and downtrodden as directed. But he made his living trading in ivory. And when he died he discovered, to his chagrin, that God was an elephant.

Is there anything else you wish to know?

Fatmouse said...

>Is there anything else you wish to know?

Where did the scoutmaster touch you, MM?

Come on, it's safe to share here.

MadisonMan said...

My scoutmaster was a great great man who died prematurely from brain cancer. I am lucky to have known him. The kind of person any community is lucky to have. I think he was on borough council for a while too.

I did see him really almost over-the-top enraged once on a camping trip. We were at a huge 3-story wood cabin -- just the most amazingly incredible structure. I think you could sleep 100 in it (only 2 bathrooms though!). There was an albino trout in the pond. Some of my troopmembers tied a knife to a long stick and were spearfishing. He hit the roof. I am still glad I wasn't involved in this so I didn't have to sit through the very extended tirade. Another time we were snowed in at this cabin and had to walk the 3 miles or so to the road with full packs through 2 feet of snow. And another time at this cabin -- I think it was called Mountain Acres -- there was a huge rash of vomiting over night (that fortunately I escaped -- although watching people scrape up dried vomit of wooden floors the next morning? Eeew). Aah, memories.

TROBlog said...

Real scouts never heard of it. Obviously it was written by hysterics.

I assume humor, because real Scouts carry one.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Only after you earn your Whittling Chip Card that says:

I recall it being called a Tot'n Chip.

If you were caught using an edged tool in an unsafe manner, they'd cut a corner off. After all corners were removed, no knife or ax until you wen't through re-training.

Trooper York said...

In the early seventies, the Five Bridges District in Brooklyn went on a weekend trip to Maryland where we stayed at Fort Meade and then toured the Monuments, White House and Smithsonian in Washington DC. Our stay at the army base was arranged by Congressman Hugh Carey who later went on to be governor of New York. All of the Scouts from Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Red Hook and Park Slope went on buses from the neighborhood to DC. You got to meet kids from other troops and neighborhoods and got to see America’s great monuments and museums. But the highlight of the trip was when you went outside the gate of the army camp to this little store that sold knives and samurai swords and throwing stars and all that good kung fu shit. One year when we came back, every Scout had a Tot’n Chip card and a switchblade. Good times.

knoxwhirled said...

Where did the scoutmaster touch you, MM?

an asshole thing to say

Trooper York said...

Every year we would go upstate to Ten Mile River and camp family style. We would set up long tables and cook six course meals of pasta and ham and turkey and all kinds of stuff. The other troops hated our guts. One time this goof was trying to rank on us but couldn't come up with anything while we were cursing him and his mother in Italian. The best he could come up with was "OH YEAH, WELL PARMISAN CHEESE SUCKS!"

Trooper York said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Trooper York said...

One year we competed to see what we could steal from the camp commisary to cook at our campsite. We would rip off cases of stuff at a time and got all of the tools and equipment in our campsite. We built a replica model of the Brooklyn Bridge at the entrance of our campsite using chainsaws and wheel barrels. But we got in a lot of trouble when we stole the diving board from the pool. We dodged a bullet by hiding it under the chaplians bunk.

Hey, we were Brooklyn Boy Scouts.

Trooper York said...

We had a couple of kids in the scouts who were the grandsons of a well know made guy...so to bust balls they used to say...Joey Bags Mafia...his grandson Philly ....Boy Scout.

Trooper York said...

When you camped out in summer camp they had out door latrines which as you know were outhouses which didn't flush. So in the heat of July they could really really stink. So our solution was to buy a box of White Owl cigars to smoke while you were taking a dump to avoid the smell and the flies. The cigars were available for whoever wanted them. It's where a lot of kids learned about smoking. Some of them liked it and some hated it. But in those days it wasn't such a big deal.

Hey we were Brooklyn Boy Scouts.