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#21 Back Pack

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Posted 09 July 2017 - 08:30 AM

WOW! That trailer is huge! How big is your troop?

Don't think that's his. Doesn't Stosh have a small troop?

We do have a troop where I live that has not one but two such trailers.

Edited by Back Pack, 09 July 2017 - 08:31 AM.

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#22 Lurking...

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Posted 09 July 2017 - 08:38 AM

WOW! That trailer is huge!  How big is your troop?

 

:)  I have 5 boys but they are young and don't know how to pack very well yet.  

 

Seriously, that picture is to show reference to the size of the camper in the accident.  This trailer is 6' shorter than the camper.  Why a Scouter would need that big of a "tent" is beyond me.

 

First of all, if I needed a camper that big at an event, I would take personal responsibility for it's transportation and not have other scouts or scouters in the vehicle with me, especially not buckled in.

 

A trailer that size needs an equalizer hitch.  That usually involves 3 points of contact, the ball-hitch and two torsion bars.  I would also think an anti-sway bar would be necessary.  That would be a fourth point of connection and with 2 safety chains, we are up to 6 connections.  How in the world did the two become separated?

 

Even if the wheels balanced the unit fairly well to minimize tongue weight, how was the trailer loaded?  too much weight to the front? (depresses rear, reduces effective steering on tow vehicle).  Too much in back?  (lifts rear, reduces effective rear wheel traction and stability with road)      

 

Irregardless of the G2SS policies, this whole situation kinda looks like it was an accident looking for a place to happen.


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#23 Col. Flagg

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 02:18 PM

Not at a Scout camp, but tragic nonetheless.

 

http://www.foxnews.c...ach-issues.html


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#24 krikkitbot

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 12:04 PM

Maybe and maybe not .  The wind in Texas can be fearsome at times.  

 

Driving near Philmont a couple of weeks ago my SUV (no trailer) was blown into the left lane. I think you can still see my grip marks on the steering wheel. 


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#25 krikkitbot

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 12:22 PM

Yep, I went back to the pictures and the trailer seems to be a camper.  34' camper will not have the weight of a fairly loaded cargo trailer and will work like a sail in a cross-wind. 

 

Why does a scouter need a huge camper on a scout activity?

 

Well, It does say he was 78. Maybe he should have had a smaller camper or maybe he should have had a bigger pop-up tent. I feel bad questioning him since he was still giving back to scouting but... I'll leave it at that. 


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#26 Col. Flagg

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 12:36 PM

Well, It does say he was 78. Maybe he should have had a smaller camper or maybe he should have had a bigger pop-up tent. I feel bad questioning him since he was still giving back to scouting but... I'll leave it at that. 

 

Well, we as Scouters should always question things when they involve safety. If someone is afraid to speak up just to avoid hurting someone's feelings, you never know the consequences.

 

I think it is fair game to question the towing capacity of the vehicle, the need for such a long trailer, carrying Scouts with such a burdensome load and anything else that could have reduced the risk here (e.g., ensuring everyone was wearing seat belts).


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#27 krikkitbot

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 12:57 PM

Well, we as Scouters should always question things when they involve safety. If someone is afraid to speak up just to avoid hurting someone's feelings, you never know the consequences.

 

I think it is fair game to question the towing capacity of the vehicle, the need for such a long trailer, carrying Scouts with such a burdensome load and anything else that could have reduced the risk here (e.g., ensuring everyone was wearing seat belts).

 

Oh, I agree to question before an accident. To question now is to pass judgement without knowing all the details and he can't defend himself.


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#28 Col. Flagg

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 05:28 PM

Oh, I agree to question before an accident. To question now is to pass judgement without knowing all the details and he can't defend himself.

 

Well....I would argue that questioning the decision now might arm someone reading this with the information that might keep them, or someone they know, from doing the same thing.

 

I can tell you several units in my area immediately started keeping track of trailer weight and the towing capacity of all their trucks.

 

I wouldn't say we are passing judgement or anything. Just asking safety questions where we can learn after the fact. Even the NTSB does that...and it is helpful.


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#29 Lurking...

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 07:57 PM

One can learn best from two different options.  1) The mistakes of others and 2) one's own mistakes.  I always work at option #1.


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#30 Ankylus

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 02:34 PM

We just returned from Philmont yesterday.

 

One of our crews had a scout who nearly lost an eye to a limb after retrieving a bear bag in the dark. (One observation this time is that Philmont consistently chooses the bears over the scouts. Another is that some of the back country staff are getting arrogant.) We are still waiting to see how badly the eye is damaged. He apparently won't  lose the eye, but will lose the tear duct. He's 14....that's a long time with a dry eye. 

 

Our sister crew climbed the Tooth of Time to spread the ashes of two ASMs who were killed at Northern Tier last year when a tree fell on their tent and crushed them to death. Never heard about that one anywhere.

 

We also were discussing tent placement when someone mentioned the the Philmont incident two years ago where the scout drowned in the flash flood. Our ranger (who I liked a lot) several times said during that discussion, "We don't like to talk about that here."

 

I think a lot of this is actually suppressed.


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#31 Col. Flagg

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 03:10 PM

We just returned from Philmont yesterday.

 

One of our crews had a scout who nearly lost an eye to a limb after retrieving a bear bag in the dark. (One observation this time is that Philmont consistently chooses the bears over the scouts. Another is that some of the back country staff are getting arrogant.) We are still waiting to see how badly the eye is damaged. He apparently won't  lose the eye, but will lose the tear duct. He's 14....that's a long time with a dry eye. 

 

Our sister crew climbed the Tooth of Time to spread the ashes of two ASMs who were killed at Northern Tier last year when a tree fell on their tent and crushed them to death. Never heard about that one anywhere.

 

We also were discussing tent placement when someone mentioned the the Philmont incident two years ago where the scout drowned in the flash flood. Our ranger (who I liked a lot) several times said during that discussion, "We don't like to talk about that here."

 

I think a lot of this is actually suppressed.

 

Sorry to hear about the Scout's eye. Hope all is okay.

 

Regarding the death's at Northern Tier, they were from my area. It was a female ASM and a Scout. The young man went to my brother's unit's CO but both were part of a different troop. The deaths were well-reported in North Texas. Happened June of last year. Must be the same event unless NT lost 4 people last year. 

 

The Ponil Canyon incident is something every Philmont crew, ranger and staff person should always have at the forefront of their mind. IMHO it could have been avoided with better training and logistics.


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#32 Ankylus

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 04:09 PM

Sorry to hear about the Scout's eye. Hope all is okay.

 

Regarding the death's at Northern Tier, they were from my area. It was a female ASM and a Scout. The young man went to my brother's unit's CO but both were part of a different troop. The deaths were well-reported in North Texas. Happened June of last year. Must be the same event unless NT lost 4 people last year. 

 

The Ponil Canyon incident is something every Philmont crew, ranger and staff person should always have at the forefront of their mind. IMHO it could have been avoided with better training and logistics.

 

 

Thank you. As mentioned, we are waiting to see about the eye.

 

Thank you for telling me about NT. The sister crew was from Carollton, and the ASM was a female. I believe they are Troop 121.  If I recollect correctly, you are from that area, so perhaps we are talking about the same incident.

 

I agree with your last point entirely, but I would expand it beyond Philmont, as I would with the NT incident. And it needs to come through scout resources rather than media reports. I have taken the online hazardous weather training twice and I cannot recall any significant mention of falling trees, for example, although there is talk about flash flooding. But not enough. We were in a trail camp last week where the campsites were not well marked. I could tell from the soil that significant areas of the camp had experienced flooding at some recent time. And I knew that not through any kind of training or information I learned through scouting. It would have been easy just to throw off the packs and camp there because it was flat and sandy. First thing that popped into my mind was the Ponil Canyon flood. But if Philmont won't talk about it, how will less experienced scouts know what to look for?


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#33 Col. Flagg

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 04:33 PM

Thank you. As mentioned, we are waiting to see about the eye.

 

Thank you for telling me about NT. The sister crew was from Carollton, and the ASM was a female. I believe they are Troop 121.  If I recollect correctly, you are from that area, so perhaps we are talking about the same incident.

 

I agree with your last point entirely, but I would expand it beyond Philmont, as I would with the NT incident. And it needs to come through scout resources rather than media reports. I have taken the online hazardous weather training twice and I cannot recall any significant mention of falling trees, for example, although there is talk about flash flooding. But not enough. We were in a trail camp last week where the campsites were not well marked. I could tell from the soil that significant areas of the camp had experienced flooding at some recent time. And I knew that not through any kind of training or information I learned through scouting. It would have been easy just to throw off the packs and camp there because it was flat and sandy. First thing that popped into my mind was the Ponil Canyon flood. But if Philmont won't talk about it, how will less experienced scouts know what to look for?

 

Yes the troop was from Carollton. Yes, their unit is literally 3 miles from my CO. I met the ASM. She was very nice and even looked at our troop when crossing over. She stood out because she was female and very well trained. Different district but close enough that unit paths cross often.

 

I chase storms in my copious spare time. I like to get a close to tornadoes as I can. It is a family thing because my brother and cousins all do it too (Yeah, we're those guys). So we have gone through all the NWS training offered, have done all the ARC and local CERT training possible. From my perspective the two incidents (Philmont 2013 and NT 2016) were quite different. Again, my opinion.

  •  NT: The troop was hit in the middle of the night by a front of straight line winds from a gust front. In Texas we call them "Derechos". They arise from storms colliding with outflow boundaries and can travel great distances. The troop was in their proper camp site and in a remote part of the range. Even if they had known about the gust front coming in 100 miles away they would have been caught in open water and/or old growth forest. Neither good for cover. It had rained quite a bit the weeks prior to their trek, so the ground was saturated leaving the root systems of the trees susceptible to up-rooting from strong winds. The team that went in to do the assessment of the accident area said 1) there was no cover from what they were up against, 2) their option was be on the water (not good) or hunker down in place. The leaders did what they were supposed to do. Short of being evac'd out hours prior, no crew could have taken cover better.
     
  • Philmont: The monsoon season was in swing. The high level mark of the Ponil Creek was visibly near the staff lodge and encompassed several of the "camp sites" allocated for the season. The camp site in question was in a field within that high water line. There were many severe storms in the area that day, especially up stream from the Ponil Canyon staff camp, but the crews were allowed to camp in what was essentially a flood zone. This was one of the wettest monsoon seasons in NM; some areas in the north getting 12" or more. IMHO Philmont and staff camps should have warned crews on the ranges of any camps in danger of flash flooding. We had three crews there that month and all crews were warned (by us) to 1) check for high water marks in any break or camp areas, and then 2) head 10 ft above those marks and camp/rest. 

Sorry for the diatribe. I just believe that if we truly train our crews/troops well (and even expect similar training at camps we attend) some situations can be avoided. Unfortunately for my friends who went to NT, there is nothing they could have done short of digging trenches like in Bastogne '44. Not sure that would have even helped.


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#34 Lurking...

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 07:12 PM

I have only 3 adult initiated rules in my boy led troop and the first one is Safety First!

 

I am currently involved with a Red Cross Relief operation where thunderstorms and flash floods hit the southern part of the state.  I was involved in Damage Assessment and flooding and tornadoes are no joke.  I visited with one lady a couple of days ago when a tree snapped off and put a large tree limb through her trailer.  Celing through to the ground.  It missed her by about 4' while she was sitting in her living room.

 

Yes freak storms happen, but my first thought for this lady was why in the world would you be sitting in the living room of your trailer house when a tornado hits? 

 

People need to have frequent conversations about such things and to ignore them puts everyone else in danger.  Tell the story, make sure everyone hears it.  I have gone through quite a few tornadoes, lightning storms and know the importance of being safe.  Peoples' lives are dependent on one's vigilance.

 

Flash floods?  One river nearby here rose to 4'  6" above floor level two blocks from the river in 7 minutes.  This is not an area prone to such activity. 

Be careful out there!

Edited by Stosh, 26 July 2017 - 07:15 PM.

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#35 EmberMike

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Posted 01 August 2017 - 03:40 PM

I would think that caravanning would be less necessary these days. Everyone has GPS, in the car and on their phone, so getting lost really isn't as much of an issue anymore. I'd prefer to have everyone go at their own safe pace and driving style and get there in one piece. 

 

Random side-story: When I was a kid, I remember our ASM freaking out on another leader when we got back home from a trip for not staying with the caravan in the proper order of vehicles. He got in the guy's face and screamed something about ripping his face off and feeding it to his dog. This all took place in front of the while troop and parents picking up their kids. 


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#36 Ankylus

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Posted 01 August 2017 - 04:42 PM

Thank you. As mentioned, we are waiting to see about the eye.

 

 

I am happy to report that the most recent prognosis is that they believe the scout will keep not only the eye, but also the tear duct. A happy ending, presuming they are correct.


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#37 EmberMike

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Posted 02 August 2017 - 11:42 AM

... He apparently won't  lose the eye, but will lose the tear duct. He's 14....that's a long time with a dry eye...

 

Good to hear he's keeping the eye and the duct. Not that it makes as much of a difference now, but doesn't the duct act as a drain? I definitely could be wrong about this, but I thought the eye gets moisture elsehere, the duct only serves to carry tears away from the eye to the nasal passages. As far as I know, lack of a tear duct wouldn't negtively impact eye moisturization. 


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