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Scouting tragedy

This heartbreaking event happened on the Olympic Peninsula. I really hope this doesn't scar the boys so badly they give up on the out of doors.

My heart breaks for the family and friends. They were just a bunch of kids playing in the great outdoors doing kid things. Ugh...

What a tragedy, very sad to hear. I know kids will be kids, but there comes a point where adult supervision should put the stop to certain activities. Trying to move an object, to get it to roll no less, that weighs probably 1000x what you do for no practical purpose is probably a bad idea. Playing or not. There is lots of other things for kids to do outdoors. LNT- in this case it just may have saved a life.

I know kids want to just play and have fun, but accidents like this happens fairly frequently. I can remember at least 3 over the last few years from kids trying to move or roll large rocks or trees. One broken leg, one crushed ankle, and one dislocated knee and broken leg.

If it was just kids by themselves i'd chock it up to a accident, but with 4 adults this is a lack of judgement and a preventable accident.

The article doesn't say where the parents were at during the time of the accident......

All it says is that there were 4 adults on the trip.....

This article states the kids were out exploring and ran back to the adults after the accident occurred....

According to that FOX article, they had left camp and had to go back to camp to alert adults. These are 12 year olds so I would not think they would be constantly in the presence of an adult. They used bad judgment for sure. maybe the thing is more education about what NOT to do when you are messing around in the woods. Though good scouting practices never would have you disturbing things in that way, would they? Leave no trace.

Terrible tragedy.  

This is just young boys being boys.  Very, very sad.  Unfortunately, accidents do happen.  

Sad indeed. I'm not sure such an accident is even preventable. Neither the scouts nor the adults did anything that was untoward. Having his clothing catch on the log was all that was necessary. A number of adult farmers are injured or killed each year by a tractor's power-takeoff catching their clothing.

i don't fault the parents - a group of boys that age can often take care of themselves under these circumstances.  and the injury was clearly an accident.  i feel badly for everyone involved.

But my feelings don't distract me from the sheer avoidability of this.  why would a group of boys want or need to dislodge a big log and roll it into a lake?  some might consider that act to create unsafe conditions for any person or animal who might be downhill, not to mention boaters, water skiers, etc.  accidents happen, but this was the product of pretty immature and misguided thinking. 

leadbelly2550 said:

but this was the product of pretty immature and misguided thinking. 

Really sad situation but without being there I think this is an unfair statement.  I can remember being a scout and doing similar experiments with gravity.  

I wasn't there and have no idea of the specifics but I seriously doubt they were rolling logs into individuals or animals below them, but again I wasn't there.  

If you aren't going to be immature at age twelve, when will you be?

I feel sorry for anyone who never enjoyed rolling large rocks down a steep hillside, seeing the power of nature as a single stone developed into a miniature avalanche. [I am not advocating the actions of those who vandalize national parks.]

"Why would a group of boys want or need to dislodge a big log and roll it into a lake?" If you need to ask, you can't understand.

I feel terrible for the kid's family and the boy's friends who were likely right beside him and watched helplessly. 

As an Eagle Scout, I spent countless hours of my adolescent years in the woods with friends. Even with the most safety-minded leaders, including a number of retired military and police officers who constantly drilled safety-first mottos into our heads, there were certainly times when we did things that, looking back now, were dangerous and potentially life-threatening. 

As tragic as this incident is, I'm just not convinced that things like this can absolutely be avoided if we want kids to experience the woods. 

My heart goes out to the family and friends of the lost scout. 

Unfortunately, the boy's older brother was one of the four. He stayed with his brother while the other two went for help. One of the adults at camp was a doctor and also the boy's father. Lena Lake is a three mile hike in the eastern Olympics. I don't doubt that this was just boys being boys. My heartfelt condolences to the family.

A very tragic story indeed. One thing I would like to point out is one of the adults had the foresight to have a gps signaling device which he activated during the emergency. Ultimately though, the scout's injuries were too severe for him to survive, but rescuers were notified because of that device and the other adult who hiked out and obtained a cell signal. If going into an area where there is a possibility a cell signal does not exist, the small investment in one of those devices is well worth it.

How sad for everyone involved and affected.

Just to clarify, no one in the scout group had a signaling device. That was from another hiker who happened to be in the area. The scout group had only the cell phone, but one of the adults had to walk out to the road to get a signal. Even so, the boy's injuries were so severe that getting rescue personal there earlier would not have helped.

I was reading what it said in the first link:

"Troop leaders activated an emergency locator beacon that was picked up by an emergency monitoring center in Texas, which called Washington State Emergency Management officials, who contacted the sheriff's office. One adult in the party also hiked about three-miles from the lake to a parking lot. He then drove eight miles for a cell phone signal to call 911."

As is usual, particularly with the Oso landslide where I lost friends, there is much confusion at the beginning and more facts emerge as time goes on. The particulars don't matter now. Only that with less life threatening injuries, a proper signaling device would have helped.

sorry, i didn't mean to be heartless.

here's where i'm coming from.  i hike with my own kids, and i guided kids on multi-day hikes in the Adirondacks for some summers when i was younger.  i used to rock climb quite a bit too, and i still hike in the winter in places where avalanche risk is something people care a lot about.  in any of those situations, one thing (among many) that i have always told kids about safety is to respect the people who may be downhill of you.  i have hiked up plenty of slides, dikes and snowfields where sending stuff downhill could seriously injure anyone following.  (rock-climbing, it's a no-brainer safety practice to yell a warning to people below if you trigger rockfall). 

you're right, i wasn't there.  maybe it's an open slide in a remote area, so it would have been easy to see there wasn't anyone below.  regardless, anyone reading this story should feel awful for everyone involved. 


Having been a Cub Scout leader, I used to get the Scouting magazines, and here is my impression...many folks in Scouting have virtually no outdoor experience. Their hearts are in the right place. They have ambitions of being great adventurers, but they lack knowledge and experience.

An example of this is the Scout leaders who pushed over the rock formations in Arizona (???) a few months ago. They thought they were making the trail safer. Instead they are facing criminal charges and were removed from Scouting.

My years as a Scout are 25 years behind me, but I remember we would hike out to our location. The Scout leaders would sit around the fire in camp all weekend, while we boys would "explore." Such explorations would usually wind up with someone needing the First Aid Kit a bit later.

In situations like this, I always think there a 3 victims--obviously the young man, his family who have to mourn his life, and also the adults responsible for his well-being, who will live with that guilt the rest of their lives.

The dad was part of the leadership on that trip. It will probably be worst for him, as he must wrestle with both the loss and the guilt. I hope he gets spiritual or professional guidance to help him cope with it.

From my experiences in scouts, I'd have to agree with Goose's statements regarding the lack of experience many scout leaders have in the outdoors. I would strongly recommend anyone who has a child interested in scouts (girl scouts or boy scouts) that they get to know the leaders and their level of competency in the outdoors before your child goes on any trips.

One thing to remember here is that just because a leader has tons of sweet gear doesn't automatically mean they know what they're doing. I can't tell you how many leaders I had who spent tons of money on gear but had no clue as to what they were doing.

Certainly I'm not saying this was the case with this tragedy, but I thought it may be helpful to anyone with kids who is considering scouts.

As far as the scouting movement goes, it has brought an appreciation of the outdoors and the natural world to many young people who would not otherwise have had that opportunity. My own experience as a scout lasted barely a year or so. I had backpacked with my parents prior to my joining the scouts, and found I had a good deal more experience than many of the older scouts in my troop.

I have taught paddling to scouts and would echo what kiwi said above. Their leaders and parents are central to the experience. A few years ago, I mentored a troop in paddling who were preparing for a Bowron Lakes trip. All the scouts had gained their canoeing badges, so I thought I might just be teaching a refresher course. However, none of the paddlers had more than a rudimentary grasp of canoeing and canoe strokes, and most much less. 

That hits pretty close to home.

My son is an Eagle Scout from a neighboring troop


I just have to wonder where the adults were while all this was going on. if they were there this might have been avoided.

Trailjester-----see the comments above yours.....

Those will give you the answers.....

October 31, 2020
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