Boy Scouts

These young American heroes saved lives and refused to panic when a killer tornado struck their camp.


12/10/2008 05:05:42 PM

Great job to all our Scouts and Scouters! Little Sioux was my first experience into Scouting and its an awesome area surrounded in steep hills. When the news wire hit of it going to the canyon I knew there was only one way for the tornadoe to go and prayed for those in there. I saw the video created by the Scouts in the Phillipines and was deeply touched at thier dedication video to our Scouts. We are all part of the Universal Family of Scouting and when one Scout is affected we all feel it in good times and bad. Our prayers to you all and your families. If you have not seen the video I recommend looking at it. It is awesome and touching. Thank you for paying attention and learning when you were instructed. Thank you for staying with your Scout brothers and helping. Thank you for teaching and continuing on with your dedication to scouting and the truely great program the Boy Scouts of America has and conitues to enstil the leadership and ethic skills to better our world in thier program.


12/06/2008 10:16:37 AM

To mom of 61, how is your son and nephew doing? My son thinks of all his fellow scouts often and hope they are doing ok. My son was the only scout from his troop attending the training, he doesn't like to talk about it with troop. He is very proud of the souts that were injured, because they were so brave during it all, also knowing they wanted to help but could not. I agree with you, it was the longest short night of our lives too. How long from the time you heard news did you hear your son was "ok"?

mom of 61

12/05/2008 11:08:12 PM

My son also was in the north shelter, he was severly injured and wasn't able to help others but he told us of the heroic acts of those scouts and and scouters who came to their aid. This was the longest short night of my life when I look back it seemed like forever waiting on word of my son and nephew. On our drive to the hospital we decided we would only answer the question our son had and wait to give him the grim details when he was stronger and would be able to handle it better. When we got to the hospital in Sioux City that night we were taken to the intensive care unit, we went to his bed side the first thing he said to us is mom we didn't all make it, he had a few other questions for us and then drifted off to sleep. The next day we were notified of the names of the boys that were killed. When our son heard Aaron was one that was killed he was very silent, this was a boy we didn't know, our son meet him at camp and they hit it off. When I hear of the heroic efforts of these scouts it makes me very proud of my son, and his fellow scouts, I'm so glad that they were there to take care of him. Thank God for the leaders, scouts and emergency responders that were at Little Sioux Scout Camp that night, our family will be forever in your debt.


12/05/2008 08:15:54 PM

Continued...part IV At this time, first responders began arriving. I helped put several scouts on backboards and as more responders arrived, I let them take over. After most everyone was gone, I then went down the hill with Fred (the Scoutmaster) and several others. We met a truck on the way and put one of the more severely injured scouts in it, climbed on and went down to triage. After a while, I was put in an ambulance with several other scouts from my patrol and was taken to the hospital where x-rays revealed I had a severe muscle/bone bruise. I was then released to my parents about six hours after the storm hit the camp." End


12/05/2008 08:15:05 PM

Continued...part III The concrete and stone chimney had fallen almost exactly straight down the cabin. Scouts were along the side and several were screaming in pain. One scout was lying kind of on his side but not moving. I checked for a pulse, did not find one, and noticed that his lips were grey. He did not respond. I found another scout that stated he could not feel his legs. I got him to move his toes, fearing he might be paralyzed. We later learned that he had at least one broken leg. At that time, I found a scout with a serious head wound. Someone had put a cloth or bandage up against his head and I held it in place until we were able to properly secure it. I kept talking to him to keep him awake, afraid he had a concussion. After that I just kept moving from scout to scout to help with splints, bandages and whatever else I could do to ease the pain.


12/05/2008 08:14:25 PM

Continued...part II There was then a horrible noise, like a train, along with very heavy wind and rain. I was yelling at the younger scouts to stay under the table and keep their heads down. The wind was so strong it began pulling a couple of smaller scouts toward the door so I held on to them and tried to get my body on top of them to hold them down. At this point, the building disintegrated with pieces of wood and stone falling all around us. I was hit in the back by a large piece of either wood or stone and covered by debris while I was on top of the two boys. The wind now lessened and it became extremely quiet. I looked around and was amazed to realize I was still alive. Several other scouts began moving around and taking debris off of themselves. At this time, I and several other scouts got up and began starting to remove debris from people underneath. We could hear the propane tank “hissing” and knew we had to get the people out as fast as we could. There was an extremely large piece of the fireplace chimney (approximately 4’ x 5”) on a big pile of debris that was on top of several scouts. We were finally able to use levers to reduce enough weight so that they could be pulled out. I noticed that several of the boys were severely injured. I also began to be aware of my back injury but ignored it. Continued...


12/05/2008 08:12:21 PM

One scouts accounting...Part I "After finishing dinner at the North Shelter with the Red Troop, my patrol was released to return to our campsite. After spending a short time there, we were returning to the Shelter for flag when we were informed that there was a tornado warning out for the camp. Some of the individuals heard the siren, I did not. We continued on to the shelter when the leaders started yelling to hurry and take shelter. We entered the shelter and went to our assigned table area near the fireplace when the storm hit. The Scoutmaster was pinned to the side of the building and one of the staff members dove through the door shortly before it was ripped from the side of the building. We all got under the tables. Continued...


12/05/2008 08:08:51 PM

I am a parent of one of the scouts present the night of the tornado that was in the building that was destroyed. I wanted to share what my son said to me when he first called us…”Mom, it’s Jake, I just survived a tornado, and I’m lucky to be alive. I don’t know why I’m here and someone else isn’t, those poor innocent kids.” My son was only 16 years old. I also wanted to share his accounting of what happened: I am also very thankful to Boy Scouting organization for teaching these young men how to be prepared, this situation as bad as it was could have been so much worse if these boys and Scouters had not been prepared. I will forever be thankful and proud to have both of my boys participate in the scouting program, their lives and ours have been enriched so much as a result. I have an Eagle Scout and the one at the camp is a Life scout working on his Eagle, I am a very proud parent!


12/03/2008 11:43:54 AM

My son was standing next to the Scoutmaster that night. Fred, the leader, heard the siren but my son did not. Fred is and always will be someone I would trust with any of my children at any time. He showed true leadership and caring. The loss he felt at the deaths of those boys will haunt him. It will haunt all these young men as well. Many of them question whether they could have done more. They did everything that was needed and more than what anyone could believe possible. There are only four dead because of the quick work and action of Fred and all the boys up there that night. I cannot be more proud of any of them.

eaglemom 812

12/03/2008 08:25:33 AM

All of the adults at the camp that day had monitored the weather situation all day. The siren that sounded at the camp had been installed the previous year by these same adults. That evening the boys had all eaten dinner together and were told to gather in the shelters for a movie so that all would be in the safest locations. Normal camp protocol was for the boys to cook dinner by patrol at their separate camp sites. If they had been scattered at the time of the tornado the results could have been far different. It was a tragic day with four young lives lost and others altered forever, but the training and judgment that day by both the adult and youth leaders may have prevented a much worse outcome.


12/02/2008 10:36:33 PM

DWalt954, please take it easy on the Scoutmaster. First of all, you only heard a short clip of an very long ordeal. It almost appeared that the boy was the first to hear the siren. This camp is very rural and it could have been difficult to hear the siren in the heavy winds. I had the unfortunate opportunity to live through an F2 tornado only about 70 miles from the Little Sioux Scout Ranch. Like the LSSR tornado, ours was at night. When the winds are strong, they can carry the sound of the of the sire. I would actually commend the work of the Scoutmaster. His boys were well trained and new what to do. The role of a Scoutmaster (I have been recently trained as a Scoutmaster and am currently a Cubmaster) is to lead our boys into making good decisions, and acting calmly and quickly. He apparently did that. I'm proud of him and the boys. I am proud to be a Cubmaster and the parent of a cub scout and I'm proud of the boys in our district - the boys involved in this tornado. I personally know the boy who was "partially scalped" and one of the other boys that was critically injured. They have both recovered and have continued on in their scouting endeavors. They are great boys, as are their peers.


11/30/2008 04:40:26 PM

I am a cub scout leader in England - Liverpool and I thought this was a trurly heroic good deed and it shows the importance of shouting abouting scouting in our young peoples lives as without the life skills gained through scouting.... GOD only knows what would have happend. May God bless you all abundently with his love. Angela P England- Liverpool 19th Fairfield and 7th Fairfield cubs section


11/26/2008 06:59:51 PM

I, too, am proud of these young men and their leaders. I remember how important the Boy Scouts were in my life. I would love for my grandson to belong to the Boy Scouts but he can't. His Daddy & Papa are are loving, caring gay men and the Boy Scouts won't let them participate with their son. It's sad how fear & bigotry can get in the way of good people can do.

Donna D, LI,NY

11/23/2008 10:40:16 PM

The last paragraph says so much. We need to see the wonderful and special people our youth are. The news always goes for the negative. These boys and boys across the world that are in scouting are building a better world as they work on living the scout oath. Each day as a "Good Turn" is done they are our Hero's. Please pass this on for all to vote for these Scouts.


11/23/2008 10:12:10 AM

When I read articles about Boy Scouts it never surprises me that theses young men are the heros and rolemodels. I am a proud mother of a son who is an Eagel Scout and In Order of the Arrow. He is now 20 and a successful college student and when he is home from school he is a dedicated volunteer firemen in our comminity and a summer life guard. I do believe he is the person he is today because of his positive experiences in scouts.This is not a young man who had an easy life. His father left the family early in his life and drops in here and there. As his mother I am grateful for all the men that have passed in his life to guide through modeling what a good man can be. Now my son is a young man to be proud of. In college his plan is to study law with a focus on environmental issues. I honor all scouts --- BRAVO!


11/22/2008 05:10:03 PM

These young men live their scout law by being trustworthy, loyal, helrful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thriffty, brave, clean, reverent. The scout motto is Be Prepared and they were. They also were able to help other people at all times, they kept themselves physically strong, mentally awake, and morally stright, which is part of the scout oath. These young men are truely heros and great Boy Scouts. Do a good turn daily is the scout slogan David Donahue Scoutmaster Troop 349 England, Ark.


11/22/2008 08:40:48 AM



11/21/2008 08:56:41 PM

I got to meet the ScoutMaster of one of the Boy's that was killed in the torando in Western Iowa . He is the most special person anyone can know. A true Friend. And Iam a sister of a late Boyscout from the 1960's before he passed away in 1968 from Muscular Dystrophy.


11/21/2008 10:47:32 AM

I am Boy Scout even though I am 60. I am an Eagle Scout although I am 60. And will remain so until I die. The lessons learned those many years ago have stayed with me as I try to live them every day. We need more boys to learn the same lessons. It is a discipline. It teaches self-reliance. It teaches respect, it teaches a love of country, it teaches that there is someone unseen guiding us. It teaches much more than a video game could ever attempt to teach. Richard Donaway


11/21/2008 09:49:04 AM

Some people (especially youth) think that being a Boy Scout is “not cool” or “a waste of time.” However, that’s because they don’t know what scouting is all about. Scouting doesn’t just teach camping skills. It teaches many life skills. As the Scout Law states: “A Boy Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent.” This is the law that the scouts live by. Each Scout learns and exhibits all of these traits throughout their scouting career.


11/20/2008 09:31:16 AM

I had the priviledge of teaching Aaron Eilerts for the last two years of his life. I have seen firsthand a true hero in action and from all the stories that I have heard about all of the boys that were involved in this horrific day, I know that all of them are true everyday heroes! They have been trained by their parents, teachers, and scout leaders to do what they know is right and they have shown that they will follow through! EVERYONE did what they had to do that terrible day and they all should be honored! I am so proud to say that I have had the priviledge of working with such a wonderful young man who saved so many lives that day!


11/20/2008 08:31:44 AM

Good thing THIS young man was able to do what he could. However, where was the SCOUTMASTER??? This young man said he TOLD the Scoutmaster about the tornado sirens sounding. Is the SCOUTMASTER - the SUPPOSED "leader" of these young men - THIS "out of it" that HE wasn't conscious of tornado sirens sounding? HE is a sad human being. Good for this young man!


11/19/2008 11:52:51 AM

We all hope our kids would be able, & willing, to stand up like these boys have done. And as adults, we would all say that yes, we would be able to do as these boys have done. But how many of us would really be willing to do the same as these boys? We don't know unless we have been where they were, or similar shoes. We need to hear more positive things about our kids, however small it may be. Not just when diaster strikes. And I'm proud of these boys for standing up & helping each other amid this tragedy.


11/18/2008 06:56:39 PM

It is unfortunate, that most of the time, the only news we hear is negative regarding young people. Kuddos to all these young heroes who stepped up when they were needed. I really think that we need to give our young people credit, I feel when called upon in an emergency --I like to think that they would mostly all rise to the occasion and help whereever they could.


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