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What an incredibly long and incredibly sad night.

Thursday, June 12, 2008
I'm sitting here right now typing this post with tears in my eyes and some sneaking down my face. I am so, so sad. Last night, 4 young men died as the result of a EF-3 tornado that stuck their Boy Scout camp, in Iowa. The camp is called, "The Little Sioux Boy Scout Camp. It is located about 30 miles to the northeast of Omaha. It is a place where my two sons, both Eagle Scouts, spent many, many nights with their father, friends and scout leaders, learning what it meant to be a Boy Scout. Learning what it meant to be a man. This the place where the scouts loved the infamous "Suicide Mountain," which is actually just a big hill that was really fun to slide down after it rained.

This was scheduled as a week of leadership training. Adult and older teenage leaders were teaching about 95 thirteen, fourteen and fifteen year old boys who were interested in becoming leaders, either within the scout world, or just within the world.

This is part of a story from the Omaha World Herald.
Boy Scout Ethan Hession wasn't scared until the windows shattered.
Sirens had blared. Lights in the cabin had blinked out.
The scoutmaster had burst in and yelled, "Everybody under the tables!"
Within seconds, Hession heard the sound of smashing glass and the deafening locomotive roar that means tornado. He felt glass rain down on his shoulders and back.
The 13-year-old crouched in a corner of a cabin at the Little Sioux Scout Ranch, elbows pressed against the concrete floor, hands covering his face. About 50 or so other members of the "Red Team" did the same.
Hession tried to close his eyes.
Something struck his head.
He felt his body lifted up, as if he were flying. He looked up, through a blinding white mist, and saw that the cabin's roof was gone.
"God help us!" yelled the boy next to Hession.
Then it was over. As quickly as it had come.
The tornado that ripped through the Little Sioux Scout Ranch showed the boys and their leaders, who have spent their young lives learning about the outdoors, just how fierce Mother Nature can be.
Earlier in the week, before the tornado drilled the camp, the Scouts drilled on what to do before, during and after a tornado.
So Wednesday night, when the clouds had parted and the chaos had passed, the Scouts took count of each other, just as they had practiced.
Forty-two people were hurt, most of them in the north cabin where Hession cowered.
Four Scouts died.
Lying under a table in that building, Zach Jessen, a 14-year-old leader of one of the eight-member patrols, said he "prayed and prayed" that everyone would survive.
Minutes later, he stood amid the rubble and took count of his patrol. Everyone was accounted for — except for one — a shy, 13-year-old from Omaha.
Scouts and Scout leaders were performing CPR, but to no avail.

There are dozens of stories of heroism. Scouts performed CPR on their friends. They "triaged" the survivors so that when the "official" emergency responders arrived, they had little to do in terms of preparation.

There are also dozens of stories of boys, realizing they had survived began praying fervently for the families of the boys who were killed. Because, as one boy put it, "This is going to be very hard on them."

What an evening....heroes were made and angels were lost....

Thanks for reading.

3 comments to What an incredibly long and incredibly sad night.:

barbara said...

OH annette, I heard that on the news and it was so sad. there is so much going on in this world right now that is just not good. I pray for these families and all these young people.

I hope you have a good time at the conference, is your husband going with you.

Di said...

It is so hard to imagine the sadness of these poor families who dropped their talents sons off at camp for a week of training and fun, and will not be able to bring them home! My heart is aching for them all. di

Jen said...

What a heartbreaking story...That is terrible..I will keep these families in my prayers..

Hope you have a great weekend my Phriend:))