On New Year’s Eve. tornados tore through our neighboorhood about a half mile away from where I live. Yesterday, while I was out walking, I saw some of the damage firsthand. The destructive power of nature is both amazing and terrifying. Four homes were taken down to their foundations and many others were severely damaged. Miraculously, only minor injuries were sustained by the occupants. They reported that it came without warning and was over in about half a minute. They had to think very quickly to get themselves to safety.
So today I am reposting my post from last month on the Weather Hazards Course. If you have not taken this class, please do – for your own safety and the safety of your Scouts.
The BSA Online Training Center at http://olc.scouting.org offers more than just youth protection courses. One of the courses I took a couple of years ago was the Weather Hazards course. While much of the information in the course was stuff I already knew and some of it didn’t seem to apply to our area (we don’t worry too much about hurricanes in Missouri) it was worthwhile to review the material.
When we take our Scouts out camping or hiking, we need to be prepared for unexpected changes in the weather. The weather on the first camping trip I went on with my first Webelos den was “not as advertised”. As a novice camper, there was enough for me to handle without unexpected rain and unseasonably cold weather in late April. I had another Scouter with me who was an experienced camper, so all was fine. Plus the Boy Scout troop was on the other side of the field. But imagine if two inexperienced adults took some Webelos out on a hike and the weather suddenly turned ugly. That could be serious trouble.
Now I have a lot more experience under my belt and I am very comfortable and confident when I go hiking or camping. But a lot of that experience came through training. Getting the right training will help you know how to cope with unexpected situations and to see when it is time to bug out on an outing. And no matter how much experience you have, remember not to be too confident in your skills. If you have any doubts at all, call it off or turn around and go back.
So I recommend the Weather Hazards course at the Online Training Center. It is long – maybe a couple of hours – but you can do part of it and then pick up later where you left off. And even though this training doesn’t expire, I’ll probably go through the relevant sections again sometime soon.