The electrical accident occurred on the morning of July 25, about
half an hour before National Jamboree Troop 834 arrived at the base.
The troop's members live in Orange County, about half of them in
"When we got into camp, ambulances and helicopters were already on
the premises," said National Jamboree Scoutmaster Stephen Skahen. "We
found out from relatives exactly what had happened."
Skahen, a Newport Beach resident and physician at Hoag Memorial
Hospital Presbyterian, said he took his Scouts aside and reminded
them to think about safety.
"Everyone felt really sad about what had happened," Skahen said.
"But no one came to me and said they felt frightened.... It was
easier to get them to do what they were supposed to do."
The four Jamboree deaths came during an ominous week in which
lightning struck a group of Boy Scouts in California, killing one
troop leader and leaving a 13-year-old Boy Scout brain-dead.
The string of tragedies has continued since then. In July, a
15-year-old Boy Scout drowned while on an expedition. Last week, an
8-year-old girl was killed when a tree fell on her during a first-aid
class at a Boy Scout camp.
After a period of mourning at the Jamboree, the event continued
for the 40,000 Boy Scouts in attendance. Skahen said a program
educator instructed each troop to review its safety policies.
Those measures came into play when a series of lighting storms
threatened the base just days after the deadly tent accident.
Skahen asked his scouts to keep the outside areas around their
tests clear of debris.
"We were probably more aware of our surroundings," said Alex
Swanson, a 14-year-old Corona del Mar resident and Eagle Scout.
During the Jamboree, hundreds of Scouts suffered from heat-related
illnesses. One of those who became ill was Alex's brother,
12-year-old Greg Swanson, who said he became severely dehydrated
during an arena show.
Three Troop 834 members received Scout patches for their work in
securing water for fellow Scouts throughout the Jamboree.
Lara Fisher, spokesperson for the Orange County Council of the Boy