New Horizons in Leadership Studies series
Edited by Stephen P. Banks
Chapter 1: The Troubles with Leadership
Stephen P. Banks INTRODUCTION During the summer of 2005 tragedy struck the Boy Scouts of America, not once but several times. On Monday, 25 July, at the National Boy Scout Jamboree held at Camp Hill Army Base in Virginia, four Boy Scout leaders were electrocuted when they tried to erect a mess tent under power lines. Later the same week seven Boy Scouts and ﬁve adult Scout leaders set out to hike the John Muir Trail in California’s High Sierra. The troop encountered a severe thunderstorm on Thursday, 28 July at Sandy Meadow in Sequoia National Park, and they set up two tarp shelters and a tent in a high meadow to protect themselves from the storm’s fury. Lightning made a direct strike on one of the tarps, killing Assistant Scoutmaster Steve McCullagh and one 13-year-old Boy Scout. On 3 August, 2005, after the deaths at Sandy Meadow had been featured prominently in the national media, Boy Scouts of Troop 56 from Salt Lake City were hiking in the Uinta Mountains near Camp Steiner – at 10 400 ft (3170 m) the highest elevation Boy Scout camp in the US – when a thunderstorm arose. A group of six Scouts and two leaders from the troop had hiked to a spot above Camp Steiner and had taken shelter in a three-sided log structure the Scouts call an Adirondack. There they lay in sleeping bags to wait out the storm. Lightning struck either the Adirondack or a tree touching it, instantly killing a...
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