Uh, yeah, this kind of came as a shock to me when I read it this morning. A tornado struck down in this Boy Scout Camp in Iowa during a leadership training week. Apparently it happened so fast that there was no warning, and no shelter suitable to stand up to a tornado. 4 scouts were killed, others injured. I don't know anybody in that area, so this doesn't affect me personally, but as a former Boy Scout, it is kind of chilling.
When I went to Summer Camp, they usually briefed us on their alarm systems or whatever. We'd be bored while they told us where to go when the alarms sounded and all these other safety precautions. But in the Northwest, these precautions seemed geared more towards forest fires or tsunamis than tornadoes. If I had been at a scout camp when there was a tornado, I don't know what I would've done. There are few, if any, underground shelters, and tents and adirondacks surely aren't any good. The main buildings, like the mess halls, probably don't offer much better shelter.
Really, if there was a forest fire at camp, I would probably know what to do. Same with a Tsunami (for anybody who has ever been to Camp Meriwether, you know exactly how close to the ocean you are). I could probably also live through a small earthquake... the problem with quakes most of the time are being crushed by falling buildings, and there are relatively few big buildings at Boy Scout Camps. As for the weather... well, I've lived through rainy weeks, and I know what to do in a thunderstorm (mostly because I used to live by Colorado Springs, where those were very common). And if we had a hurricane, we'd probably have enough time to evacuate.
But the few safety precautions I know for tornadoes wouldn't apply at Scouting Camp. If I had been in that situation, I would've had absolutely no idea what to do. The scout motto is "Be Prepared," but obviously its hard to prepare for that completely unpredictable tornado. It's just another reminder that nobody can really stand against mother nature.
My heart goes out to the families of the scouts who were killed.