By Sgt. Frank N. Pellegrini (Army News Service
FORT A.P. HILL, Va. (Army News Service, July 28, 2005) — By the time Jamboree Chairman Francis Olmstead took the arena stage July 27 and told the more than 42,000 scouts, leaders and service members whoâ€™d come to hear President George W. Bush speak that the show had to be cancelled due to weather conditions, about 300 Scouts needed medical attention for heat-related injuries.
For the Scout leaders, local first responders and service members of Joint Task Force NSJ, the heat came as no surprise as they had prepared for it. Boy Scout officials were already calling this summerâ€™s Jamboree the hottest in memory, with temperatures consistently topping 90 degrees and some oppressive central-Virginia humidity pushing â€œwet bulbâ€ measurements past 100 degrees. Warnings about the usual preventative measures–drink water, lay off the soda, take regular shade breaks and oh, drink more waterâ€”had been ubiquitous all week.
The event field itself was awash in water: three truckloads of bottled water,pre-positioned â€˜water buffaloesâ€™ parked on the grass, and U.S. Army fire trucks dispatched to spray the crowd.
A firetruck at Fort A.P. Hill cools down a
crowd of boy scouts and leaders gathered
in the arena.
Staff Sgt. Scott Turner
â€œThat was just what we needed, a brilliant idea on somebody’s part,â€ said the Boy Scoutsâ€™ Mike L’Abee. â€œYou can think of it as fooling around with a fire truck, or as really the kind of preventative thinking we should all be about.”