Scouts attend Jamboree
By By LYDIA GRIMES – Features writer
A local father and son were participating in the National Boy Scout Jamboree, which was held at Fort A.P. Hill, Va., the same weekend scout leaders were instantly killed when lightning struck.
Chuck McMullen and his son, Grant, attended the National Boy Scout Jamboree during the last days of July and the first days of August. According to Mr. McMullen, this camp of scouts, scout leaders and volunteers was a city of more than 40,000 people when they were all assembled. The McMullens were among the contingent of 127 attendees from the Alabama-Florida District Council. They all gathered on a 76,000-acre Army training base approximately an hour south of the nation's capitol.
The Jamboree concluded on Aug. 3. Among the highlights at the camp was a visit by President George W. Bush, who came to address the scouts and their leaders. They were also treated to a fly-over, and scouts spent 10 days camping in tents and participating in various activities such as archery and fishing. The scouts also took part in an excursion trip into the surrounding area that presented the scouts with the opportunity to visit some of the most historical sites in the country and a GPS scavenger hunt.
However, one horrific event overshadowed the fun days at the jamboree. According to published reports, four adult scout leaders were killed during the opening day of the Jamboree when lightning struck their tent pole when they were setting up their tents. One other leader and a contract work were injured as well.
According to Mr. McMullen, most of those attending the jamboree were unaware that anything at all had happened.
"There were so many kids and leaders, it was hard to know what all was going on," McMullen said. "When you get that many people together, it makes for a big city."