Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Boy Scouts battle heat at Sand Hill Scout Reservation

James Carpenter, 11, with Troop 404 in Largo, does a “dead man’s float” while using his T-shirt as a flotation device in the pool at the Sand Hill Scout Camp in Spring Hill on Friday. Camp Director Mitch Bollenbacher said that during the hotter days, the campers spend more time in the water and do less physical activities around the camp.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

James Carpenter, 11, with Troop 404 in Largo, does a “dead man’s float” while using his T-shirt as a flotation device in the pool at the Sand Hill Scout Camp in Spring Hill on Friday. Camp Director Mitch Bollenbacher said that during the hotter days, the campers spend more time in the water and do less physical activities around the camp.

SPRING HILL

This week, when the daytime heat index was well over 100 degrees, Mitch Bollenbacher became even more concerned than usual for the safety of the 200 Boy Scouts attending summer camp at the Sand Hill Scout Reservation.

Bollenbacher, in his first year as camp director, said conditions this week were the hottest he has ever experienced in his six years working at the camp. He and his 40 counselors worked hard to ensure that no one became overwhelmed by the scorching heat.

"Hydration is the biggest issue," Bollenbacher said Friday. "We've really been pushing the kids to drink as much water as possible and to take it easy during the day."

Admittedly, that can be a tall order for Scouts who attend a week at the camp to participate in outdoor activities such as rappelling, rowing, hiking and other physical endeavors to earn merit badges.

Bollenbacher said a regimen of constant hydration, frequent breaks during strenuous activities and eating meals in an air-conditioned dining hall helps keep heat-related illnesses in check.

"You have to maintain a balance," Bollenbacher said. "The kids are here to have fun, so you can't limit what they do too much. But on the other hand, it's not much fun to end up in the hospital with heat stroke."

Fortunately, the 1,200-acre facility off of Cortez Boulevard, which is run jointly by the Boy Scouts West Central Florida and Gulf Ridge councils, has plenty of open shelters to provide campers with respite from the blistering sun and frequent afternoon thunderstorms.

Scouts Nick Cook, 13, and Todd Little, 12, both of whom are in Troop 404 from Largo, said getting used to the heat is all part of the camping experience. The boys, who spent Friday morning in the Pathfinder program learning the basics of outdoor camping, said that a muggy week spent sleeping in a canvas tent made them appreciate the comforts of air conditioning.

"Having a (portable) fan makes a big difference," said Nick. "Without it, you get pretty uncomfortable."

One of the most popular places at the camp has been the swimming pool. Each afternoon, the Scouts are allowed a "free swim" period to cool off from the day's activities.

On Tuesday, when the air temperature was near 100 degrees, even the pool wasn't enough to cool things down, Bollenbacher said.

"By the afternoon, the pool temperature was right around 98 degrees, hardly refreshing," Bollenbacher said. Staff members set up an aerator system that cooled the water about 10 degrees.

The Scouts, he said, have been real troupers through it all.

"To a lot of them, especially the ones who have never camped outside, it's an adventure," he said. "To them, this is what scouting is all about."

Logan Neill can be reached at [email protected] or 848-1435.

Boy Scouts battle heat at Sand Hill Scout Reservation 06/26/09 [Last modified: Friday, June 26, 2009 6:40pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Justin Timberlake in Super Bowl halftime show for first time since 'wardrobe malfunction'

    Celebrities

    Justin Timberlake has finally been invited back to the Super Bowl halftime show, 14 years after the "wardrobe malfunction" with Janet Jackson caused a national controversy.

    Singer Janet Jackson covers her breast as Justin Timberlake holds part of her costume after her outfit came undone during the halftime show of Super Bowl XXXVIII in Houston in 2004. The NFL announced Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017, that Timberlake will headline the Super Bowl halftime show Feb. 4 in Minnesota, 14 years after the "wardrobe malfunction" with Janet Jackson cause a national controversy. [Associated Press]
  2. Here's what happened when 30 high school sophomores gave up their phones for a day

    K12

    LUTZ — They were everywhere at Steinbrenner High School. Teens with panic-stricken faces, furiously slapping one thigh, then the other.

    Grace Hayes, 15, left, and Kai'Rey Lewis, 15, talk and text friends after having a discussion about smartphone technology in Tiffany Southwell's English Literature class at Steinbrenner High last week. Southwell asked theme to give up their phones for a day and write about it. For Lewis, the ride home that day "was the longest bus ride in my life." [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]
  3. Cuban media treats visit by Tampa City Council as historic event

    Politics

    TAMPA — Delegations of one kind or another have been traveling from Tampa to Cuba for years, even before President Barack Obama took steps to normalize relations between the two countries in December 2014.

    A Tampa delegation to Cuba this week was featured prominently in reports by the state-run media in Cuba, including Granma. From left are Tampa City Council vice chair Harry Cohen, St. Petersburg City Council Chair Darden Rice, Tampa philanthropist David Straz and Tampa City Council Chair Yolie Capin.
  4. As the curtain rises on the Straz Center's biggest shows, the spotlight is on parking

    Transportation

    TAMPA — The Broadway Series, the most lucrative shows of the year for the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, start this week, and this year the center wants all the drama to take place on stage, not during the drive to the theater.

    With downtown Tampa getting busier at night and on weekends, city officials and administrators from the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts have been working on ways to unsnarl traffic and help visitors find parking when there are lots of events at the same time. CHRIS ZUPPA   |   Times (2009)

  5. OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times 
Casimar Naiboa pleads for help to capture the killer of his son, Anthony Naiboa. Naiboa, 20, was shot and killed near 15th Street N. and E. Frierson Avenue after getting off the wrong bus in Seminole Heights. A peaceful march that began on east New Orleans Avenue was held during the candlelight vigil for the three victims who were killed in the recent shootings in the Seminole Heights neighborhood in Tampa on Sunday, October 22, 2017.