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Scouts return to NH camp after lightning scare

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 25, 2013 at 7:07 pm •  Published: June 25, 2013

Minutes later more Scouts developed the same symptoms and sensations and by night's end, 23 had been transported to area hospitals for treatment and observation. Most were treated and released. Six who went to Concord Hospital were held overnight, Boyle said.

Belmont Fire Chief David Parenti, who helped triage the Scouts after they were injured, said Tuesday he was most concerned about six of them whose burns involved the chest area. He said lightning burns typically have an entry and an exit wound, marked by those spidery lines on the skin, which helped the firefighters and EMTs triaging them to identify whose injuries were of most concern.

"What happened was, with some of the kids, you could see the burn come into the hand, up the arm, across the chest and out the other arm," Parenti said. "That's an entrance and exit that crosses the chest, definitely."

The Belmont Fire Department, staffed 24 hours a day, has 12-point heart monitors that were used to assess the Scouts' conditions.

Parenti said the boys were "incredibly calm" throughout the ordeal.

"No one was screaming or yelling. Whatever we asked them to do, they did," Parenti said.

Boyle said it helped that the program the Scouts were participating in is an elite one designed to give them skills to go back and lead their troops, and they must complete years of scouting before they can participate. Its participants, he said, come from all over the Eastern seaboard and as far south as Florida.

Boyle and Greg Olson, spokesman for the Daniel Webster Council of the Boy Scouts of America, would not let a reporter interview the Scouts who had returned to the program Tuesday because they did not have releases from their parents.

Scout officials said lightning strikes at camp are not unusual, but not on the scale of Monday's hit.