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Lovell , Wyoming
April 8, 2010     Lovell Chronicle
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April 8, 2010

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www. LovellChronicle.com April 8, 2010 I The Lovell Chronicle 111 We're 5"t, art, ing a Scout troop 71's trial by lightning earned them special recognition BY BRAD DEVEREAUX Scenes from a Boy Scout troop's trial by lightning more than 40 years ago is still burned in the memory of scoutmaster Frank Wilk- erson, who lead the group on the unlikely outing in 1962. To later recall the fleet- ing memory that pushed out of his mind like a thunder- head moving down a moun- tain, Wilkerson wrote down a detailed account of the events that occurred dur- ing a camping trip at E-La- Ka-Wee atop the Big Horn Mountains Thursday, July 19, at 6 a.m. The campers were greeted with an early- morning rainstorm and a surprise that shocked many of them right out of their boots. "I was walking toward the boys from my tent when a bolt of lightning hit our camp," Wilkerson wrote. "I was hit in the stomach and legs, picked up off the ground and floated through the air 20 feet, falling to the ground on my back. "As I seemed to float, it was as though I was watch- ing a slow-motion movie and I saw all of my boys hit. Later when we all compared stories, most of the boys felt like they had floated, but they didn't know what had happened to them." On the trip were scouts age 11 and up, including Lynn Morrison, 12, Pete Brown, 15, Bruce Bassett, 13, Don Black, 14, Da- vid Clark, 14, Allen Burn- ham, 13, Mike Wilkerson, 11, Frank Wilkerson Jr., 13, Scott Ericksen, 12, Ter- ry Liebel, 14, Billy Doerr, 12, Max Zeller, 12, Wilford Jones, 14 and Bobby Paul, 13. S/Sgt. John Stoneburn- er of Denver was along as a canoe instructor and was blown out of his boots by the lightning bolt. As Wilkerson staggered to his feet, whiCh felt numb and paralyzed, he said eight of the 16 others at the campsite were knocked un- conscious, some not breath- ing. The eight scouts were burned and thrown around the camp by the static elec- tricity blast. A few of the other boys were stunned but not knocked down. Billy Doerr, 12, hardly felt anything be- cause he was insulated from the ground by a rubber air mattress under him. Doerr "For a time you could see smoke rising off the boys' bodies. The oxygen had been burned out of the air and it was hard to breathe ... the noise was deafening as the lightning kept striking and roaring through the camp. Flames were everywhere." - Frank Wi|kerson other carload followed soon er, and the remainder of the boys who stayed at camp were checked out at the Red Frank Wilkerson shows a badge from Camop E-La- Ka-Wee on the Big Horn Mountains. told Wilkerson that he wit- "I was so grateful they nessed two balls of fire pass weren't dead," he said. "For by Mike Wilkerson's head a time you could see smoke as he stood in the door of rising off the boys' bod- the tent. ies. The oxygen had been Frank Wilkerson said burned out of the air and it he began scrambling to was hard to breathe ... the check on the boys, fearing noise was deafening as the they were dead from the lightning kept striking and lightning strike. He fetched roaring through the camp. the conscious boys and Flames were everywhere." asked them to cover the un- Wilkerson bolted to conscious boys with blan- his car parked nearby and kets and be ready to give took four of the most seri- artificial respiration if they ously injured campers to stopped breathing, the hospital in Buffalo. An- 4-H 5hoo ,ing 5ports Frogranl! Cross tent, Wilkerson said. Returning to camp, Wilkerson said he could re- trace the path the lightning took through camp, riding a barbed-wire fence, jumping into some iron pipes near the wood tent and welding two timber saws together along Intereseed? Call Bill Miller, 272-6546 or 548-7804, a.d leave a message. We're hopin0 to kick i'c off: in early April. the way. The stoves and grill were red hot after the light- ! ning finished its path of de- The Family of I struction through the metal objects to the ground. Melvin Winterholler Wilkerson said knowl- to thank family & friends edge gained in scouting ~1,~ helped him, the boys and who supported us during other leaders to handle the extreme situation. They the loss of our father. Your cleared all the rocks out of expresssions.-- ofsympathy camp on the previous night and had reviewed first aid were appreciated and will and even practiced a sce- nario of treating someone always be remembered. who was hit by lightning. Wilkerson said he want- . ' ' ', 0 e d the boys to stay at camp ..~,A~,~eLpp, ~, ~~~ and asked their parents to not come up the mountain Sherry and Mi to meet them. "It's like drowning," he said. "If you don't get back into the water right away, you may never go near wa- ter again. I had to keep the boys there until the worst part of the fear was over and they would want to come back next year." Many of the scouts formed a club, with the re- quirement of having to be struck by lightning to join. The Central Wyoming Council later issued all the boys that were hit along with Wilkerson and two staff members a special patch denoting "Camp E- La-Ka-Wee Lightning Rods of 1962." The Central Wyoming Council later awarded the Silver Beaver Award to Wilkerson. His actions dur- ing the lightning strike -were noted, ......... "Double-quick action was taken by leaders and several boys were taken to the Buffalo Hospital," the award citation states. "With grateful hearts, all returned home alive." Wilkerson said the ex- perience was frightening and touching. "I had a great love for the boys in my troop before the accident, but the love is much greater now," Wilker- son said. "This experience will never be forgotten." Lunch Buffet $6s Tues. - Fri. 11 am - 2:30 pm Sat. & Sun. 11 am - 4 pm Dinner Buffet $899 Tues. - Fri. 4:30 - 9 pm Sat & Sun. 4 - 9 pm 151 E. Coulter, Powell, 754-7924 Open Tues. - Sun. ~' C a rry-Out Ava i la b le ~: Water is scheduled to be turned into the canal on Monday, April 12, 2010 Weather Permitting Water will not be available for irrigating before Thursday, April 15, 2010 Willwood Irrigation District BY BRAD DEVEREAUX Volunteers are asked to bring The shrubs to be planted- buffalo Volunteers are needed to help work gloves and dress appropriately berry- are native to the area and are plant shrubs that will take the place of in outdoor clothes and meet Thurs- a really good replacement for Russian Russian olive trees that have been the day, April 15, at 9 a.m. at the end of olive, King said, because they provide target for removal by the Yellowtail Road 18 near the Yellowtail Habitat similar cover and food. Coordinated Resource Managementsign, according to Lovell Game War-For questions, contact King at group over the past several years, den Rick King. 548-7310. Women's Caucus crease and strengthen wom- son, former Wyoming Sen-participants at the Nicolay- to host third Leap en's leadership, ator E. Jayne Mockler and sen Museum during an eve- The Wyoming Women's former Wyoming Represen-ning reception on April 22, into Leadership Legislative Caucus invites tative Clarene Law. with Sen. Kathryn Sessions women to Casper College "There are so many tal- and Representatives Rosie event on April 22 and 23 for lead- ented women just waitingBerger and Deb Hammons. ership workshops, speakers to be invited to participate For more information From city councils to the and networking, in government at all levels," or to register for Leap into state legislature, women Panelists will speak Fri- said Rep. Elaine Harvey (R- Leadership, visit www. hold less than 25 percent of day at lunch about "Find- Lovell). "I hope they leave wyowlc.org/leap-into-lead- political seats in Wyoming, ing your Voice." The panel this event feeling ready to ership. Registration for the with just two women in the features Lola Spradiey, the use their voice to campaign, two-day event costs $45. A state senate. The bipartisan first woman in Colorado's contribute, educate or orga- limited number of scholar- Wyoming Women's Legisla- history to be elected Speak- nize for what they believe ships are available. Wyo- tive Caucus is hosting Leap er of the House, as well as in." ming women of all ages and into Leadership 2010 to in- Miss Wyoming Anna Nel- Harvey will address professions are welcome. For the first time In Big Horn Coun- 2010. Additionally, over- lette (5.6 percent), and Hot since February of 2008, ty, employment rose fromthe-year job losses haveSprings (6.3 percent) coun- Wyoming's unemployment 4,464 in January to 4,470 slowed somewhat from ties. rate decreased in February in February. The number -6.3 percent in October of The highest unemploy- of 2010, according to a re- of unemployed decreased 2009 to -4.5 percent in re- ment rates were found in port released last week by from 538 in January to 461 bruary of 2010. Lincoln (11 percent), John- the Research and Planning in February. Most county unem- son (10.6 percent), Fremont section of the Wyoming De- Wyoming's unemploy- ployment rates followed (9.5 percent) and Sheridan partment of Employment. ment rate steadily in- their normal seasonal pat- and Big Horn (both 9.3 per- Big Horn County follo- creased from 2.7 percenttern and decreased slightly cent) counties. wed the positive trend with in February of 2008 to 7:6 from January to February. Unemployment rates a decrease in unemploy- percent in January of2010. The lowest unemploy- were higher in February merit from 10.8 in January However, it !decreased to ment rates were found in2010 than a year earlier in to 9.3 in February of 2010. 7.5 percent in February Albany (5.4 percent), Sub- al123counties. Friday, April 9 Lovell Area Chamber of Commerce Banquet, Lovell Community Center, 6 p.m. social hour, 7 p.m. dinner. For tickets and more info. 548-7552. Saturday, April 17 Pryor Mountain Ducks Unlimitited Banquet, door open 5:30 p.m. at the Lovell Communtiy Center, for tickets or information call Christy at 548-6788. BHC School District No. 1 Board, 2nd Thursday. BHC School District No. 2 Board (Lovell), 2nd Monday, board room, 7 p.m. BHC Treasurer at County Annex, 1st and 3rd Thursday each month, 9 a.m - 1 p.m. Big Hom Basin chapter of Gold Prospectors Association of America, Skyline Care in Powell, 2rid Tuesday, 7 p.m., 754-5921. Big Horn County 4-H Leader's Council, 1st Monday, Extension Office on Hwy 310, 7 pm. Big Horn County Weed and Pest monthly board meeting, 2nd Tuesday, 1 p.m, W&P office at 4782 Hwy. 310, Greybull. Byron Lions Club, 1st and 3rd Tuesday, Byron Town Hall, 7 p.m. Cancer Support Group, 3rd Thursday, 7 p.m., NHCC multi-purpose room. Compassionate Friends Support Group, last Wednesday, Long Term Care Center Conference Room, Wast Park Hospital, 7 p.m, Contact Melodye Trusty, 578-2416. Cowley Riding Club, 3rdMonday, 7 p.m. Lovell Area Chamber of Commerce general membership meeting, 3rd Monday, noon, Lange's Kitchen Lovel! Bulldog Booster Club, 3rd Wednesday, Big Horn Federal Hos- pitality Room, 7 pm. Lovell Guitar Club, Thursday, 8 pm. Call Steve, 548-7227. Lovell Library Story Time, every Tuesday, 10:30 a.m. Lovell Lions Club, 2ndFrlday, noon; 4th Wednesday, 6:30 p.m., 548- 2431. Lovell Riders, Inc. meeting, 2rid Thursday, Big Horn Federal, 7 p.m. Lovell Town Council, 2nd Tuesday, Town Hall, 7 p.m. Lovell Woman's Club, 2nd Wednesday, Big Horn Federal Hospitality Room, 1 p.m. Contact Deanna Wagner, 548-7793. NAMI Big Horn County, lstThursday, 548-2431, 548-6865. North Big Horn County Health Coalition, 3rd Tuesday, noon, rotating locations, 548-6410. Ostomy Support Group meeting, 2nd Tuesday, 7 p.m., North Fork room, wast Park Hospital in Cody. Pindroppers Quilt Club, 4th Thursday, 7 p.m., Big Horn Federal hos- pitality room. Spokes-n-Folks, call 548-2431; 548-2883. TOPS @ WY169, every Thursday, St. John's Episcopal Church base- ment in Powell, 6 p.m. 754-2652, 664-2394 TrI-Mountain View Masonic Lodge, 2nd Thursday, dinner 6:30 p.m., lodge meeting 7:30 p.m. VFW Meeting, 4th Thursday, 7 p.m., Big Horn County Annex bldg, Lovell. Veterans Representative, 1st Wednesday, Powell Workforce Center, 9 am - noon; 2nd Thursday Frannie Town Hall, 9 am - noon & Lovell Police Dept. 1 - 4 pm; 3rd Friday, Greybull Town Hall, 9:30 - 1:30 am & Worland Work'force Center 12:30 - 2:30 pm. WyDOT Driver Licensing Facil- ity open in Lovell everyTues. day, 9:30 a.m. to4 p.m. Call the Lovell Chronicle at 548- 2217 to list your club here. Sponsoredby FDIC Insured Big Horn Federal =i I M M !: