WOODWARD, Iowa — Iowans across the metro ran for cover when the hailstones poured down on Friday, including the Boy Scouts at Camp Mitigwa.
Camp Mitigwa is where central Iowa’s scouts get acquainted with nature, including its scary side.
“Having fun adventures at summer camp to very quickly switching to safety mode,” said Grant Reigelman with the Mid-Iowa Council.
As a shelf cloud approached the camp on Friday, more than 200 scouts and staff members were out and about. Reigelman and other adults immediately led them out of the hail and into their stormproof shelters.
“We have seven 44-person shelters on camp that are rated to 200 mile per hour winds, and everyone appreciates having that,” said Reigelman.
When the metal doors on the shelters latched shut, the scouts were safe, even as golf-ball sized hail fell all around them.
This was not an option last year, but the derecho motivated the Boy Scouts to build a shelter with something stronger than wood.
“Something that we have been able to use a couple of times this summer and will be able use many times in the future to keep our scouts safe at camp,” said Reigelman.
Scouts used all seven of Camp Mitigwa’s shelters during the hailstorm, just as they have practiced through the summer.
Storms may play by their own rules, but the Boy Scouts can now weather even the most severe natural emergency.
“Be prepared for emergencies in any instance, whether it’s at camp or at home. Have a plan, and when it comes time to implement, execute your plan,” said Reigelman.