Twenty-three Boy Scouts from New England ages 12 to 16 were struck by lightning Monday night when the tarp they were huddled under was either struck or something nearby was and they were all jolted. Some had burns, ranging from mild to serious, and others reported a "tingling" sensation. Amazingly, none were seriously injured.
The odds of being struck by lightning in a single lifetime are about 1 in 3,000. If that seems incredibly high, then you and I agree. It's a cliche to joke about the odds of being struck as though they are so massive, and yet, 1 in 3,000 doesn't seem quite so overwhelmingly huge, does it?
This could REALLY happen, people! It's quite a feat that all these boys who were huddled together managed to be fine. Even more amazing is that the counselors all insisted that their young charges be treated before them. What an altruistic act of kindness, no?
I suppose being a Boy Scout is all about acts of courage and altruism and surviving difficult odds (right?), so this is a pretty great story for these boys. They have their "struck by lightning" badges now, a feat few people manage to accomplish.
Even still, this does make me think about this summer and what kinds of precautions I will take to avoid this kind of experience. Apparently you can get struck by lightning even on a sunny day if there are storms anywhere nearby. Who knew?
This is an important precaution for the summer and something we all need to be aware of. Honestly, I have never taken lightning all that seriously. Sure, I get out of the pool during a thunderstorm and don't stand in open fields, but generally I don't imagine I could really get struck. Maybe I was wrong.
This summer, I will take more precaution against lightning, which means going inside, not being on the phone during storms, and staying away from metal. Who knew?
Do you worry about lightning?
Image via Nathan Vaughn/Flickr