Scouts reunite on tenth anniversary of Little Sioux tornado

The memorial of the four boy scouts killed in the Little Sioux tornado


It was 10- years ago tonight that a tornado ripped through the boy scout camp at Little Sioux, Iowa killing four scouts and injuring dozens of others.

Just after 6:30 P.M. on June 11th, 2008 the tornado hit the 18- hundred acre ranch and destroyed one of the two cabins being used as storm shelters.

Now earlier this evening family and friends are remembering the scouts at the open-air chapel which now stands on the side of that cabin as a memorial.

Camp Director Lisa Russell was there that evening and she still remembers like it was yesterday.

"I think even in that moment you knew things were going to change, it was a day that was going to make things change and I think for us if you only knew then what you knew now we certainly learned a lot," Russell says.

Several of the 96 scouts were attending the Mid-America Council retreat.

Before the tornado hit , counselor Thomas White says he remembers making sure all the campers were taking shelter.

He says he and another counselor were laying in a ditch praying it would pass.

"You think you'd be scared at the time but I really wasn't I just had this weird sense of peace. I just started praying and thought this couldn't be the right time," White says.

White says when he found out the devastating news his first instinct was to put his emotions aside and help.

"I just went into auto pilot mode that's when the years of being an Eagle Scout just kicked in," White says.

White says he didn't know the four boys personally because he was busy behind the scenes but every year he makes his respect at the memorial.

"It's a moment that's going to be with me forever and through the events and actions I did that day and hearing the things from other people it's really forged who I am today," White says.

Since then the camp has updated their shelters by adding two buildings which can hold 200 people and has thicker walls and bolted down windows.

They also added two tornado sirens and better cell phone service incase of severe weather or emergencies.


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