Earning Your E-Coli Badge: 18 Scouts Sickened at Virginia Camp

Today I returned from Goshen — the huge Virginia Cub Scout reservation where my oldest son was completing a week of camping as a cub scout. I only learned when I returned that nine scouts were sickened by E. coli 0157 at the camp. Now, with eighteen serious cases and 60 scouts showing symptoms, the number of cases are expected to rise in the coming days. Both Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts were affected.

Goshen Scout Reservation is located near Lexington, Va. and health officials suspect foil-packaged meals that included ground beef and vegetables. These are cooked over fires but most be properly heated to be safe. Ten of the kids ranging in age from 10 to 16 required hospitalization. Two are in serious condition showing hemolytic uremic syndrome, when toxins from the bacteria enter the bloodstream.

The health investigators are looking at 1,700 people who attended Goshen between July 20 and 26. We arrived the following week and I am disappointed that no notice was sent out — or at least we did not receive one. The scouts were notified Monday and I understand why pack leaders were not able to inform parents. However, the national headquarters should have been able to contact parents. Moreover, as disappointed as Ben would have been, I am not sure that it was wise to keep the kids at the camp while the source of the e-coli remained uncertain — though health officials may have cleared the next group of campers. Since a few extreme cases can result in kidney failure and dialysis — I would like to have found out a bit earlier than the Washington Post article. It seems that the Scouts need to look at an email notification system in the future.

Since we are just now getting these facts, I do not want to pass judgment on the scouts. While I have been critical of the Scouts on its position on gay scout leaders, I agreed to let my boys sign up despite my earlier reservations due to the policy, click here.

Frankly, it has been a terrific experience. Moreover, Benjamin loved Goshen and appears perfectly fine except of a deep cut on his hand from earning his whittling badge. (He just need to whittle the wood a bit more but he will have a nice scar to thrill his friends in fourth grade). The scouts do a wonderful job with these kids and Goshen is a wonderful place. One of our friends is a mother of a Goshen scout who returned a few weeks ago. She was delighted that he had neatly repacked his clothes when she realized that he had simply kept the same clothes on for the entire week without a shower or change of clothes. A kid’s paradise . . .
For the full story, click here.

11 thoughts on “Earning Your E-Coli Badge: 18 Scouts Sickened at Virginia Camp”

  1. A few points:

    1. The BSA prohibits and expels atheists, agnostics and homosexuals, declaring that “no member can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing an obligation to God”, and that “homosexuals do not provide a desirable role model for Scouts.” At the same time, this private organization seeks favorable terms for use of public lands and facilities while practicing this discrimination.

    2. I find credible the claims that the BSA has tolerated and protected sexual abusers in their organization for many years. The work of reporter Peter Zuckerman formerly at the Idaho Post Falls Register and the documentary “In a small town” which aired on PBS WNET in late 2007 raise troubling questions about a pattern of behavior by the BSA that has been dismissed almost entirely by the major media.

    3. This is not the first case of e-coli problems on scouting events. I recall dozens being sickened in Maine, where investigators later determined that the meat had been cooked sufficiently, but that the lettuce had been contaminated by the meat prior to cooking with poor food handling practices.

  2. Doesn’t anyone else notice that all the people that protest “gays” the loudest, whether preachers, politicians, or bloggers end up with a little something more than a foot in their mouth?

  3. “Nothing wrong with boy scouts descriminating against gays in “normal” people’s minds.”


    From the percy pocket dictionary:

    normal(adj.): conforming to a particular type, standard or regular pattern of bigotry, hatred or irrational fear.

  4. Well JT this is another chance for attorneys to sue the boy scouts out of existance.

    PS. Nothing wrong with boy scouts descriminating against gays in normal people’s minds.

  5. Patty C:

    Another good thought. Mmaybe we can capitalize on that somehow.

  6. ‘Is it Legal?’ – here’s a tip while you are on ‘vaca’.
    I haven’t phoned ‘yet’, but I remember he was CEO for him in Potomac.
    Call the law firm, maybe? Just an idea… 🙂

    Henry, Ragan A.
    Birth Year : 1934
    Henry was born in Sadieville, KY. He was an African American pioneer in radio and television station ownership. In 1993, the Regan Henry Group was responsible for 26 owned and leased radio stations. Henry published The National Leadership newspaper, then, in 1989, became president of Broadcast Enterprises National, Inc. He was a partner of the law firm Wolf, Black, Schorr, and Solis-Cohen. Henry earned an A.B. degree at Harvard College in 1956 and an L.L.B. from Harvard Law School in 1961. For more see The Negro Almanac, 4th-9th eds.; and Who’s Who in Entertainment.
    Subjects: Radio, Television
    Geographic Region: Sadieville, Scott County, Kentucky

  7. Excellent point mespo. Having grown up in North Carolina, as a kid, the beaches were pristine.

    “The goodliest land under the cope of heaven.”

    Now the beaches are touristy and speculative, nature to be enjoyed in an air conditioned environment from behind a window.

    Kinda makes me wonder why golf courses aren’t concrete.

  8. JT:

    Goshen Falls is one of Virginia’s last unspoiled wilderness areas. Glad your kids loved it, but don’t tell everybody. If you do, that darn northern crowd will descend in droves and condo-ize it like they did the Outer Banks. Oops I just did the same thing. You’ll never get the location of the Bull Pasture River out of me though!

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