This last week the family took off to The Treesort in Southern Oregon. Think of Ewoks, maybe a Hobbit and Tree forts and you got it. Oh, and throw in a bunch of hippies and vegans. It’s a nice place. The family and two others from the elementary school spent Monday to Friday there. First day was just drive and get there, hang out and get situated and eat dinner.
Second day we took off to the Oregon Caves Monument. We had been there in 2010, but this was a group thing, so we all went. It was a blast. I learned a few more things about the caves that I did not get. It’s made out of marble. I asked the Tour Guide some pointed questions about Geology, because, hey, there is a beltloop involved. I really kept the Cubmaster hat off on the trip, but it got put on several times. Besides Elliot, we had a Wolf and a Bear along with us. So, I figured, hey, let’s learn and earn as we go. I kept telling the parents/friends that I was trying NOT to be too Scouty. To which, one of them stated, “we would be shocked if you weren’t!” She also said, it’s good to vacation with the Cubmaster since he can sign off on stuff. So, we basically got through the Geology Beltloop. Elliot did not need it, but the others did.
The third day we went off to the Redwood National Park area. Specifically the Jedediah Smith State Park. I found the place in Stout Grove hike that is where The Return of the Jedi was filmed for the Planet Endor. After a good hike, we realized that summer bridge was not yet put in. We looked around to see if there was a safe place to cross, but there wasn’t. So we returned to our cars , ate lunch, fished, swam and jumped off 30 foot rocks. Yes, this was not a Pack/Den outing…;) I coached the Bear Cub on how to fish, the Wolf was not too interested, but he played along for a while. Elliot was the first and only to catch a fish. That got people excited. The Bear Cub spent an hour fishing. He started with not a lot of skill or talent and by the end of it, was casting on his own. Done, both earned the Fishing Beltloop. Yes, we talked about baiting the hook and the regulations. Two Beltloops done.
On the fourth day, we spent it in camp. All the kids took a horse ride sans the Wolf Cub. That ended up as another beltloop for Elliot and the Bear Cub.
There is not a beltloop for Ziplines, but there should have been. I cannot say much on how proud that I am of all the kids who did this. The age range was 7 to 11. They totally conquered any fear that they had and made it happen. Elliot, and the Bear Cub and the now Bear Den Leader ended up going on the Advanced Course. 12 total ziplines about 80-90 feet off the ground.
So, our excitment ended for the day. We got into relaxation mode again and the kids were off to the pool or riding bikes. dinner came and went and again, parents talked and kids played. during this time we were at a cabin that over looked the zipline course and was away from all the people who were in the middle of the Treesort area. It was kinda loud and full of high schooler types with their parents.
The kids were riding bikes up and down the hill and it was getting dark. And that is when it happened. The accident.
Rachel was speeding down the gravel road after her brother, Elliot and lost it. My wife saw it happen and yelled to me. Elliot came running down to us and say “Rachel’s hurt and it’s Bad”. I sprinted like no father ever wants to his daughter. While some of this is a blur and I think that I remember the first seconds, this is what I remember.
As I ran, I yelled SCOTT! Scott is my now Bear Den Leader. He is also a Physician’s Assistant in the local ER. Rachel was down, but getting up. She looked at me in a dazed look and her face was full of blood. Deep red blood, so was her mouth. She was gasping, so I swept her mouth with my finger thinking I would find broken teeth. Nope, GUM. Got that out. She was talking. Good, Airway is open. Scott got there and he did a very quick assessment and we started down as he did that. I ended up carrying her since he knew she was weak and my fall. Carrying your bloody daughter down as she looks at you is something that I will never forget. I kept telling her, that she’s OK that Daddy is here.
Once inside, Scott got his Medkit from the car and went to work. Both Debora and I were there helping keeping her calm. Scott went through what I recognized through the Wilderness First Aid Class. I realized that. I realized that WFA was in effect. This was not play acting. Ok, Scott had this. I knew we were going to the ER. I did not know where that was, exactly but it was far.
I had also gotten my First Aid Kit since Scott needed more of this Triple Ointment stuff. I had a few packets. He was getting Rachel to be evacuated. Elliot during this time knew it was bad and was very shaken about it. I told him that I need a blanket, pillow and other items so Rachel can go. He went to the room and got his blanket, two stuffed ponies of Rachel’s and her pillow and put them all in the car. He knew what to do. I told him I was proud of him on the way he acted. He spent the night with one of the families.
I got out the Garmin Car GPS that I had just gotten and pushed Hospital. Great 60 minutes away. OK. Great. Time to follow the GPS. With Rachel in the car, Debora ready to go we left. Rachel was as good as she was going to be, but we needed to go. Off we went.
It is now about 96 hours later and we are home from vacation and the hospital. Rachel is fast on the road to recovery. There are no stitches, just a lot of road rashes, lacerations on the face and a fractured left wrist. She is laughing and getting along with what happened and in great spirits. She does not like talking about the accident over and over again.
So, here is the takeaway that I have from being 60 minutes away from a hospital and what I learned from the Wilderness First Aid course.
I was not ready as I had thought. Rachel was lucky to have Scott there. I remembered my training only in and out-of-body experience as I watched him do it. I had the presence of mind of several things and knew I had to evacuate Rachel. I now know that my First Aid Kit sucks. I also understand how fast an accident can and will happen. I was not freaked out about the blood or the fact it was my daughter. I was calm (so I think) and focused on what I needed to do. I asked Scott point-blank questions and I got them along with advice on what do to and ask.
My to-do list is to create a GOOD First Aid Kit for myself, family and Debora and kids. I need to research more about the area we are going to for Emergency Situations and have a list of them. I need to take more First Aid classes. I can say, that if it were not for Scouting, I would not have been this ready nor have taken any CPR/First Aid or WFA based classes. This was not being a Scout or Scouter, but Scouting got me prepared for this.
Get Trained. Get Re-certified. Get Knowledge.
I took Wilderness First Aid as a Cubmaster. I did not need it. I was not going to Philmont. But, I know that I travel in the Wilderness and remote areas for work and with my family. It was not a Scout thing.