3 Kids Hit by Lightning at Camp
1 injured critically in open field in Indiana as storms roll through
By Polly Davis Doig, Newser Staff
Posted Jun 30, 2013 7:39 AM CDT
This Thursday, May 30, 2013 image provided by KFOR-TV shows a bolt of lightning from storm clouds moving over Guthrie, Okla.   (AP Photo/KFOR-TV)

(Newser) – A lightning strike in an open field hit three campers at a Reform Jewish camp in Indiana yesterday, injuring one critically, reports USA Today. Two 9-year-olds, a boy and a girl, as well as a 12-year-old boy, were hit in the lightning strike at Goldman Union Camp Institute. Camp counselors had begun "lifesaving efforts" by the time rescuers reached the scene. It's unclear which child was injured critically, and a woman answering the phone at the camp said, "We really can't give out any information at this time. Right now safety is just our highest concern. Campers are doing fine, and we're going on with our program."

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Showing 3 of 28 comments
HMD-SMD-ITY
Jun 30, 2013 9:55 PM CDT
They used to give me a lot of grief when I was camp director at a YMCA summer camp. We had a jr. Olympic sized pool and I was very strict about lighting precautions. I argued with pool staff all the time for not clearing the pool and sending kids back to the cabins or the gym. My policy was a 30 mile rule. The office enforced it by using Vaisala Strike Net software. We had a commercial account that informed us of storms that could affect our area. I'm a pilot so I've had 12 hours of meteorology. Only 6 was required at my school but I took a couple extra classes because it intrigued me. I got into arguments with lake and pool staff all the time when they thought it was ok for a storm to get as close as 10 miles before they shut down an activity. One time we had a near tragic event. The storm had passed more than 30 miles away. Some kids were on the basketball court playing Horse. There wasn't even cloud/ground lightning detected in that storm. It started by one of the staffer's radios who was playing. His mic was stuck open and I could hear them carry on. I jumped on a golf cart and went down there. I got the staffer who's radio was stuck and turned it off and on and it was fine. But then things got strange. Several of the kids were laughing about how their hair was standing straight up like when you touch a Van de Graaff generator. I looked at the cell of storms about 40 miles away and told the kids to split up 20 feet apart, kneel down, and get to the gym one at a time. We went around the court and to the gym. It was ok but I was sure that possibly a strike was forming.
JoeQ
Jun 30, 2013 2:05 PM CDT
At ground level lightning actually rises up out of the ground. A big electrostatic pulse rapidly forms right beneath your feet and seeks the easiest path up into the sky. It meets a matching bolt coming down out of the sky. They meet about 100 feet up or so, and it all happens in milliseconds, too fast for a human to react. Sometimes the static grows slowly enough to sense. If you feel your hair standing on end, hit the dirt. Lie flat on the ground. You don't want to be the pointy thing that sticks up. For that reason it's dangerous to seek shelter directly under a single tree, better to be out a little ways from anything that sticks up.
Estrus
Jun 30, 2013 1:35 PM CDT
when I was 7 living in Columbus Georgia, a storm was moving through the area, my mom opened the front door to take a look outside and lightening bolt went into our house knocking my mom backwards to the floor, the light was intense, blinding for awhile, lucky no one was injured.. a real scary experience...