"Bright kids" did something stupid

formatting link

chicagotribune.com
Accountability a watchword for teens
Late-night paddle boat trip turns deadly for 3 students
By Lisa Black and Steve Schmadeke
Tribune reporters
10:52 PM CST, November 14, 2008
They were smart kids with bright futures and an old-fashioned sense of
brotherhood: When one messed up, they all paid a price.
But early Friday, some of the teens who made up Minority Men, a
leadership group at Chicago's North Lawndale College Prep, made a
mistake from which they could not recover.
Three of them drowned in the Fox River in Algonquin after sneaking out
of a camp lodge and dragging paddle boats to the frigid, swift-moving
water. The boats, which had been set aside for the winter, had holes
in the bottom where drainage plugs had been removed.
Two teens couldn't make it to shore when their boat began to sink,
officials said. A third jumped in and tried to save them. All of them
died.
The tragedy crushed the high school's community, from the group's
surviving members to the victims' families to all who knew and loved
the teens.
"He was always helping," sophomore Datashia Warren said of her friend
Melvin Choice III, 17. "When you needed a shoulder he was right
there."The other victims were Jimmy Avant, 18, and Adrian Alexander
Jones, 16.
They were among 31 North Lawndale teens who went to YMCA Camp
Algonquin last week for an eight-day retreat organized by VisionQuest
International, an Atlanta organization that trains young people in
ethical leadership.
It was just another trip for Minority Men, a program for
high-achieving students aiming for success in college and
beyond. Brigette Jones-Cooper, Jones' mother, said the group toured
college campuses in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.
"They get them ready for life as young leaders," she said. "They help
them with their classwork. They make them well-rounded young men: no
gangs, no drugs.
"All of them were good kids."
Accountability was the group's hallmark, said Jones' sister, Chimere.
"If one has bad grades, they all have to study together," she
said. "If one . . . has a Saturday detention all of them have a
Saturday detention."
Still, as the camp came to a close, officials said about half of the
group sneaked out of the lodge early Friday, apparently undetected by
nine chaperons in the building.
The teens had been warned to stay away from the water, YMCA officials
said. But in what seemed to be a late attempt at unauthorized fun,
they hauled six 300-pound paddle boats about 150 feet to the river.
They likely didn't realize the boats had been prepared for winter,
their cork-sized plugs removed to allow precipitation to drain. The
boats went into the 42-degree, pitch-black water, and at least
one?occupied by two victims?began to submerge.
"I heard people running and yelling on the shore at around 1:30 in the
morning," said Pam Shumway, who lives across river. "I heard them
yelling, 'Get out of the boat! Get out of the water!'"
A third teen leaped into the water and tried to save the others,
authorities said. But the current was strong, and he went under too.
Firefighters and rescuers scrambled to the river, but it was too
late. They found the first body just before 6 a.m., 50 feet from shore
in 10 feet of water. About five hours later, they recovered the other
two.
Amid talk of re-examining school policies, some relatives questioned
why the camp hadn't secured the boats. Some students, meanwhile, noted
that risk-taking was part of being young.
"They didn't know what they were about to get into," Walter Anderson,
16, said. "We are going to be kids."
Tribune reporters Carolyn Starks, Azam Ahmed, Sara Olkon, Carlos
Sadovi and Gerry Smith, and freelance reporter Amanda Marrazzo
contributed to this story, which was written by Tribune reporter John
Keilman.
snipped-for-privacy@tribune.com
snipped-for-privacy@tribune.com
Copyright © 2008, Chicago Tribune
Reply to
Ignoramus4582
Loading thread data ...
All kids do stupid things. It's all a matter of the degree of stupidity. As far as surviving kid-hood, luck is the biggest factor.
Survivor by luck, Bob
Reply to
Bob Engelhardt
(...)
I guess the other 29 teens will think twice about stealing a boat now. Seems like a costly teaching method though.
I'm still drying my eyes from the use of the phrase "Ethical Leadership". How could those words be so close together without causing a tiny rip in the spacetime continuum?
--Winston
Reply to
Winston
1) Actions have consequences, whether we are aware of them or not. Rules, generally, are made for our own benefit!
2) Someone always tries to blame someone else. "The boats should have been secured!..." I'll bet these were "Saturday-Night-Special" boats. Let's ban all boats! Maybe Sarah Brady can start a new group!
3) Wooden boats would still float and one can normally just stay-with-the-boat, but with swift moving water you have additional problems & dangers. Aluminum boats present a different story, unless styrofoam or other flotation material is built in under the seats.
4) "An idle mind is the devil's workshop." used to be a regular when I came up. Again, rules are generally made for our own benefit, even if we don't realize it. About 1957 our scout troop went to a pond for swimming and camping. Had I not had to work a paper route I'd have probably been right with this friend and classmate, but work schedule determined otherwise. They all were told not to swim without the scout master being with them. This friend and classmate decided on his own to swim out to a pier, island or something about the center of the pond. He didn't make it. Fortunately, no one else was so foolish. I'll always remember the rude way in which his mother was "notified" as a student or two, allegedly, ran into her place of employment, a chain store where she clerked, and yelled, "Mrs. XXXXXXXXX, YYYYYYYY got drownded!"
It's sad, but hopefully it will teach a few others a very valuable lesson!
Al
=========
Ignoramus4582 wrote:
Reply to
Al Patrick
Read the article again, and you will find more than one gem like this.
This was a conference for bright young people who supposedly do good things instead of stealing stuff and doing other crimes.
As soon as they thought they were no longer supervised, these bright young ethical people stole two boats, did not bother to steal any protective equipment, sailed off in darkness into unknown frozen river, and promptly sunk.
Another person commented here that all teens do stupid things and it is a matter of luck, some survive and some do not. I would respectfully disagree. We all take some rick, even when driving cars, but not all people take the same amount of risk. Those who take more risk, die more often.
If I could make a guess, those boys who died, had little exposure to water, did not have parents teach them how to swim, did not really understand what was involved etc. That, with their poorly thought out plan, did them in.
The lesson for adults here is to teach kids about water safety, to think about safety before commencing anything. For some reason I am a little disturbed about this story.
Reply to
Ignoramus4582
generally, are
That comment about unsecured boats was lame indeed.
stay-with-the-boat, but with
under the seats.
None of this matters if water is freezing cold.
About 1957 our
paper route
determined
them. This
something about
foolish. I'll
and yelled,
When I was a kid, I swam in various places a lot and received some education about cold water, musce cramps etc. A lot of people begin to panic if their legs cramp, and sink from this. In actuality a cramp is no big deal and you can swim to safety with a cramped leg with no problem.
Reply to
Ignoramus4582
I don't think I'd call it stealing. They were at a camp on a river, the camp had paddle boats near the river. Stealing implies they weren't intending to come back with the boats.
David
Reply to
David R.Birch
(...)
So far, they've been gone for ~33 hours.
When will they come back with the boats?
--Winston
Reply to
Winston
I'm not bothering to read the article, but I'd put my $10 on this being yet another "faith based" brainwashing type camp and as such was far more focused on teaching superstition, than leadership, ethics, safety or anything else "reality based".
Reply to
Pete C.
Three of them, never. But I suspect the boats are back...
David
Reply to
David R.Birch
(...)
From:
formatting link
"ABSTRACT: Ethical leaders are those who search for unicorns in the vast, often cold and impersonal worlds of post-modernity. It requires an immense leap of faith ? and no small amount of courage ? to pass one?s own familiar boundaries into new and uncharted territory, and to navigate situations which hold unpredictable and possibly calamitous risks. Ethical leadership means being able to take on these dangers with a clear and unwavering ideal in mind ? just as the unicorn has always been the emblem of purity, nobility and grace ? and never to lose sight of it, no matter how traumatic or stressful the journey may be. And while the perils of such a role are great, the rewards are even greater."
The Kool-Aid is over there. Form a line. No pushing.
--Winston
Reply to
Winston
[youthful screwup]
You should read the bios of great military leaders to see the stupid antics they pulled as cadets.
Reply to
Jim Wilkins
Damn, it is so sad when a learning moment turns into a dying moment with kids.
Wes
Reply to
Wes
generally, are
Some rules yes. You are a gun owner so I bet there are some rules you hold in contempt.
Well, I'm with you there with the hyperbole. I understand the comparison.
Of course to do your hyperbole full justice, we now need to imprison those that didn't chain the boats down to prevent such a tragedy.
the seats.
Tort lawyers take notice, it was the boat builders fault.
About 1957 our
paper route
determined
them. This
foolish. I'll
and yelled,
Didn't see that fork coming, some die so others can hopefully learn. Life doesn't grade on a curve. It always sucks when a kid gets the tough grade.
I think this post hit a nerve.
Wes
Reply to
Wes
On Sat, 15 Nov 2008 10:46:04 -0800, the infamous Winston scrawled the following:
The writer -surely- must have had his fingers crossed during the creation of that rippy phrase, Winnie.
-- When we are planning for posterity, we ought to remember that virtue is not hereditary. -- Thomas Paine
Reply to
Larry Jaques
On Sat, 15 Nov 2008 14:04:40 -0800, the infamous Winston scrawled the following:
It wasn't theft. It was a case of vandalism which neatly blended into Darwinian inevitability: inept destruction of property, including their own bodies.
-- When we are planning for posterity, we ought to remember that virtue is not hereditary. -- Thomas Paine
Reply to
Larry Jaques
On Sat, 15 Nov 2008 20:12:08 -0500, the infamous Wes scrawled the following:
The survival of the fittest never has been a joy ride, Wes. Those who panic or pull such turkeyesque stunts, such as this, don't live very long.
C'est la vie.
-- When we are planning for posterity, we ought to remember that virtue is not hereditary. -- Thomas Paine
Reply to
Larry Jaques
Look...this is just sort of a sad accident. Kids that age still have some vestige of the adventure of life in them and the energy necessary to carry out their adventures. This is the stuff that makes for great memories in old age when you get together and say, "remember when we pulled that stunt xxxxxx?" It's the sort of thing that produces shared experiences that make life long friends.
They didn't mean to get killed doing it and nobody is really at fault.....although going out in a boat without a life jacket when you don't know how to swim and the water is cold is pretty stupid. Probably life jackets could have kept them afloat until they managed to get back to shore.
I spent a couple of years at Northen Michigan University which is located right on Lake Superior. There is a little park close to campus named Presque Isle Park. It has a breakwater which extends about a mile and a half out into Lake Superior. The water in this lake NEVER warms up in case you have never been there. I mean...it's FREAKING COLD.
The year before I got there, three NMU students got washed off the breakwater in a storm and drowned. These were college kids, so you'd think they would have known better then to be out there, but nooo.
As a result, NMU staff told ALL incoming freshmen during orientation: "DO NOT go out on the breakwaters during storms."
Soooo......three guys in my dorm go out on the breakwater during a storm and get washed into Lake Superior. They were lucky....they got washed into the leeward side of the breakwater were the water was calm enough that they made it to a ladder and managed to get out of the Great Lake which usually takes no prisoners. They did this after having been specifically told not to during their orientations to campus life.
They did have to walk back to the dorms soaking wet in the UP winter, however, so this really had to be no fun.
Some other friends in my dorm took a SCUBA class and did their check out dives in the lake wearing only wet suits (NOBODY dives in Lake Superior without a dry suit). They were as purple as I have ever seen another human being when they got back. Dave
Reply to
dav1936531
Wrong!
The kids that took the boats ARE at fault. Anybody thinking anything else is distorting the facts to base their view of reality.
It is NOT the fault of the boat maker, the boat owner, they guy who winterized the boats, or GOD for creating water.
it's just Mother Nature enforcing the rule that "Stupid Hurts!"
Snip.....
----== Posted via Pronews.Com - Unlimited-Unrestricted-Secure Usenet News==----
formatting link
The #1 Newsgroup Service in the World! >100,000 Newsgroups ---= - Total Privacy via Encryption =---
Reply to
Mark Dunning
An anomaly, an unforseeable accident, nothing more. Sad it cost 3 kids their lives. It's not the boats, not that they were not 'secured' , not the crime of 'theft'. Not that they should 'know' to check the drain plug:
formatting link
broad daylight; even...
Their deaths were the result of lack of common sense, period. 42° swift moving water... at night? A paddle boat could prolly not be 'paddled' back to the start point in a fast current once launched. The water temp would shock anyone but an accomplished cold water swimmer in minutes. Any king of boating is inherently more dangerous at night. In life, unlike a video game, you have to pay for your mistakes. You can't just turn off the computer and try it again tomorrow-a consept and distinction young people have an increasingly hard time grasping. JR
-------------------------------------------------------------- Home Page:
formatting link
If you're not the lead dog, the view never changes Doubt yourself, and the real world will eat you alive The world doesn't revolve around you, it revolves around me No skeletons in the closet; just decomposing corpses -------------------------------------------------------------- Dependence is Vulnerability: -------------------------------------------------------------- "Open the Pod Bay Doors please, Hal" "I'm sorry, Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that.."
Reply to
JR North

PolyTech Forum website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.