Cub Scouts Practice Ice Rescue — On Me!

February 6th, 2006 by Peter Schmelzer

Last week, we talked with the Cub Scouts about safety and how to handle emergency situations. Be calm. Be brave. Be clear. Be careful.
I love this stuff. These 8-year old boys understood that panicking won’t help. They understood that acting rashly could put more people in danger. They understood that they should get help from adults. And, they understood that they have the power to handle difficult situations, after our ice rescue exercise.

First, we talked about being safe on the ice, which is timely for our warm winter. Then, after making sure the ice was safe, I “fell through” so they could rescue me.
First, they tried throwing a rope, a skill we had learned at a previous meeting.

Then, they tried pullling me to safety. The laws of physics were on my side, and I pulled them out onto the ice. Teaching moment: don’t put yourself in danger!

Next, we asked them what to try next, if the rope was too short. They came up with the ladder idea, which allowed them to get enough bodies to pull me to safety.

Finally, since it took so long for them to actually rescue me, we asked them what they would do if I had lost consciousness during the rescue, and guided them in a ladder rescue. They learned to spread their weight out and take their time, tying a rope to my wrist and the ladder before hauling me in. A double-half-hitch wasn’t the knot I’d recommend since it slipped and got pretty tight, but it did the trick!

Good job, Cub Scouts!

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