American Red Cross disaster workers provided direct support to 100 Boy Scouts, Camp Staff and Camp volunteers Tuesday, June 8, 2014.
Early Tuesday morning scouts who were encamped at the Spanish Peaks Scout Ranch, south of Walsenburg, were awakened by the sound of heavy rain. A quick look outside told the camp staff it was time to get the scouts out. Around 5:00 a.m. Huerfano County Emergency Management notified the Red Cross that the camp was being evacuated and requested the opening of an evacuation center in Walsenburg.
A team of Red Cross volunteers moved into action and quickly set up the evacuation center at the Huerfano County Community Center in Walsenburg. By 5:45 a.m. the evacuation center doors were opened just as scouts began to arrive. Dennis Hoyt was the shelter manager at the evacuation center. “We had to move fast to get everything ready,” Hoyt said. “As soon as they started arriving we started working on breakfast.”
Hoyt was the shelter manager when the scout ranch was evacuated in 2013 due to the East Peak Fire. The preplanning and experience from that event made this event much easier. Since the East Peak Fire of 2013 the Red Cross had organized a cache of supplies that is maintained in buildings adjacent to the Huerfano County Community Center. Bottled water, cots, blankets and other important items were readily available.
The scouts were fed breakfast and lunch while scout leaders and county officials evaluated the safety of the camp. The Red Cross provided served a total of 202 meals along with countless bottles of water. During their stay the scouts stayed occupied doing outdoor sports or catching up on sleep.
By noon it was determined safe for the scouts to return and begin cleaning up the mud and debris. The Red Cross provided 7 clean up kits with mops, brooms, buckets and disinfectant to help with the cleanup along with several cases of bottled water to help keep the scouts hydrated.
At 1:00 p.m. the scouts were loaded into buses from the Huerfano County school district. The scouts were in good spirits and anxious to get back to the Spanish Peaks Scout Ranch.