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Old 06-28-2021, 10:18 PM   #1
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Default Storm... the kids are in danger

I love the sound of the kids having fun on the first day of summer camp. Great to see them back again with their sailboats out and the Summer sounds.

BUT.... what we witnessed today is unacceptable!

Today there were storm warnings with possible lightening strikes on most weather apps. This morning I hate to say the name Camp Belknap had their first sailing class go out even though a storm was approaching. These are sailfish type sailboats. Love seeing them and when I go out we sometimes race them. But for some reason we see this happen often. They are sent out when there are oncoming storms. It has happened over several years. Where is the Waterfront Director? Who is in charge of the campers safety?

But this evening was the worst of carelessness for the safety of the Camp Belknap campers we have ever witnessed. We want for a ride to cool off. As we passed the camp their were two of their sailboats that have two masts and can be rowed with 8/10 kids on board or sailed. Great boat because it can be sailed or just rowed with that many kids. We saw them and cruised bye waving as they rowed out to Melvin Island.

We get out to the broads and taking pictures of the oncoming storm. Checking our weather app we knew we had about 30 minutes to get back to our dock, No problem. As we come by Melvin Island we see these same Camp Belknap sailboats with 20 campers on board. There is no way they can get back to Camp Belknap before the storm hits. Lightening striking everywhere with gusts. Waves were huge. They were in the middle of a significant storm that had been broadcast over many channels and apps.

Our neighbors starting calling us in panic seeing the kids in danger. The lightening was striking all around them. The Marine Patrol was alerted. The Tuftonboro fire Department boat went out looking for them almost immediately. They missed their location. Tuftonboro fire department and Marine patrol eventually found them. And all were saved. There are pictures of the whole event.

But I hate to say this because Camp Belknap has gotten some bad reviews over the last two years. There is something wrong what is going on with keeping the kids safe from events like this.

Who should be responsible for their safety? Why does this happen so many times? Someone must be accountable... Is the Camp Belknap directors and board members even know what is going on? It certainly doesn't look good for them.
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Old 06-29-2021, 07:14 AM   #2
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If the Marine Patrol, and Tuftonboro fire dept. where involved, hopefully they will confront the camp head on, about this issue. Back in the day, there would have been a camp safety officer, and also a water activities director....Who knows what staffing at summer camps looks like now.....

However with all the weather apps, etc. making real time data easily available, there is no excuse for something like that to have happened.

With some luck the MP and FD, will have called the parents of the kids involved, which is where the real power to bring about change needs to come from....
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Old 06-29-2021, 07:27 AM   #3
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The two squalls that went through yesterday afternoon were wicked. Any boaters out then were in bad conditions and should not have been. I watched the approaching storms on a live weather app and it hit on the exact minute the app predicted.

Neither lasted long but at the peak of the first one, a 22-24' bow rider went by with four people in it headed for Fish, Tommy's Cove area. Although it didn't look like fun, it looked like a life-long memory being created for those panicked four.
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Old 06-29-2021, 08:26 AM   #4
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Last night was bad, a lot of close lightening strikes. I was out of power for 4hrs, got it back around midnight. Made for a warm night..
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Old 06-29-2021, 09:59 AM   #5
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Default Weather App

I have been searching for an accurate weather app to use while on the lake , could you share what you are using? Having been caught on the lake in bad storms over the past , I’ve seen how quickly conditions can change out there. I’m happy to hear how people responded for these children at risk and agree it shouldn’t happen
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Old 06-29-2021, 11:33 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Grove84 View Post
I have been searching for an accurate weather app to use while on the lake , could you share what you are using? Having been caught on the lake in bad storms over the past , I’ve seen how quickly conditions can change out there. I’m happy to hear how people responded for these children at risk and agree it shouldn’t happen
My Radar has been my absolute go to for years. It's merely a doppler, but provides updates and warnings as well. One of the EASIEST doppler radars to use and VERY accurate.
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Old 06-29-2021, 12:06 PM   #7
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It's not just Camp Belknap, I've seen this happen with others and I guess it begs the question is this a matter of negligence or ignorance?

Ultimately the onus is on the camp directors to be aware of the weather and have the foresight to change activity plans when prudent.

I'm sure if MP was called out - somebody got talked to. If there is any kind of summons for stupidity - hopefully they got one.
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Old 06-29-2021, 12:24 PM   #8
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The radar right here on this website on the weather tab is great.
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Old 06-29-2021, 12:40 PM   #9
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My Radar for the win.

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Old 06-29-2021, 01:37 PM   #10
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Default What did they do?

The OP doesn't give results, nor did we hear of any mishaps in the news. While I don't want to diminish the folly of venturing out in a known storm condition, I can think of a few simple, easy, safety plans.
For example, When I was last there, Melvin Island had a bunkhouse. A short distance to secure the boats and get indoors. Also a short distance to any number of main land docks between Chase Point and the camp. Tome, the best the fire boat or MP could do would be to tow the sailboats to the nearest shore. Trying to transfer people from one boat to another in a storm is not a good plan. With this in mind, I'd expect the camp to have a power boat on standby anytime a group of campers leaves their home cove.

I'm not a sailor, but isn't a two masted sailboat, capable of carrying 12 people grounded?

I'm curious as to what actually transpired during and after the storm, not just speculation about potential dangers.
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Old 06-29-2021, 06:38 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by chasedawg View Post

But I hate to say this because Camp Belknap has gotten some bad reviews over the last two years. There is something wrong what is going on with keeping the kids safe from events like this.

Who should be responsible for their safety? Why does this happen so many times? Someone must be accountable... Is the Camp Belknap directors and board members even know what is going on? It certainly doesn't look good for them.
Seth Kassel the camp director would be the one responsible for looking after the campers. Previous posts have pointed out the troubling problems on Farm Island, but it fell on deaf ears. Hopefully YMCA has a change soon, as many of you had good experiences with Belknap years ago. The camp has not operated properly in many years. To their credit they did correct traffic issues on chase point rd this weekend...but now this.
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Old 06-30-2021, 08:19 AM   #12
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My Radar for the win.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Winnipesaukee Forum mobile app
Until last week I would have thoroughly agreed with "My Radar" as the choice - been using it for years.

Then I got turned on to "Accu Weather" and find it far superior. After the app is loaded, the active radar is in the bottom icon tray ....... it goes beyond My Radar in that it not only shows the current Doppler radar along with about 1 hours history - but it also "Futurecasts" the coming 2 hours.

As example, last nites storms it was deadly accurate in predicting that the severe portion of the storm would stay just slightly North of the Gilford area (an indeed it did).

Just throwing out another good option.
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Old 06-30-2021, 09:01 AM   #13
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Default Accuweather

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grove84 View Post
I have been searching for an accurate weather app to use while on the lake , could you share what you are using? Having been caught on the lake in bad storms over the past , I’ve seen how quickly conditions can change out there. I’m happy to hear how people responded for these children at risk and agree it shouldn’t happen
I have been using Accuweather and it has been extremely helpful. It is superior to My Radar. Not only does it give accurate radar picture of storms presently but it tracks them for the future for a three hour window. You can see where is coming from; where it is headed over the next 3 hours; it's intensity; and even shows new storms that could pop up during those three hours.

It also gives you choices of looking just at today's weather with amount of rainfall, wind speed during storms and wind speed and direction overall. Or if you want to check hourly temps. Or what the weather statistics for the next 15 days. Even gives you a history of weather for that particular date. But the weather radar is the best feature. It pin points your location and you can see where you are located and can scan out across the country if you so chose to see storm activity across the country.

With the oncoming storm the other evening, it showed we were in the broads and it gave us a three hour window of storm activity. I could judge that we would be in the storm in 45 minutes. We decided to head back to our dock. Cruised back and had the boat secured 15 minutes before the storm arrived. It also forewarns when the rain will start and intensity. You also can have options to layer what you are seeing from satellite visual to standard that forecasts eye path and rainfall amount. Or max winds speeds with gusts.

I'm a Captain and a sailor and I use that app many times a day. I especially like the wind speed and direction. But the radar is best. I just opened it up and noticed we will be getting lite rain in 15 minutes. Nope... just noticed the rain clouds just dissipated. No rain coming now. that is real time.
IMO much superior features than MY Radar
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Old 06-30-2021, 09:09 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Descant View Post
The OP doesn't give results, nor did we hear of any mishaps in the news. While I don't want to diminish the folly of venturing out in a known storm condition, I can think of a few simple, easy, safety plans.
For example, When I was last there, Melvin Island had a bunkhouse. A short distance to secure the boats and get indoors. Also a short distance to any number of main land docks between Chase Point and the camp. Tome, the best the fire boat or MP could do would be to tow the sailboats to the nearest shore. Trying to transfer people from one boat to another in a storm is not a good plan. With this in mind, I'd expect the camp to have a power boat on standby anytime a group of campers leaves their home cove.

I'm not a sailor, but isn't a two masted sailboat, capable of carrying 12 people grounded?

I'm curious as to what actually transpired during and after the storm, not just speculation about potential dangers.
Sorry i was traveling and not able to respond to your comments. Will later today after I get more information. I have a call into the Tuftonboro Fire Chief to get his take on the whole situation.

The camp boat can hold 10 campers has two wooden mast and is not grounded.

Stand by.... for an update. No speculation here!!
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Old 06-30-2021, 11:32 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Descant View Post
The OP doesn't give results, nor did we hear of any mishaps in the news. While I don't want to diminish the folly of venturing out in a known storm condition, I can think of a few simple, easy, safety plans.
For example, When I was last there, Melvin Island had a bunkhouse. A short distance to secure the boats and get indoors. Also a short distance to any number of main land docks between Chase Point and the camp. Tome, the best the fire boat or MP could do would be to tow the sailboats to the nearest shore. Trying to transfer people from one boat to another in a storm is not a good plan. With this in mind, I'd expect the camp to have a power boat on standby anytime a group of campers leaves their home cove.

I'm not a sailor, but isn't a two masted sailboat, capable of carrying 12 people grounded?

I'm curious as to what actually transpired during and after the storm, not just speculation about potential dangers.
Descant.... I am still collecting information from all parties the fire chief, Camp Belknap and neighbors who witness and were concerned watching the 20 campers get caught in a storm that was predicted all day on many apps.

Your reference stating "few easy safety plans" I might agree if there were safety plans already in place. The best safety plan in my many years in Search and Recue on Lake Erie and head lifeguarding service is to not take risks by going out into storms with anyone. Especially when the forecast is calling for storms. And in this case the storm clouds and lightening were very visible.

You referenced a shelter on Melvin Island. I have kayaked there and watched Belknap campers travel there by canoe I don't recall any bunk house on that small footprint of an island... mostly room for only tents. But I am be wrong since I have not paddled out to Melvin in a couple of years. Are you maybe confusing with the other Melvin Islands on Winni? And Yes they have chase boats out all the time when the smaller sailboats are out. In this incidence they were not to be seen before or after the storm.

That doesn't matter at this point. I was just responding to your ideas and suggestions. The MP and Tuftonboro fireboat were on scene and took care of the situation. It is unfortunate they had to be called. What matters is why did this happen and what is being done to correct this kind of negligence.

Here is an update... Camp Belknap is very concerned. I got a call from a CB board member. We had a interesting conversation. I was very appreciative of their attempt to reach out to the neighbors to get a pulse and understanding of obviously issues that have been on social media for over two years now.

There are four sides to any story. I feel I have a pretty good understanding of the two major parties. The rest will fall in place in time. I welcome any more input from other parties of interest to provide more input. My goal as I told the CB board member is to help mediate and help cool things down. They have gotten so far out of hand. And it doesn't need to be this way.
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Old 07-01-2021, 04:46 AM   #16
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Arrow Trees, Not Masts...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Descant View Post
The OP doesn't give results, nor did we hear of any mishaps in the news. While I don't want to diminish the folly of venturing out in a known storm condition, I can think of a few simple, easy, safety plans. For example, When I was last there, Melvin Island had a bunkhouse. A short distance to secure the boats and get indoors. Also a short distance to any number of main land docks between Chase Point and the camp. To me, the best the fire boat or MP could do would be to tow the sailboats to the nearest shore. Trying to transfer people from one boat to another in a storm is not a good plan. With this in mind, I'd expect the camp to have a power boat on standby anytime a group of campers leaves their home cove.

I'm not a sailor, but isn't a two masted sailboat, capable of carrying 12 people grounded? I'm curious as to what actually transpired during and after the storm, not just speculation about potential dangers.
"Grounding" a sailboat is problematical. It appears best to make one's sailboat a poor target, not a good one. Tempered against that, lightning strikes on sailboats are not abundant enough to reach a conclusion.

"Grounded" sailboats should attract lightning, and direct lightning's extreme voltage to the water; however, those on board are not immune to being struck by "tendrils" of "still-powerful" electricity.

At an anchorage, most grounded boats are missed by lightning, while an ungrounded boat alongside is struck. I'd dock a sailboat next to a tall steel vessel.

Twenty-five years ago, recreational sailors in a U.S. Navy port had lots of large metal choices. (Except for docking next to "Boomers").

The thing not to do is head for shore and wait out the storm under a tree!
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Old 07-01-2021, 09:15 AM   #17
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Sorry but I have ask, Why is this anyone's business at this point? It would seem to me the incident occurred is now between the parties impacted - PD, Fire Dept, Belknap and the parents of any impacted campers.
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Old 07-01-2021, 10:26 AM   #18
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Sorry but I have ask, Why is this anyone's business at this point? It would seem to me the incident occurred is now between the parties impacted - PD, Fire Dept, Belknap and the parents of any impacted campers.
I was thinking the same thing. It's ok to be observant and concerned, but sometimes it's a bit too much.....

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Old 07-01-2021, 02:34 PM   #19
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My understanding from a friend with direct knowledge is that there was a miscommunication at the camp, but the kids were never in danger, and did not need to be rescued. So although some people were worried, and fire and rescue was called; I agree with SP that we seem to be making too much of this.
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Old 07-01-2021, 03:43 PM   #20
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funny, if this had turned out with a strike everyone would be saying who was responcable for them being out there? Luckily everything turned out fine. Seems it is always better to be safe than sorry.
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Old 07-01-2021, 03:53 PM   #21
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Interesting take on all of this... Here is something to think about.... I personally would rather see people overly concerned, then just to assume that things are alright when it comes to safety around the water.... Wouldn't you?

If the kids where or weren't in danger is a call that the Camp, the MP and FD have to make and defend.... People saw what they believed could be a dangerous situation, being concerned citizens it was called in, the MP and local FD did there job and responded...

I think ChaseDawg is doing the right thing here in this thread and keeping us all informed.

The good news here is that nothing bad happened..... What if something bad happened, how would people feel? Especially people that realized all they had to do was call the MP, or the Local FD..... A call gets put in because of perceived danger, that is normal, the Authorities decided how critical and how urgent the needs is that is normal.... Sounds to me like everything probably worked as it should....

As I said before, the Marine Patrol, and the local FD, are obligated by law to raise a flag, if they feel there was a negligent act on the Part of the camp....
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Old 07-01-2021, 08:56 PM   #22
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I love the sound of the kids having fun on the first day of summer camp. Great to see them back again with their sailboats out and the Summer sounds.

BUT.... what we witnessed today is unacceptable!

Today there were storm warnings with possible lightening strikes on most weather apps. This morning I hate to say the name Camp Belknap had their first sailing class go out even though a storm was approaching. These are sailfish type sailboats. Love seeing them and when I go out we sometimes race them. But for some reason we see this happen often. They are sent out when there are oncoming storms. It has happened over several years. Where is the Waterfront Director? Who is in charge of the campers safety?

But this evening was the worst of carelessness for the safety of the Camp Belknap campers we have ever witnessed. We want for a ride to cool off. As we passed the camp their were two of their sailboats that have two masts and can be rowed with 8/10 kids on board or sailed. Great boat because it can be sailed or just rowed with that many kids. We saw them and cruised bye waving as they rowed out to Melvin Island.

We get out to the broads and taking pictures of the oncoming storm. Checking our weather app we knew we had about 30 minutes to get back to our dock, No problem. As we come by Melvin Island we see these same Camp Belknap sailboats with 20 campers on board. There is no way they can get back to Camp Belknap before the storm hits. Lightening striking everywhere with gusts. Waves were huge. They were in the middle of a significant storm that had been broadcast over many channels and apps.

Our neighbors starting calling us in panic seeing the kids in danger. The lightening was striking all around them. The Marine Patrol was alerted. The Tuftonboro fire Department boat went out looking for them almost immediately. They missed their location. Tuftonboro fire department and Marine patrol eventually found them. And all were saved. There are pictures of the whole event.

But I hate to say this because Camp Belknap has gotten some bad reviews over the last two years. There is something wrong what is going on with keeping the kids safe from events like this.

Who should be responsible for their safety? Why does this happen so many times? Someone must be accountable... Is the Camp Belknap directors and board members even know what is going on? It certainly doesn't look good for them.
Meredith fire boat and marine patrol were called to the area off Patrician Shores. Kids on tubes got blown out into the open lake and had to be safely brought in
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Old 07-02-2021, 10:16 AM   #23
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Old 07-02-2021, 10:26 AM   #24
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From the last 4 posts, I sense my most recent post might not have been clear. I agree that if a person was concerned about safety the right thing to do was to call fire and rescue, and agree that the OP was right to start this thread.

But as information comes to light that the kids were not actually in danger, or at least might not have been in danger, we would do well as a group to refrain from harsh criticism of the camp on this score...at least until we get substantiation one way or another.
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Old 07-02-2021, 06:04 PM   #25
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Default I have an update.... time to close this thread

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Interesting take on all of this... Here is something to think about.... I personally would rather see people overly concerned, then just to assume that things are alright when it comes to safety around the water.... Wouldn't you?

If the kids where or weren't in danger is a call that the Camp, the MP and FD have to make and defend.... People saw what they believed could be a dangerous situation, being concerned citizens it was called in, the MP and local FD did there job and responded...

I think ChaseDawg is doing the right thing here in this thread and keeping us all informed.

The good news here is that nothing bad happened..... What if something bad happened, how would people feel? Especially people that realized all they had to do was call the MP, or the Local FD..... A call gets put in because of perceived danger, that is normal, the Authorities decided how critical and how urgent the needs is that is normal.... Sounds to me like everything probably worked as it should....

As I said before, the Marine Patrol, and the local FD, are obligated by law to raise a flag, if they feel there was a negligent act on the Part of the camp....

I talked to the Tuftonboro Fire Chief Adam Thompson like I said I would to get his perspective concerning the Camp Belknap campers out in storm conditions.. We first had a short conversation about the incident. We didn't have much time to get into it. Then today he called me. We had a very good and interesting talk.

I asked the question: Calling the MP in this particular situation when someone sees an incident that could lead to a dangerous situation... was that the proper thing to do? He said absolutely it was the right action to take. Never hesitate to call us the MP or and authorities. It is important that we have concerned citizens and are willing to report an incident that doesn't look right or could led to more dangerous situation. If something looks wrong by all means report it to the authorities.

He continued. In this case a couple things should have happened or not happened. First there was poor judgement to allow the kids to go out to Melvin Island when a storm is approaching. The storm was also not only visible but it was being reported on Weather apps and on TV channels. The trip should have been cancelled. Or wait until there isn't any threat of a dangerous situation. But to head out as a storm is approaching was wrong.

He said by the time they got the alert from MP and Carroll County Sheriff and got the fire rescue boat out to Melvin Island the storm had passed. They found the 20 campers safe. They were there to spend the night... we were told. The chief said to me I don't know where they are going to sleep there certainly isn't much land to lay down among all the rocks and water. I'm sure the parents didn't expect their kids to be going on a Outward Bound adventure.

So that is the story and accounting by the Chief and I had a great call from Camp Belknap Board member. I appreciate all the positive feedback from the forum members. I got several PM supporting my thread. Now lets move on and hopefully we all can take away something from this.

Be safe but enjoy this 4th of July Holiday.... !!
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Old 07-12-2021, 03:43 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by chasedawg View Post
I talked to the Tuftonboro Fire Chief Adam Thompson like I said I would to get his perspective concerning the Camp Belknap campers out in storm conditions.. We first had a short conversation about the incident. We didn't have much time to get into it. Then today he called me. We had a very good and interesting talk.

I asked the question: Calling the MP in this particular situation when someone sees an incident that could lead to a dangerous situation... was that the proper thing to do? He said absolutely it was the right action to take. Never hesitate to call us the MP or and authorities. It is important that we have concerned citizens and are willing to report an incident that doesn't look right or could led to more dangerous situation. If something looks wrong by all means report it to the authorities.

He continued. In this case a couple things should have happened or not happened. First there was poor judgement to allow the kids to go out to Melvin Island when a storm is approaching. The storm was also not only visible but it was being reported on Weather apps and on TV channels. The trip should have been cancelled. Or wait until there isn't any threat of a dangerous situation. But to head out as a storm is approaching was wrong.

He said by the time they got the alert from MP and Carroll County Sheriff and got the fire rescue boat out to Melvin Island the storm had passed. They found the 20 campers safe. They were there to spend the night... we were told. The chief said to me I'm sure the parents didn't expect their kids to be going on a Outward Bound adventure.

So that is the story and accounting by the Chief and I had a great call from Camp Belknap Board member. I appreciate all the positive feedback from the forum members. I got several PM supporting my thread. Now lets move on and hopefully we all can take away something from this.

Be safe but enjoy this 4th of July Holiday.... !!
"I don't know where they are going to sleep there certainly isn't much land to lay down among all the rocks and water" it is my understanding that Melvin Island is a loon nesting sanctuary site as it has been labeled for years. loons nest in wet land areas that require a 25 foot do not disturb. no part of Melvin Island is 25 feet from the wetlands. Certainly Camp Belknap respects the preservation of loons and would not risk the safety of the loons.
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Old 07-13-2021, 09:40 AM   #27
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"I don't know where they are going to sleep there certainly isn't much land to lay down among all the rocks and water" it is my understanding that Melvin Island is a loon nesting sanctuary site as it has been labeled for years. loons nest in wet land areas that require a 25 foot do not disturb. no part of Melvin Island is 25 feet from the wetlands. Certainly Camp Belknap respects the preservation of loons and would not risk the safety of the loons.
i must correct myself. there might be about 135 feet across the island at it's broader part. shoreline protection 50 feet and wetland buffers do really constrain the usable land though. consideration for the loons might suggest the island should be left uninhabited for the loons or at least far fewer than twenty people
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