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HEAT EASES FOR SCOUTS' ARRIVAL
After recent heat wave, temperatures back to just seasonably hot in time for the start of the National Scout Jamboree

 Shawn Koenig, 13, of Colorado Springs, Colo., cools off with a snow cone on the first day of National Scout Jamboree yesterday at Fort A. P. Hill in Caroline County.
SUZANNE CARR ROSSI/THE FREE LANCE-STAR
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Date published: 7/27/2010

BY JEFF BRANSCOME

A volunteer at the National Scout Jamboree didn't seem to notice yesterday's more bearable weather.

Keith Abraham was too busy spraying Scouts with water.

"Hydrate or die!" he shouted at one point.

The weather cooled off--at least by this summer's standards--in time for the first day of the National Scout Jamboree yesterday.

That didn't keep many Scouts from purchasing shaved ice and other cold treats after setting up their camps. And they received reminders from Abraham and others to drink plenty of water.

Some, however, weren't fazed by the glaring sun.

"It's a lot worse in Florida," said Scout Billy Appleton, 16, of Jacksonville.

"It's more humid with no clouds," added his friend, Lawrence Lindawan, 16.

After three days of triple-digit temperatures, the high in Fredericksburg was 90 degrees yesterday. At Caroline County's Fort A.P. Hill, the site of the jamboree, daytime temperatures were in the mid-to-upper 80s.

Still, many Scouts--particularly those from cooler, drier climates--described yesterday's weather as just plain hot. Eleven-year-old Reid Bowman had the sweat mustache to prove it.

"I think it should be rainy at least once a day," said Reid, who is from Santa Clarita, Calif. "I can't stand the heat."

He may get his wish. There's a chance of thunderstorms tonight, tomorrow night and on Thursday and Monday.

Twelve-year-old Scout Caleb Skvaril flew 30 hours from Guam to participate in the jamboree. It's warm all year in Guam, he said, but not like this.

"In Guam, there's always wind," Caleb said. "But here, it's hot, and it stays hot."

Reid and Caleb can always escape the heat at one of several stations with kiddie pools and misting fans.

"The fans are new, and they're a blessing," said jamboree volunteer Denise Dale, who lounged with her feet in one of the kiddie pools.

She's from State College, Penn., where "we get our fair share of humidity, but it's not like here."

Tomorrow's high will be in the low 90s.

Every Scout received a card telling him how much water to drink per hour, depending on the temperature. They should drink up to a quart of water an hour if it's more than 84 degrees.

The cards were new to this year's event, which is being described as the "the best, most exciting, fun-filled, safest jamboree ever."

Abraham said he'll continue to spray scouts with water. But he acknowledged his 32-ounce bottle may not be enough.

"We're going to need to bring jugs of ice water up here," he said.

Jeff Branscome: 540/374-5402
Email: jbranscome@freelancestar.com