Gordon in the News: last updated 07/02/2008

Ground-current Incident Causes No Injuries to La Vida Adventure Camp Staff

July 2, 2008

Kristin Schwabauer
Office of College Communications


This afternoon, July 2, 14 La Vida Adventure campers in the 14-15-year-old program, along with four adult staff members, were at Red Rock, an outdoor rock-climbing area in West Gloucester, as part of their normal schedule of activities. When the staff learned of the storm coming, they followed the Board of Health Safety Protocols for lightning--to come down from any high area before a storm hits and seek shelter in a building or vehicle. All campers and one staff member got to safety 15-20 minutes before the storm struck.

The campers were waiting in the College mini-bus at the parking lot while three staff members remained at Red Rock to pack up the rock-climbing equipment from the site. While walking along the trail back to the parking lot, at approximately 1:30 p.m., the three staff members felt a ground current from a lightning strike under their feet. Ground current occurs when lightning, hitting the ground, spreads out in all directions along the ground, dissipating as it goes. Though shaken, the staff members did not appear to have been injured, and drove themselves back to the Gordon College campus. In order to be certain that they were allright, they went to nearby Beverly Hospital to be checked out. As of 4:15 p.m., two of the three had been released from the hospital; the third was in stable condition and will be released pending some tests. All La Vida staff are college age or older. The staff members have asked that their names not be released.   

For 38 years Gordon's La Vida program has provided adventure-based outdoor education. The goal of La Vida Adventure Camp, in existence for 12 years, is to build character, positive self-identity and a commitment to serve and care for others using small-group experiential learning.

In 2005 and 2006, the La Vida Adventure Camp was named "Best Summer Camp" by Community Newspaper Company's Reader's Choice Awards.