BOWLING GREEN, Va. – The star-crossed National Scout Jamboree (search) started anew Thursday, one day after more than 300 people succumbed to the blistering heat while awaiting a visit from President Bush.
Bush's second attempt to visit the Jamboree on Thursday was postponed until Sunday, at the Scouts' request. Officials hoped to review safety procedures for large crowds and replenish supplies — including several tractor-trailers full of bottled water.
More than 300 Scouts and visitors were treated Wednesday at the hospital at Fort A.P. Hill (search), the Army base hosting the event, and some were airlifted to surrounding hospitals with heat-related illnesses.
Four people remained in area hospitals Thursday, Jamboree spokesman Gregg Shields (search) said.
As the heat subsided, more than 40,000 Scouts, leaders and visitors attending the 10-day event returned to a somewhat normal routine Thursday, going about daily activities like trading patches, going fishing and riding bikes.
"Yesterday was ridiculous," said Jeremy Loftness, 15, of Denver, as he traded patches along the Army bases' streets. "I, myself, saw 50 people either passed out or being carried away."
The Scouts and the White House called off Bush's Wednesday appearance because of threatening storms. Shields said officials also didn't want to make the Boy Scouts and visitors remain in the intense heat, which reached the upper 90s with high humidity.
"Any alternative would not have been wise," Shields said.
The illnesses came as many still were reeling from the deaths of four Boy Scout leaders Monday. Some Scouts had been watching as the metal pole at the center of a large, white dining tent touched power lines, electrocuting the adult leaders. Screams rang out as the tent caught fire and the men burned.
An investigation into the accident was incomplete.
Despite the troubled first few days, the event has been worthwhile, said James Webber, a 13-year-old Scout from Denver.
"It's a place where I can come together and meet new people and see all different kinds of states without actually being there," he said.