"As Boy Scouts, they spend a lot of time outside in the wilderness, being prepared, knowing weather patterns, knowing what to expect, having a NOAA weather radio. Having specific action steps will really help them in keeping safe," Franklin said.
The course is designed around the weather merit badge requirements. When the scouts leave at the end of the day, they have two remaining tasks: to talk to their family about safety and to give a five-minute presentation to their troop.
Matthew Heffernan, 14, from Reston, Md., said he learned that "tornadoes are not anything to be messed with. In movies you see people running and spazzing, but you really should try to get low and find shelter for yourself."
Matthew saw the connection between weather and scouting. "At all camp outs, you are at the mercy of the weather. If you forget to bring your rain fly, you are pretty much dead," he said. "Scouting is very closely tied to the weather."
Kai Jepson, 11, from Silver Spring, Md., said he thought "it was very tragic what happened to the Scouts in Iowa, and it was sad for the families of those Scouts and troop members."
Having spent his first day of summer vacation with the weather professionals, we asked Kai if he knows what to do if he has to deal with a tornado. The young scout said, "I think I will be prepared."