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Girl Scouts Prepared For Severe Weather

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A tornado wiped out much of Zinc Ranch near Skiatook in 1991. A tornado wiped out much of Zinc Ranch near Skiatook in 1991.
The camp has two storm shelters complete with water and other emergency supplies. The camp has two storm shelters complete with water and other emergency supplies.
Camp Director Kimberlee Harley says plans for that protection include severe weather drills for everyone.  Counselor Walkie Talkies also receive weather warnings. Camp Director Kimberlee Harley says plans for that protection include severe weather drills for everyone. Counselor Walkie Talkies also receive weather warnings.

Green Country summer camps are no stranger to severe weather.  A tornado wiped out much of Zinc Ranch near Skiatook in 1991.  But since then, the camp has taken steps to make sure it will be ready for the next storm.  The News On 6's Chris Wright reports the Girl Scouts say the threat of severe weather is always on their minds, but they're confident they are prepared to deal with it.

In April of 1991, while camp was in session, a powerful tornado destroyed the dining hall at Zinc Ranch.  No one was hurt, and the building has been rebuilt.  But, right near where the counselors now eat together, there is some memorabilia from that storm.

Those who work at the ranch say it's a powerful reminder that they are responsible for campers' well-being.

"That's really the most important thing that they can give over to us.  We treat that with a lot of care, consideration, and respect," said counselor Mary Jessup.

 "That life of that child is the most important thing we have at camp.  That is what we want to protect at all costs," said camp director Kimberlee Harley.

Camp Director Kimberlee Harley says plans for that protection include severe weather drills for everyone.  Counselor Walkie Talkies also receive weather warnings.  And, there are two storm shelters.

Campers rode out the '91 tornado in a shelter below the dining hall.  On the other side of the camp, a second shelter is built directly into the ground.

Girl Scouts say they are ready for most severe weather scenarios. They have built a storm shelter, which in the event of a tornado; the girls would be herded into.  It's also full of bottled water and first aid supplies.

The Girl Scouts admit that their precautions are extensive, but after what happened here 17 years ago, they believe they are necessary.

"Plan for the worst, hope for the best.  We have a plan for everything.  Anything you can come up with, we have a plan," said camp director Kimberlee Harley.

The counselors at Zinc Ranch wrapped up their training on Thursday.  The first of group of summer campers will arrive over the weekend.

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