I am personally most upset by how this was handled. Transparency is paramount in a situation such as this. There has been a complete lack of transparency in this matter, and it appears that even key personnel to the committee were kept in the dark.
At the very least an email to all novice level entrants should have been sent explaining what happened and what measures were in place to remediate. Yet silence was the approved method of communication. What fruit did refusing to disseminate information yield?
I have no doubt that these stones are lost forever. I do question whether or not insurance was purchased on the package. If insurance was no purchased, I would like to know why. If insurance was purchased, I would hope that 100% of that insurance would be used to reimburse all novice entrants, at the very least.
I regret to announce that I have allowed my USFG membership to lapse. I have no intention of renewing. Not because of the fact that this accident occurred, but rather due to the utter failure of the USFG officers to handle this matter in a manner I feel is appropriate. This appalling reaction to this matter is a blemish on the USFG’s reputation that will forever tarnish my own perception of the holistic group.