Lost Scout Story
Reminder to use the buddy system.
Years ago, right here at this camp, a Scout Troop, much like ours came out for the weekend. As with most every troop, there's always one Scout who's much better than everyone else in his camping skills. This Troop had an exceptional Scout who everyone looked up to, to help them out if they were having any problems. This Scout could hike farther than anyone else, catch bigger fish, make a better snow-fort to sleep in, start a fire with one match every time, could snowshoe faster than all the adults, and many more skills. Everyone would ask him for help, because he was so good. The leaders relied on him to help teach all the Scout skills and he did it with a smile on his face. Everyone liked him because he was so friendly.
One night, he and his patrol decided to sleep outside in snow huts. The Scout helped everyone to get settled before turning in himself. The Scoutmaster came out to check on them to make sure no one was too cold. In the middle of the night, the Scout was awoken by the call of nature. He woke up a couple of his buddies to go with him, as he knew that no one should go anywhere without a buddy. His friends told him that since he was the best Scout in the troop, and knew so much, that there was no chance for something to go wrong. You all know, that flattery is great for one's ego, and this Scout was no different. He got dressed and ventured outside to the latrine to complete his task.
After he had done, he got dressed again, and started back to his snow hut. But when he opened the door to the latrine, he saw that a storm had moved in. He started to return to his hut but the tracks he had left had been blown over by the storm. He tried to find his way back but the wind was driving the snow in his eyes and he couldn't see anything. He walked as fast as he could to where he thought the hut was, but he couldn't find it. He walked and stumbled in the storm for what seemed a long time, when he realized he was in trouble. He remembered the first rule when lost in the winter: stop and build a fire. He found a spot to dig out a cave in a snow bank, and crawled in. He had an emergency kit with him, and quickly had a fire going.
The next morning, everyone awoke to find a clean, crisp layer of white snow had covered the camp. It didn't take long for the Scout's friends to realize that he was missing, and they ran to tell the rest of the camp. Everyone got dressed in their warmest clothes and quickly started a search party. They scoured the entire camp for hours, but couldn't find the Lost Scout. For the rest of the day, everyone searched for him. They called in search and rescue teams to help, but still couldn't find him. For days, search parties combed the area looking for the Scout, but he was never found.
It was a sad year for that Troop. They had lost a great friend. In the Spring, they gathered again at the camp to search for the Scout's remains. Again, everyone searched everywhere, but couldn't find him.
I often walk through these woods at night, and often think about the Lost Scout. It's been said that if you are walking alone through these woods at night, you may feel a cold draft shiver down your back. It maybe the Lost Scout reminding you to:
"Take a BUDDY!"