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Boy Scout missing in rugged N.C. park

 

 

TRAPHILL, N.C. (AP) -- Search teams combed mountain terrain Sunday for a 12-year-old Boy Scout who disappeared during an outing.

 

About 10 scouts and the adult leaders of Troop 230, from Greensboro, noticed that Michael Auberry was missing between 12:30 p.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday in Stone Mountain State Park, officials said.

 

The troop had gone on a hike earlier Saturday, and the boy and an adult stayed behind, said David Bauer, a ranger with the Blue Ridge Parkway. It was not immediately clear why they stayed behind.

 

After the troop returned and ate lunch with Michael and the adult, the troop noticed the boy was missing from camp. Searchers found part of his mess kit less than a mile away late Saturday, Bauer said.

 

"At this point we're looking at every possibility," Bauer said. "The most probable thing is that he walked away, went out in the woods and went to investigate."

 

Searchers were moving off the trail and into rugged terrain Sunday afternoon and were expected to suspend the search when night fell because of the risks involved, Bauer said.

 

The boy was wearing pants, a shirt and a coat. The Sunday afternoon temperature at Mount Airy, about 25 miles northeast of Traphill in northwest North Carolina, was in the low 40s, the National Weather Service said.

 

Stone Mountain State Park covers nearly 13,750 acres.

 

Search crews included volunteer firefighters, National Park Service staff and rescue squads from the state park system and Alleghany and Wilkes counties. A Highway Patrol helicopter equipped with an infrared sensor that can detect body heat was sent to assist the search.

 

(An earlier version of this story incorrectly implied the missing Boy Scout went out on a hike with his troop. He stayed behind at the camp with an adult leader.)

 

2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy.

 

 

 

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Hopefully that's a misprint where the article states that Michael stayed behind with ONE adult.

 

The article doesn't mention whether this is a special needs child or not. We have two new boys that our troop is going to have to keep really close watch over, because they are both "wanderers." Both boys are in special ed. and we are happy to have them in the troop, but at the same time, we leaders have to make sure that someone is keeping track of them at all times. I know this is supposed to be the other boys' responsibility, but when it comes to safety concerns, adults need to step in. One of the boys was in my Webelos den, and I expected my 2 Den Chiefs to really help me when we went on outings, but being boys themselves, my Den Chiefs couldn't be expected to maintain 100% watch over him.

 

I'm praying that this boy is safe and is found soon.

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The article states that indeed he stayed back with one leader as the troop hiked, but was accounted for when the troop returned and had lunch. He went missing after that. So the one adult violation of YPT doesn't look like it was a factor.

 

This scenario just scares the heck out of me. Going camping with other people's children puts a great onus of responsibility on us, and some it we just can't control.

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There seem to be some strange things going on. Have you ever heard of a scout sleeping in while camping? Most leaders I know wouldn't allow it, and most boys are eager to be enjoying their adventure.

Second, Youth Protection policies were broken.

Third, the article called him a 1st Class. A first class scout knows how to hike safely, has camped overnight at least three times, can to navigate by compass, knows how to pitch a tent, can use a knife, saw, and axe, can make a fire, and knows how to cook on one.

He has made a first aid kit for hiking and knows first aid for scrapes, blisters, minor burns, snakebite, insect bites, sunburn, frostbite, an object in their eye, a bite of a potentially rabid animal, a puncture wound such as a splinter, nail, or hook, heat exhaustion, shock, heatstroke, dehydration, hypothermia, and hyperventillation and also how to transport himself with a broken anke.

He's familiar with plants native to his area. He also knows how to use knots and lashings to make structures and knows how to swim.

This kid should be able to take care of himself. Why would he be just wandering off?

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GernBlansten -

 

Actually, if it happened as it was described, it would be a YPT issue. One scout staying back with one adult while the rest of the troop hiked is a violation, unless than one adult was his parent.

 

JM_Ecuador -

 

I've certainly seen boys who passed the requirements for 1st Class but would still not be ready for a situation like this. It's hard to equate learning the basics with the ability to survive. He's "equiped" to do it skillwise, but who is to say if he is mentally equipped for it.

 

As for kids who wander off, we have several that have that problem. The most severe ones actually do have mental disabilities which cause them to lose focus. It's definitely a cause for concern.

 

I pray that this scout is found soon. I also hope that it wasn't an issue of negligence on the part of the leaders, although it sounds like there's a good chance of it.

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The most current CNN Story says the boy suffers from ADD and does not have his medication with him and I believe it also said he didn't have a daypack with him. Just because the boy has completed the stuff for First Class does not mean he will remember it or that he really learned it.

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GernBlansten - Actually, if it happened as it was described, it would be a YPT issue. One scout staying back with one adult while the rest of the troop hiked is a violation, unless than one adult was his parent.

 

I agree there was a violation of YPT, but how could his missing be a YPT issue? He was there when the troop returned from the hike and had lunch. He went missing after the troop regrouped.

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Just heard the SE being interviewed on the radio on the way home from work. He stated the "scout is a First Class Scout and has been in a little over a year and has been trained in basic hiking, camping and survival skills." Also that the leaders are "Fully qualified".

 

Another reason for ensuring that scouts actually know the stuff before signing off their books. It may save their lives one day.

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Another reason for ensuring that scouts actually know the stuff before signing off their books. It may save their lives one day.

 

Yah, yah to that. Amen. Da risk of FCFY is pencil-whippin' things to move 'em along. No retestin' or requirement addin', etc. etc., especially if that means takin' extra time to be sure the scout understands. I hope it didn't happen in this case, for the sake of those adults. I wouldn't want anyone to have to live with that.

 

As to the YP issue, it's a hard judgment call, eh? A kid is homesick/in a funk/misbehaving and needs a timeout/feels ill. You only have one spare adult. Do yeh cancel the hike for all the other boys to maintain two deep? Give up on two deep but ask another boy to skip the hike to avoid one-on-one? Leave one adult back alone but with the people in the adjacent campsite keepin' watch? Have mom and dad drive up to take the boy home immediately?

 

I think yeh do what you can with the resources you have, and knowin' the boy and the adults.

 

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Just read an initial report this scout was found, alive, dehydrated but otherwise OK.

 

Hope & pray the reports are true. But things sound good for now.

 

We have had to ask at least one scout to leave the troop because he would just not obey adult or youth leadership and had a bad habit of wandering off on his own. His single parent mom wanted him in scouts, but he wanted no part of it. He just became too much of a risk to take on outings and demanded too much adult attention.

 

SA

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Good News.

 

I guess this means we can continue bashing the FCFY program and the leadership of the the troop. And we can disgust how bad those ADD scouts are.

 

:(

 

 

 

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You are absolutely right Dan. It was clearly the FCFY approach which prompted him to walk off without a buddy or permision. Further more the things he was taught while working toward First Class in such a short period obviously played no part in his survival of this ordeal. I'll bet if we dig further we will find out this troop uses the deadly NSP approach as well. Some people will just never learn.

LongHaul

OH BOY just read the other article on the CNN site and it refers to Michael as being a Tenderfoot Scout not a First Class Scout which is what the SE said was Michael's rank. Who cares! DOWN WITH FCFY!!!(This message has been edited by LongHaul)

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Count me as another thankful Scouter that this young man has been found alive!!!

 

Put me out of my misery please.......I confess to being one of those dreaded ASM's who utilizes NSP's and FCFY.

 

I promise that we only subject the boys to it as short of a time period as possible before they move to standing mixed age patrols. Some of them develop a slight head or eye twitch, but they don't appear to be to worse for the wear. ;)

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I just read where the Scout left on his own because he was homesick and a lot of his buddies did not go on this particular campout, so he was planning to hike down to the highway and hitch hike home.

 

I am not making this up. Check cnn.com

 

Methinks Dad has been awarded a permanent invite to all future campouts that his son wants to attend. At least that's how it would be in my troop.

 

 

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