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Utah Scout leaves Camp and hitches home

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Search initiated after Scout goes AWOL. Scout hitchhikes home.


(ABC 4 News) -- A 13-year boy scout who went missing in the Unitah mountains and prompted an overnight search, was found in Salt Lake Wednesday morning after he hitchhiked a ride from camp.


Tuesday night, officials at Camp Steiner called deputies to report Joshua had left the camp. They told officers the scout had an argument with an adviser and took off in the dark.


Camp Director Reid Hall said Joshua had a sling shot, and he was using it to throw rocks against buildings. A scout master took the sling shot away, and Joshua became more angry.


Sometime around dark, scout leaders suspect Joshua left camp. When he couldn't be found, and all-out search for the scout began, starting with the camp grounds.


Searchers then went up trails and to the ice caves in the area. Fellow scouts joined in and searched until midnight. Several staff members stayed awake overnight and continued to look for Joshua.


"Everyone really cared about this guy. He probably doesn't have any idea how man people were looking for him, how many were praying for him, how many people were concerned about him," Hall said.


Wednesday morning, twelve hours after he went missing, camp directors got word Joshua was located.


"His bishop called me on the telephone this morning and told me he was in Salt Lake at a neighbor's home. I assumed he probably hitchhiked," Paul Biesinger said.


That would have been a 90 mile trip from Camp Steiner to Salt Lake.


Officials with Boy Scouts of America said as far as the altercation with the scout was concerned, they believed the scout leaders handled the situation appropriately. More importantly, they were grateful Joshua was picked up by good people and made it home safely.


Camp Steiner is the same camp where one boy scout died and three other injured in a lightning strike early August.




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One of the first things that our camp doses when A boy turns up missing is a couple of staff head down the road heading out to the main highway. A lot of the 'lost' scouts are upset and want to head home any way they can. Others tend to hide out, to show those 'mean son-of-guns'.

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