Gotta get me home by the morning light

March 20, 2007

Today a 12-year-old Boy Scout, Michael Auberry, was found safe and in good shape after spending four days lost in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

From initial reports, it sounds like he helped himself stay alive by practicing some of what he learned in Scouting. And it seems his dad understood that Scouting helped him.

“(Kent) Auberry, a Greensboro, North Carolina, attorney, said if he had it to do all over again, he would allow Michael to take part in the camping trip.

“‘I trusted the Boy Scouts to take him on this trip,” Auberry said. “When we find him, I will trust the same group to take him on a trip again.”‘

What’s more, it’s heartening to hear some people understand that being in the outdoors is full of risks, and you can’t protect yourself from all of them.

But after the elation of Michael’s safe return, we learned why he had wandered away from camp.

He said he got homesick because some of his closest friends had not gone on the camping trip, so he planned to walk to a highway and hitchhike to his home in Greensboro, North Carolina.

That brings new meaning to a phrase we often repeated when I was a Scout: A Boy Scout is never lost; just sometimes confused.