The Right Coast

June 20, 2005
Missing boy in Utah
By Tom Smith

Stories like this drive me crazy. On balance, Boy Scouts do a lot of good work, but I have never been comfortable with the level of precautions taken. I was in scouts for some years as a kid, and it's amazing no one was ever killed. On one memorable trip to Pistol Lake, in the Idah0 Primitive Area (now Church Wilderness), one scout, the butt of many jokes, emerged from the lake to warm his backside at the fire. Unbeknownst to him, some demon had put a can of aerosol deoderant in the fire. Of course, it exploded, sending the young victim running into the woods. He was eventually found. Some years later I got called back to be Senior Patrol Leader of a newly formed troop. Some nice kids, but also plenty of hoodlums. I kept them from commiting any serious crimes, but shortly after I left some of them found a bulldozer at a construction site and inflicted upon it many thousands of dollars of damage. How they managed to do this while on some scouting thing, I don't know, but they did. They got caught and in a lot of trouble. Thank God it wasn't on my watch. Managing boys together is daunting work. I just hope that Utah boy didn't fall into the Bear River, but that does seem the most likely explanation of his disappearence.

BOY FOUND. That's some good luck. That and high powered Mormon prayers.